The basic castle, and a slightly stronger one

Usually in Chu Shogi, the King remains in the centre, and the surrounding step movers are used to form a castle. This is typically composed of the Drunk Elephant, the two Blind Tigers, and one or two Gold Generals. Here is a typical setup, which I call the basic castle:

Showing the weakness of the basic castle to a lion and vertically moving piece.

Showing the weakness of the basic castle to a lion and vertically moving piece.

Note that if the central defender is pinned to the King by a vertically-moving piece (here a White Horse), then a Lion can give checkmate by sitting on the head of either Blind Tiger (shown here on 8j, but 6j is also possible). For this reason, a side-moving piece is needed on the third rank.

Although it takes an extra move to set up, it is often preferable to swap the position of the Drunk Elephant and the right-hand Blind Tiger. We can see why here:

Showing only half the weaknesses remain.

Showing only half the weaknesses remain.

The same mate is possible, but this time only on 8j. The Drunk Elephant protects 6j. So I call this the enhanced castle.

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