History Of Shogi

The game of Shogi pronounced as “O gi” and rhyming with the Hindu word “yogi” is quite popularly known as Japanese chess. The board game is played with two players, which is very much similar to the Indian chess called “Chaturanga “, or Xiangqi in China and Janggi in Korea.

Shogi is the most popular game of all the chess variants and native to Japan. The Japanese word Shog” is a combination of two separate words , “Sho” which means general’s and “gi” which means board game. In the earlier times however, this game was written same as Xiangqi which means “elephant chess”.

Origin of Shogi

The game of Shogi originated in China in about the 4th century B.C, and further spread out from China by the Tsang Dynasty to Japan, where many variations of the game were introduced. Shogi as it is played in the present days started as early as 16th century.

Shogi Rules

The chess game Shogi is played on a 9 by 9 grid board and each player will have twenty playing pieces to start with. While in chess the playing pieces are placed upright on the board like soldiers, whereas in Shogi, the pieces are placed flat and are wedge shaped, with the pointed ends of the wedge facing forward so that the players can make out their playing pieces.

The grade of a playing piece is evaluated as per size and is represented by Japanese characters tinted on the upper face. When the players advance their playing pieces in the 7th, 8th or 9th line on the board it may be possible for them to endorse it turning over, depending upon the piece which the player has moved.

Unique Feature of Shogi

The chess players may be surprised to know that the playing pieces can be “dropped” back on board and used by the opponent player. This is one unique feature of this Japanese chess game. As for this reason the playing pieces are not differentiated by colour like in other forms of Chess and GO games.

The game of Shogi has longer time span of play than any other game of chess, as some playing pieces have short moving range and the players prefer to take defensive strategy before the King can be attacked.

In the present days, Shogi has become quite popular not only in Japan but all over China, America and even Europe. If anybody is enthusiastic in playing Chess, he or she might start playing this Chess variation and experience some unique thrills Japanese have introduced in the ancient family of chess.