Hisshi explained in three minutes

tsumero and Hisshi explained Look at the diagram on the left. Both P1 and P2’s Kings are about to be checkmated, This situation is called Tsumero (詰めろ)。  There is a difference between those two Tsumeros however. That is, P1 can undo the Tsumero while P2 can not. For instance, if P1 drops the gold at 7八、P1’s king is no more in the Tsumero situation. Alternatively, P2’s King can not undo Tsumero. No matter what P2 does, the next move by P1 will checkmate the King. This situation is called Hisshi (必至. This means "unavoidable."  The same word is sometimes written as 必死, meaning "sure kill")
As long as your King is not in the Tsumero situation, and you force your opponent’s King into the Hisshi situation, you will win.
Hisshi quizLook at the diagram on the left. Many beginners will drop the Gold at 5二 and try to break through the wall of the opponent's Silver and Gold. There is a better way.

Hisshi moveThe next move is to take P2’s Gold with your Dragon (a promoted Rook)
P2's King will take P1's Dragon. (You may confirm that other move will result in a checkmate.)
hisshi solutionThen P1 will drop the captured Gold at 8二.

P1 has just created a Hisshi position for P2. Since there are two ways to checkmate the P2’s King (drop of the Gold to either 7二 or 5二), and there is no way to defend these two positions simultaneously in one move, P2 can not undo the Tsumero situation. (However, note that if there is not a pawn at 6三 postion, P2 could move the Silver from 6二to 6三 and undo both Tsumero's in one move. A subtle difference such as this will make a difference in actual games)
Sometimes it is surer way to make simple Hisshi moves rather than lengthy Tsume moves.

See Hisshi Resources for a pointer to more problems.

This page last updated : 2012-11-18