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Shogi» Forums » News

Subject: 9-square Shogi great way to enter the convoluted world of Japanese chess rss

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Manabu Terao
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http://en.rocketnews24.com/2016/08/29/9-square-shogi-great-w...

News about a new product in shogi world.
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TPoG
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ISBN: 1-85723-146-5
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Thanks for the info.
Looks very interesting!
Is 9-Masu Shogi at sale anywhere in Europe?
I only found it at Amazon Japan.
 
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Russ Williams
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We just saw a presentation about this at the European Shogi Championship in Amsterdam; it was interesting & surprising how difficult some of the "simple" 3x3 positions are! Teruichi Aono showed some easy positions first, suitable for teaching new players basic tactics, and then showed some sneaky hard ones.
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FortyRock
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@TPoG

Don't know if it's better than Amazon, but the Shogi federation's shop on Rakuten also sells it: http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/shogi/item/151229/


I watched some videos and the click on the board makes me think the board isn't made of out of paper or cardboard. Does anyone know if the board is plastic or wood?
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TPoG
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ISBN: 1-85723-146-5
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Thank you for the link.
The board is 2mm thick. Rather thin for a piece of wood...
Now the real question is if instructions are available in English (or Danish ). Probably not more complicated than Google translate can take care of but still better to have an English version.
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David Bush
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So, where can I see some puzzles please? The sneaky hard ones especially.
 
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Russ Williams
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We are hoping they will make the various starting positions downloadable somewhere (since the primary purpose of this is helping promote/teach Shogi, not to make profit selling the physical kits), but I don't know if that will happen.
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Chris Schumann
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Here's a capture of a frame showing 32 of them. Kinda fuzzy, but maybe someone could decipher it.
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FortyRock
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yeah, 2mm is rather thin...Regardless, ordered one from Rakuten (if there is one thing I'm obsessed with, it's Shogi).

Hopefully someone like Nekomado picks it up and makes a customer one, like they have done with the other smaller variants. (OT: I have the feeling that her business isn't as strong as it was a few years ago, as she hasn't been offering the finer pieces for some time).


(also submitted an entry to the BGG game database)
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TPoG
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lajaro wrote:
yeah, 2mm is rather thin...Regardless, ordered one from Rakuten

Also submitted an entry to the BGG game database

Excellent! Looking forward to hear how you find the set.


lajaro wrote:
Hopefully someone like Nekomado picks it up and makes a customer one, like they have done with the other smaller variants.

I hope on that too.

lajaro wrote:
(if there is one thing I'm obsessed with, it's Shogi).

Have you looked into some of the larger variants too? Could recommend some of these.

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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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lajaro wrote:
Hopefully someone like Nekomado picks it up and makes a customer one, like they have done with the other smaller variants.

That would be nice, but I'm not entirely sure it's necessary when Let's Catch the Lion! is already available. Let's Catch the Lion! is a beautifully produced little set for playing 12-square shogi, employing only 4 pieces per side.

I've purchased multiple copies (I have grandchildren) and having played it dozens of times I'm having trouble imagining the benefits of reducing the Shogi footprint still further. Not having seen the 9-square version I can't make a fair comparison, but I'm entirely comfortable recommending Let's Catch the Lion! as the perfect intro to Shogi.
ninja
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Russ Williams
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Some significant differences between this and Let's Catch the Lion are:

1. This 3x3 variant is like a set of dozens of different diverse mate problems (starting positions), ranging from very easy (e.g. kings start in opposite corners and you have a gold in hand) to long tricky sequences. Let's Catch the Lion is always the same starting position.

2. This 3x3 variant uses all standard Shogi pieces and movement/promotion rules, whereas Let's Catch the Lion uses only 4 piece types, 2 of which aren't standard Shogi pieces and has some rule differences from standard Shogi.
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The Player of Games wrote:
lajaro wrote:
(if there is one thing I'm obsessed with, it's Shogi).

Have you looked into some of the larger variants too? Could recommend some of these.


Sure I'd love some recommendations (including sources).

I was contemplating a chu-shogi set, but would want engraved pieces and the ones on Nekomado seemed a little pricy for a painted set.

Otherwise, I've been focussing on the 9x9 and smaller so far - notably, Dobutsu Shogi, Goro-Goro (Dobutsu and traditional), Mini-Shogi & Kyoto-Shogi.


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Sphere wrote:
lajaro wrote:
Hopefully someone like Nekomado picks it up and makes a customer one, like they have done with the other smaller variants.

That would be nice, but I'm not entirely sure it's necessary when Let's Catch the Lion! is already available. Let's Catch the Lion! is a beautifully produced little set for playing 12-square shogi, employing only 4 pieces per side.

I've purchased multiple copies (I have grandchildren) and having played it dozens of times I'm having trouble imagining the benefits of reducing the Shogi footprint still further. Not having seen the 9-square version I can't make a fair comparison, but I'm entirely comfortable recommending Let's Catch the Lion! as the perfect intro to Shogi.
ninja


Yes, I have a Dobutsu Shogi (Let's Catch the Lion) set and it's very nice, and easy to recommend!
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TPoG
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lajaro wrote:
Sure I'd love some recommendations (including sources).

Well, as you mentioned, Chu Shogi is the obvious large shogi variant to look at. Then also get the "Middle Shogi Manual" by George Hodges, which is a 119 pages long introduction to Chu Shogi + 227 pages of historical Chu Shogi mating problems.

If you want to take it a step further up, then Tenjiku Shogi is to Chu Shogi like Chu Shogi is to standard shogi. Tenjiku Shogi plays reasonably fast despite its size due the overpowered pieces such as the fire demon. However, the game needs to be played according to the updated rules (see work by Colin P. Adams) as the rules originally put out led to an unbalanced game in favor of the starting player (likely due to an error in the translation into English of the old Japanese rules).

If you are into a more slowgoing game then Wa Shogi is to be considered.

Finally, for a strange, slightly-smaller-than-standard-shogi variant Tori Shogi is to be recommended.

All the variants were produced and sold by George Hodges of The Shogi Association. George Hodges died august 2010. However, his widow Angela Hodges still sells the games, I think.

I guess she can be reached by geekmail to:
George Hodges
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The TSA/George Hodges sets are made of stamped plastic pieces which have the feel of engraved wood to some degree. See pictures of the sets at the respective games here at BGG.
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FortyRock
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Excellent - thanks. We should probably start another thread for the follow up to avoid going off topic any further
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Mike Fogus
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The Player of Games wrote:
Then also get the "Middle Shogi Manual" by George Hodges, which is a 119 pages long introduction to Chu Shogi + 227 pages of historical Chu Shogi mating problems.


Any pointers on tracking down this book outside of contacting the widow Hodges? I tried the obvious sources and couldn't find copy nor how to acquire one on the secondary market.
 
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TPoG
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fogus wrote:
The Player of Games wrote:
Then also get the "Middle Shogi Manual" by George Hodges, which is a 119 pages long introduction to Chu Shogi + 227 pages of historical Chu Shogi mating problems.


Any pointers on tracking down this book outside of contacting the widow Hodges? I tried the obvious sources and couldn't find copy nor how to acquire one on the secondary market.


No. I think the only way to get it is from Angela Hodges. It is sold as a digital copy (on a CD) for yourself to print. However, it is considered THE reference in English on Chu Shogi and a great read. Describes handicap system for the game as well as a number of complete games to play through.
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Manabu Terao
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I found an iOS application of it. It's designed for human vs human. No capability to play with bot. Too many advertisements. The specification of this application requires you to play it until either of the King captured, not until it is checkmated. http://www.148apps.com/app/1149962591/
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TPoG
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takodori wrote:
I found an iOS application of it. It's designed for human vs human. No capability to play with bot. Too many advertisements. The specification of this application requires you to play it until either of the King captured, not until it is checkmated. http://www.148apps.com/app/1149962591/


And downloaded.

Free, published yesterday (Sep. 5), annoying advertisement popups, no AI, and in Japanese.
Still interesting.
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The Player of Games wrote:
lajaro wrote:
yeah, 2mm is rather thin...Regardless, ordered one from Rakuten

Also submitted an entry to the BGG game database

Excellent! Looking forward to hear how you find the set.


I received my copy today after ordering from the Japan Shogi Association's shop on Rakuten. Took exactly one week to get to my doorstep using their default shipping method.

As with other shipments from their shop, the packing was simple, yet tidy and sufficient. Box came in a neatly-taped layer of bubble wrap.

The box is sturdy - similar to the Dobutsu shogi games I've received.

Inside are a nicely printed rule book (glossy paper) with good quality boxwood pieces and the board, which was surprising.

It is a plastic or wood board covered both sides with a printed vinyl overlay. It is solid and aesthetically pleasing. I am surprised it is not solid wood, yet I am not disappointed at all.

As with other Shogi orders from Japan, I also included a cotton piece bag in my order. The box might be big enough with some careful arrangement of the bag and pieces inside. But I think I'll keep the pieces loose in the box.

Everything together cost me $65 CAD and I'm not one bit disappointed. While instructions in English would have been nice, it's more reason for me to pursue my Japanese language self-learning further.

EDIT: Minor typo corrections, and a few caveats/acknowledgements:

1 By no means do I consider $65 to be a trivial amount. Shipping was almost as much as the Shogi set and piece bag combined, but was unfortunately a necessary evil.

2. There might be other shipping options (slower/cheaper than the courier service they used. However, I never enquired as communications with the J.S.A via Rakuten are strained enough for non Japanese speakers as it is

3. Pieces appear to be boxwood, but I don't know if they are for certain (aside from the lack of engraving, the wood is of similar quality to the boxwood pieces received from Nekomado).




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