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Shogi. Missing description (9x9, Cells: 81) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Joe Marchak wrote on 2002-05-18 UTCGood ★★★★
I've been playing shogi for years here in Japan, both with people and on 
the computer.   There was a program 'xshogi' which was maintained until
1994/1995 and is still available through GNU.   Is anyone looking at 
picking up this package and updating it for Linux?

Steven wrote on 2002-05-18 UTCGood ★★★★
Check out They have xshogi running for the Debian GNU/Linux distribution. You <i>should</i> be able to compile it for any Linux distribution if you have all of its dependencies. Here's the link to the Debian page for xshogi

Liz wrote on 2002-06-22 UTCGood ★★★★
A great site! I have never played Shogi but was researching it as part of a Japanese assignment ( I am an Australian year nine student). Thankyou for providing me with a better knowledge of the game and its history.

Sam wrote on 2002-06-27 UTC
Your site makes it very hard for people who can not read the Japaness symbols. You could make it easyer to read, like what you did for chinese chess. Also how you explain it, doesn't make much senes. In other words, a 7 year old boy should be able to read this and understand it perfectly. Thank you for your time.

Anonymous wrote on 2002-07-16 UTCGood ★★★★
I think some of your graphics for the promoted pieces are mixed up (I.E. Promoted rook as the same Graphic as the Promoted Silver General, which, is not right)

Lachlan wrote on 2002-07-22 UTCGood ★★★★
I noticed that the notation you provide for the pieces differs from that used in Japanese game scores; for example the opening position of the White bishop is given as 'b2' whereas in Japanese notation this position would be given as 2b. I think it's important to use the Japanese notation so that people can use game scores from competitions in Japan.

Sam wrote on 2002-08-14 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Nice page it really helped me learn to play the game.

AWJ wrote on 2002-09-06 UTCGood ★★★★
Good overview of the game, but the images of the pieces need to be much larger--the Japanese characters on each piece are no more than undistinguishable four-pixel squiggles.

Ben Good wrote on 2002-09-10 UTC
On the side bar there is a link called 'links to shogi variants.' this link no longer works, i get a message saying this index has moved and it's redirecting me automatically, but then it just takes me to the main index.

Javier wrote on 2002-12-06 UTCGood ★★★★
I have discovered that most resources for shogi are in Japanese, and
resources (including web sites and software) in English about shogi are
hard to find.  Here is a collection of essential links about shogi in
English.  It covers virtually every good shogi site and program that
exists in English, and thus is a comprehensive and essential list of


(How to Defend in Shogi) 
(Shogi Proverbs)
(Book on Shogi Openings Part 1 & 2)

(Shogi Club 24) 
(JavaShogi - need firewall off) 
Very good and in English, but mostly deserted 
(Japanese Yahoo server)

Shogi PlayByEmail server

(Zillions variants - search for 'Shogi' on page) 
(GNUshogi for Unix) 
(Sekita Shogi) 
(Spear Ver.5)

(GNSB - GNU Shogi Database Project) 


DISCUSSIONS (SHOGI-L mailing list)
fa.shogi (newsgroup which mirrors SHOGI-L)

(professional, annotated)

TSUME SHOGI (mating problems)

Canadian Shogi Federation

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2003-03-11 UTC
Does anyone know what the relative piece values are for the pieces in Shogi? I am currently working on updating my Shogi ZRF, and I would like to tweak the piece values to approximate what they should be.

Ben Good wrote on 2003-03-11 UTC
my understanding of shogi is that because of drops, piece values such as given in chess are not meaningful or useful. in the fairbairn book he spends more than 2 pages (83-85) discussing relative piece worth and things you should take into consideration, and how you should think about it, and what other people say about the subject. but nowhere does he give values, and he says 'japanese professionals refuse to answer that question.' later he adds that he is trying 'to correct the distortion introduced by many western writers who insist on ascribing values to the pieces.' in other words, from fairbairn's perspective - and i've seen nothing in shogi to suggest that he is wrong and plenty to suggest that he's right - tweaking the values of the pieces in zillions will not make it play any better.

Jianying Ji wrote on 2003-03-11 UTC
Since pieces never disapear from the game, in shogi the values are all 
positional. That is pieces in hand can be considered as just another 
position for the pieces to be. and that value is assessed for a position
taking into account of the positions of all pieces including those in 
hand and whose turn it is. So in a sense it is more like go, only 
holistic evaluation can be done.

Michael Nelson wrote on 2003-03-11 UTC
Piece values will be more elastic in Shogi than in FIDE Chess--there will be more positions in which a Bishop is stronger than a Rook, for example. But Shogi piece values do exist. Try this thought experiment: Give one player both Bishops and both Rooks and the other player four Lances. The player starting with the Rooks and Bishops will win every game (assuming that there is not a gross disparity in skill). This must mean that Rooks and Bishops are more valuable than Lances--and if there is a difference, it is possible in principle to quantify it. 'The Value of Shogi Pieces' is simply a tougher problem than (the ridiculously difficult problem) 'The Value of Chess Pieces' and the answers will have a higher level of uncertainty.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2003-03-12 UTC
As the script stands right now, piece values are falling into approximately
what Michael Howe suggests. Two Gold Generals have a value between the
value of a Bishop and the value of a Rook. A Lance plus a Knight is worth
around the same as a General, though Zillions values a Lance more than
twice as much as a Knight.

In a previous script, Zillions valued the Gold General almost as much as
the Bishop, and the new script was able to beat it. But since the old
script inflated its value with redundant code, it could have lost from
having to use more processor time, rather than from valuing the Gold
General too much. But in observing the game while mediating between two
runs of Zillions, its overvaluing of the Gold General did seem to be a

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2003-04-04 UTC
My computer and I may be setting the record for the longest Shogi game ever. Actually, it might be a never-ending game. It began with a game my Shogi ZRF was playing against Shocky 2.05. Zillions thought it foresaw a loss in two moves, then proceeded to lose against Shocky. But I thought it was wrong in its judgement. So after the game ended, I went back a couple moves, switched sides, then played against Zillions the side Zillions had been playing against Shocky. I continued the game several more moves, until I saw that the game was very drawish. I had moved my King to the opposite side of the board, where I kept it well protected. Zillions had more pieces and had moved its King beyond my reach. So I turned both sides over to the computer and let it run all night. When I looked at the game in the morning, over 1400 turns had passed, and it was as drawish as ever. Both Kings were on opposite sides of board, all promotable pieces were promoted, and both Kings were very well guarded. I let the game continue while I went to work. Over 2200 turns had passed, and it was still very drawish. I then shut it off and saved the ZSG. I may continue the game later to see if it ever has a resolution.

John Lawson wrote on 2003-04-04 UTC
'Both Kings were on opposite sides of board...'
I'm not a shogi player, but isn't that situation called 'jishogi' or
'impasse'? It is recognized that the game cannot end normally and the
winner is determined by awarding points for material.  I think it is also
referred to as 'entering kings'.

John Lawson wrote on 2003-04-04 UTC
Found the jishogi rule at

'Both players have moved their King into the the promotion zone (or they
cannot be prevented to do so) and the Kings cannot be checkmated. In that
case the players may decide to count their pieces where the King does not
count, the Rook and Bishop count as 5 points, and all other pieces as one
point. Promotion is disregarded. If both players have at least 24 points
the game is a draw ('Jishogi'). If a player has less, he loses the
Of course, a player can refuse to count pieces when he still has mating
chances or chances to gain material which would affect the outcome of the
counting. There is no strict rule about what to do if this is not the
case, but nonetheless a player refuses to count up (e.g. because he does
not have enough points for a draw). It has been generally accepted that in
such a case the game ends and the pieces are counted after one player has
managed to get all his pieces protected in the promotion zone.'

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2003-04-06 UTC
The game finally ended yesterday. In the hope that it might cause one side to make enough mistakes to lose, I let Zillions continue the game with only one second thinking time for each side. White checkmated Black on the 10,065th move.

Charles Gilman wrote on 2003-04-13 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I have noticed an interesting paradox arising from the positioning of the Soldiers and limited move of the Hon. Horse. In standard Chess and its predecessors the leapers (Knight and, in the early versions, Elephant) are the only non-Pawns that can make the first move. In Shogi the Hon. Horse in the only piece that CANNOT make the first move!

Charles Gilman wrote on 2003-04-18 UTC
Correction to my last comment: the Hon. Horse is the only piece on the first rank that cannot make the first move.

tori watson wrote on 2003-07-10 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I make go boards chungi sets and shogi sets and have found your site
invaluable in helping me get clear on the finer points of the rules. I
have been making the chungi for a while and have only just started making
shogi sets and have not started to sell them yet. I only decided to make a
shogi set after viewing your site. Like fergus Duniho I have tried to
westerize the pieces for easier play, I had done a similar thing with my
The almost 2 completed shogi sets have taken for ever to and i will
probably have to put a fairly high price on them. I make them from maranti
wood with a pacific maple board and am going to try and sell the three
(go, chungi, shogi) on e bay. I sell a small number through game shops in
melbourne australia but with their 100% mark up I dont sell them
regularily and dont make much money. I would like to send you a picture of
the shogi set i have almost finished if that is ok but it will take a bit
longer. I also thought i had played the most exciting chess when i played
chungi, but shogi is probably even better and just gets so dynamic towards
the end as pieces are dropping in etc, i love it. I dont have a computer
so please dont be offended if i do not reply for a while. Once again
excellent site.
Tori watson.

Serguei wrote on 2003-10-24 UTCGood ★★★★
Russian Shogi pages: 
'Shogi In Russia' -; 
'Byelorussian Shogi Assotiation' -
download Cut-out shogi set(pieces, board) + english version; 
'Assotiation Russian Shogi Players' -;
'Ukrainian Shogi Federation' - download cut-out
shogi pieces;
'Vadim Filippov's Shogi Page' -

Anonymous wrote on 2003-11-17 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Charles Gilman wrote on 2003-12-10 UTC
I take an interest in the names of pieces in different languages, and had a look for the Russian names for Shogi pieces on the sites listed by Serguei, but could not find them. Could Serguei provide a list?

Charles Gilman wrote on 2004-01-10 UTC
Further to my (much) earlier comments, I have just noticed a curious coincidence while considering applying the 'Gold' and 'Silver' sets of directions to a wider range of pieces. The number of directions (in 2d at any rate) is the same as in the rhyme about magpies: '5 for Silver, 6 for Gold'!

Shogi Student wrote on 2004-06-01 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Does anyone know, are there Zillions of Games saved-games files (*.zsg) of
interesting, classic, instructive Shogi games available here or elsewhere
on the net?  Would this be a worthwhile project?  It's hard (for me, at
least) to see a list of Shogi game moves and follow it--especially since
have to work so hard to recognize the Japanese characters. This is my own
problem, of course, but I wonder if others feel the same way, and if
Zillions saved games provides a solution?  Thanks.

William, Norway wrote on 2004-06-15 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Shogi is an entertaining game, indeed, but I lack a link to play this on
the  computer. It's hard finding people to play against on the other
of the planet, especially ones who speak or read japanese. And I'm too
lazy to do that. Mendoukusai na, if you know what I mean.
Do you have a link to an online version of shogi?

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2004-06-15 UTC
Many people who don't know Japanese have been using Game Courier to play
Shogi online against other people. Besides some Japanese sets, Game
Courier allows that option of a symbolic set that doesn't require any
ability to recognize Japanese characters. Here is the link for Game
Courier's Shogi preset:

But be sure to visit the main Game Courier page before you get started:

For programs that will play Shogi, go here:

Charles Gilman wrote on 2004-07-04 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Thanks for adding the 'see also' link to Tunnelshogi.

BoBo wrote on 2004-10-28 UTCGood ★★★★
This is an interesting page! Nice background! G2G bye bye!! Luv ya mwa!

Jared McComb wrote on 2004-12-25 UTC
Would it be possible to create a printer-friendly version of this page, without all the links and stuff? I just got a set for Christmas (yay!) and I'd like to keep a copy of the rules with me.

Roberto Lavieri wrote on 2004-12-26 UTC
Jared, How have you managed to get a Shogi set from Santa?. He was not so good with me, No Shogi set, neither other variant set. A few weeks ago I have had to pay for the construction of a Maxima set (nice, but relatively modest, contructed metalic board and fragile glass pieces). A Mage was broken accidentally in my house. I feel bad with this destroyed piece, I glued it, but the result was horrible. The glass artisan is on vacations, so I must wait one month or more for the reposition.

Jared McComb wrote on 2004-12-26 UTC
Roberto: I actually got it from my mother, who ordered a board and a set of
wooden pieces from  It's not too bad of a set, although
it's obviously not professional quality.

To stay on topic: Do we have a resource that lists the original Japanese
names (and English translations) of the pieces?  This page doesn't.

Manabu Terao wrote on 2004-12-29 UTC
Jared, please refer to 1.4) Pieces of Hans Geuns' Basic Shogi Vocabulary.
I would like to suggest this page should have a link to the above.

Pierre Jason wrote on 2004-12-29 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
About the program Todai Shogi 


I have Todai Shogi program but all the menus are in Japanese.
Anybody would have the intructions note (comment help) translated into
Either can you advise me a means to understand the menus of this 

            Pierre Jason

Nasmichael Farris wrote on 2005-01-13 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Thanks for the information!  Manabu Terao, thank you also for the link.

I have never heard of the Invisible Ink Composition, the moves of which
for the shape of a letter or ideogram.  Wonderful idea.

That is one reason why investigation of chess variants is good for the
mind.  New ideas, different cultures, change of perspective.  Thank you.

Reinhard Scharnagl wrote on 2005-01-13 UTC
If you want to see a more European look of Shogi, see:

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2005-01-14 UTC
One of the rules on this page says: 'Perpetual check is forbidden. The player initiating the check must break it off.' What constitutes perpetual check? How should this rule be enforced? Is there any online description of the rules that goes into this in more detail? I'm interested for the sake of including enforcement of the rule in my Game Courier presets for Shogi.

David Paulowich wrote on 2005-01-15 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Repetition <p>If the same game position occurs more than three times in a single game, the game is declared a no-contest. The same position means, same players turn, same disposition of pieces on the board and in hand. If a repeated position occurs as a result of repeated checks, the player giving check must not do so a fourth time otherwise that player forfeits the game. <p>This is a quote from: Shogi - Japanese Chess by Roger Hare. See the sidebar above.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2005-01-15 UTC
Thanks for the reference. It seems that the rule reduces to 3-times repetition is a draw, and the part about not being able to check with 4-times repetition is superfluous. In Chess, 3-times repetition merely gives players the right to unilaterally call a draw, but does not entail a draw. I wonder if it is the same way in Shogi. The part about forfeiting the game if a player continues to repeat the same check seems to suggest that drawing is optional rather than inevitable.

David Paulowich wrote on 2005-03-08 UTC
Fergus: both the no-contest and forfeit rules seem to apply to the same position happening four (4) times. Turning to another topic, the internet is flooded with statements like 'There is no stalemate in shogi.' Some people support this claim by stating that you actually win a game of Shogi by King capture, and that it is actually legal to move your King into check. This may be true for some of the older variants, such as Chu Shogi. But my BLOCKADE STALEMATE IN 20 MOVES example (see Shatranj Comments - today) demonstrates that even King capture variants may reach a position with no legal moves for one player. As for the modern shogi rules, here is a post to the Newsgroup fa.shogi, dated 2000/04/12. <p>'Stalemating your opponent is extremely rare but it *can* happen in shogi (especially when larger handicaps are used) and it has the same result as a conventional mate. In fact, there is a very cute stalemate tsume where the player who delivers the stalemate has only his bare King left at the end (!) and the opponent has all of the rest of the pieces on the board [arranged in such a way that none can move] but his only move is to move his King into check, that is, next to the opponent's lone King, thus he is stalemated and loses the game!' - George I. Fernandez

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2005-03-08 UTC
David P: Based on your new information, I've changed the Shogi presets to recognize stalemate as a win. But this information also raises a new question. It is illegal in Shogi to checkmate a King with a Pawn drop. Since stalemate is a win, would it also be illegal to stalemate a King with a Pawn drop, such as by dropping a Pawn to cover the only space a lone King had available to move to? In other words, does the rule forbid just checkmate with a Pawn drop or any winning move with a Pawn drop. This is the sort of detail that could have gotten lost in the translation, especially if someone wasn't considering any kind of win except checkmate. Of course, it is probably an insignificant detail, since anyone who could win in this way is very likely to win anyway.

David Paulowich wrote on 2005-03-09 UTC
Lionel Vidal posted the following to the Newsgroup fa.shogi, dated 2000/04/13 <p>'I am not sure if this will clarify or confuse the issue, but here is a summary from an old post of George Fernandez:' <p>************************ <p>The last version of 'The rules of shogi' I have was written in 1993 by Mr. K. Horiguchi 6 Dan[supplement to the January 1993 issue of Shogi Sekai]. The 96 page booklet, written in japanese, is the official rule book accepted by the Japanese Shogi Association. <p>The following definitions were given which apply here: <p>Checkmate: <p> A checkmate is a position in which a King is in check and there are no legal moves to leave the check. <p>Illegal moves: <p> (1)A move is illegal to make a double pawn. <p> (2)A move is illegal to make a deadlocked piece. <p> (3)A move is illegal for a player if his King's square is attacked by an opponent piece after the move.[to remain in check, to move into check or to expose the king to check] <p> (4)A move is illegal to make a repetition check move [Mr. Horiguchi wrote in an addendum the following clarification: '... In the event of perpetual check, if one player player does it FOUR TIMES(three times is permitted), he will lose his game'. <p> (5)A move is illegal to make a dropping check move by a pawn which leads to a position in checkmate at once(dropped-pawn mate). <p>Legal moves: <p> A legal move for a player is a move to leave the check by moving pieces on the board or by dropping if his king is in check. Otherwise, a legal move by a piece on the board which can go[move] or a drop move, which is not illegal. <p>Remark (condition of ending game): <p> 1. The game is finished if the position is in a checkmate; The player to move loses the game. <p> 2. The game is finished if one player makes an illegal move; This player loses the game. <p> 3. The game is finished if one player has no legal moves; This player loses the game[contrary to chess rules, where a stalemate is considered a draw]. <p> 4. The game is finished if one player resigns; This player loses the game. <p>In an effort to put this issue behind us, and move on, I'm sharing with you a bizzare diagram from the 1993 rules book[page 93, digram #92]. <p>***ENDQUOTE*** I [David Paulowich] am unable to format the diagram for this text message. It shows a stalemate loss for the lone White King. But Black to move also has no legal moves, even though he has a huge army and a Pawn in hand (dropping that Pawn would be mate).

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2005-03-09 UTC
I assume 'deadlocked piece' describes a piece dropped on a position it is impossible to ever move from, such as a Pawn or Lance on the last rank. If it described the situtation I described earlier, it would make stalemate itself illegal. Based on the text you copied here, it looks like only checkmate, and not stalemate, with a Pawn drop is illegal. Thanks.

Paul Grosemans wrote on 2005-03-16 UTC
Dear Fergus Duniho,

About my game with Joao Bigodes. His King is captured, though the game
continue! Isn't a bug somewhere???

Best regards,
Paul Grosemans aka Centaure.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2005-03-16 UTC
The bug was that I had transposed the x and y distances for checking for attacks from pieces that can move one space vertically forward. This allowed the King to move to a space attacked by a Pawn. This move was illegal, but the bug allowed it, and then the King got captured, which should have never happened. Anyway, the bug is now fixed, but because of the illegal move in your game, it is now broken.

Adam Marquis wrote on 2005-06-07 UTCGood ★★★★
I've implemented my own web interface for playing Shogi, if anybody wants to try it out:<br><br> <a href=''></a>

Ed wrote on 2005-08-07 UTC
Recently on the Shogi-L
( there has been
discussion of a freeware Shogi program called Bonanza.  It is quite
on even play.  An extension has been created that allows playing handicap
games.  Its handicap play is perhaps not as strong as its even game play
(I suspect this is because it does not have book moves for the handicaps,
but that is a guess), but it will prove challenging for most.  It
certainly is for me.  

The link for Bonanza is:

and for the extension:

The listing from Shogi-L describes how to use the extension.

Non-Japanese shogi players should truly appreciate this gift from Messers
Masumoto and RaumNaum; I sure do!

Nate the Great wrote on 2005-10-28 UTC
Correction on the List of pieces: it's not JEWELED general but rather JADE general you're taling about. The same ideogram used is the same in Chinese. That's how I know.

John Ayer wrote on 2005-10-30 UTC
That the Japanese chess-king is a jade general rather than a jeweled
general is supported by the wikipedia at and this other website: .  Murray seems to say that he
depended for his information on nineteenth-century German translations of
a few Japanese documents.  This is rather a shock; it has been 'jeweled
general' to us for so long!

Petri wrote on 2005-11-18 UTCGood ★★★★
Dear Nate, John. Jewelled general is in my opinion the most correct traslation of shogi king. The upper symbol 'kanji' in shogi king means jewel or ball. What kind of jewel it is is defined by adding other symbols before it. here is a link where you can look by yourself:

But what should shock you is that knight is not honorable horse but a 'cinnamon tree-horse' and lance is 'perfume-chariot'. names probably chosen by phonetic reasons rather than those of meaning

(zzo38) A. Black wrote on 2005-11-19 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
The name chosen for only phonetic reason should be written in kana!

Larry Smith wrote on 2005-11-19 UTC
Another interpretation of the King with the `gyoku` kanji might be 
`handsome general`.  The one with the `oo` kanji could be `ruling 

Of course, one way to avoid the problem of interpretation is to called the
pieces by their Japanese names.  So the King would be either `gyokushoo` or
`ooshoo`(these names depend upon the side of the field).  But we can still
end up arguing about the proper phonetic spelling.

I prefer that the terms Black and White should be `sente` and `gote`.

But the introduction of Shogi to western culture began a long while back,
and those individuals responsible for its early interpretation selected
terms which they believed would make its assimilation easier.  Right?
Wrong? Maybe just expedient.

Marek wrote on 2005-11-28 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Shogi can now also be played online at Kurnik Online Games ( with both traditional and Westernized pieces.

Charles Gilman wrote on 2006-01-28 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
So 'Jade General' would require prefixing with a third character to specify that it was that kind of jewel, right? Thanks for that clarification, I'll mention it next time I update Generalised Generals.

Dane Rogers wrote on 2006-02-04 UTCGood ★★★★
How about creating a shogi variant using all the shogi pieces from every game and every piece on the Chess variant pages?! It will probably be about 40 by 40 to 45 by 45 spaces big! Please use all versions of a piece. Please give me credit for the idea . By Dane Rogers. Age 11 and 3/4

David Paulowich wrote on 2006-02-04 UTC

has some pictures of a (25x25) board and pieces for Tai Shogi. Dane, I think that is about the largest game anyone here will ever play.

Gary Gifford wrote on 2006-02-05 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Shogi, is of course, an excellent game. But here is what is interesting: In
relation to another CV comment, seemingly unrelated (i.e., Fergus's
comment to research a certain player to see he (Fergus) had no
double-identity).. Well, I did research that player and found out he was
in Tokyo and had a Shogi link which was quite interesting.  He also
mentioned a site where you could play Shogi in real-time.  So, I went to and in minutes won my first 10 minute on-line speed
Shogi game... quite fun.  I was then crushing my opponent in a second game
when a most terrible thing happened.  I went to move the Rook, but then
realized I could drop a pawn instead and win a Lance for the pawn.  When I
clicked to drop the pawn, my Rook moved to that square instead... so,
instead of winning a Lance, I lost a Rook... oh what sorrow due to a
mechanical issue.  Anyway, it is fun to play real-time Shogi... and thanks
to the rating system double-idntity issue, a real-time Shogi site was

Elijah Johnson wrote on 2006-02-05 UTC
I think the closest thing to that would be Taiykoku Shogi, with a 36x36 Board and 100+ types of pieces. There's probaly someone around here who's finished a game of the flash version.

Dane Rogers wrote on 2006-02-18 UTC
Thanks for the replies David and Elijah. If you want a game of taikyoku
shogi, you can find it in here. and thats the larger

Christine Bagley-Jones wrote on 2006-06-18 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
ahhhh shogi, love the drops

Jeremy Good wrote on 2006-07-07 UTC

Shogi Champ plays in chess tournament.

Remarkable is the 38th place of FM Yoshiharu Habu (6/9). Why? Because Habu is not really a chess player, but the world's leading Shogi champion, who has taken a casual interest in chess.

Read the rest

Roberto Lavieri wrote on 2006-07-08 UTC
Yes, Mr. Habu is the best Shogi player right now, and he plays Chess 'as hobby'; he has said he has not time to study Chess theory more than the basic things, and he practices Chess very eventually. But he has obtained in the last Tournament his second 'Chess International Master norm'. One more and he is going to be IM, an IM that only plays the game once in a while, without dedication to it. Remarkable, but, undoubtedly, his Shogi experience helps a lot.

Anonymous wrote on 2007-11-04 UTC
Perpetual check is forbidden, but how about other repeated situations?

Anonymous wrote on 2007-11-05 UTC
No piece may be dropped to a square from which it will impossible to move forever, not only when dropped.

Brian Guo wrote on 2008-04-19 UTC
The board layout is as follows:

   | l | n | s | g | k | g | s | n | l |
   |   | r |   |   |   |   |   | b |   |
   | p | p | p | p | p | p | p | p | p |
   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
   | P | P | P | P | P | P | P | P | P |
   |   | B |   |   |   |   |   | R |   |
   | L | N | S | G | K | G | S | N | L |

Anonymous wrote on 2008-07-16 UTC
Does anyone know '¤K¤è®Û'(Eight directions of honorable hose)? 

One player must remove his or her four pieces: rook, bishop, and both
lances from the setup, and then his or her honorable horses called
'¤K¤è®Û' can move as free as knight in Chess. 

If this player's own honorable horse is captured by the other player, the
latter could't move it as knight. 

If the fomer captures the latter's horrable horse, it could move as

Charles Gilman wrote on 2008-08-06 UTC
My computer cannot read '¤K¤è®Û'. What is the transliteration and
translation? This is of interest to me as an authentic Japanese name for
the Knight is something that I should add to my Bishogi page.

On the unequal-armies Shogi itself, my first instinct is that 2 Knights
are no match for 6 pieces includig a Bishop and a Rook. Or is a Knight
promoted to something really powerful?

Rich Hutnik wrote on 2008-09-10 UTCGood ★★★★
Shogi is on the XBox 360!

I just saw this on XBox Live Arcade. Shotest Shogi has been released for the XBox 360, and able to be obtained through XBox Live. It contains both traditional and symbolic notation.

You can learn more on it here:

I rate it good, because finally a console gets Shogi.

Jose Carrillo wrote on 2009-11-07 UTC
paper Shogi set:

Vitya Makov wrote on 2010-01-13 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
My favourite shogi piece is Lance.

Anonymous wrote on 2010-01-22 UTC
To Charles Gilman: Yes, I think this makes sense, because although I've not played many games of Shogi, I know that Shogi is very different from chess, where material advantage is important. In Shogi, without the possibility to exchange pieces off, the side with large material advantage doesn't have a easy win, while the normal chess Knight's forking power is an advantage that is not in any way small. In addition, the Knights don't afraid capture too much, as they are only Keima in the opponent's hand; while the opponent's Keima, which can be traped with a single Silver, will become a full Knight. So the game is roughly fair anyway.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2010-02-02 UTC

I have posted a couple videos on Shogi onto YouTube. The first one has a link to the second one at the end of the video. I have a couple more planned to complete the series. Here is the first one:

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2010-02-07 UTC

I have now recorded and posted the third video in my 'Shogi for Chess Players' series on Youtube. This one uses Zillions of Games to explain and demonstrate how pieces move and promote. For this video, I used a microphone to narrate a screencast I made using the BB Flashback Express 2 Recorder.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2010-02-16 UTC

I have now recorded and uploaded my fourth video in my Shogi for Chess Players series. This one completes my explanation of the rules of Shogi, covering the capturing and dropping of pieces.

Anonymous wrote on 2010-06-30 UTC
Shogi is very clever, difficult and philosophical game. Looks like, it have much oriental wisdom in it!
Xiang-qi is more lively, simple, and, maybe, childish. Wstern players are better to start with Xiang-qi: it have simpllier rules and, plus, may be played with western chess equipment with some additions.

Charles Gilman wrote on 2010-07-04 UTC
My instinct is that Xiang Qi is a tamer game, as all but four pieces aside are weaker than the FIDE Bishop and Knight, and once the four are captured they're gone forever. The success of Yang Qi and Ajax Xiang Qi reinforces this view. Shogi counters individual piece weakness partly with 25% more pieces and partly with constant return from capture. This latter element is what makes Shogi particularly interesting to people who already play FIDE Chess and want to go on to something more complex. The fact that it is a development of war without actual death into war without even metaphorical death also gives a sense of logical progression. On the other hand, I wouldn't deny that promoted forms of back-rank pieces would benefit from being a bit stronger.

Charles Gilman wrote on 2010-07-26 UTC
While thinking about a future variant of my own, it occurred to me that the name Karagi ('empty board game') would suit a game starting with an empty Shogi board and a complete Shogi army in each player's Reserve. Each player's first move would be to place their King, their second to either move the King or place a second piece, and later moves the standard Shogi-midgame choice of moving a piece on the board or adding another from Reserve. Adding this deployment stage would be a more modest variant to Shogi, which already has a Reserve and placement of piece from it, than it has been to the European game.

Anonymous wrote on 2010-07-26 UTC
Game, Charles Gilman just suggested, looks like unachess.

Charles Gilman wrote on 2010-08-02 UTC
It's not surprising that the idea of Shogi with a deployment stage has appeared before. Interestring to note how Unachess has several options for a FIDE set and board but only one for a Shogi set and board. What Unashogi lacks is my proposal that Kings must be placed first, a rule that leads into a theoretically possible Shogi position (although in reality players would be unlikely to hold all there captives in Reserve for so long) so that thereafter Shogi rules can apply as standard.
	As I write a further thought has occurred to me. The Unachess principle could be used for deploying a set on a board for which it was not designed - a FIDE set on a Shogi board, a Carrera/Bird/Capablanca set on a Xiang Qi board, a Chaturanga set on a Diana/Haynie's Primary/Los Alamos board, et cetera. Of course deploying a Shogi set on a board with more or fewer than 9 ranks would require a definition of the promotion zone, likewise the River and Fortress for a Xiang Qi set.

Daniil Frolov wrote on 2010-08-02 UTC
In response to Charles Gilman's comment.
What do you think about this game: in additional to normal game (FIDE chess or any other game) there is set with pieces of aproximately same value (the simpliest is set of different compounds of ferz, wazir, alfil, dababa: guard, alibaba, modern alfil, modern dababa, phoenix and kyryn, and, optonally, FIDE chess knight). Each player secretly choses 2 of these pieces (possible to chose 2 pieces of same kind) and can drop them during any turn, opponent don't know, wich pieces player choses until they are dropped.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2010-11-19 UTC

I'm interested in doing Tsumi problems, but the graphics typically used for them are a stumbling block for me. Not only do they use Japanese characters, but don't include the Shogi piece outlines whose orientation would indicate which side each piece belongs to. Also, the Japanese characters are sometimes small and hard to discern. So that I can more easily do them without straining my eyes, and so that I can actually move the pieces instead of trying to do them in my head, I will begin here to transcribe Shogi Tsumi into Game Courier format and post links here, eventually planning to compile them into their own page. I will begin with the problems in Fat Bold Cyclop's collection of 300 Tsumi problems.

FBC Tsumi #1

[Edit:] I have fixed the Tsumi to give White all remaining pieces in hand. This was not visible in the diagram, but it is understood as part of a Tsumi that White has all remaining pieces in hand.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2010-11-20 UTC

I always use the WinBoard GUI for that purpose. It supports a completely westernized (Chess like) representation of the Shogi board. I can simply set up the position in Edit-Position mode, by clicking the squares and selecting a piece to go on it from the context menu that then appears. If the tsume problems would have been given in FEN format, you could of course have directly copy-pasted them into WinBoard. But alas, Shogi people seem to hate standardization, and hardly ever use FEN.

It would be very useful if the web pages you are building would contain the problem in FEN (or EPD) format, so that all standard Shogi software could process it.

And WinBoard supports both its own native WB protocol, as well as USI protocol, so there are many engines (from the weak GNU Shogi to the extremely strong Bonanza) that you could use to analyze positions.

M Winther wrote on 2010-11-20 UTC
Can you do the same with your Xiangqi program?

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2010-11-20 UTC
I'm currently working on a Shogi Tsumi Editor for Game Courier. The problems will be in Game Courier's own FEN format. Working on this has given me ideas for a general purpose problem composition mode for all variants, but I'll get this working first, as a prototype for how it should work. While Game Courier can't analyze positions, the advantage of using Game Courier for problems will be the ease of making problems available on the web in a form that uses better graphics and is more interactive than the newspaper format so many Tsumi resources on the web are currently imitating. Since this is the web, not a newspaper, I want to do better.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2010-11-20 UTC

> Can you do the same with your Xiangqi program? <\p>

Of course. WinBoard also supports Xiangqi. You can use the menus to switch from one varant to the other, be it orthoChess, Xiangqi, Shogi, Makruk, Capablanca, Knightmate. They all draw on a built-in set of bitmaps for 2x22 different piece types, but the user can define his own graphicrepresentation of the pieces, if he want. (E.g. to implement a high-quality oriental-style display.) All features are available from all variants.

For all variants there are engines available. E.g. the WinBoard binary download currently at contains a Shogi engine, 3 Xiangqi engines, a strong orthoChess engine, and Fairy-Max, wich plays some 10 other variants.

M Winther wrote on 2010-11-20 UTC
How nice. I am surprised at the scarcity of good Xiangqi programs, in view of the fact that it's the most popular game in the world. I downloaded Stoneman, but it could not take back moves, due to some bug. I tested a cheaper version, but it played the same theoretical moves all the time. It seems the only good alternative is XieXie, but it has no analysis window. I tested my own Zillions implementation against freeware QianHong, but Zillions won. I also tested the freeware HiddenLynx, but Zillions won easily. I'll have a look at WinBoard. 

M Winther wrote on 2010-11-20 UTC
I get 'Variant Xiangqi not supported by Fairy-Max 4.8P'

M Winther wrote on 2010-11-20 UTC
Ok, I downloaded version 4.4 instead, then it works.

M Winther wrote on 2010-11-20 UTC
I noted that Seirawan Chess is implemented in the latest version. If it's patented then it could mean trouble.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2010-11-20 UTC
Xiangqi is so different from any other variant (because of the board zoning and King-facing rule) that I made a dedicated derivative of Fairy-Max for it, called MaxQi. The additions required to implement it were not generally useful. (Similarly, there is a dedicated version for Shatranj applying the baring rule, ShaMax, although that is so similar to the original Fairy-Max that it is generated from the same source code, using a compiler switch.)

So in the 4.5.beta package you should not select Fairy-Max but MaxQi from the startup dialog engine combobox if you want to play Xiangqi. (And HaQiKi D or Elephant Eye if you want a tougher opponent, or do analysis. MaxQi is derived from an older version of Fairy-Max that did not print a full PV yet.) The 4.4 install does use MaxQi.

Qianhong is an extremely weak (non-searching) AI. There are Qianhong plugins that are tougher. VSCCP is the next weakest, and might stil lose to Zillions too. But Elephant Eye is also available as a Qianhong Plugin.(Or rather, there exists a UCCI2QH adapter, from which I actually derived the UCCI2WB adapter.) For an overview of Xiangqi engines that you could run under WinBoard, see and links therein.

I asked on the Seirawan website if it was patented, or if it was allowed to support it in WinBoard. Bruce Harper answered me 'Go ahead, the more exposure we get, the better'.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2010-11-21 UTC

Here's the second Tsumi from Fat Bold Cyclop's collection: FBC Tsumi #2

M Winther wrote on 2010-11-21 UTC
WinBoard for Xiangqi doesn't allow analysis mode, and I cannot retract moves and make another move, so this software is largely useless as it stands now.

M Winther wrote on 2010-11-21 UTC In Seirawan Chess I can introduce an external piece to an empty square, which is against the rules.

Another bug: I cannot introduce an external piece to the corner square at castling.

I played a 3 game match between Fairy-Max and Zillions in Seirawan Chess (approx. 10 sec. per move). Zillions is vastly better and won by 2½-½. In game 2 and 3 Fairy-Max blundered away a piece. This must be a bug in the algorithm. Below is game 3. Notice Zillions's remarkable rook sacrifice at the end.

[Event 'Computer Chess Game']
[Site 'DELL-7B4236477D']
[Date '2010.11.21']
[Round '-']
[White 'Fairy-Max 4.8P']
[Black 'Zillions']
[Result '0-1']
[TimeControl '30/600']
[Variant 'seirawan']
[Annotator '1. +0.24']

1. c3 {+0.24/9 53} c5 2. Nf3/H {+0.28/9 17} d6 3. d4 {+0.23/9 16} cxd4 4.
Nxd4 {-0.10/8 17} f5 5. f4 {+0.01/8 14} Nf6 6. Hf3 {+0.13/7 34} e5 7. fxe5
{+0.83/10 15} dxe5 8. Hxe5 {+0.82/9 15} Ng4 9. Bg5 {+0.87/9 44} Qxg5/H 10.
Hf3 {-2.60/10 14} Qf4 11. g3 {-2.33/8 14} Qh6 12. Na3/E {-2.38/8 19} Ne3
13. Qc1 {-2.42/8 27} Nc6 14. Nac2 {-2.37/9 17} Nxc2+ 15. Nxc2 {-2.43/10 15}
Qd6 16. Hh5+ {-2.24/7 14} g6 17. Hf4 {-2.18/9 14} Ne5 18. Bg2 {-2.14/8 24}
Bg7 19. O-O {-2.03/8 28} O-O/E 20. Rd1 {-2.17/7 15} Hb6+ 21. Ne3
{-2.14/7 16} Nf3+ 22. Bxf3 {-2.27/10 21} Qxf4 23. gxf4 {-2.30/10 15} Hxe3+
24. Qxe3 {-2.27/10 16} Exe3 25. Kf2 {-2.15/9 14} Re8 26. h4 {-2.22/8 15}
Bf6 27. h5 {-2.23/8 14} gxh5 28. a3 {-2.96/8 28} h4 29. Rd6 {-2.82/9 14}
Bg7 30. a4 {-2.88/9 13} Kh8 31. Ed2 {-3.03/10 14} Bf8 32. Rd5 {-3.04/10 15}
Bh6 33. Rd4 {-2.94/10 13} h3 34. Rh1 {-2.42/10 14} Bg7 35. Rd8
{-2.38/10 14} Bf6 36. Rxe8+ {-2.25/12 14} Exe8 37. Rxh3 {-2.25/10 15} Eg7
38. e3 {-2.22/8 14} Be6 39. c4 {-2.16/8 17} Rd8 40. Ec2 {-2.30/9 15} Ec7
41. b3 {-2.31/8 15} Ec5 42. Eb4 {-2.33/8 14} a5 43. Ec2 {-3.55/10 15} Exb3
44. Bd5 {-3.56/9 15} Ed3+ 45. Kf3 {-3.55/10 15} Bxd5+ 46. cxd5
{-3.60/10 16} Exd5 47. Eg2 {-3.74/10 14} Rg8 48. Eh2 {-3.77/10 14} Rg7 49.
Ef2 {-3.82/10 15} Ec3 50. Rh5 {-3.77/10 14} Bd4 51. Ee2 {-3.76/11 14} Rg3+
52. Exg3 {-13.29/13 16} Exe3+ 53. Kf2 {-13.36/13 26} Ee4+ 54. Kg2
{-13.38/13 17} Exf4+ 55. Kh2 {-13.99/13 15} Ef2+ 56. Kg1 {-14.00/12 14}
Ee2+ 57. Kf1 {-14.59/13 15} Exg3+ 58. Ke1 {-18.00/12 17} Exh5 59. Kd2
{-79.95/13 14} Ef4 60. Kc2 {-79.95/13 13} Ef2+ 61. Kb1 {-79.96/19 9} Ed2+
62. Kc1 {-79.97/28 6} Ea2+ 63. Kd1 {-79.98/28 4} Be3 64. Ke1 {-79.99/28 5}
{Xboard adjudication: Checkmate} 0-1


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2010-11-21 UTC

We, the editors, need a way to move off-topic comments to a different page. The comments here should be about Shogi, not how Winboard plays Xiangqi and and other non-Shogi games. If you want to discuss H. G. Muller's version of Winboard, the Fairy-Max page is a more appropriate place for it.

M Winther wrote on 2010-11-21 UTC
Sometimes discussions can deviate in another direction. Suggestion: when replying to a person within a category, one could, by notching an alternative, place the comment in an off-topic, or general, category. However, visually, it is placed immediately after the previous comment.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2010-11-21 UTC
When a discussion goes off-topic, you can post a link to a page where it is on-topic and continue the discussion there, perhaps with a link and a mention there of the original context.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2010-11-24 UTC

I've already posted this Tsumi, but this time I'm posting it as a form with the solution included as one of the fields. I'll now work on adding an option to view the solution.

Jeremy Good wrote on 2015-03-14 UTC
"First of all, my credentials. I am the only person in the world to have earned a 2400 rating in both chess and shogi, being an International Master in the former and an Amateur 5 Dan in the latter. I was once thought to be the strongest non-oriental player in the U.S. of Shang-chi (Chinese chess)..." GM Larry Kaufman on Shogi

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