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  • Japanese Chess; What is Shogi? Shogi Rules, How to Play?
  • Shogi (Japanese chess) is a more complicated, more difficult game than a normal chess game. 9 * 9 = 81 chess pieces played on a square board. The aim is the same as the chess we know, but the opponent’s stones can be used again against the opponent. So the stronger gets stronger but there is also the danger of being checkmate anytime. Chess pieces have the ability to be promoted. Chess pieces are the same color as seen in the pictures below, so they can be distinguished by the direction they look and the patterns on the chess pieces.


  • Shogi, played by 20 million people in Japan today, is the Japanese version of chess. The origin of the game is BC. It is based on the game named Chaturanga which played in 3000 and came to Japan through China in the 7th century. Shogi’s modern style played in the 14th century.


  • Check against the opposite side of the game based on dropping ends with the winning of one of the parties. It is rare that a draw on both sides is statistically equal if the chance of winning is equal.


    Shogi board and pieces

    Shogi board and pieces

  • Even if the Shogi rules are similar to the chess game, it differs from some basic directions. The biggest difference is that the parties can use the chess pieces they receive from the other side in their favor. In this respect the Shogi contains a more complex structure than the chess.


  • Shogi is a popular and popular game in Japan. In good weather it is possible to see people playing outside Shogi. It is also run on Shogi contests and programs on television. Although it is a traditional game, different rules can have different rules.


  • Shogi Boat and Pieces:
  • The vertical column is played on a board with a 9 x 9 square called horizontal row.
  • Two players, Sente “先手” (Black; more literally, person with the first move) and Gote “後手” (White; person with the second move), play on a board composed of rectangles in a grid of 9 ranks (rows) by 9 files (columns).  


  • Columns are numbered from 1 to 9 from right to left. The seats are sorted from top to bottom, starting from a to i. Each square is defined by the corresponding number and letter of the column and the sequence.
  • Each player has 20 chess pieces at the beginning of the game.
  • The pieces from largest (most important) to smallest (least important) are:
  • 1 king
  • 1 rook
  • 1 bishop
  • 2 gold generals
  • 2 silver generals
  • 2 knights
  • 2 lances
  • 9 pawns




  • Shogi pieces are usually wood or white plastic and all have the same irregular pentagon.
  • All shogi pieces except check and gold have only Chinese signs on one side. Check and Gold are Chinese symbols on both sides.
  • All the pieces are of the same color and the identification of the piece belongs to the direction of the Chinese signs.
  • In Shogi, Rook and Bishop are large chess pieces, and all chess pieces except Check are small chess pieces.






  • Shogi Pieces:
  • There are pawns in the first row of chess pieces on the board, Bishop on the second square on the left, and Rook on the second square on the right.


  • King (Osho): It is similar to King in Western chess. This chess piece can not move over a square that is controlled by the opponent’s player, but with a circumstance where you go to a square in every direction around it.


  • Gold general (Kinsho): It is also taken as Gold for short. This piece; The three chariots in front move in six different ways, right, left, and back. Gold general will not be promoted.


  • Silver general (Ginsho): Also known as Silver. This chess piece; Three squares in the front, or two backsides in a single square. When a silver general is promoted he takes the name ‘Rising Silver or Promoted silver’ and can only make moves of the gold general.


  • Knight (Knight): Knight moves one frame forward, then one frame to the right or left crosswise (L-shaped). It is the only chess piece that jumps over the chess pieces in front. When the horse is promoted, “Rising Knight or cassia horse” takes its name. The Cassia horse can only make the moves of the gold general.


  • Lance (Kyosha): Lance just moves forward, never backward. Skips the desired number of frames until the block is blocked by another stone. When Lance is promoted, he takes the name “Rising Spear – incense chariot” and acts like Gold.


  • Pawn (Fuhyo): The pawn moves forward only one square. When promoted, he takes the name “Rising pawn – foot soldier” and acts like Gold. Just as this chess piece is in the west chess, it can not advance two frames at the beginning and the rival does not have the right to cross the chess piece.



  • Rook (Hisha): It can move forward to the desired number of blocks. When Rook gets promoted, he is called “Flying chariot” or “Dragon King”. In addition to Rook’s moves, he gets the King’s ability to move after he has been promoted.


  • Bishop (Kakugyo): As long as there are no obstacles, you can go as many frames as you want in any direction. When promoted, “Rising Bishop or angle mover” takes its name and in addition to Bishop’s movements, King also has the ability to move.
English name Image Kanji Rōmaji Meaning Abbreviations Betza notation
(higher ranked player or reigning champion)
Reigning king 王將 ōshō king general K ō K
(lower ranked player or challenger)
Challenging king 玉將 gyokushō jeweled general K gyoku K
Rook Rook 飛車 hisha flying chariot R hi R
Promoted rook
Promoted rook 龍王 ryūō dragon king +R  or竜* ryū FR
Bishop Bishop 角行 kakugyō angle mover B kaku B
Promoted bishop
Promoted bishop 龍馬 ryūma orryume dragon horse +B uma WB
Gold general
Gold general 金將 kinshō gold general G kin WfF
Silver general
Silver general 銀將 ginshō silver general S gin FfW
Promoted silver Promoted silver 成銀 narigin promoted silver +S (全) WfF
Knight Knight 桂馬 keima cassia horse N kei ffN
Promoted knight Promoted knight 成桂 narikei promoted cassia +N (圭 or今) WfF
Lance Lance 香車 kyōsha incensechariot L kyō fR
Promoted lance Promoted lance 成香 narikyō promoted incense +L (杏 or仝) WfF
Pawn Pawn 歩兵 fuhyō foot soldier P fu fW
Promoted pawn
Promoted pawn と金 tokin reaches gold +P と (or个) to WfF


  • A Crucial Issue About Shogi
  • – The game is won by CheckMate but it is forbidden to take continuous check. The player in such a situation must change the game.
  • – When one of the players brings his own chess piece to a square occupied by his opponent, he can take the opponent’s chess piece from the deck and use it at any time.
Author: wik Date: 9:22 pm
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