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H. G. Muller wrote on 2015-02-16 UTC

Playing mini-Shogi with western equipment

I now have developed a convenient way to play mini-Shogi 'over the board', using western Chess and Checkers equipment. I represent the pieces as follows:

  • King: King
  • Gold: Pawn fixed on top of two stacked Checkers (e.g. with double-sided tape)
  • Silver: Pawn fixed on top of a single Checker
  • Bishop: Bishop
  • Rook: Rook
  • Dragon: Rook on Checker
  • Horse: Bishop on Checker
  • Pawn: Pawn
All pieces (except King) are present twice for each color, so you use an entire Chess set except for the Queens, Knights and two Pawns of each color. Six of the Checkers of each color are fixed 'permanently' to Pawns.

Each player has (on his side of the board) two sets of pieces: the 'hand' with pieces of his own color, and the 'stock' with pieces of the opponent's color. Initially all pieces not needed to set up the initial position go into their respective stock.

When a piece is captured, it goes into the stock of its color (controlled by the player that captures it), and the opponent gives the player that made the move an identical piece (of opposite color) from the stock, to go to his hand for dropping. The captured piece is stripped from any Checkers that are not fixed to it: the Checkers go onto a heap next to the board, so both players can grab one of those of either color, when they promote a piece.

To promote a piece, you slip a Checker (from the heap) underneath it. Bishops turn into Horses, Rooks into Dragons that way. A Silver, which already is a Pawn on a Checker (of the same color) turns into a Gold (which already had two Checkers of the same color). To keep the difference visible, you could slip a Checker of the opposite color underneath the Silver. To promote a Pawn, you put it on top of two loose Checkers, so that it also takes the shape of a Gold. To keep it uniquely recognizable as a promoted Pawn, you can take both Checkers of the opposite color as the Pawn. Perhaps it would be good for consistency (and visibility) to always use Checkers of opposite color to promote a piece (so also in the case of Bishop and Rook).

The same system can be used to play Judkins Shogi. The only imperfection there is that a promoted Knight, represented by a Knight on a Checker, now does not look the same as a Gold, while it does move like one.


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