Demon Killer

Demon Killer (鬼殺し – Onigoroshi) is a furibisha strategy where you can create a fast attack against your opponent’s king. Nowadays there are no professional players who play this opening. This is considered a kishuu (surprise) opening. If the opponent knows the correct moves he can get a better position but if he mistakes or doesn’t know the correct moves you can get a great advantage.

Even if you are not gonna play it I recommend you to remember the sequence of moves so you don’t get trapped on it.

After the initial moves, ▲P-7f △P-3d Sente makes the strange move ▲N-7g!?

The knights are a very weak piece at the beginning of the game, they can get easily targeted by enemy paws so usually, it’s not good to move it that fast.

First, let’s see what happens when gote doesn’t know how to stop the Demon Killer.

A normal move would be △P-8d, then…


The knight goes further.


Not a good move. Let’s see why.

▲P-7e △P-6d

▲Bx2b △Sx2b


Now Sente is threatening to take the Silver on 2b.

△S-3c ▲Bx6d

△G6a-5b ▲P-7d

△G-6c ▲R-7h!!

Sente is putting all the pressure on column 7 and the diagonal 9a-1i. He will lose the Bishop after △Gx6d but it doesn’t matter.

▲Px7c △Nx7c

▲Nx7c △Sx7c


Sente has created a Dragon and is threatening the Rook and the Gold of Gote. After △R-6b defending the Gold, sente can play ▲R-7a △P-6a ▲Rx9a with a good position.

Then, what can Gote do for stop this?

▲P-7f △P-3d

▲N-7g △P-8d

▲N-6e △G-6b!!

This is the correct move!

There is a big difference if Gote uses the Gold and not the Silver.

▲P-7e △P-6d

▲Bx2b △Sx2b

▲B*5e? △G-6c!

With this move, Gote protects at the same time the Silver on 2b with the Rook and the Pawn on 6d with the Gold. Later he can take the Knight for free with a very good position and Gote should be winning.

Have you ever tried the Demon Killer? Someone did it to you? Do you want to try it now? Feel free to comment!

  • Andrea Giannini

    hi 🙂 if i’m black and the opponent don’t play ” △P-6d ” what can i do?

    thank you!

  • Diego

    Hi Andrea, thanks for your question.
    The best idea is continue with the plan putting pressure on the column 7. You can continue playing P-7e threatening P-7d and then Bx2b and B-5e winning.