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Encyclopedia > Shogi
Shogi
Shogi game in progress

A shogi game in progress. Captured pieces in the clear tray can be dropped on the board by the capturing player.
Players 2
Age range 5+
Setup time < 2 minutes
Playing time 1-2 hours (typically)
Random chance None
Skills required Tactics, Strategy

Shogi (将棋 shōgi?), or Japanese chess, is the most popular of a family of chess variants native to Japan. The Chinese characters (jiàng qí) mean "general chess." A board game is a game played with counters or pieces that are placed on, removed from, or moved across a board (a premarked surface, usually specific to that game). ... Shogi may refer to: Shogi, Japanese chess Shogi (Xcalibur), characters in the TV series Xcalibur Category: ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Tactics is the collective name for methods of winning a small-scale conflict, performing an optimization, etc. ... A strategy is a long term plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal, most often winning. Strategy is differentiated from tactics or immediate actions with resources at hand by its nature of being extensively premeditated, and often practically rehearsed. ... A chess variant is a game derived from, related to or similar to chess in at least one respect. ...

Contents

Rules of the game

Objective

Technically the game is won when a king is captured, though in practice defeat is conceded at mate or when mate becomes inevitable. For other uses, see Checkmate (disambiguation). ...


Game equipment

A traditional shōgi-ban (shogi board) displaying a set of koma (pieces). The pieces on the far side are turned to show their promoted values. The stands on either side are komadai used to hold captured pieces. The board itself is raised for the comfort of players seated on tatami mats (background), and is hollowed underneath to produce a pleasing sound when the pieces are moved.
A traditional shōgi-ban (shogi board) displaying a set of koma (pieces). The pieces on the far side are turned to show their promoted values. The stands on either side are komadai used to hold captured pieces. The board itself is raised for the comfort of players seated on tatami mats (background), and is hollowed underneath to produce a pleasing sound when the pieces are moved.

Two players, Black and White (or sente 先手 and gote 後手), play on a board composed of squares (actually rectangles) in a grid of 9 ranks (rows) by 9 files (columns). The squares are undifferentiated by marking or colour. Image File history File links Shogi_Ban_Koma. ... Image File history File links Shogi_Ban_Koma. ...


Each player has a set of 20 wedge-shaped pieces of slightly different sizes. Except for the kings, opposing pieces are differentiated only by orientation, not by marking or color. From largest to smallest (most to least powerful), the pieces are:

Several of these names were chosen to correspond to their rough equivalents in international chess, and not as literal translations of the Japanese names. Staunton chess pieces, left to right: pawn, rook, knight, bishop, queen, and king. ... A rook (♖ ♜,borrowed from Persian رخ rokh, Sanskrit roth, chariot) is a piece in the strategy board game of chess. ... A bishop (♗♝) is a piece in the board game of chess. ... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... The knight moves in an L shape. ... The term lance has become a catchall for a variety of different pole weapons based on the spear. ... This article uses algebraic notation to describe chess moves. ...


Each piece has its name written on its surface in the form of two Japanese characters (kanji), usually in black ink. On the reverse side of each piece, other than the king and gold general, are one or two other characters, in amateur sets often in a different colour (usually red); this side is turned face up during play to indicate that the piece has been promoted. The pieces of the two players do not differ in colour, but instead each faces forward, toward the opposing side. This shows who controls the piece during play. Japanese writing Kanji Kana Hiragana Katakana Hentaigana Manyōgana Uses Furigana Okurigana Rōmaji   ) are the Chinese characters that are used in the modern Japanese logographic writing system along with hiragana (平仮名), katakana (片仮名), and the Arabic numerals. ...


The Japanese characters have deterred many people from learning shogi. This has led to "Westernized" or "international" pieces, which replace the characters with iconic symbols. However, partially because the traditional pieces are already iconic by size, with more powerful pieces being larger, most Western players soon learn to recognize them, and Westernized pieces have never become popular. Occident redirects here. ...


Following is a table of the pieces with their Japanese representations and English equivalents. The abbreviations are used for game notation and often to refer to the pieces in speech in Japanese.

English name Image Kanji Rōmaji Meaning Abbreviations
King
(reigning)
Reigning king 王将 ōshō royal general K ō
King
(challenging)
Challenging king 玉将 gyokushō jeweled general K gyoku
Rook Rook 飛車 hisha flying chariot R hi
Promoted rook
("Dragon")
Promoted rook 龍王 ryūō dragon king +R 龍 or 竜* ryū
Bishop Bishop 角行 kakugyō angle mover B kaku
Promoted bishop
("Horse")
Promoted bishop 龍馬 ryūma or ryūme swift horse +B uma
Gold general
("Gold")
Gold general 金将 kinshō gold general G kin
Silver general
("Silver")
Silver general 銀将 ginshō silver general S gin
Promoted silver Promoted silver 成銀 narigin promoted silver +S (全)
Knight Knight 桂馬 keima laureled horse N kei
Promoted knight Promoted knight 成桂 narikei promoted laurel +N (圭 or 今)
Lance Lance 香車 kyōsha incense chariot L kyō
Promoted lance Promoted lance 成香 narikyō promoted incense +L (杏 or 仝)
Pawn Pawn 歩兵 fuhyō foot soldier p fu
Promoted pawn
("tokin")
Promoted pawn と金 tokin reaches gold +p と (or 个) to

* The kanji 竜 is a simplified form of 龍. Japanese writing Kanji Kana Hiragana Katakana Hentaigana Manyōgana Uses Furigana Okurigana Rōmaji   ) are the Chinese characters that are used in the modern Japanese logographic writing system along with hiragana (平仮名), katakana (片仮名), and the Arabic numerals. ... Japanese writing Kanji 漢字 Kana 仮名 Hiragana 平仮名 Katakana 片仮名 Uses Furigana 振り仮名 Okurigana 送り仮名 Rōmaji ローマ字 Category Rōmaji (ローマ字 Roman characters, sometimes misunderstood as romanji in English), is a Japanese term for the Latin alphabet. ... Image File history File links Shogi_osho. ... Image File history File links Shogi_gyokusho. ... Image File history File links Shogi_hisha. ... Image File history File links Shogi_ryuo. ... Japanese name Hiragana: KyÅ«jitai: Shinjitai: Korean name Hangul: Hanja: Thai name Thai: Vietnamese name Quốc ngữ: Hán tá»±: The Chinese dragon is a Chinese mythical creature, depicted as a long, scaled, snake-like creature with four claws. ... Image File history File links Shogi_kakugyo. ... Image File history File links Shogi_ryuma. ... Image File history File links Shogi_kinsho. ... Image File history File links Shogi_ginsho. ... Image File history File links Shogi_narigin. ... Image File history File links Shogi_keima. ... A laurel wreath decorating a memorial at the Folketing, the national parliament of Denmark. ... Image File history File links Shogi_narikei. ... Image File history File links Shogi_kyosha. ... Image File history File links Shogi_narikyo. ... Image File history File links Shogi_fuhyo. ... Image File history File links Shogi_tokin. ...

Closeup of shogi pieces. Top: +R, R, K (white), K (black), B, +B. Bottom: +L, L, +S, S, G, N, +N, p, +p.
Closeup of shogi pieces. Top: +R, R, K (white), K (black), B, +B. Bottom: +L, L, +S, S, G, N, +N, p, +p.

English speakers sometimes refer to promoted bishops as horses and promoted rooks as dragons, after their Japanese names, and generally use the Japanese term tokin for promoted pawns. Silver generals and gold generals are commonly referred to simply as silvers and golds. Image File history File linksMetadata Shogi_Koma_Ryoko. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Shogi_Koma_Ryoko. ...


The characters inscribed on the reverse sides of the pieces to indicate promoted rank may be in red ink, and are usually cursive. The characters on the backs of the pieces that promote to gold generals are cursive variants of 金 'gold', becoming more cursive (more abbreviated) as the value of the original piece decreases. These cursive forms have these equivalents in print: 全 for promoted silver, 今 for promoted knight, 仝 for promoted lance, and 个 for promoted pawn (tokin). Another typographic convention has abbreviated versions of the unpromoted ranks, with a reduced number of strokes: 圭 for a promoted knight (桂), 杏 for a promoted lance (香), and the 全 as above for a promoted silver, but と for tokin.


Player ranking

Players are ranked from 15 kyū to 1 kyū and then from 1 dan and upwards; this is the same terminology as in karate, go, calligraphy and many other arts in Japan. Professional players operate with their own scale, from professional 4 dan and upwards to 9 dan for elite players. Amateur and professional ranks are offset. For other uses, see Karate (disambiguation). ... Go is a strategic board game for two players. ... The art of calligraphy is widely practiced and revered in the East Asian civilizations that use Chinese characters. ...


Setup

The starting setup of a game of shogi.
The starting setup of a game of shogi.

Each player places his pieces in the positions shown below, facing the opponent. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 560 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (581 × 622 pixel, file size: 154 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) A screenshot of a standard shogi opening, using MacShogi. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 560 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (581 × 622 pixel, file size: 154 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) A screenshot of a standard shogi opening, using MacShogi. ...

  • In the rank nearest the player:
    • The king is placed in the center file.
    • The two gold generals are placed in the adjacent files 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 the second rank, each player places:
    • The bishop in the same file as the left knight.
    • The rook in the same file as the right knight.
  • In the third rank, the nine pawns are placed one to each file.

Traditionally, even the order of placing the pieces on the board is determined. There are two recognized orders, ohashi and ito. The Japanese-language page Shogi Pineapple indicates the two orders; ohashi is depicted on the left and ito on the right.


Gameplay

The players alternate taking turns, with Black (the side containing the Jeweled General) playing first. The terms "Black" and "White" are used to differentiate the two sides, but there is no actual difference in the color of the pieces. For each turn a player may either move a piece which is already on the board and potentially promote it, capture an opposing piece, or both; or to "drop" a piece that has already been captured onto an empty square of the board. These options are detailed below.


Professional games are timed as in International Chess, but professionals are never expected to keep time in their games. Instead a timekeeper is assigned, typically an apprentice professional. Time limits are much longer than in International Chess (9 hours a side plus extra time in the prestigious Meijin title match), and in addition byōyomi (literally "second counting") is employed. This means that when the ordinary time has run out, the player will from that point on have a certain amount of time to complete every move (a byōyomi period), typically upwards of one minute. The final ten seconds are counted down, and if the time expires the player to move loses the game immediately. Amateurs often play with electronic clocks that beep out the final ten seconds of a byōyomi period, with a prolonged beep for the last five.


Movement and capture

If an opposing piece occupies a legal destination for a friendly piece (that is, a piece belonging to the player whose turn it is to move), it may be captured by removing it from the board and replacing it with the friendly piece. It is not possible to move to or through a square occupied by another friendly piece, or to move through a square occupied by an opposing piece. It is common to keep captured pieces on a wooden stand (or komadai) which is traditionally placed so that its bottom left corner aligns with the bottom right corner of the board from the perspective of each player. It is not permissible to hide pieces from full view. This is because captured pieces, which are said to be in hand, have a crucial impact on the course of the game.


The knight jumps, that is, it passes over any intervening piece, whether friend or foe, without an effect on either. It is the only piece to do this.


The lance, bishop, and rook are ranging pieces: They can potentially move any number of squares along a straight line limited by 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, one is limited to a distance that stops short of that square; if the friendly piece is adjacent, one may not move in that direction at all.


All pieces but the knight move either orthogonally (that is, forward, backward, or to the side, in the direction of one of the arms of a plus sign, +), or diagonally (in the direction of one of the arms of a multiplication sign, ×).


King

A King can move one square in any direction, orthogonal or diagonal.

   
The king
The king
   
         
   
   
   
         

Image File history File links Shogi_king. ... Image File history File links Shogi_king. ...

Rook

A rook can move any number of free squares along any one of the four orthogonal directions.

   
The rook
The rook
   
       
       
       
       

Image File history File links Shogi_rook. ... Image File history File links Shogi_rook. ...

Bishop

A bishop can move any number of free squares along any one of the four diagonal directions. Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      This article...

   
The bishop
The bishop
   
     
     
       
     
     

Because they cannot move orthogonally, the opposing unpromoted bishops can only reach half the squares of the board. Image File history File links Shogi_bishop. ... Image File history File links Shogi_bishop. ...


Gold general

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

   
The gold general
The gold general
   
         
   
   
       
         

Image File history File links Shogi_gold. ... Image File history File links Shogi_gold. ...

Silver general

A silver general can move one square diagonally or one square directly forward, giving it five possibilities.

   
The silver general
The silver general
   
         
   
       
     
         

Because an unpromoted silver can retreat more easily than a promoted one (see below), it is very common to leave a silver unpromoted at the far side of the board. Image File history File links Shogi_silver. ... Image File history File links Shogi_silver. ...


Knight

A knight jumps at an angle intermediate between orthogonal and diagonal, amounting to one square forward plus one square diagonally forward, in a single motion. That is, it has a choice of two forward destinations. It cannot move to the sides or backwards.

   
The knight
The knight
   
     
         
       
         
         

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. Image File history File links Shogi_knight. ... Image File history File links Shogi_knight. ...


It is often useful to leave a knight unpromoted (see below) at the far side of the board. However, since a knight cannot move backward or to the sides, it must promote when it lands on one of the two far ranks and would otherwise be unable to move further.


Lance

A lance can move any number of free squares directly forward. It cannot move backward or to the sides.

   
The lance
The lance
   
       
       
       
         
         

It is often useful to leave a lance unpromoted (see below) at the far side of the board. However, since a lance cannot move backward or to the sides, it must promote if it arrives at the far rank. Image File history File links Shogi_lance. ... Image File history File links Shogi_lance. ...


Pawn

A pawn can move one square directly forward. It cannot retreat.

   
The pawn
The pawn
   
         
       
       
         
         

Since a pawn cannot move backward or to the sides, it must promote (see below) if it arrives at the far rank. However, in practice, a pawn is promoted whenever possible. Image File history File links Shogi_pawn. ... Image File history File links Shogi_pawn. ...


Unlike the pawns of international chess, shogi pawns capture the same way they otherwise move, directly forward.


There are two restrictive rules for where a pawn may be dropped. (See below.)


Promotion

A player's promotion zone is the far third of the board, the three ranks occupied by the opposing pieces at setup. If a piece moves across the board and part of that path lies within the promotion zone, that is, if it moves into, out of, or wholly within the zone, but not if it is dropped (see below), then that player may choose to promote the piece at the end of the turn. Promotion is indicated by turning the piece over after it moves, revealing the character for the promoted rank.

A player's promotion zone (green)
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
             

When captured, pieces lose their promoted status. Otherwise promotion is permanent.


Promoting a piece has the effect of changing how that piece moves. Each piece promotes as follows:

  • A silver general, knight, lance, or pawn replaces its normal power of movement with the power of a gold general.
  • A rook or bishop keeps its original power of movement and gains the power to move one square in any direction, like a king. This means that a promoted bishop is able to reach any square on the board, given enough moves.
  • A king or a gold general cannot promote, nor can pieces which are already promoted.

Promoted rook

A promoted rook (dragon king) may move as a rook or as a king, but not as both on the same turn.

   
The dragon king
The dragon king
   
       
   
   
       

Image File history File links Shogi_rook_p. ... Image File history File links Shogi_rook_p. ...

Promoted bishop

A promoted bishop ("horse") may move as a bishop or as a king, but not as both on the same turn.

   
The swift horse
The swift horse
   
     
   
   
   
     

Image File history File links Shogi_bishop_p. ... Image File history File links Shogi_bishop_p. ...

Mandatory promotion

If a pawn or lance reaches the far rank or a knight reaches either of the two farthest ranks, it must promote, as it would otherwise have no legal move on subsequent turns. A silver general never needs to promote, and it is often advantageous to keep a silver general unpromoted.


Drops

Variation in pieces in play
Piece Init. Max Min
King 1 1 1
Rook(s) 1 2 0
Bishop(s) 1 2 0
Gold generals 2 4 0
Silver generals 2 4 0
Knights 2 4 0
Lances 2 4 0
Pawns 9 9 0
Tokins 0 18 0

Captured pieces are truly captured in shogi. They are retained "in hand", and can be brought back into play under the capturing player's control. On any turn, instead of moving a piece on the board, a player may take a piece that had been previously captured and place it, unpromoted side up, on any empty square, facing the opposing side. The piece is now part of the forces controlled by that player. This is termed dropping the piece, or just a drop.


A drop cannot capture a piece, nor does dropping within the promotion zone result in immediate promotion. However, either capture or promotion may occur normally on subsequent moves by the piece.


A pawn, knight, or lance may not be dropped on the far rank, since it would have no legal move on subsequent turns. Similarly, a knight may not be dropped on the penultimate rank.


There are two other restrictions when dropping pawns:

  1. A pawn cannot be dropped onto the same file (column) as another unpromoted pawn controlled by the same player. (A tokin does not count as a pawn.) A player who has an unpromoted pawn on every file is therefore unable to drop a pawn anywhere. For this reason it is common to sacrifice a pawn in order to gain flexibility for drops.
  2. A pawn cannot be dropped to give an immediate checkmate. However, other pieces may be dropped to give immediate checkmate, a pawn that is already on the board may be advanced to give checkmate, and a pawn may be dropped so that either it or another piece can give checkmate on a subsequent turn.

It is common for players to swap bishops, which face each other across the board. This leaves each player with a bishop "in hand" to be dropped later, and gives an advantage to the player with the stronger defensive position. For other uses, see Checkmate (disambiguation). ...


Check and mate

When a player makes a move such that the opposing king could be captured on the following turn, the move is said to give check to the king; the king is said to be in check. If a player's king is in check and no legal move by that player will get the king out of check, the checking move is also checkmate (tsumi 詰み) and effectively wins the game. For other uses, see Checkmate (disambiguation). ...


To give the warning "check!" in Japanese, one says "ōte!" (王手). However, this is an influence of international chess and is not required, even as a courtesy.


A player is not allowed to give perpetual check. In the game of chess, perpetual check is a special case of draw by threefold repetition, in which one player forces the repetition by a series of checks. ...


Winning the game

When a player cannot do any legal moves, that player must resign and the player loses. For example, the one's king is in checkmate.


In professional and serious amateur games, a player who makes an illegal move loses immediately.


There are two other possible, if uncommon, ways for a game to end: repetition (千日手 sennichite) and impasse (持将棋 jishōgi).


If the same game position occurs four (formerly three) times with the same player to play, the game is declared no contest. For two positions to be considered the same, the pieces in hand must be the same as well as the positions on the board. However, if this occurs with one player giving perpetual check, then that player loses.


The game reaches an impasse if both kings have advanced into their respective promotion zones and neither player can hope to mate the other or to gain any further material. If this happens, the winner is decided as follows: Each rook or bishop scores 5 points for the owning player, and all other pieces except kings score 1 point each. (Promotions are ignored for the purposes of scoring.) A player scoring less than 24 points loses. Jishōgi is considered an outcome in its own right rather than no contest, but there is no practical difference.


In professional tournaments the rules typically require drawn games to be replayed with colours (sides) reversed, possibly with reduced time limits. This is rare compared to chess and xiangqi, occurring at a rate of 1-2% even in amateur games. The 1982 Meijin title match between Nakahara Makoto and Kato Hifumi was unusual in this regard, with jishōgi in the first game (only the fifth draw in the then 40-year history of the tournament), a game which lasted for an unusual 223 moves (not counting in pairs of moves), with an astounding 114 minutes spent pondering a single move, and sennichite in the sixth and eighth games. Thus this best-of-seven match lasted ten games and took over three months to finish; Black did not lose a single game and the eventual victor was Katō at 4-3. This article is about the Western board game. ... Chinese chess redirects here. ...


Handicaps

Games between players of disparate strengths are often played with handicaps. In a handicap game, one or more of White's pieces are removed from the setup, and in exchange White plays first. Note that the missing pieces are not available for drops and play no further part in the game. The imbalance created by this method of handicapping is not as strong as it is in international chess because material advantage is not as powerful in shogi.


Common handicaps, in increasing order of severity, include:

  • Left lance
  • Bishop
  • Rook
  • Rook and left lance
  • Rook and bishop
  • Four pieces: Rook, bishop, and both lances
  • Six pieces: Rook, bishop, both lances and both knights

Other handicaps are also occasionally used. The relationship between handicaps and differences in rank is not universally agreed upon, with several systems in use.


Game notation

The method used in English-language texts to express shogi moves was established by George Hodges in 1976. It is derived from the algebraic notation used for chess, but differs in several respects. It is not used in Japanese-language texts, as it is no more concise than kanji. Year 1976 Pick up sticks(MCMLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Chessboard notation Algebraic chess notation is used to record and describe the moves in a game of chess. ...


A typical move might be notated P-8f. The first letter represents the piece moved: P for Pawn. (There is also L lance, N knight, S silver, G gold, B bishop, R rook, K king, as above.) Promoted pieces are indicated by a + in front of the letter: +P is a tokin (promoted pawn).


Following the abbreviation for the piece is a symbol for the type of move: for a simple move, x for a capture, or * for a drop. Next is the square on which the piece lands. This is indicated by a numeral for the file and a lowercase letter for the rank, with 1a being the top right corner (as seen by Black) and 9i being the bottom left corner. This is based on Japanese convention, which, however, uses Japanese numerals instead of letters. For example, square 2c is "2三" in Japanese. The system of Japanese numerals is the system of number names used in the Japanese language. ...


If a move entitles the player to promote, then a + is added to the end if the promotion was taken, or an = if it was declined. For example, Nx7c= indicates a knight capturing on 7c without promoting.


In cases where the piece is ambiguous, the starting square is added to the letter for the piece. For example, at setup Black has two golds which can move to square 5h (in front of the king). These are distinguished as G6i-5h (from the left) and G4i-5h (from the right).


Moves are commonly numbered as in chess. For example, the start of a game might look like this:

 1. P-7f P-3d 2. P-2f G-3b 3. P-2e Bx8h+ 4. Sx8h S-2b 

In handicap games White plays first, so Black's move 1 is replaced by an ellipsis. This article is about the punctuation symbol. ...


Strategy and tactics

Shogi is similar to chess but has a much larger game tree complexity because of the use of drops[1]. However, like chess, the game can be divided into the opening, middle game and endgame, each requiring a different strategy. In game theory, game complexity is a measure of the complexity of a game. ...


The opening of shogi is generally slower than that of chess, due to the larger board and less mobile pieces. But since a quick offense will leave a player's home territory open to drop attacks as soon as pieces are exchanged, the aim of the opening is to build a castle with three generals[2]. There are two types of openings typically used in Shogi -- the static rook and the ranging rook.


Players can both move the rook pawn forward, or more commonly, advance the pawn above and to the right of the bishop. The former is known as a rook opening while the latter is a bishop opening. When doing a bishop opening, it's common to exchange pieces by having one bishop attack the other. This allows each player to return their newly capture bishop into play anywhere on the board. However, it is not always advantageous to exchange bishops, depending on what they intend to do next.


Professional shogi players tend to evaluate the 'flow' of the game, that is, the sequence of moves leading to the current position and its likely development, much more than chess players[3].


Because pawns attack head on, and cannot defend each other, they tend to be lost early in the game, providing ammunition for such attacks. Dropping a pawn behind enemy lines, promoting it to a "tokin" (gold general), and dropping a second pawn immediately behind the "tokin" so that they protect each other makes a strong attack; it threatens the opponent's entire defense, but provides little value if the attack fails and the pieces are captured.


Players raised on International Chess often make poor use of drops[verification needed], but dropping is half the game. If a player has more than a couple of captured pieces in hand, it is likely that dropping attacks are being overlooked. However, it is wise to keep a pawn in hand, and often to exchange pieces if necessary to get one. Compared to International Chess, Shogi players are more likely to sacrifice pieces (even valuable ones), if the resulting capture can be dropped back into play for a specific purpose.


Attacking pieces can easily become trapped behind enemy lines, as the opponent can often drop a pawn on a protected square to cut off the line of retreat. For this reason, rooks, which can retreat in only one direction, are commonly kept at a safe distance in the early parts of the game, and used to support attacks by weaker pieces. However, once the game has opened up, a promoted rook is an especially deadly piece behind enemy lines. Kings can also be easily trapped by their own pieces, so a good last-ditch defensive effort is to open a back door through the pawn line to allow kings to escape. Kings are more difficult to checkmate in the open, especially if the opponent does not have many ranged pieces in play.


Many common opening attacks involve advancing a silver, and ideally a pawn, along a file protected by the rook. This is the climbing silver attack[citation needed]. Because silvers have more possibilities for retreat, while golds better defend their sides, silvers are generally considered superior as attacking pieces, and golds superior as defensive pieces. It is common practice to defend the king with three generals, two golds and a silver.


There are various furibisha or "ranging rook" openings where the rook moves to the center or left of the board to support an attack there, typically with the idea of allowing the opponent to attack while arranging a better defence and aiming for a counterattack. However, as the most powerful piece on the board, the rook invites attack, and in most cases, especially for weaker players, it is a good idea to keep the king well away from the rook. Leaving a king on its original square (igyoku or a "sitting king")[citation needed] is a particularly dangerous position[verification needed].


Advancing a lance pawn can open up the side of the board for attack. Therefore, when a player first advances a lance pawn, it is usual for the opponent to answer by advancing the opposing pawn, in order to avoid complications later in the game. It also allows the king to escape if attacked from the side.


Because defense is so important, and because shogi pieces are relatively slow movers, the opening game tends to be much longer in shogi than in International Chess[verification needed], commonly with a dozen or more moves to shore up defenses before the initial attack is made. There are several strong defensive fortifications known as castles.


The Yagura castle

The Yagura castle or defensive opening

The Yagura castle is considered by many to be the strongest defensive position in shogi. It has a strongly protected king; a well fortified line of pawns; and the bishop, rook, and a pawn all support a later attack by the rook's silver or knight. It is notoriously difficult to break down with a frontal assault, though it is weaker from the side. It is typically used against ibisha or "static rook" openings, which involve advancing the rook's pawn. However, one's opponent may just as easily adopt this defense, giving neither side an advantage. Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ...


Instead of the rook's pawn being advanced two squares, the adjacent silver's pawn is often advanced one square, allowing both the rook's silver and knight to move forward. These offensive moves are not properly part of the castle, but the two-square pawn advance must be carried out early if there is to be room for it, and so it is often done while still castling.


There is a good deal of flexibility in the order of moves when building the Yagura defense, and the possibilities will not be listed here. The only point to keep in mind is that the generals should move diagonally, not directly forward. However, there is a strong intermediate position called the kani ("crab"). It has the three pawns on the left side advanced to their final Yagura positions, and on the second rank all four generals are lined up next to the bishop, which is still in its starting position: |B|G|S|G|S| bishop-gold-silver-gold-silver. The king is moved one square to the left, behind the middle silver.


A common attack against the Yagura defense is to advance the rook's knight directly forward, with a pawn in hand, to attack the fortifications on either side of the castled king. If the defender has answered a lance's pawn advance on that side, a pawn may be dropped where the edge pawn had been. If the defending silver has moved or is not yet in position, a pawn may be dropped there.


The Mino-Gakoi castle

The Mino-Gakoi castle or defensive opening

A defensive position that is considered easier for beginners, but still popular with professionals, is the Mino-Gakoi castle. The King is placed in a safe position, while the three generals work well to back each other up. This is sometimes used when a player chooses a bishop opening rather than the rook-pawn opening. Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ...


The Mino-Gakoi takes six moves to complete, not necessarily in this order:

  1. Move the rook to the left side of the board, preferably the fourth file. This move must be first.
  2. Move the king to where the rook started, 3 moves.
  3. Move the silver general next to the king up one space.
  4. Move the left-side gold general diagonally up and right so that it is protected by the other gold general, which hasn't moved yet.

Additional moves to take:

  1. Move the edge pawn one, or even better two squares forward. This gives king a breathing space (escape route) at the end game.

History

Ancient shogi

Arrival in Japan

Shogi is said to be derived from the game of chaturanga played in ancient India, which spread throughout the continent of Eurasia, developing into a variety of related games. In the West, it became chess, in China xiangqi (象棋), on the Korean Peninsula janggi (장기), and in Thailand makruk. Chaturanga. ... This article is about the Western board game. ... Chinese chess redirects here. ... The Korean Peninsula is a peninsula in East Asia. ... Janggi is one of a family of strategic board games of which Western chess, Japanese Shogi, and the very similar Chinese Xiangqi are also members. ... Makruk, starting position. ...


It is not clear when shogi was brought to Japan. This is in contrast to the game of go, which was almost certainly brought to Japan in or around the Nara period, since a go board is stored in the treasury of Shōsōin (正倉院?). There are tales that relate that it was invented by Yuwen Yong of Northern Zhou, and that Kibi Makibi (吉備真備?) brought it back after visiting the country of Tang, but both these tales are likely to have been invented at the start of the Edo period by those keen to make a name for themselves as authorities on shogi. Go is a strategic board game for two players. ... The Nara period ) of the history of Japan covers the years from about AD 710 to 784. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Emperor Wu of Northern Zhou ((北)周武帝) (543-578), personal name Yuwen Yong (宇文邕), nickname Miluotu (禰羅突), was an emperor of the Chinese/Xianbei dynasty Northern Zhou. ... The Northern Zhou Dynasty followed the Western Wei, and ruled northern China from 557 to 581. ... Kibi no Makibi (吉備真備 695–775) was a Japanese scholar and noble during the Nara period. ... Kibi no Makibi (吉備真備 695–775) was a Japanese scholar and noble during the Nara period. ... For the band, see Tang Dynasty (band). ...


There are several theories about when shogi spread to Japan, but the earliest plausible date is around the 6th century. It is thought that the pieces used in the shogi of the time were not the current five-sided pieces, but three-dimensional figures, as were used in Chaturanga. This parallels the changes in chess pieces, which are more representational and less abstract the earlier they were made. However, a large problem with this theory is that as pieces in this form have never been found, let alone stored in the treasury of Shōsōin, there is little physical evidence supporting it. The 6th century is the period from 501 - 600 in accordance with the Julian calendar in the Christian Era. ...


Another theory gives a later date, stating that shogi was brought to Japan after the start of the Heian period. According to this theory, games such as xiangqi from China and janggi from Korea came to Japan at this time, but as these games are different from shogi, for example in that pieces are placed on the intersections of lines, serious doubts about this theory remain. The games of makruk from Thailand and Cambodia and sittuyin from Myanmar have an elephant which moves in the same way as the silver general, but it is difficult to imagine how the game could have been spread by sea to Japan given the shipbuilding technology of the time, and there are therefore no clear answers. The following text needs to be harmonized with text in the article History of Japan#Heian Period. ... Makruk, starting position. ... Sittuyin, initial position. ...


See also the history of chess. Krishna and Radha are shown playing chaturanga on an 8x8 Ashtāpada. ...


Shogi in the Heian period

One of the oldest documents indicating the existence of shogi is Kirinshō (麒麟抄?), written by Fujiwara Yukinari (藤原行成?) (972 - 1027), a seven-volume work which contains a description of how to write the characters used for shogi pieces, but the most generally accepted opinion is that this section was added by a writer from a later generation. Shin Saru Gakuki (新猿楽記?) (1058 - 1064), written by Fujiwara Akihira also has passages relating to shogi, and is regarded as the earliest document on the subject.


The oldest archaeological evidence is a group of 16 shogi pieces excavated from the grounds of Kōfuku-ji in Nara Prefecture, and as a wooden writing plaque written on in the sixth year of Tenki (1058) was found at the same time, the pieces are thought to be of the same period. The pieces of the time appear to have been simple ones made by cutting a writing plaque and writing directly on the surface, but they have the same five-sided shape as modern pieces. As "Shin Saru Gakuki", mentioned above, is of the same period, this find is backed up by documentary evidence. For the temple in Nagasaki Prefecture, see [[Kōfuku-ji (Nagasaki)]]. Grounds of Kofukuji The golden buddha inside the temple Kōfuku-ji ) is a Buddhist temple in the city of Nara, in Nara Prefecture, Japan. ... Nara Prefecture ) is a prefecture in the Kinki region on HonshÅ« Island, Japan. ...


The dictionary of common folk culture, Nichūreki (二中歴?), which it is estimated was created between 1210 and 1221, a collection based on the two works Shōchūreki (掌中歴?) and Kaichūreki (懐中歴?), thought to have been written by Miyoshi Tameyasu (三善為康?), describes two forms of shogi, large (dai) shogi and small (shō) shogi. So as not to confuse these with later types of shogi, in modern times these are called Heian shogi (or Heian small shogi) and Heian dai shogi. Heian shogi is the version on which modern shogi is based, but it is written that one wins if one's opponent is reduced to a single king, apparently indicating that at the time there was no concept of pieces in the hand. Heian shōgi (平安将棋 Heian era chess) is a predecessor of modern shogi (Japanese chess). ... Heian dai shogi (平安大将棋 Heian (Era) large chess) is an early large board variant of shogi (Japanese chess) as it was played in the Heian period. ...


The pieces used in these variants of shogi consist of those used in Heian shogi, the king, gold general, silver general, knight, lance and pawn, and those used only in Heian great shogi, the copper general, iron general, side mover, tiger, flying dragon, free chariot and go between. The names of the Heian shogi pieces keep faithfully to those in Chaturanga (general, elephant, horse, chariot and soldier), and add above them Japanese characters representing the five treasures of Buddhism, (jewel, gold, silver, Katsura tree and aroma), according to a theory by Kōji Shimizu, chief researcher at the Archaeological Institute of Kashihara, Nara Prefecture. There is also a theory by Yoshinori Kimura that while Chaturanga was from the start a game simulating war, and thus pieces were discarded once captured, Heian shogi involved pieces kept in the hand. GOLD refers to one of the following: GOLD (IEEE) is an IEEE program designed to garner more student members at the university level (Graduates of the Last Decade). ... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... This article is about the chemical element. ... Copper has played a significant part in the history of mankind, which has used the easily accessible uncompounded metal for nearly 10,000 years. ... For other uses, see Iron (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Chariot (disambiguation). ... Species Cercidiphyllum japonicum Cercidiphyllum magnificum Katsura (Cercidiphyllum) is a genus of two species of plants, the sole members of the family Cercidiphyllaceae. ...


The development of shogi

In games around the world related to shogi, there have been changes in the rules with the passage of time, such as increasing the abilities of the pieces or their numbers, as winning strategies have been discovered, and the Japanese game of shogi is no exception to this.


Around the 13th century, the game of dai shogi, created by increasing the number of pieces in Heian shogi, was played, and the game of sho shogi, which adds the rook, bishop and drunken elephant from dai shogi to Heian shogi. Around the 15th century, as the rules of dai shogi had become too complicated, they were simplified, creating the game of chu shogi, which is close to the modern game. It is thought that the rules of modern shogi were fixed in the 16th century, when the drunken elephant was removed from the set of pieces. According to Shoshōgi Zushiki (諸象戯図式?), a set of shogi rules published in 1696, during the Ganroku period, it states that the drunken elephant piece was removed from the game of sho shogi by Emperor Go-Nara during the Tenmon period (1532 - 1555), but whether or not this is true is not clear. The year 1696 had the earliest equinoxes and solstices for 400 years in the Gregorian calendar, because this year is a leap year and the Gregorian calendar would have behaved like the Julian calendar since March 1500 had it have been in use that long. ... Emperor Go-Nara (後奈良天皇 Go-Nara Tennō) (January 26, 1497 - September 27, 1557) was the 105th imperial ruler of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. ... This article needs to be wikified. ... Events May 16 - Sir Thomas More resigns as Lord Chancellor of England. ... Events Russia breaks 60 year old truce with Sweden by attacking Finland February 2 - Diet of Augsburg begins February 4 - John Rogers becomes first Protestant martyr in England February 9 - Bishop of Gloucester John Hooper is burned at the stake May 23 - Paul IV becomes Pope. ...


As many as 174 shogi pieces have been excavated from the Ichijōdani Asakura Family Historic Ruins, which are thought to be from the latter half of the 16th century. Most of these pieces are pawns, but there is also one drunken elephant, leading to the hypothesis that in this period variations of shogi with and without the drunken elephant existed side by side. Ichijōdani Karamon The Ichijōdani Asakura Family Historic Ruins ) are historic ruins located in the Kidonouchi section of Fukui, Fukui Prefecture, Japan. ...


One point of note in the history of this family of games is that it was during this period that the unique rule in Japanese shogi was developed whereby captured pieces (pieces in the hand) could be returned to the board. It is thought that the rule of pieces in the hand was proposed around the 16th century, but there is also a theory that this rule existed from the time of Heian sho shogi.


In the Edo period, more types of shogi with yet more pieces were proposed: tenjiku shogi, dai dai shogi, maka dai dai shogi, tai shogi (also called "dai shogi", but termed "tai shogi" to avoid confusing the two) and taikyoku shogi. However, it is thought that these forms of shogi were only played to a very limited extent. The Edo period ), also called Tokugawa period, is a division of Japanese history running from 1603 to 1868. ... Tenjiku shogi (天竺将棋 tenjiku shōgi, or 天竺大将棋 tenjiku dai shōgi, exotic chess) is a large-board variant of shogi (Japanese chess). ... Daidai shōgi (大大将棋 huge chess) is a large board variant of shogi (Japanese chess). ... Maka daidai shōgi (摩訶大大将棋 ultra-huge chess) is a large board variant of shogi (Japanese chess). ... Tai shogi (泰将棋 tai shōgi, grand chess, renamed from 無上大将棋 mujō dai shōgi supreme chess to avoid confusion with 大将棋 dai shōgi) is a large-board variant of shogi (Japanese chess). ... Taikyoku shōgi (大局将棋 ultimate chess) is a large board variant of shogi (Japanese chess). ...


Modern shogi

Castle shogi and the iemotos

Modern shogi (hon shogi), like go, was officially approved by the Tokugawa shogunate. In 1612, the shogunate passed a law giving endowments to shogi players including Kanō Sansa (加納算砂?) (Hon'inbō Sansa (本因坊算砂?)) and Shūkei (宗桂?) (who was given the name Ōhashi Shūkei (大橋宗桂?) after his death). These iemotos (families upholding the tradition of go or shogi) gave themselves the title of go-dokoro (碁所?) (literally, places of go) and shogi-dokoro (将棋所?), places of shogi. The first O-hashi Shu-kei received fifty koku of rice and five men. In the Kan'ei period (around 1630), the "castle shogi" (御城将棋?) tournament, where games were played before a shogun, was held. During the time of the eighth shogun, Tokugawa Yoshimune, a system was established where the castle shogi tournament was held once a year on the 17th day on Kannazuki, and today the corresponding day in the modern calendar, November 17, has been designated Shogi Day. The Tokugawa shogunate or Tokugawa bakufu (徳川幕府) (also known as the Edo bakufu) was a feudal military dictatorship of Japan established in 1603 by Tokugawa Ieyasu and ruled by the shoguns of the Tokugawa family until 1868. ... Honinbō Sansa (本因坊算砂, 1559–June 13, 1623) was the assumed name of Kanō Yosaburo (加納 與三郎), one of the strongest Japanese Go players of the Edo period (1603-1867), and founder of the house of Honinbō, first among the four great schools of Go in Japan. ... Honinbō Sansa (本因坊算砂, 1559–June 13, 1623) was the assumed name of Kanō Yosaburo (加納 與三郎), one of the strongest Japanese Go players of the Edo period (1603-1867), and founder of the house of Honinbō, first among the four great schools of Go in Japan. ... Sen no RikyÅ«, founder of the three main schools of Japanese tea ceremony, by Hasegawa Tōhaku Iemoto (家元) is a Japanese term meaning founder or grand master. ... Kanei (寛永) was a Japanese era after Genna and before Shōhō and spanned from 1624 to 1643. ... Tokugawa Yoshimune 1684-1751. ... Kannazuki 神無月 is a traditional name for the tenth month in the traditional Japanese lunar calendar. ... 17 November is also the name of a Marxist group in Greece, coinciding with the anniversary of the Athens Polytechnic uprising. ...


The Meijin (名人?), who were the iemotos of shogi, were paid endowments. Over the reign of the shogunate, the title of meijin became a hereditary title of the Ōhashi family and one of its branches, and the Itō family. Today the title of meijin is still used, for the winner of the Meijin-sen competition. It became a tradition for shogi players inheriting the title of meijin to present a collection of shogi puzzles to the shogunate government. Meijin (名人), literally translated, means Brilliant Man. ... Meijin (名人), literally translated, means Brilliant Man. ... Sen no RikyÅ«, founder of the three main schools of Japanese tea ceremony, by Hasegawa Tōhaku Iemoto (家元) is a Japanese term meaning founder or grand master. ...


A number of genius shogi players emerged who were not hereditary meijin. Itō Kanju (伊藤看寿?) was born in the mid-Edo period, and showed promise as a potential meijin, but died young and never inherited the title (which was bestowed on him posthumously). Kanju was a skilled composer of shogi puzzles, and even today his collection of puzzles "Shogi Zukō" (将棋図巧?) is well known as one of the greatest works of its kind. In the late Edo period, Amano Sōho (天野宗歩?) came to prominence. As he was one of the "Arino group" of amateur shogi players, the rank of meijin was out of his reach, but he was feared for his skill, being said to have "the ability of a 13-dan player", and was later termed a kisei (棋聖?) (literally, wise man or master of shogi). More than a few count Sōho as one of the greatest shogi players in history. The Kisei (棋聖) is a Go competition. ... The Kisei (棋聖) is a Go competition. ...


Newspaper shogi and the formation of shogi associations

After the fall of the Tokugawa shogunate, the three shogi families were no longer paid endowments, and the iemoto system in shogi lost its power. The lines of the three families ended, and the rank of meijin came to be bestowed by recommendation. The popularity of amateur shogi continued in the Meiji period, with shogi tournaments and events held all over Japan, and "front-porch shogi" (縁台将棋?), played wherever people gathered, in bath houses or barber's shops. However, it is thought that, with the exception of a handful of high-ranking players at the end of the 19th century, it was impossible to make a living as a professional shogi player during this period.


From around 1899, newspapers began to publish records of shogi matches, and high-ranking players formed alliances with the aim of having their games published. In 1909, the Shogi Association (将棋同盟社?) was formed, and in 1924, the Tokyo Shogi Association (東京将棋同盟社?) was formed, with Sekine Kinjirō (関根金次郎?), a thirteenth-generation meijin, at its head. This was an early incarnation of the modern Japan Shogi Association (日本将棋連盟?), which takes this year as the date of its foundation. Year 1899 (MDCCCXCIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday [1] of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Year 1909 (MCMIX) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... For the rap album, see 1924 (album). ...


Trends in modern shogi

The ability-based meijin system and developments in title matches

In 1935, Sekine Kinjiro- stepped down from the rank of meijin, which then came to be conferred based on ability in the short term, rather than recommendation as before. The first Meijin title match (名人戦 meijin-sen?) (known officially at the time as the Meijin Kettei Kisen (名人決定大棋戦?)) was held over two years, with Yoshio Kimura (木村義雄?) becoming the first Meijin in 1937. This was the start of the shogi title matches (see titleholder system). Yoshio Kimura born April 17, 1948) is a Japanese politician of the Liberal Democratic Party, a member of the House of Representatives in the Diet (national legislature). ... Yoshio Kimura born April 17, 1948) is a Japanese politician of the Liberal Democratic Party, a member of the House of Representatives in the Diet (national legislature). ... Year 1937 (MCMXXXVII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The titleholder system is the most common type of structure used in professional tournaments in the game of go. ...


Later, in 1950, the Kudan title match (九段戦 kudan-sen?) (9-dan title match) (renamed the Jūdan title match (十段戦 jūdan-sen?) (10-dan title match) in 1962) was founded, followed by the Ōshō title match (王将戦 ōshō-sen?) (King title match) in 1953. Initially, the Ōshō-sen was not an official title match, but it became one in 1983. In 1960 the Ōi title match (王位戦 ōi-sen?) was founded, and later the Kisei-sen (棋聖戦?) in 1962, and the Kiō (棋王戦 kiō-sen?) in 1974. The Jūdan-sen was changed to become the Ryūō title match (竜王戦 ryūō-sen?) in 1988, completing the modern line-up of seven title matches. Year 1950 (MCML) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1962 (MCMLXII) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1962 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... January 7 - President Harry S. Truman announces the United States has developed a hydrogen bomb. ... Year 1983 (MCMLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays the 1983 Gregorian calendar). ... Year 1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1974 (MCMLXXIV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the 1974 Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1988 (MCMLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Friday (link displays 1988 Gregorian calendar). ...


The ages of Ōyama and Habu

It was considered to be nearly impossible to hold all the titles at once, but in 1957, Kōzō Masuda took all three of the titles which existed at the time (Meijin, Kudan and Ōshō), to become a triple champion (三冠王?). However, another player later took these three titles from Masuda, and went on in 1959 to take the newly founded titles of Ōi and Kisei, to become a quintuple champion (五冠王?) - Yasuharu Ōyama (大山康晴?). Ōyama went on to defend these titles for six years, a golden age which became known as the "Ōyama age". Ōyama reached a total of 80 title holding periods, an unprecedented achievement at the time, when there were fewer titles than at present. Year 1957 (MCMLVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link displays the 1957 Gregorian calendar). ... Year 1959 (MCMLIX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


After the number of titles increased to seven in 1983, it was believed to be impossible to hold all of them at once, but in 1996, Yoshiharu Habu became the first septuple champion (七冠王?), beginning an age known as the "Habu age". Since then, there has never been a time when he was without a title, and he has amassed a total of over 60 title holding periods. Year 1983 (MCMLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays the 1983 Gregorian calendar). ... Year 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full 1996 Gregorian calendar). ... Habu Yoshiharu (羽生善治, born September 27, 1970) is a professional shogi player. ...


The birth of the women's game

While there are both men and women among the ranks of professional shogi players, no woman player has yet won through the pro qualifier leagues (新進棋士奨励会 shinshin kishi shōreikai?) to become an officially certified professional player (棋士 kishi?). This served to slow the spread of the game among women, and to overcome the problem, the system of professional woman shogi players (女流棋士 joryū kishi?) was introduced.


In 1966, Akiko Takojima (蛸島彰子?) left the pro qualifier leagues at the 1-dan level and became the first professional woman shogi player. However, at the time women's contests were not held, and so her only work as a professional was giving shogi lessons. In 1974, the first women's contest, the Women's Meijin title match (女流名人位戦 joryū meijin-sen?), was held, which Takojima won, becoming the first woman meijin. 1974 is often considered to be the year in which women's shogi began, and indeed the Ladies Shogi Professional (女流棋士会 joryū kishi kai?) organisation celebrates "anniversary parties" counting from this year. Year 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the 1966 Gregorian calendar. ...


At present there are more than 50 professional women players, and as well as the Women's Meijin title match, there is also the Women's Ōshō title match (女流王将戦?), the Women's Ōi title match (女流王位戦?), the Ōyama Meijin Cup Kurashiki-Tōka title match (大山名人杯倉敷藤花戦?), the Ladies' Open Tournament (レディースオープントーナメント?) and the Kajima Cup Women's Shogi Tournament (鹿島杯女流将棋トーナメント?), a total of six competitions. In addition, each of the standard professional tournaments has a women's section, in which the top women in each tournament compete.


Trends in the world of amateur shogi

Shogi is also well-known among the general public (amateurs). Two different rating systems based dan and kyu ranks are used, one for amateurs and one for professionals, with the highest ranks at amateur level, 4-dan or 5-dan, being equivalent to 6-kyu at the professional level. In the past, there were games between amateurs and professionals, but these were generally special match-ups organised by newspapers or magazines, or instructional games at events or shogi courses. This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Kyu (ç´š) is a Japanese term used in martial arts, chado, ikebana, go and in other similar activities to designate various degrees or levels of proficiency or experience. ...


However, sometimes there are amateurs with an ability to rival professionals, some of whom earn a living as shinken-shi (真剣師?), gamblers playing for stakes. Motoji Hanamura (花村元司?) made enough to live on as a shinken-shi, before taking the entrance exam and turning professional in 1944. He later challenged Yasuharu Ōyama in the meijin-sen, but did not manage to take the title of meijin from him. Jūmei Koike (小池重明?) was another shinken-shi, who beat one professional after another in special matches, and won the title of amateur meijin twice in a row, putting him ahead of the crowd in the amateur world. Later, due in part to the instigation of Ōyama, the then chairman of the general assembly of the Japanese Shogi Association (棋士総会?), a vote was held on whether to accept Koike among their ranks, but there were concerns about his behaviour, and the vote went against him. Although he never became a professional, after his death, television programmes and books telling his story were produced, and he now has more fans all over Japan than when he was alive.


In recent times, the gap in ability between strong amateurs and professionals continues to diminish, and there are even official professional tournaments in which those with the best results in amateur shogi contests (将棋のアマチュア棋戦?) can take part. Some amateurs, including Tsuneyoshi Kobayashi (小林庸俊?), Takashi Amano (天野高志?), Hirukawa (蛭川敦?), Kiriyama (桐山隆?), Masaki Endō (遠藤正樹?), Masakazu Hayasaki (早咲誠和?) and Atsumoto Yamada (山田敦幹?) have been called "pro killers", and recently two young players, Yukio Katō (加藤幸男?) and Tōru Shimizukami (清水上徹?) have been making waves in the amateur world.


The number of players who have left the pro qualifier leagues and gone on to have success as amateurs has increased. Shōji Segawa (瀬川晶司?) retired from the qualifier leagues due to age restrictions, but went on to compete as an amateur in professional matches. His performance in the Ginga title match (銀河戦? ginga-sen) was particularly notable, and at one point he won over 70% of his matches with professionals. Sekawa submitted a petition requesting entry to the professional ranks to the Japan Shogi Association, and was granted exceptional permission to take the entrance exam. He is the first person to become a professional after retiring from the pro qualifier leagues.


In 2006, the Shogi Association officially admitted the entrance of amateurs and women professionals to the ranks of professionals (正棋士?), and announced details of an entrance exam for the 4-dan level (entering the "free class" (フリークラス?) level of the professional ranking league (順位戦?)) and the third-level pro qualifier league (奨励会三段リーグ?). Unless exceptional permission is granted, applicant normally need to have experience in the pro qualifier leagues, and cannot become professionals if they have retired from the leagues, but given the reforms taking place in the Association, it would be by no means unlikely if another Shōji Segawa were to appear. Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


The spread of shogi outside Japan

The game of shogi has developed independently inside Japan, and its pieces are differentiated by Japanese characters written on them, factors which have impeded the spread of the game outside Japan. By way of comparison, the game of go has spread internationally for a combination of many reasons, including the facts that it originated in China, its rules are (more or less) unified at an international level, it is played using black and white stones, and that it does not resemble games unique to another country (as is the case with shogi, which is one of many games resembling chess).


However, in the 1990's, efforts to make shogi popular outside Japan began in earnest. It has grown to be particular popular in the People's Republic of China, and especially Shanghai. The January 2006 edition of Kindai Shogi (近代将棋?) states that Shanghai has a shogi population of 120,000 people. The game has been relatively slow to spread to countries where Chinese characters are not in common use, although attempts have been made to aid adoption by replacing the names of pieces with symbols indicating how they move. For other uses, see Shanghai (disambiguation). ...


Changes in the shogi population

According to the "Leisure White Paper" (レジャー白書?) by the Japanese Productivity Center for Socio-Economic Development (財団法人社会経済生産性本部?), the "shogi population" (the number of people of 15 years or over who play at least one game of shogi a year) fell from 16.8 million in 1985 to 9 million in 2004, and 8.4 million in 2006, and is continuing to fall gradually.


During the above period, in which the shogi population fell by a half, shogi has often appeared in the general media, for example Yoshiharu Habu's achievement of taking all seven titles in one year (1996), the airing of the NHK TV novel Futarikko (ふたりっ子?) (1996), the reporting of the affair between Makoto Nakahara (中原誠?) and Naoko Hayashiba (林葉直子?), Shōji Segawa taking the professional entrance exam (2005), and the debate about the management of the meijin-sen being passed to a different body (2006). However, none of these led to the birth of a "shogi boom", and in some cases unfavourable media reports accelerated the decline in the number of shogi fans. Habu Yoshiharu (羽生善治, born September 27, 1970) is a professional shogi player. ... NHK Broadcasting Center in Shibuya, Tokyo NHK (, Nippon Hōsō Kyōkai), or the Japan Broadcasting Corporation, is Japans public broadcaster. ... Naoko Hayashiba , born on January 24, 1968), who is also known by the pen name Masaru Katori ), is a female Japanese writer and manga author from Fukuoka, Fukuoka, Japan. ... Naoko Hayashiba , born on January 24, 1968), who is also known by the pen name Masaru Katori ), is a female Japanese writer and manga author from Fukuoka, Fukuoka, Japan. ...


The number of 10 to 19 year olds playing go is said in the "Leisure White Paper" above to have increased due to the story "Hikaru no Go", serialised in Shonen Jump. (The overall go population is decreasing.) However, the 2006 Leisure White Paper reports that go is most popular among those in their 60's, while shogi is most popular between those aged 10 to 19. Serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump Shonen Jump BANZAI! Original run 1998 – September 2003 No. ... Weekly Shonen Jump, issue 40 (Japanese version) Weekly Shonen Jump (週刊少年ジャンプ ShÅ«kan Shōnen Janpu), with a circulation of over 3 million, is one of the longest-running, weekly manga compilations in Japan. ...


From around 1996, internet shogi programs such as Java Shogi (Java将棋?) and The Great Shogi (ザ・グレート将棋?), which allow users to play games over the internet without the need for an actual shogi set, grew to be widely used. At present, many games are played using services such as Shogi Club 24 (将棋倶楽部24?), Kindai Shogi Dojo (近代将棋道場?) and Yahoo! Japan Games. Yahoo! Japan Corporation (ヤフー株式会社; YafÅ« Kabushiki Gaisha) (TYO: 4689) is a Japanese affiliate of Yahoo!. The head office is in the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower in Minato, Tokyo. ...


Computer shogi

Developments have been made in computer shogi, a field of artificial intelligence concerned with the creation of computer programs which can play shogi. The research and development of shogi software has been carried out mainly by freelance programmers, university research groups and private companies. As the game of shogi has the distinctive feature of allowing captured pieces to be reused, shogi playing programs require a far higher degree of sophistication than programs playing similar games such as chess. AI redirects here. ...


In the 1980s, due to the immaturity of the technology in such fields as programming, CPUs and memory, computer shogi programs took a long time to think, and often made moves for which there was no apparent justification. These programs had the level of an amateur of kyu rank. Computer programming (often simply programming) is the craft of implementing one or more interrelated abstract algorithms using a particular programming language to produce a concrete computer program. ... CPU can stand for: in computing: Central processing unit in journalism: Commonwealth Press Union in law enforcement: Crime prevention unit in software: Critical patch update, a type of software patch distributed by Oracle Corporation in Macleans College is often known as Ash Lim. ... For other uses, see Memory (disambiguation). ...


In the first decade of the new millennium, there have been large steps forward in both software and hardware technology, and it is currently estimated that the strongest program is prefecture champion class (around amateur 5-dan). In particular, computers are most suited to brute-force calculation, and far outperform humans at the task of finding ways of checkmating from a given position, which is simply information processing. In games with time limits of 10 seconds from the first move, computers are becoming a tough challenge for even professional shogi players. With Deep Blue having beaten a human chess champion, it is thought that humans will soon be unable to beat computers at shogi. Kasparov vs. ...


In 2005, the Japan Shogi Association sent a message to professional shogi players and women professionals, telling them that they should not compete against a computer in public without permission. The intentions behind this are to preserve the dignity of its professionals, and to make the most of computer shogi as a potential business opportunity.


The Japan Shogi Association did, however, give reigning Ryuo Watanabe permission to compete in a showdown against the strongest available Shogi program "Bonanza" (designed by Hoki Kunihito) on 21 March, 2007. The game was played with 2 hours each and 1 minute byo-yomi per move after that. Those conditions were thought to favor Watanabe. It was a very interesting match as Bonanza had corrected all its flaws Watanabe had discovered when preparing himself for the game using older game records. Watanabe commented after the game that he should have lost if Bonanza had played a defensive move before entering the endgame. This time, however, the computer choose to attack immediately instead of taking its time (and using its awesome endgame ability) which cost it the match. Bonanza resigned after move 112. This game can be looked at as a clear example that computer Shogi, although still not perfect, has reached top pro level.


The Nintendo DS title Clubhouse Games includes Shogi as an unlockable game. NDS redirects here. ... Clubhouse Games ), 42 All-Time Classics in Europe [1], is a compilation video game consisting of card, board, and parlor games developed by Agenda and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS handheld video game console. ...


Sources

  1. ^ Hitoshi Matsubara, Reijer Grimbergen. "Differences between Shogi and western Chess from a computational point of view". Proceedings: Board Games in Academia. 
  2. ^ Jonathan Schaeffer, Martin Müller, Yngvi Björnsson (2003). Computers and games: third international conference, CG 2002, Edmonton, Canada, July 25-27, 2002: revised papers. Springer, 175. 
  3. ^ Ito Takeshi, Matsubara Hitoshi, R. Grimbergen (2004). "A Cognitive Science Approach to Shogi Playing Processes (2)-Some Results on Next Move Test Experiments". Transactions of Information Processing Society of Japan 45 (5): 1481-1492. 

is the 260th day of the year (261st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Shogi literature in English

  • SHOGI Magazine (70 issues, January 1976 - November 1987) by The Shogi Association (edited by George Hodges)
  • Shogi for Beginners (1984) by John Fairbairn
  • Guide to Shogi openings: Shogi problems in Japanese and English (1983) by Aono Teruichi, translated by John Fairbairn
  • Better Moves for Better Shogi (1983) by Aono Teruichi, translated by John Fairbairn
  • The Art of Shogi (1997) by Tony Hosking
  • Habu's Words (2000) by Habu Yoshiharu, translated by Takahashi Yamato and Tony Hosking

John Fairbairn, born Newcastle upon Tyne, lives in London where he works as a political journalist, author and translator. ... John Fairbairn, born Newcastle upon Tyne, lives in London where he works as a political journalist, author and translator. ... John Fairbairn, born Newcastle upon Tyne, lives in London where he works as a political journalist, author and translator. ...

Professional players

  • In Japan, about 200 professional shogi players who are members of Japan Shogi Association have games with each other for seven titles: Meijin (名人), Kisei (棋聖), Ōshō (王将), Ōza (王座), Ōi (王位), Ryūō (竜王) and Kiō (棋王). The winner of previous year will have to defend the title from the challenger chosen from knockout or round matches. The latest, most famous champion, Yoshiharu Habu, is said to earn more than US$1,000,000 each year. He is also one of the best chess players in Japan and is ranked with FM level.
  • Current title holders:
2007 65th Meijin: Toshiyuki Moriuchi (won over Masataka Goda 4-3)
2006 19th RyūŌ: Akira Watanabe (won over Yasumitsu Satō 4-3)
2007 78th Kisei: Yasumitsu Satō (won over Akira Watanabe 3-1)
2007 48th Ōi: Koichi Fukaura (won over Yoshiharu Habu 4-3)
2007 55th Ōza: Yoshiharu Habu (won over Toshiaki Kubo 3-0)
2007 56th Ōshō: Yoshiharu Habu (won over Yasumitsu Satō 4-3)
2007 32nd Kiō: Yasumitsu Satō (won over Toshiyuki Moriuchi 3-2)

The United States dollar is the official currency of the United States. ... Habu Yoshiharu (羽生善治, born September 27, 1970) is a professional shogi player. ...

See also

Chu Shogi setup. ... Dai Shōgi (大将棋, large chess) is a board game native to Japan. ... Many variants of shogi have been developed over the years, ranging from some of the largest chess-like games ever played, to some of the smallest. ... A chess variant is a game derived from, related to or similar to chess in at least one respect. ...

Software

  • GNU Shogi
  • Bonanza

GNU Shogi is a free software program by the Free Software Foundation that plays Shogi. ...

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

Image File history File links Commons-logo. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
shogi: Information from Answers.com (7752 words)
Shogi is said to be derived from the game of chaturanga played in ancient India, which spread throughout the continent of Eurasia, developing into a variety of related games.
The oldest archaeological evidence is a group of 16 shogi pieces excavated from the grounds of Kōfuku-ji in Nara Prefecture, and as a wooden writing plaque written on in the sixth year of Tenki (1058) was found at the same time, the pieces are thought to be of the same period.
Heian shogi is the version on which modern shogi is based, but it is written that one wins if one's opponent is reduced to a single king, apparently indicating that at the time there was no concept of pieces in the hand.
Shogi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (7166 words)
The pieces used in these variants of shogi consist of those used in Heian shogi, the king, gold general, silver general, knight, lance and pawn, and those used only in Heian great shogi, the copper general, iron general, side mover, tiger, flying dragon, free chariot and go between.
It is thought that the rules of modern shogi were fixed in the 16th century, when the drunken elephant was removed from the set of pieces.
Shogi is also well-known among the general public (amateurs).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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