Anaguma, 穴熊, is one of the strongest shogi openings. Usually, it takes quite a time to build but once it is complete your opponent will have to struggle to get your King. You can build and anaguma for the static or ranging rook but on today’s lesson, we will see how to make it for the static rook.

How to build an anaguma castle:

First of all, we need to bring our King to the corner of the board. The square 9i for the static rook or 1i for the ranging rook. Let’s see how is a game of anaguma vs mino.

▲7六歩 △3四歩
▲6六歩 △4二飛
▲4二銀 △3二銀
▲2六歩 △4四歩
▲5六歩 △6二玉
▲6八王 △5八金左
▲7八王 △7二銀
▲5八金右 △7一玉

▲P-7f △P-3d
▲P-6f △R-4b
▲S-4h △S-3b
▲P-2f △P-4d
▲P-5f △K-6b
▲K-6h △G-5b(6a)
▲K-7h △S-7b
▲G-5h(6i) △K-7a







Gote is all ready to finally build his mino while Sente is still far to bring his king to 9i. But there is still no danger so he can continue with the moves. First need to open a path for the king moving the bishop.

▲2五歩 △3三角
▲7七角 △8二玉
▲8八王 △9六歩
▲9八香 △6四歩
▲9九王 △6三金
▲8八銀 △4五歩
▲5七銀 △4三銀
▲7九金 △7四歩
▲6七金 △8四歩
▲P-2e △B-3c
▲B-7g △K-8b
▲K-8h △P-9d
▲L-9h △P-6d
▲K-9i △G-6c
▲S-8h △P-4e
▲S-5g △S-4c
▲G-7i △P-7d
▲G-6g △P-8d







On the static rook anaguma is very common to bring a gold to the 6g square. The pawn at 7f is a weak point and you will need some piece to defend it. Remember the popular shogi saying: “The head of the Bishop is round” that means that the square in front of the bishop is a weak point. On the ranging rook anaguma there is no need to defend the pawn so is possible to put the Gold general nearer to your king.

The anaguma is mostly a defensive opening. It will be very hard to start an attack, so usually if you play anaguma you have to wait until your opponent starts his attack and then counterattack with the pieces you exchanged.

This is the basic position you should remember for make an anaguma.