Shogi game (picture by Andre Engels)

Shogi

Shogi is a Japanese variant of chess. Shogi was present in current form in the 16th century, so it's a pretty old game. It resembles Western chess perhaps a bit more than xiangqi, but has some pecularities. In general, shogi pieces are pretty slow, so the game begins very slowly. Things get heated and attrition never bites like in Western chess, because once you capture a piece, you can drop in on the board and it becomes your piece. This small change makes a huge difference.



YMI Wooden Shogi Japanese Chess Game Pieces English Manual Board
YMI Wooden Shogi Japanese Chess Game Pieces English Manual Board
$7.99
Time Remaining: 20d 20h 54m
Buy It Now for only: $7.99

KUMON Study SHOGIJapanese Chess Board wood koma pieces SET
KUMON Study SHOGIJapanese Chess Board wood koma pieces SET
$47.99
Time Remaining: 14d 15h 59m
Buy It Now for only: $47.99

Japanese Chess Shogi 8 foldable magnetic mini board
Japanese Chess Shogi 8 foldable magnetic mini board
$10.99
Time Remaining: 13d 18h 48m
Buy It Now for only: $10.99

Wooden Shogi Game Set Japanese Chess w Folding Board
Wooden Shogi Game Set Japanese Chess w Folding Board
$41.13
Time Remaining: 25d 1h 31m
Buy It Now for only: $41.13

JAPAN JAPANESE Chess SHOGI Wood Koma Piece with Box
JAPAN JAPANESE Chess SHOGI Wood Koma Piece with Box
$21.97
Time Remaining: 26d 6h 33m
Buy It Now for only: $21.97

Wooden Shogi Japanese Chess Table w Drawers and Chessmen Game Set New
Wooden Shogi Japanese Chess Table w Drawers and Chessmen Game Set New
$42.96
Time Remaining: 26d 19h 12m
Buy It Now for only: $42.96

SHOGI JAPANESE CHESS PROFESSIONAL QUALITY PIECES FOLDING LAMINATE BOARD670
SHOGI JAPANESE CHESS PROFESSIONAL QUALITY PIECES FOLDING LAMINATE BOARD670
$55.00
Time Remaining: 28d 10h 42m
Buy It Now for only: $55.00

NINTENDO JAPANESE SHOGI Wood Board size5 from JAPAN
NINTENDO JAPANESE SHOGI Wood Board size5 from JAPAN
$25.64
Time Remaining: 27d 7h 58m
Buy It Now for only: $25.64

HANAYAMA JAPANESE SHOGI Plastic Koma Board SET from JAPAN
HANAYAMA JAPANESE SHOGI Plastic Koma Board SET from JAPAN
$17.09
Time Remaining: 6d 11h 45m
Buy It Now for only: $17.09

JAPANESE SHOGI wood Koma pieces with Box from Japan
JAPANESE SHOGI wood Koma pieces with Box from Japan
$24.05
Time Remaining: 29d 5h 20m
Buy It Now for only: $24.05

Travel Magnetic Shogi Set
Travel Magnetic Shogi Set
$15.54
Time Remaining: 12d 8h 55m
Buy It Now for only: $15.54

Shogi  Chess magnetic pieces 2 in 1 foldable board
Shogi Chess magnetic pieces 2 in 1 foldable board
$32.99
Time Remaining: 4d 14h 56m
Buy It Now for only: $32.99

New Bell SHOGI Japanese chess Japan import
New Bell SHOGI Japanese chess Japan import
$3.50
Time Remaining: 12d 13h 27m
Buy It Now for only: $3.50

New Japanese Chess Shogi Set Board  Wooden Koma Piece with Box
New Japanese Chess Shogi Set Board Wooden Koma Piece with Box
$64.99
Time Remaining: 24d 14h 53m
Buy It Now for only: $64.99

Travel Magnetic Shogi Folding Portable Set Japanese Chess
Travel Magnetic Shogi Folding Portable Set Japanese Chess
$9.99
Time Remaining: 22d 23h 11m
Buy It Now for only: $9.99



« Previous1234567

Since both players can use the same pieces, shogi pieces aren't color-coded like chess pieces. The pieces lie flat on the board, with a pointed edge showing who controls them. They are double-sided, too, since all pieces can be promoted to better pieces on the opponent's end of the board.

Both players have 20 pieces and the board is 9 x 9, so the game is a bit larger than chess. However, this is not the largest version of shogi: largest known shogi game, taikyoku shogi, was played on 36 x 36 board. Each player has 402 pieces, 209 different types of pieces and 253 different ways to move the pieces. We can only assume the game was created by people with extraordinary amounts of free time. Smallest shogi game is dobutsu shogi, played on a 3 x 4 board. Tori shogi, played on a 7 x 7 board, is one of the most popular variants.

There are some Western shogi sets available. Most shogi sets, however, use Japanese calligraphy to mark the pieces. That's a bit of a barrier for most Western folks and the game may seem incredibly difficult to learn. It is not, but it takes some patience and dedication. Shogi, particularly with Japanese pieces, is not a game you can play casually every now and then, it takes dedicated players willing to put some effort into it. However, effort is rewarded, as shogi is a pleasing game and refreshing change to Western chess.

Most cheap Japanese shogi sets are actually pretty nice, with wooden pieces and clever wooden boards. The board is thin wood, placed on top of supporting pieces, so that there's hollow space beneath the board. That means the pieces make a really nice sound when they are placed on the board. Simple , but clever!