New player from Tampa
Hello just began Shogi. Not off to a good start. I’m having trouble finding the American version of tiles on this site with just the letters. I’m having a lot of trouble figuring out the piece movement and it has caused me to file 2 pawns in a line and lose and also to put my king in check my accident and lose. Any help please.
> Im learning the two kanji pieces...
Good for you!
> ShogiGUI is nice...
It's probably more powerful/flexible than Shogidokoro, but I use the latter simply because of the fact that I've been using it for <mumble> years.
> I need to learn openings so gonna hit up the Hidetchi videos.
Also, type 'shogi opening' into Wikipedia. You will find some discussion of the important linking together of castling and opening (clumsily expressed but I can't think of a better way of expressing it). Your next book might be 'Joseki at a Glance' by Madoka Kitao, available from Nekomado (http://shop.nekomado.com/) or Aobo (http://www.aobo-shop.com/).
Im learning the two kanji pieces. I figure If I know that Ill know the one kanji..best of both worlds. Shogigui is nice! very helpful especially when reading. I need to learn openings so gonna hit up the Hidetchi videos.
> ...I watched that video it was good and I was able to follow the Kanji pieces as the game played out...
> ...I see the one kanji pieces are not the same as the pieces they used in the video. How many different kanji variations are there?
> And which one should I learn to use. I'm assuming the one kanji if I'm gonna be playing mostly here?
Shogi pieces traditionally have two kanji, but the pieces can (usually) be unambiguously identified using only the upper kanji, so these single-kanji pieces are (usually) used in diagrams. To make it easier for new players, sets are available with only one kanji. I don't think you'll suffer if you buy a set with single-kanji.
The Shogidokoro program (mentioned in an earlier post) has the option to use single-kanji pieces (not sure about ShogiGUI).
There are many styles of kanji. The Hidetchi video 'Shogi Pieces as Arts and Crafts' (no. 39 in the series) deals with the different styles, and there's a useful webpage/blog article which describes several different forms at:
There is a D.I.Y. Shogi set which includes single-kanji pieces at: https://www.dropbox.com/s/6l8gkyf45mo622p/DIY%20Shogi%20set.pdf?dl=0
Very helpful capt. I watched that video it was good and I was able to follow the Kanji pieces as the game played out. They didn't have much promotion so didn't see all of them.
So when I went back to the online games on this site I see the one kanji pieces are not the same as the pieces they used in the video. How many different kanji variations are there? And which one should I learn to use. I'm assuming the one kanji if I'm gonna be playing mostly here?
> ...Ive been trying to get my king in the corner and getting eaten up in the long process...
Precisely! In (probably over-)simplistic terms, the castling process should be short enough to allow you time to start building an attack, while at the same time allowing you to create a secure refuge for the King - but leaving an escape route if the castle is broken into, and the King threatened. A delicate balance...
Since the Leggett book was written, the King-in-the-corner castle (Anaguma) became more popular, but (I think) it's popularity has declined in recent years(?) - whatever, it's still a fairly specialised approach. The three books I recommend all deal with castles at an introductory (but useful) level.
For starters, you could do worse than look at the Yagura and Mino castles. Look 'em up on Wikipedia (type 'shogi castle' in the search box).
Others more qualified than me may care to comment.
I hope I'll be able to add a document dealing with castles to the archive in the near future.
Wow, Ive been trying to get my king in the corner and getting eaten up in the long process. Ok thanks for such great advice. It is appreciated!! Gonna start on that video tonight.
> captbirdseye , Actually the Cherokee came from Russia : )
There you go!
> But for real thank you for the detailed response. I will take your advice and play with the traditional tiles until I learn them. I did
> buy a book and started to read it as I play. Its a trevor Leggett book called the game of shogi. Ill read the others you mentioned
> as well. Thanks again for the response and for the direction as well as the links. Lots to absorb.
OK. This is really serious advice. RUN (do not walk) to your nearest waste-paper basket and drop the Leggett book into it. The book has lousy diagrams (*). If you are using this book, I'm not surprised if you are confused!
The book makes (almost) no attempt to present the promoted pieces in their proper form, merely complicating already appalling diagrams by adding a circle round the piece (from memory). In the only case I can remember where a promoted piece was shown 'properly', they got it wrong, showing a promoted Pawn instead of a promoted Lance (I'm doing this from memory, so I may have got the detail wrong).
The book also contains errors in the rules.
Here is part of what I said in a thread on another Shogi forum recently:
...the book is poor and contains errors. This is true of both the 1st and the (un-necessarily re-titled) 2nd editions. There seems to have been very little (if any) editing/updating of the text before publishing the 2nd edition. I guess the publishers thought that by mindlessly re-gurgitating a 40 year old text as a Kindle e-book, they could make 'loadsacash'. How foolish.
In some detail, the book suffers from three major shortcomings:
1) The diagrams are awful.
2) The notation/recording system is cumbersome and clumsy. It does not correspond (as far as I am aware) to any recording system in current use.
3) There are 'errors' in the body of the text. Examples:
a) "...[the King] nearly always stays in the corners..." If this is meant literally, it is wrong (and how else are we meant to take it?). I have just looked at diagrams of well over 100 Shogi castles and variants. In only 5 was the King in either of the corners (1i or 9i from Sente's point of view). It would seem therefore, that in fact, the King nearly always stays away from the corners... (1st ed. p. 14)
b) "...When the Pawn crosses the far promotion line, he is always promoted to a Gold...". (my italics) Just plain wrong. (1st ed. p. 21)
c) "...So you always promote Rooks and Bishops when you can, because you lose nothing and their powers increase...". (my italics) Misleading - there are situations (usually in the end-game?) where it may well be tactically advantageous not to promote the Rook or Bishop. (1st ed. p.27)
Somewhat speculatively, I will add that whilst playing according to the above criteria is not against the rules, anyone playing in this fashion is more likely to lose a game than if they played in a more 'approved' style?...
The thread concerned is on Reddit: https://old.reddit.com/r/shogi/comments/9gyl7d/shogi_and_western_chess_trevor_leggett_adhyatma/
The owners of the copyright (some Buddhist outfit in the U.K.) tried to peddle this book on the forum, and when I pointed out that it was a poor book, they tried to a) patronise me; b) bullshit me about how Leggett was a Shogi master, etc. When I pointed up the errors, they went very quiet. I rest my case, but this book also received a highly critical review in Shogi magazine back in the '70s/'80s.
You can find a short (free) 'Introduction to Shogi' on Eric Cheymol's web pages: http://eric.macshogi.com/. You will also find a copy at: https://tinyurl.com/RogersShogiArchive
(*)You will not find these diagrams anywhere else, except in one other book, the author of which, I believe may have pirated Leggett's diagrams - he certainly pirated at least one of mine...
captbirdseye , Actually the Cherokee came from Russia : )
But for real thank you for the detailed response. I will take your advice and play with the traditional tiles until I learn them. I did buy a book and started to read it as I play. Its a trevor Leggett book called the game of shogi. Ill read the others you mentioned as well. Thanks again for the response and for the direction as well as the links. Lots to absorb.
> Hello just began Shogi. Not off to a good start. I’m having trouble finding the American version of tiles on this site with just
> the letters. I’m having a lot of trouble figuring out the piece movement and it has caused me to file 2 pawns in a line and lose and
> also to put my king in check my accident and lose. Any help please.
The alphabet to which you are referring (I presume) is not 'American', and is used by quite a few folks outside North America. Such pieces are usually called 'International' or 'Western'. There are approximately a dozen such alternatives, some involving 'pictures' rather than 'letters', so which one are you (not) looking at? Or, maybe you are referring to the Cherokee or Inuit alphabets, which are 'American'?
OK, joke over. Using Westernised pieces is very confusing, as there are several alternatives. What do you do if the guy who rocks up to play against you is using a different set to the one you are using?
If you are having trouble learning the moves, look at this excellent video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=At6KWe7bCbg
It's about 45 minutes long, and explains the moves, and hints at some basic Shogi strategies at a level suitable for a new player. The presenters also use traditional pieces - because (as they say) it's more fun that way! I wouldn't disagree (I loathe these 'alternative' sets).
The video also points to Hidetchi's very popular series of (I think) 40 videos, which cover many aspects of the game at an introductory level - highly recommended.
As far as pieces are concerned, I would seriously recommend that you persevere with the traditional pieces with kanji on them. First, as the presenters of the video say, it's more fun. Secondly, if you are at all 'serious'(*) about the game, as soon as you get beyond the first (say) 4 moves of one of the openings, you are going to need to do a little background studying. I'm not aware of any book which uses anything other than representations of traditional pieces, so you are stuffed right at the start - there is no literature...
Buy a book. One of the three below:
'Shogi for Beginners', John Fairbairn, The Ishi Press, 1989, 487187201-7.
'4 Great Games', Tony Hosking, The Shogi Foundation, 1998, 09531089 1 0.
'The Art of Shogi', Tony Hosking, The Shogi Foundation, March 1997.
'Shogi for Beginners' is possibly the best starting point (though some folks think it is a little too basic). Don't pay over the odds for this (or any of these) book - there are some plain silly prices being asked on the internet, but it can still be found at a reasonable price at the Aobo Shop (http://www.aobo-shop.com/) and one or two other places (maybe Angela Hodges - george dot hodges at talk21 dot com). I repeat, DON'T pay over the odds for any of these - there are some real robbers in the 2nd-hand/out-of-print book market!!!
'The Art of Shogi' is regarded by some as better than 'Shogi for Beginners' - this may well be true! '4 Great Games' is a short introduction to Shogi, Xiangqi, Go and Chess. Both available direct from the author, Tony Hosking (http://www.shogifoundation.co.uk/).
You could also consider installing Shogidokoro (https://www.techsupportalert.com/content/shogidokoro.htm-0) or ShogiGUI (http://shogigui.siganus.com/)(**) on your machine. Both of these stand-alone Shogi programs include an option to use 'Western' pieces, though I would strongly recommend sticking with the traditional Japanese pieces. You can play against yourself, or against the machine, and the programs won't allow you to make illegal moves. If you elect to install one of these programs, and have problems firing them up, ask here, and I will try and sort it out for you...
Finally, if you haven't already done so, buy a 'real' Shogi set - if you look around, you can find reasonably priced sets.
(*) When I say 'serious', I mean 'interested enough to do a little background study'.
(**) English language installation instructions at: http://shogibond.nl/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/GUI-Introduction.pdf
So looks like there is not western style piece option. Time to learn japanese lol.