Tactical Techniques

Tactical guide contents
1.Basic principles | 2.Game notation | 3.Tactical techniques | 4.Shield wall

Recover and retaliate methods

The freezing rule is a source of various tactical tricks. It’s obvious that if there were only two pieces duelling on the board and one attacked from the right distance, the second one would get gradually forcibly pushed to the edge of the board and captured. So the friendly pieces need to cover each other, one countering the attack when second gets pushed. It’s like the real battle trick: attack the enemy which is fighting with someone else!
But what to do if there is nobody to help the attacked piece by directly deflecting the strike? See the figure on the left. The white just pushed the amazon with their savage, 1.c3:b45, threatening to capture her. The amazon is frozen. Black needs a hold-up move. Here it is:
1… Ra8 x h1
The white must capture the attacker: 2.Wf1 x h1
Now the black amazon recovered from freezing and can strike back: 2…Aa6:b45.

It’s also sometimes possible to create a stronger non-capturing threat to hold up the enemy and then recover the pushed piece. Let’s consider a situation without the riders on A8 and H1. Having nothing to capture now, black needs to make up a different hold-up move.
1…de6-de3+, or 1…g6-g3+ do the job. Both moves sacrifice a savage, but save the amazon.

Double strike

Creating threats is a natural game principle. The threatened opponent has less chances to think about attacking. Experienced board players won’t be surprised that it is possible to create more than one threat by a single move.

See the examples of possible double strikes on the diagram:

Fork: 1.a45-a6
The savage forks the black rider and warrior, being covered from capture by the battery of friendly amazon and rider.

Exposing move: 1.de3:f45
threatens to capture the black savage (pushed now to g6), while at the same time exposing the black king to the white rider on the “de” column.

Attack + block the way: 1.a45-c7+
attacks both the king and warrior, while at the same time blocking retreat for the black amazon on c6 which is now threatened by the amazon on c3!

Attack + push into the way: 1.Ac3 : c6
This one is like the previous variant but with inverted order of moves. Both black rider and amazon are attacked, the amazon being pushed into the way of white savage on a45.

There are other various ways in general how to perform a double strike. However, it’s also often possible to parry multiple threats by a single move, or parry one and counter with another one. You yourself can try to find out which of the double strikes mentioned above can be parried or countered by the black.

At least the first one, 1.a45-a6, is hazardous. There is a dangerous possibility of the black counter-attack by 1…Ac6-g2+.)


Tongs is a dangerous configuration where a valuable piece is clenched between two (usually less valuable) enemies. It is especially powerful when the king is the one inside the tongs. As you can see in the figure on the left, the white king is tonged. Note that there is no other way for the king how to survive but to flee from the clenching line. No matter how insolent, the two black attackers are untouchable in the heart of the white territory. If the white tries to push or capture any of the two pieces (either with the king, or with another piece), his king gets captured by the second one just after that. It’s the power of tongs.

You can also see that there is no other move for the king to prevent getting captured, tonged again or threatened immediatelly, than moving to the center where his chances aren’t much better.

In a situation where the king gets pushed inside tongs, the player is doomed, because the pushed king cannot move to flee.

Tongs can be also succesfully used against a less valuable piece as a part of double strike. See the figure.
By 1.b3-de6 the white will open tongs against the black savage on de45, while threatening the black amazon on b8 at the same time. The black needs to parry the latter threat by f7:de6 or Ab8:de6, unable to save his savage on de45.
(It’s somewhat uncertain though who has the advantage here.)

Dropping to one’s own face

In real battle, it’s a lethal mistake when you deflect a charging enemy spear in the wrong direction.
In Divoshi it represents a hazardous act when you push an enemy piece to a square from which it can capture your king or any other valuable piece. The opponent can’t capture it immediatelly after being pushed because of the freezing rule (unless it’s a Warrior), however by dropping to your face you deliberatelly create a threat to yourself which you will need to parry next turn.

See an example of forcing the opponent to drop your piece to their face. On the left figure the black king is threatened by the rider on f45. The black has no better choice than to parry the threat by dropping the rider to his face:
1… Wde6:f45
(1… Rc45:f45 was possible too, leading to similarly desperate situation.)
The white cannot move his pushed rider from g3 right now, but after 2.g7xh6 or 2.Rb1:f45 the black will face two threats, which is likely to be too much for him.

Tactical guide contents
1.Basic principles | 2.Game notation | 3.Tactical techniques | 4.Shield wall

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