Shogi –

Shogi also knew as Japanese chess or the Generals' Game, is a two-player strategy board game in the same family as Western (international) chess and is the most popular of a family of chess variants native to Japan. Shōgi means generals.

The earliest predecessor of the game, chaturanga, originated in India in the 6th century. Shogi in its present form was played as early as the 16th century, while a direct ancestor without the drop rule was recorded from 1210 in a historical document Nichūreki, which is an edited copy of Shōchūreki and Kaichūreki from the late Heian period (c. 1120). Shogi was the earliest chess variant to allow captured pieces to be returned to the board by the capturing player.


The History Of Shogi -

Shogi in its present form was played in Japan as early as the 16th century.
It is not clear when chess was brought to Japan.
The earliest generally accepted mention of shogi is Shin Saru Gakuki (1058–1064) by Fujiwara Akihira. The oldest archaeological evidence is a group of 16 shogi pieces excavated from the grounds of Kōfuku-Ji in Nara Prefecture.
As it was physically associated with a wooden tablet written on in the sixth year of Tenki (1058), the pieces are thought to date from that period.
These simple pieces were cut from a writing plaque in the same five-sided shape as modern pieces, with the names of the pieces written on them.


Set Up And Gameplay

Shogi starting setup; Black (at the bottom) moves first.
Each player sets up his pieces facing forward (toward his opponent).
In the rank nearest the player.

the king is placed in the center file.
the two gold generals are placed in files adjacent to the king.
the two silver generals are placed adjacent to each gold general.
the two knights are placed adjacent to each silver general.
the two lances are placed in the corners, adjacent to each knight.

That is, the first rank is - L   N   S   G   K   G   S   N   L
In Japanese - 香 桂 銀 金 玉 金 銀 桂 香


Game Objective

The usual goal of a game is for one player to checkmate their opponent's king winning the game.
Thus, the aim of the game is to checkmate their opponent before their opponent manages to do so.


Movements Of Pieces

Most shogi pieces can move only to an adjacent square. A few may move across the board, and one jumps over intervening pieces.
The lance, bishop, and rook are ranging pieces: They can move any number of squares along a straight line limited only by intervening pieces and the edge of the board. If an opposing piece intervenes, it may be captured by removing it from the board and replacing it with the moving piece.
If a friendly piece intervenes, the moving piece must stop short of that square;
if the friendly piece is adjacent, the moving piece may not move in that direction at all.

In other words -



A king (玉/王) moves one square in any direction, orthogonal or diagonal.




A rook (飛) moves any number of squares in an orthogonal direction.



A bishop (角) moves any number of squares in a diagonal direction. Because they cannot move orthogonally,
the players' unpromoted bishops can reach only half the squares of the board, unless one is captured and then dropped.



A gold general (金) moves one square orthogonally, or one square diagonally forward, giving it six possible destinations.
It cannot move diagonally backward.



A silver general (銀) moves one square diagonally, or one square straight forward, giving it five possible destinations.
Because an unpromoted silver can retreat more easily than a promoted one, it is common to leave a silv pawns are placed one per file.
Traditionally, the order of placing the pieces on the board is determined. There are two commonly used orders, the Ōhashi order and the er unpromoted at the far side of the board.



A knight (桂) jumps at an angle intermediate to orthogonal and diagonal, amounting to one square straight forward plus one square diagonally forward, in a single move.
Thus the knight has two possible forward destinations.
The knight cannot move to the sides or in a backwards direction.
The knight is the only piece that ignores intervening pieces on the way to its destination.
It is not blocked from moving if the square in front of it is occupied, but neither can it capture a piece on that square.
It is often useful to leave a knight unpromoted at the far side of the board. A knight must promote, however, if it reaches either of the two furthest ranks.


Strategy And Tactics

Shogi is similar to chess but has a much larger game tree complexity because of the use of drops greater number of pieces,
and larger board size.
In comparison, shogi games average about 140 moves per game whereas western chess games average about 80 moves per game, and mini shogi averages about 40 moves per game.

Like chess, however, the game can be divided into the opening, middle game, and endgame, each requiring a different strategy.
The opening consists of arranging one's defenses usually in a castle and positioning for the attack, the mid-game consists of attempting to break through the opposing defenses while maintaining one's own, and the endgame starts when one side's defenses have been compromised.


Check And CheckMate

When a player's move threatens to capture the opposing king on the next turn, the move is said to give a check to the king; the king is said to be in check.
If a player's king is in check, the only way for that player to avoid a defeat is to respond with a move that removes the check (either by moving the king away from the threat, capturing the threatening piece, or placing another piece between the king and the threatening piece).

Note, though, that unlike in international chess, there is no official rule that requires a player to defend a king that is being attacked; however, failing to do so is a blunder, as the opponent would then be entirely free to capture it on the next move, thus winning the game.

If the king is in check and there is no possible move that could protect the king, the move is said to give checkmate (tsumi) to the king.
Checkmate effectively means that the opponent wins the game.
At this point, the checkmated player usually resigns; however, in practice, the checkmated player will resign when the situation is hopeless.


Winning A Game Of Shogi

The usual way for shogi games to end is for one side to checkmate the other side's king, after which the losing player will be given the opportunity to admit defeat.
However, there are three other possible ways for a game to end: repetition (sennichite), impasse ( jishōgi), and an illegal move.
The first two – repetition and impasse – are particularly uncommon. Illegal moves are also uncommon in professional games although this may not be true with amateur players (especially beginners).



The losing player will resign at this point, although in practice play up to the checkmate point rarely occurs, as players normally resign as soon as a loss is deemed inevitable.
In traditional tournament play, a formal resignation is required—that is, checkmate is not a sufficient condition for winning.

The resignation is indicated by bowing and/or saying 'I lost' (makemashita) and/or placing the right hand over the piece stands. Placing the hand over the piece stand is a vestige of the older practice of gently dropping one's pieces in hand over the board in order to indicate resignation.
In western practice, a handshake may be used.



To announce ”check” in Japanese, one can say ōte. However, this is an influence of international chess and is not required, even as a courtesy.
Announcing a ”check” vocally never happens in serious play.


Shogi Game Handicaps

Shogi has a handicap system (like go) in which games between players of disparate strengths are adjusted so that the stronger player is put in a more disadvantageous position in order to compensate for the difference in playing levels.
In a handicap game, one or more of White's pieces are removed from the setup, and instead White plays first.


Shogi Etiquette

Shogi players are expected to follow etiquette in addition to rules explicitly described. Commonly accepted etiquette includes the following.

Greetings to the opponent both before and after the game.
Avoiding disruptive actions both during the game and after, for instance: not changing the move once realized on the board fair withdrawal without any disruption, such as scattering pieces on the board to demonstrate frustration. announcing one's resignation.

Shogi piece sets may contain two types of king pieces, (king) and (jewel). In this case, the higher classed player, in either social or genuine shogi player rank, may take the king piece.
For example, in titleholder system games, the current titleholder takes the king piece as the higher.

The higher-ranked (or older) player also sits facing the door of the room and is the person who takes the pieces out of their piece box.
Shogi does not have a touch-move rule as in western chess tournament play or chu shogi.

However, in professional games, a piece is considered to be moved when the piece has been let go of. In both amateur and professional play, any piece may be touched in order to adjust its centralization within its square (to look tidy).

Taking back moves (matta) in professional games is prohibited.
However, in friendly amateur games in Japan, it is often permitted.
Professional players are required to follow several ritualistic etiquette prescriptions such as kneeling exactly 15 centimeters from the shogi board, sitting in the formal seiza position.



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