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Dai Dai Shogi. Historical large Shogi variant. (17x17, Cells: 289) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2016-01-24 UTC
I don't think it played by any significant amount in recent times. (This is even controversial for the era of its invention.) There is a ShogiVar program by Steve Evans (of which I made a Linux port) that can play all historic large Shogi variants except Taikyoku through a simple, non-searching heuristic, and some people might play Dai Dai Shogi against that. I am not aware of any sites where you could play it on line. <p> I do know there are some efforts to revive Maka Dai Dai Shogi, which has the same number of pieces. I never played either of those, but my impression is that Maka Dai Dai Shogi is the more playable game of the two. <p> Note that size is not the exclusive determining factor. The large Shogi variants are all designed to have a few 'boss pieces' in them, which are capable of massacring weaker pieces at high rate. Even when the latter flock together in dense crowd where they mutually protect each other. Because pieces like Lions and their ilk have rifle-capture modes that thwart protection. And often there are rules that prevent them from being traded out of the game. Without such features the games would quickly degenerate into a tedious and boringly slow shuffling of all the weak pieces, with large probability for a stand-off. Tenjiku Shogi (2x78 pieces) did enjoy quite some popularity amongst western players a decade or so ago. But this is unique amongst the historic Shogi variants for having ultra-powerful Fire Demons (2 per side) which can capture up to 8 pieces in one turn, and greatly shorten the duration of the game (even compared to the much smaller Chu Shogi, where a typical game lasts 200-300 moves).