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Shōgi is a strategy game of the same family as Xiangqi and Chess, and evolved in Japan. It is played on a 9x9 board.

  • The King moves like in Chess and does not promote.
  • The Gold Generals (each player starts with two) move one square orthogonally or one diagonally forward. They do not promote.
  • The Silver Generals (each player starts with two) move one square diagonally or one forward, like the Bishops in Makruk. They can promote to Gold General in rows 7, 8, or 9.
  • The Knights (each player starts with two) move two squares forward and one to the side. This means they have a maximum of two legal moves, and must promote to Gold General when they reach row 8 or 9. Like the Knights of Chess, they can jump pieces.
  • The Lances (each player starts with two) can move any number of spaces forward, and must promote to Gold General when they reach row 9.
  • The Rook (each player starts with one) moves like in Chess. In rows 7, 8, or 9, it can promote (and move like a Rook or a King)
  • The Bishop (each player starts with one), moves like in Chess. In rows 7, 8, or 9, it can promote (and move like a Bishop or a King)
  • The Pawns (each player starts with nine, and can have a maximum of nine unpromoted in play) move and capture one square forward. They must promote to Gold General when they reach row 9.

Unlike in other games of the Chaturanga family, players can return pieces they captured to the board. Promotable pieces can be promoted at any time in the opponent's home ranks. If a piece is captured, the promotion is undone.


This board game has examples of:

  • Blessed with Suck: You can promote a Silver General, but a Gold General finds it harder to retreat if need be.
  • Gambit Pileup
  • Nerf: The Lances (in the Rooks' places in other games) and Knights are one-way movers.
  • Non-Lethal Warfare
  • Oh Crap/DidntSeeThatComing
  • Serious Business: Full-time professional players compete for big prizes in Japan.
  • The Shogi Master: You, if you're good enough.
  • The Starscream: The challenging King's side moves first.
  • Took a Level In Badass: Promoted pieces.
    • The Gold Generals have more spaces open than their Chaturanga counterparts, most of them orthogonal.
  • Turncoat: Captured pieces switch sides.
  • Expansion Pack: Numerous medieval variants played on increasingly large boards with increasingly baroque rulesets; some involve boards as large as 36x36, with each player controlling hundreds of pieces.
Examples of works featuring shogi:


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