Hasami Shogi is one of the most popular Shogi variants in Japan. The word "hasami" means "sandwiching" which shortly describes the way of capturing in this game.
Start position and game object
The game is played on 9x9 board. Each player starts with 18 pieces which are placed on the first two rows on each side. The start position is displayed on the following picture:
The goal of the game is to make a connected line of 5 stones of the player's colour. The line can be made vertically or diagonally - not horizontally. There are several restrictions which will be clarified below.
The other way how to win a game is to capture all opponent's pieces. Actually, the game ends even if one player has only 1 piece left because it is not sufficient material to continue in the game.
How to move pieces
In every turn, a player takes one stone of his colour and moves it horizontally or vertically any number of spaces (as a Rook in Chess) and no other piece (either colour) can block the way. The next picture shows all possible moves of the selected white stone:
However, a stone can jump over another stone (either colour) if it stands on an adjacent square and the next square in the same direction is empty. The following picture shows all possible moves of the selected white stone, including one jump:
How to capture opponent's pieces
A player captures one or more opponent's stones if he/she makes a move which "sandwiches" them. It means that a connected line of opponent's stones must be surrounded by two player's stones either vertically or horizontally. The next pictures show how white captures two black stones:
How finish the game
The game is finished if one of the following conditions is reached:
One player creates a connected line of 5 stones of his colour vertically or diagonally. No stone of this line can be placed in player's starting rows. This image shows a winning white line in the left and non-winning white line in the right:
This player wins the game.
One player has only 1 or no pieces left on the board. This player loses the game.