Keima / Discussion

Sub-page of Keima

May I ask, given that all knights are the same size in chess, why can the prefix small be justified in this title (originally referring to "small knight's approach)?

The "small" designation serves merely to differentiate it from the "large" knight's move. In fact, "knights move" is an anglicized term for keima, a Japanese word that refers to the formation without relating to knights or chess. Other languages also have specialized terms. Would anyone would like to elaborate? Kirk

Aw, a sensible answer. I was hoping somebody would say - Don't be silly, you have different sizes of sets. It does make me wonder though, why don't we use the word keima in preference to knight's?

Uwe: In fairy chess the figure which moves like a ogeima is called a camel. What about making a difference between knight move (keima) and camel move (ogeima) ;-)

Zarlan: What is this about not relating to knights or chess? The Go term keima, comes from the japanese word for the chess piece which in english is called knight.

ChrisSchack: Are you sure it's not the other way around, and the chess piece was called that because of how it moves?

Anon: I think that we can be pretty certain of that, without having to look very deeply at all:

1) Shougi was in Japan before Go

Bill: Was it?

Toebbens?: Probably not. The generally accepted date for chess to enter Japan via China and/or the eastern silk route is the 8th century A.D. The earliest date of Go in Japan I know is its mentioning in the Chinese document "The Records of the Sui"; the Sui Dynasty ended in 618.

2) It makes more sense than the other way around: chess pieces, shougi pieces, xiangqi pieces, etc, are generally named for function in the military-ish paradigm from which these games evolved: named for function or role - knight, gold general, elephant, cannon, queen, etc - over the way they move. 3) It doesn't stand too well to reason that a language would make up a word for an 'up, up, left' keima move: too abstract and weird. Go words are generally evolved from other vocabulary: 'hane' = 'bend', for instance.

ChrisSchack: If it's named after a shogi piece, that's one thing, it sounded like Zarlan was saying it was named after the Western knight specifically though...

Zarlan: Western chess and shougi are both chess and I doubt that the knight has different japanese names in the two games

Keima / Discussion last edited by on May 13, 2005 - 11:02
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