Shogi and Shogi variants
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Shōgi - The Game of Generals
Japan’s take on Chess.

This is a list of my Shogi sets and Shogi variants. The original purpose of the list was to help myself getting organized Shogiwise. However, the list has been growing to a level where I might as well make it public. Thus, here you go. Feel free to read on if you are interested in Shogi variants.

Background
I first read about Shogi as a kid in the Danish edition of the wonderfully illustrated Games of the World (same place I also learned about Go). Shogi is distinctly different from Chess as the board is 9x9 and not checkered, and the pieces are flat and wedge-shaped, all in one color, with the orientation of the piece indicating who owns the piece (the pointy end towards the opponent). The type of piece is indicated by Chinese characters (kanji) on the pieces and guided by their size - more valuable pieces being gradually bigger than less powerful pieces (King is biggest and Pawns smallest). Thus, the visual appearance of Shogi is very different from that of Chess.

When playing, Shogi has some unique differences from most Chess variants:
1) Most pieces may promote - not only the Pawns - and promotion happens on the seventh rank (i.e. not on the last rank). Promotion is indicated by flipping the piece over. The name of the promoted piece is written in different style (like “italics kanji”) and in many sets in red (in contrast to black on the unpromoted side).
2) Compared to Chess pieces, most of the Shogi pieces only have limited movement abilities - Gold and Silver generals each have a ‘crippled Kings move’ (one move in any direction except diagonally backwards, or except to the sides or directly backwards, respectively), the Knight can only jump in forward directions, and the Lance moves like a Rook but only forward towards the opponent.
3) Most uniquely, in Shogi a captured piece is truly captured, not killed like in Chess, and turns side, entering the reserve pool of the capturing player. Thus, the player may, instead of a move, drop a captured piece (unpromoted side up) on an empty square at the board as a piece of their own - like a paratrooper. Thus, standard Shogi is an eternal midgame where the total number of pieces in play is more or less constant. The board never empties like in Chess. The drop rule created modern (standard) Shogi, but is not present in the older Shogi variants.

I got my first Shogi set (wooden, hand-painted pieces and a nice wooden folding board) ~25 years ago at a local Asian-themed city festival. The game was the only expensive item in a small street booth selling a zillion small and inexpensive Asian items. I liked (and still like) the game more than Chess despite I am better at playing Chess, and it has been difficult to get the game to the table due to lack of opponents.

I have read a reasonable amount about Chess variants (of which the Shogi variants form a subset). Many Chess variants have been invented just to disappear into oblivion again. Interestingly, a number of classical Shogi variants were invented and played for hundreds of years. The variants can be seen as a game system where the same pieces are reused in increasingly more advanced games with larger boards and more pieces. Thus, one can easily draw parallels to modern board games where numerous expansions and updated versions strive to make great games even more awesome.

In 2010 I stumbled over references to George Hodges and his remarkable efforts to promote Shogi in the West through The Shogi Association (TSA), which he founded in 1975, and by publishing the magazine Shogi from 1976 to 1987. Especially, I learned that Mr. Hodges produced and sold a number of the old and large Shogi variants. Alas, when I tried to contact Mr. Hodges to order a Chu Shogi set, I learned that he passed away earlier the very same month (Aug 2010)! The widow of Mr. Hodges, Ms. Angela Hodges, has continued selling the various Shogi sets. Long story short: I ended up buying one of each from her:

From gallery of The Player of Games


What I miss the most in my Shogi collection is a nice thick wooden shogiban (board), matching komadai (small side tables for the captured pieces), and a set of nicely engraved koma (pieces). In addition, a wooden, engraved Chu Shogi set would be a pleasant add-on.

Shogi Timeline
1059 Date of earliest known Shogi pieces
~1106 ”Modern” Xiangqi
~1120 Heian Shōgi ("Heian Era Small Shogi") [8×8/9×8]
~1120 Heian Dai Shōgi ("Heian Era Large Shogi") [13×13]

~1230 Dai Shōgi ("Large Shogi") [15×15]
~1300 Chū Shōgi ("Middle Shogi") [12×12]
~1450 Shō Shōgi ("Small Shogi") [9×9]
~1475 ”Modern” European Chess
~1500 Dai Dai Shōgi ("Huge Shogi") [17×17]
~1500 Maka Dai Dai Shōgi ("Ultra-huge Shogi") [19×19]
~1500 Tai Shōgi ("Grand Shogi") [25×25]
~1550 Tenjiku Shōgi ("Exotic Shogi") [16×16]
~1550 Taikyoku Shōgi ("Ultimate Shogi") [36×36]
~1587 Shōgi ("Modern, present-day Shogi") [9×9]
1612 Start of the Meijin Institution
~1650 Wa Sōgi ("Harmony Shogi") [11×11]
1799 Tori Shōgi ("Bird Shogi") [7×7]
1924 The Japan Shogi Association founded
1970 Mini Shogi [5×5]
1975 TSA (The Shogi Association) founded
1976 Westernized Shogi set [9×9]
1976 Kyōto Shōgi [5×5]
1982 Micro Shogi/Poppy Shogi [4×5]
1995 Yonin Shogi ("Four-Handed Shogi") [9×9]
1998 Judkins Shogi [6×6]
2005 Hishigata Shōgi ("Diamond Shaped Shogi") [19×19]
2008 Dōbutsu Shōgi ("Animal Shogi") [3×4]
2010 Dobutsu Shogi in the Greenwood [9×9]
2012 Goro-Goro Dōbutsu Shōgi ("5-6 Shogi") [5×6]
2018 Roku-Roku Shōgi ("6-6 Shogi") [6×6]


Publication / invention / design year (not time of first mention) is uncertain for most of the old variants.
This is not intended to be a complete list.
I do not own physical sets for the games in italic.
Approximate years of origin for present-day Xiangqi and Chess are listed too as references. Early Xiangqi dates back to at least 762. Shogi is very likely inspired by / developed from Xiangqi. In contrast, Chess originates from the Arab Shatranj, which again probably originated from the Persian Chatrang, that may originate from the ancient Indian game Chaturanga. How Chaturanga and Chatrang relate to the earliest versions of Xiangqi is currently unclear - they are influenced by each other but the direction and timing of influence is not certain.

Main References:
The TSA rules pamphlets for each of the TSA shogi sets.
The Middle Shogi Manual. George Hodges, 2002 (updated April 2005), CD-ROM version.
Ten Shogi Variants. George Hodges, March 2002, CD-ROM version.
Shogi - issue 1-70 (Jan 1978 - Nov 1987)
Wikipedia's pages for Shogi variants
Jean-Louis Cazaux's Shogi variant pages
A World of Chess. Its Development and Variations through Centuries and Civilizations. Jean-Louis Cazaux & Rick Knowlton, 2017, ISBN: 978-0-7864-9427-9
The Chess Variants' Shogi pages
H.G. Muller's pages about Shogi variants at: http://hgm.nubati.net/ containing info about his mnemonic piece symbols and info about the large variants such as Tenjiku Shogi.

Further explanation to the geeklist
In the size-sorted game entries below: “Pieces/player” is the number of physical pieces for one player (would be 16 for Chess) - thus the total number of pieces in the game is twice this number; “Different pieces” is the number of physical distinct pieces (would be six for Chess); “Different names” refers to the different kanji characters appearing on the pieces (such as Gold General, Dragon King (Promoted Rook), Tokin, Promoted Lance, etc.) - the more names the harder to learn; “Different moves” refer to distinct movement patterns (e.g. Gold, Promoted Silver, Promoted Knight, Promoted Lance, and Tokin all move the same). Thus, the four Gold Generals and 18 Pawns total in standard Shogi count as 11 Pieces/player, 2 Different pieces, 3 Different names (Gold/-, Pawn/Tokin), 2 Different moves.

Also, all of the photos below (including the thumbnails) have been shot by myself and in total they have been rather time consuming to generate. Some photos are better than others. However, the goal is to give the viewer a feel for the games and their components. If you like a picture, please thumb the original. The movement diagrams are originally from Steve Evans' Shogivar program.

Rules concerns
Evidently, the rules for modern Shogi as well as all the newer Shogi variants are well known and documented. For Sho Shogi, Chu Shogi, and Dai Shogi, which were all widely played in ancient times, the rules are well-known too. For Chu Shogi records of classical games are preserved as well as examples of handicap system and a large number of Chu Shogi problems (like modern mating problems of Chess). Likewise, Tori Shogi is well described with classical game records and handicap system. For the rest of the classical, old Shogi variants there may be some unknowns in the rules. Western sources are influenced by the TSA/George Hodges rules pamphlets, which I got with my games. Online implementations seems to follow these. However, Wikipedia currently (Oct 2019) lists a number of (minor) rules controversies comparing the TSA (Western) rules to those listed in the Japanese version of Wikipedia. The latter supposedly written by modern Japanese experts and researchers of the old Shogi variants. It is my understanding that these disagreements are due to translation errors, discrepancies between the limited number of historical sources, and discoveries of historical sources (i.e. unearthed old texts describing the games). Where appropriate, I mention these rules uncertainties for each game below. Red text indicates a version of a rule that I find unlikely to apply as it is uncertain or inconsistent across the rules of the other Shogi variants. Of the many Shogi variant games I own, rules issues apply to five: Wa Shogi (drop vs. no drop), Tenjiku Shogi, Dai-Dai Shogi, Maka Dai-Dai Shogi, and Tai Shogi.

Notice, while Navia Dratp is inspired by Shogi, it is not a Shogi variant in this list. However, it is a great and unusual modern Chess variant, which I enjoy too.
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1. Board Game: Let's Catch the Lion! [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:3837]
Board Game: Let's Catch the Lion!
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Dōbutsu Shōgi ("Animal Shogi")

Pub. year: 2008
Board size: 3×4
Pcs./player: 4
Diff. pieces: 4
Diff. names: 5
Diff. moves: 5
Drops: Yes*
Promotion: At the 4th rank (last rank)

Features: Smallest playable Shogi
Designer: Madoka Kitao
Publisher: Gentosha Education
Wikipedia: Dōbutsu Shōgi


Notes:
*Two Chicks (Pawns) in a column as well as immediate checkmate by Chick drop is allowed.
Alternate win condition: Instead of checkmating the opponent’s Lion (King) a player can win by reaching the fourth rank with the Lion without being in check (i.e. being able to escape beyond the end of the board in the next move).
The game includes five out of the ten movement patterns of standard Shogi. However, Elephant (Bishop) and Giraffe (Rook) are only allowed to move one step at a time and do not promote in this small variant. This animal-themed, pastel-colored game was designed by the female professional Shogi player Madoka Kitao to make children interested in Shogi. The game is illustrated by the female professional Shogi player Maiko Fujita. The movement pattern of each piece is indicated on the respective piece.

Board Game: Let's Catch the Lion!

Board Game: Let's Catch the Lion!

Board Game: Let's Catch the Lion!

Board Game: Let's Catch the Lion!


I have three books in English about Dōbutsu Shōgi:

Board Game: Let's Catch the Lion!
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2. Board Game: Microshogi [Average Rating:7.06 Unranked]
Board Game: Microshogi
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Micro Shogi/Poppy Shogi

Pub. year: 1982
Board size: 4×5
Pcs./player: 5
Diff. pieces: 5
Diff. names: 9
Diff. moves: 8
Drops: Yes*
Promotion: Mandatory "flip" at capture

Features: Non-standard pieces**
Designer: Yasuharu Oyama
Publisher: TSA - George Hodges
Wikipedia: Micro Shogi


Notes:
*Captured pieces may be dropped without restrictions: Either side up; onto a rank that prohibits any further move; no pawn restrictions, i.e. more than one pawn in a column and immediate checkmate by pawn drop is allowed.
** Pieces cover eight out of the ten standard shogi ranks (movement patterns) but are non-standard in their pairings (front and back of the pieces): Bishop/Tokin, Gold General/Rook, Silver General/Lance; Pawn/Knight; King.
The game is related to Kyoto Shogi but is played on a smaller board and with pieces with different pairings of ranks (front and back).
My TSA set is (Black/Red). I would prefer (Black/Black) but it is out of stock. I made a 4×5 blue vinyl board from a TSA Tori Shogi board.

Board Game: Microshogi

Board Game: Microshogi

Board Game: Microshogi

Board Game: Microshogi
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3. Board Game: Kyoto Shogi [Average Rating:7.61 Unranked]
Board Game: Kyoto Shogi
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Kyōto Shōgi

Pub. year: 1976
Board size: 5×5
Pcs./player: 5
Diff. pieces: 5
Diff. names: 9
Diff. moves: 8
Drops: Yes*
Promotion: Mandatory "flip" after move

Features: Non-standard pieces**
Designer: Tamiya Katsuya
Publisher: Nekomado board - TSA pieces
Wikipedia: Kyoto Shogi


Notes:
*Captured pieces may be dropped without restrictions: Either side up; onto a rank that prohibits any further move; no pawn restrictions, i.e. more than one pawn in a column and immediate checkmate by pawn drop is allowed.
** Pieces cover eight out of the ten standard shogi ranks (movement patterns) but are non-standard in their pairings (front and back of the pieces): Rook/Pawn; Silver General/Bishop; Gold General/Knight; Lance/Tokin; King. The names of the pieces combine their promoted and unpromoted values, and are puns in Japanese for words with the same pronunciations but different kanji. The lance/tokin is homonymous with the name of the city Kyoto, hence the name of the game.
The game is related to Microshogi but is played on a larger board and with pieces with different pairings of ranks (front and back).
My TSA set is (Black/Black) - I prefer a set with no special indication of a "promoted" side as pieces are flipped all the time.

Board Game: Kyoto Shogi

Board Game: Kyoto Shogi

Board Game: Kyoto Shogi

Board Game: Kyoto Shogi

Before I got my Nekomado board I made a 5x5 board from a TSA Tori Shogi blue vinyl board.
Board Game: Kyoto Shogi

Board Game: Kyoto Shogi


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4. Board Game: Mini Shogi [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:11380]
Board Game: Mini Shogi
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Mini Shogi (Gogo Shōgi) - Set 1

Pub. year: 1970
Board size: 5×5
Pcs./player: 6
Diff. pieces: 6
Diff. names: 10
Diff. moves: 8
Drops: Yes
Promotion: At the 5th rank (last rank)

Features: Simple intro to Shogi
Designer: Shigenobu Kusumoto
Publisher: TSA - George Hodges
Wikipedia: Mini Shogi


Notes:
Mini Shogi uses six standard Shogi pieces - King, Gold, Silver, Rook, Bishop, Pawn - one of each. All rules like standard Shogi. As I have several Shogi sets, I have pieces for several Mini Shogi sets. Initially, I made two 5×5 blue vinyl boards from TSA Tori Shogi boards - one for Mini Shogi and one for Kyoto Shogi (see above). Later, I got 5×5 and 5×6 wooden boards from Nekomado (see below). Thus, in total I have playing material for three sets of Mini Shogi.

Board Game: Mini Shogi

Board Game: Mini Shogi

Board Game: Mini Shogi

Board Game: Mini Shogi
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5. Board Game: Mini Shogi [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:11380]
Board Game: Mini Shogi
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Mini Shogi (Gogo Shōgi) - Set 2

Pub. year: 1970
Board size: 5×5
Pcs./player: 6
Diff. pieces: 6
Diff. names: 10
Diff. moves: 8
Drops: Yes
Promotion: At the 5th rank (last rank)

Features: Simple intro to Shogi
Designer: Shigenobu Kusumoto
Publisher: Nekomado board - TSA pieces
Wikipedia: Mini Shogi


Notes:
See comments for "Mini Shogi (Gogo Shōgi) - Set 1". This is my nicer set with my "Top Class" VS5 TSA Shogi pieces and wooden board from Nekomado.

Board Game: Mini Shogi

Board Game: Mini Shogi
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6. Board Game: Goro-Goro Dōbutsu Shōgi [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:10033]
Board Game: Goro-Goro Dōbutsu Shōgi
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Goro-Goro Dōbutsu Shōgi ("Purring Animal Shogi")

Pub. year: 2012
Board size: 5×6
Pcs./player: 8
Diff. pieces: 4
Diff. names: 6
Diff. moves: 4
Drops: Yes
Promotion: At 5th rank (last 2 ranks)

Features: Intermediate intro to Shogi
Designer: Japan Shogi Association
Publisher: Gentosha Education


Notes:
Goro is Japanese for 5-6 (size of the board) but is also the Japanese onomatopoeia for “purring” referring to the Cats and Dogs among the pieces.
Next step towards full Shogi after Let's Catch the Lion! Goro-Goro Dōbutsu Shōgi uses four type of pieces corresponding to standard Shogi pieces: Lion (King), Dog (Gold), Cat (Silver), Chick (Pawn) - 2 Dogs, 2 Cats, and 3 Chicks per player. Thus, after Let's Catch the Lion! and Goro-Goro Dōbutsu Shōgi only Knight and Lance is missing. The rules for Goro-Goro Shōgi were invented by the Japan Shogi Association, and include a variant where each player starts with a Knight and a Lance in hand. The Gentosha Education Dōbutsu version does not include material for this variant. Rules similar to standard Shogi. The movement pattern of each piece is indicated on the respective piece.

Board Game: Goro-Goro Dōbutsu Shōgi

Board Game: Goro-Goro Dōbutsu Shōgi

Board Game: Goro-Goro Dōbutsu Shōgi

Board Game: Goro-Goro Dōbutsu Shōgi
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7. Board Game: Goro-Goro Dōbutsu Shōgi [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:10033]
Board Game: Goro-Goro Dōbutsu Shōgi
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Goro-Goro Shōgi ("5-6 Shogi")

Pub. year: 2012
Board size: 5×6
Pcs./player: 8 (10)
Diff. pieces: 4 (6)
Diff. names: 6 (10)
Diff. moves: 4 (6)
Drops: Yes
Promotion: At 5th rank (last 2 ranks)

Features: Intermediate intro to Shogi
Designer: Japan Shogi Association
Publisher: Nekomado board - TSA pieces


Notes:
The rules for Goro-Goro Shōgi were invented by the Japan Shogi Association. The game can be played using standard Shogi pieces: 1 King, 2 Gold, 2 Silver, and 3 Pawns per player + 1 Knight and 1 Lance in hand of each player for the variant. Rules similar to standard Shogi.
Shown below is the starting position for the variant using my 5×6 wooden board from Nekomado and my VS5 TSA Shogi pieces.

Board Game: Goro-Goro Dōbutsu Shōgi

Board Game: Goro-Goro Dōbutsu Shōgi

Board Game: Goro-Goro Dōbutsu Shōgi
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8. Board Game: Judkins shogi [Average Rating:7.69 Unranked]
Board Game: Judkins shogi
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Judkins Shogi

Pub. year: 1998
Board size: 6×6
Pcs./player: 7
Diff. pieces: 7
Diff. names: 12
Diff. moves: 9
Drops: Yes
Promotion: At 5th rank (last 2 ranks)

Features: Intermediate intro to Shogi
Designer: Paul Judkins
Publisher: PnP board - TSA pieces
Wikipedia: Judkins Shogi


Notes:
Judkins Shogi is a step up from Mini Shogi including one each of 7 out of the 8 standard Shogi pieces: King, Rook, Bishop, Gold, Silver, Knight, and Pawn. Only Lance is missing. Otherwise, rules like standard Shogi.
I have made a pnp board with wood grain look - to be found here.
A plain white board can be found here.

Board Game: Judkins shogi

Board Game: Judkins shogi

Board Game: Judkins shogi

Board Game: Judkins shogi
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9. Board Game: Judkins shogi [Average Rating:7.69 Unranked]
Board Game: Judkins shogi
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Judkins Dōbutsu Shogi

Pub. year: 1998
Board size: 6×6
Pcs./player: 7
Diff. pieces: 7
Diff. names: 12
Diff. moves: 9
Drops: Yes
Promotion: At 5th rank (last 2 ranks)

Features: Intermediate intro to Shogi
Designer: Paul Judkins
Publisher: PnP brd - Gentosha Edu pcs
Wikipedia: Judkins Shogi


Notes:
For players not happy about the kanji symbols of standard Shogi pieces, Judkins Shogi can also be played using pieces from a "Dobutsu Shogi in the Greenwood" set (see below). Each player then has one of each: Lion (King), Giraffe (Rook), Elephant (Bishop), Dog (Gold), Cat (Silver), Rabbit (Knight), and Chick (Pawn).
I have made a pnp Dobutsu-style board to be found here.

Board Game: Judkins shogi

Board Game: Judkins shogi

Board Game: Judkins shogi
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10. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:2944]
From gallery of The Player of Games
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Roku-Roku Shōgi ("6-6 Shogi")

Pub. year: 2018
Board size: 6×6
Pcs./player: 13*
Diff. pieces: 8
Diff. names: 14
Diff. moves: 10*
Drops: Yes
Promotion: At 5th rank (last 2 ranks)

Features: Players draft major pieces
Designer: Tendo, Japan Shogi Assoc
& Michio Matsuda
Publisher: PnP board - TSA pieces


Notes:
*Only 12 of the 13 pieces are used by a player as each player must choose between Rook and Bishop.
** Thus, 8 or 10 different moves in total in a game.
Roku-Roku Shogi was developed by the Tendo branch of the Japan Shogi Association in collaboration with prof. Michio Matsuda as a simple introduction to Shogi. The pieces are standard Shogi pieces: One each of King, Rook, Bishop, Gold General, Silver General, Knight, Lance; and 6 Pawns. Standard promotions. Except for setup, standard Shogi rules apply. During setup, the players draw lot (by furigoma) deciding who is to start. Players then on turn discard either their Rook or their Bishop, which is removed from game. Players do not need to discard the same piece. Then players on their turn enter one major piece at the first or sixth rank, respectively. When all pieces are placed on the board play begins. Thus, the starting position is arbitrarily choosen by the players with 7 major pieces in first and sixth rank and 7 pawns in second and fifth rank.

From gallery of The Player of Games

From gallery of The Player of Games

From gallery of The Player of Games

From gallery of The Player of Games

From gallery of The Player of Games


See also: Roku-roku shogi variant
or Google: 66将棋 or ろくろく 将棋
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11. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:2944]
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Roku-Roku Dōbutsu Shōgi ("6-6 Animal Shogi")

Pub. year: 2018
Board size: 6×6
Pcs./player: 13*
Diff. pieces: 8
Diff. names: 14
Diff. moves: 10*
Drops: Yes
Promotion: At 5th rank (last 2 ranks)

Features: Players draft major pieces
Designer: Tendo, Japan Shogi Assoc
& Michio Matsuda
Publisher: PnP brd - Gentosha Edu pcs


Notes:
For players not happy about the kanji symbols of standard Shogi pieces, Roku-Roku Shogi can also be played using pieces from a "Dobutsu Shogi in the Greenwood" set (see below). Each player then starts with one of each off board: Lion (King), Giraffe (Rook), Elephant (Bishop), Dog (Gold), Cat (Silver), Rabbit (Knight), and Wild Boar (Lance). In addition each player has six Chicks (Pawns) on the second or fifht rank, respectively.
I have made a pnp Dobutsu-style board to be found here.

Starting position:

From gallery of The Player of Games

From gallery of The Player of Games

Standard promotions apply (at second and fifth rank, respectively):

From gallery of The Player of Games


*Only 12 of the 13 pieces are used by a player as each player must choose between Giraffe and Elephant. ** Thus, 8 or 10 different moves in total in a game. Players draw lot deciding who is to start. Players then on turn discard either their Giraffe or their Elephant, which is removed from the game. Players do not need to discard the same piece:

From gallery of The Player of Games


Then players on their turn enter one major piece at the first or sixth rank, respectively. When all pieces are placed on the board play begins:

From gallery of The Player of Games

Except for setup, standard Shogi rules apply.
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12. Board Game: Tori Shogi [Average Rating:6.67 Unranked]
Board Game: Tori Shogi
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Tori Shōgi ("Bird Shogi")

Pub. year: 1799 (TSA 1984)
Board size: 7×7
Pcs./player: 16
Diff. pieces: 7*
Diff. names: 9*
Diff. moves: 9
Drops: Yes**
Promotion: At 6th rank (last 2 ranks)

Features: All pieces are birds
Designer: Toyota Genryu
(pupil of Ohashi Soei)
Publisher: TSA - George Hodges
Wikipedia: Tori Shogi


Notes:
*Left Quail and Right Quail have mirror movement patterns of each other.
The pieces are: Phoenix (King), Falcon (Promotes to Eagle), Crane, Pheasant, Left Quail and Right Quail, Swallow (Pawn, promotes to Goose).
**Standard Shogi drop rules including restrictions for the Swallow (Pawn) except that two Swallows may be present in a column, but not more than two.
Tori Shōgi is the most recent of the classical variants. Thus, it is compact (small board and many pieces) and includes the drop rule. Has been compared to sumo wrestling as it is in-your-face combat right from the beginning - in the opening position swallows threaten swallows.
Only the pawns (Swallow) and King (Phoenix) move like in standard Shogi. The remainder of pieces have different movement patterns. Most pieces are rather weak. The Goose (Promoted Pawn) jumps two squares diagonally ahead (in either of the two directions) or jumps two squares directly backwards. Pheasant jumps two squares directly ahead or moves one square diagonally backwards (in any of the two diagonal directions). Cranes correspond to the Gold and Silver from Shogi — the Crane can move one step in all directions except to the sides. The Quails correspond to the Lance and moves like a Rook in the forward direction but like a Bishop in the diagonal backwards direction towards the center of the board in the opening position (i.e. towards left for the Right Quail and towards right for the Left Quail) and one step in the remaining backwards diagonal direction. The Falcon moves like a Drunk Elephant (like a King, but is not allowed to move directly backwards). The Eagle (Promoted Falcon) is the only powerful piece - moves like a Bishop in the two forward diagonal directions, like a Rook in the backwards direction, one or two steps in the diagonal backwards directions, and one step like a King in the remaining three directions (front and to the sides). Generally, the total number of pieces (32) is rather high relative to the total board size (49 squares) meaning the board is rather crowded.
It is a little annoying, that the "left" and "right" kanjis are printed on the back of the respective Quails in my TSA set. This is how it was designed. However, I have seen sets where the left and right symbols were added to the front.
Handicap system and classical game records exist.
I have:
The Way of Tori Shogi by Dave Brandl and Bill Croke, 2013.
The Way of Tori Shogi, 2nd ed. by Dave Brandl and Bill Croke, 2018.

Board Game: Tori Shogi

Board Game: Tori Shogi

Board Game: Tori Shogi

Board Game: Tori Shogi

Board Game: Tori Shogi

Board Game: Tori Shogi
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13. Board Game: Sho Shogi [Average Rating:7.29 Unranked]
Board Game: Sho Shogi
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Shō Shōgi ("Small Shogi")

Pub. year: ~1450
Board size: 9×9
Pcs./player: 21
Diff. pieces: 9
Diff. names: 12
Diff. moves: 11
Drops: No
Promotion: At 7th rank (last 3 ranks)

Features: Drunk Elephant
Designer: -
Publisher: TSA - George Hodges
Wikipedia: Sho Shogi


Notes:
The Drunk Elephant promotes to a Crown Prince - a second king. Thus, if present, both the King and the Crown Prince need to be eliminated before the game is won.
Sho Shogi is the immediate predecessor of Shogi. The Drunk Elephant were removed approximately the same time as drops were introduced creating modern Shogi. "Small Shogi" (Sho Shogi) coexisted with "Middle Shogi" (Chu Shogi) and "Large Shogi" (Dai Shogi).

Board Game: Sho Shogi

Board Game: Sho Shogi

Board Game: Sho Shogi


How to put a Sho Shogi set with consistent character style together from TSA (The Shogi Association) sets: Use Chu Shogi pieces for all except: Knight and Lance from Maka-Dai-Dai shogi, Gold from Dai-Dai shogi, and Silver from Chu Shogi (unpromoted side)/Flying Dragon from Maka-Dai-Dai shogi (promoted side = Gold).

Board Game: Sho Shogi
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14. Board Game: Shogi [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:1348]
Board Game: Shogi
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Shōgi

Pub. year: ~1587
Board size: 9×9
Pcs./player: 20
Diff. pieces: 8
Diff. names: 14
Diff. moves: 10
Drops: Yes
Promotion: At 7th rank (last 3 ranks)

Features: First variant with drop rule
Designer: -
Publisher: ? - Wooden edition
Wikipedia: Shogi


Notes:
Is the current standard Shogi game.
What distinguishes Shōgi from Shō Shōgi is the elimination of the Drunk Elephant piece and the introduction of the drop rule. The drop rule means that a captured piece is not “killed” but is transferred to the capturing player. The captured pieces are said to be “in hand”. Instead of moving a piece, a player may drop a piece in hand onto an empty square with a few restrictions (no checkmate by a dropped pawn; no two unprompted pawns in same file; no drop of pawn, knight or lance to a square from where it cannot move). The drop rule de facto means unlimited pieces and elimination of the piece-sparse endgame keeping the game in a kind of eternal midgame. This unique twist to a Chess variant markedly change the gameplay and has been so successful that most subsequent Shogi variants have included the drop. It is thought that the drop rule was inspired by the practice of captured mercenaries switching loyalties during the wars in Japan in that era. The wedge-shaped, pointy, monochrome pieces already in use in the early Shogi variants made the introduction of the drop rule much easier than for other Chess variants where the players respective pieces have distinct colors.
Each player have: 1 each of King (King General [“White” - Gote]/Jeweled General [“Black” - Sente, i.e. moves first], latter indicated with a little extra mark in the kanji), Rook (Flying Chariot), Bishop (Angle Mover); 2 each of Gold General, Silver General, Knight (Laureled Horse), Lance (Incense Chariot); and 9 Pawns (Foot Soldier). Rook promotes to Dragon King (combined move of King and Rook). Bishop promotes to Dragon Horse (combined move of King and Bishop). Silver, Knight, Lance, and Pawn promote to Gold (called Tokin = “reaches gold” for the promoted Pawn).

Shogi literature I have:
Shogi. Japan’s Game of Strategy by Trevor Leggett, 1994 (first published in 1966), ISBN 0-8048-1903-3.
Shogi for Beginners by John Fairbairn; The Shogi Association, 1984.
Better Moves for Better Shogi by Aono Teruichi, translated by John Fairbairn; 1983.
Guide to Shogi Openings. Unlock the Secrets of Joseki. By Aono Teruichi, translated by John Fairbairn; 1983.
Shogi 1976-1987. Magazine edited by George Hodges.

This wooden set is my first Shogi set.

Board Game: Shogi

Board Game: Shogi

Board Game: Shogi

Board Game: Shogi

Board Game: Shogi

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15. Board Game: Shogi [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:1348]
Board Game: Shogi
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Shōgi - TSA BS1

Pub. year: ~1587 (TSA 1984)
Board size: 9×9
Pcs./player: 20
Diff. pieces: 8
Diff. names: 14
Diff. moves: 10
Drops: Yes
Promotion: At 7th rank (last 3 ranks)

Features: -
Designer: -
Publisher: TSA - George Hodges
Wikipedia: Shogi


Notes:
TSA Basic Shogi set (BS1): Shogi Association pieces in a yellowish wood-effect plastic. Blue vinyl board. I bought this set hoping the pieces would match those of the large board variants from TSA (to be used with a Drunk Elephant from Chu Shogi to play Sho Shogi). However, while the material and sizes of the pieces do match, the stamped characters are different and match those of the TSA Yonin Shogi. A nice basic set for playing Shogi, though.

Board Game: Shogi

Board Game: Shogi

Board Game: Shogi

Board Game: Shogi


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16. Board Game: Shogi [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:1348]
Board Game: Shogi
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Shōgi - TSA RS1

Pub. year: ~1587 (TSA 1984)
Board size: 9×9
Pcs./player: 20
Diff. pieces: 8
Diff. names: 14
Diff. moves: 10
Drops: Yes
Promotion: At 7th rank (last 3 ranks)

Features: -
Designer: -
Publisher: TSA - George Hodges
Wikipedia: Shogi


Notes:
TSA Basic Shogi set RS1: Basic Japanese plastic pieces in a yellowish color. Blue vinyl board. Nicer material for the pieces than the standard TSA wood-effect pieces. Great basic Shogi set.

Board Game: Shogi

Board Game: Shogi

Board Game: Shogi
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17. Board Game: Shogi [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:1348]
Board Game: Shogi
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Shōgi - TSA VS5

Pub. year: ~1587
Board size: 9×9
Pcs./player: 20
Diff. pieces: 8
Diff. names: 14
Diff. moves: 10
Drops: Yes
Promotion: At 7th rank (last 3 ranks)

Features: -
Designer: -
Publisher: TSA - George Hodges
Wikipedia: Shogi


Notes:
TSA "Top Class" off-white vinyl Japanese set (VS5). Black/black pieces - i.e. the writing at the promoted side is black too. The various promoted pieces are recognized by the size of the pieces and different ways of writing "Gold". Blue vinyl board. I find the black/black pieces looks less busy on the board compared to black/red pieces. Thus, these are my preferred koma (Shogi pieces) for now. Would like a nice engraved set, though.

Board Game: Shogi

Board Game: Shogi
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18. Board Game: Shogi [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:1348]
Board Game: Shogi
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Westernized Shogi - TSA WS1

Pub. year: 1976
Board size: 9×9
Pcs./player: 20
Diff. pieces: 8
Diff. names: 14
Diff. moves: 10
Drops: Yes
Promotion: At 7th rank (last 3 ranks)

Features: Movement icons - no kanji
Designer: -
Publisher: TSA - George Hodges
Wikipedia: Shogi


Notes:
TSA Westernized Shogi set (WS1). Shown at the front of Shogi, issue 1, Jan 1976 (the magazine of The Shogi Association). This set was created for Western players having troubles with the kanji. The symbols on the pieces indicate how the respective pieces move. Unfortunately, I do not like the look of the pieces and rarely use them. For newbies to Shogi, I prefer to use my Dobutsu Shogi in the Greenwood set (see next item on this list). Anyhow, I highly prefer the standard Japanese pieces as I think they look greater. And in my experience, it does not take long time for a new player to get used to the standard pieces.

Board Game: Shogi

Board Game: Shogi

Board Game: Shogi
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19. Board Game: Shogi [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:1348]
Board Game: Shogi
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Dobutsu Shogi in the Greenwood

Pub. year: 2010
Board size: 9×9
Pcs/player: 20
Diff. pieces: 8
Diff. names: 14
Diff. moves: 10
Drops: Yes
Promotion: At 7th rank (last 3 ranks)

Features: Animal Shogi - full set
Designer: -
Publisher: Gentosha Education
Wikipedia: Shogi


Notes:
Japanese name: "Ōkina mori no dōbutsu shōgi". Full Shogi set matching the style of Let's Catch the Lion! and Goro-Goro Dōbutsu Shōgi. Thus, introducing the last two pieces: Rabbit (Knight) and Wild Boar (Lance). As the movement patterns are indicated on all pieces, this is my go-to beginners' set to introduce kanji-scared new players to Shogi.

Board Game: Shogi

Board Game: Shogi

Board Game: Shogi

Board Game: Shogi

Board Game: Shogi
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20. Board Game: Yonin Shogi [Average Rating:7.50 Unranked]
Board Game: Yonin Shogi
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Yonin Shōgi (Four-handed Shogi)

Pub year: 1995
Board size: 9×9
Pcs./player: 9
Diff. pieces: 5
Diff. names: 8
Diff. moves: 6
Drops: Yes
Promotion: At 7th rank (last 3 ranks)

Features: Four player Shogi
Designer: Ota Mitsuyasu
Publisher: TSA - George Hodges
Wikipedia: Yonin Shogi


Notes:
Four-player Shogi invented in 1993 by Ota Mitsuyasu, former mayor of Hirata (present day Izumo) in Shimane Prefecture, Japan.
Players may play in teams or against each other. Pieces are standard Shogi pieces. Each player has a King, one Rook, two Gold, two Silver, and three Pawns. Rules like in standard Shogi except for check and mate. When a player is checked he/she gains the next move and play continues clockwise from there. When a player is mated, the King is flipped over (becomes an obstacle on the board) and the mating player takes control over the pieces including pieces in hand. Last man standing wins.

Board Game: Yonin Shogi

Board Game: Yonin Shogi

Board Game: Yonin Shogi

Board Game: Yonin Shogi
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21. Board Game: Wa Shogi [Average Rating:8.18 Unranked]
Board Game: Wa Shogi
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Wa Shōgi ("Harmony Shogi")

Pub year: ~1650 (TSA 1980)
Board size: 11×11
Pcs./player: 27
Diff. pieces: 17
Diff. names: 25
Diff. moves: 20
Drops: Yes/No*
Promotion: At 9th rank (last 3 ranks)

Features: Asymmetric & animal pieces
Designer: -
Publisher: TSA - George Hodges
Wikipedia: Wa Shogi


Notes:
*Classical Shogi variant. It is unknown if it was played with or without drops. However, Wa Shōgi was invented after the advent of modern Shogi and the drop rule. Thus, it is plausible Wa Shōgi included the drop rule too. Also, two pairs of promoted pieces (Violent Wolf/Golden Bird and Bear's Eyes/Plodding Ox) have identical movement patterns but different unpromoted side suggesting the use of drops as pieces demotes by capture. Anyhow, modern players play the game with drops.

The pieces are - like in Tori Shogi - non-standard, all being animals. Examples of pieces corresponding to standard Shogi pieces (but typically with alternative promotions) are: Crane King (King), Violent Wolf (Gold), Violent Stag (Silver), Oxcart (Lance), Sparrow Pawn (Pawn), Golden Bird (Promoted Sparrow Pawn, moves like Tokin). However, most pieces moves differently from any standard Shogi piece. Examples: Cloud Eagle, Flying Falcon, Running Rabbit, Liberated Horse, Treacherous Fox, etc. Only Crane King, Cloud Eagle, and Treacherous Fox do not promote. Some different pieces have identical movement patterns. E.g. Strutting Crow and Swooping Owl, which move identically but promote to different pieces.

With exception of the 11 Sparrow Pawns, all pieces are different (one of each for each player). Therefore, the starting position is left-right asymmetric. Thus, the starting positions of the two players’ pieces show rotation symmetry but not reflection symmetry.

My TSA Wa Shogi set came with two non-identical rules pamphlets, both dated 1980. Probably an error. One of the pamphlets seems to be an erroneous first version, where a number of pieces have incorrect movement diagrams and a promotion is shown for the Cloud-Eagle, which does not promote. The other pamphlet have rules identical to those listed in Ten Shogi Variants by George Hodges, Wikipedia, and Steve Evans' Shogivar program.

Board Game: Wa Shogi

Board Game: Wa Shogi

Board Game: Wa Shogi

Board Game: Wa Shogi

Board Game: Wa Shogi

Board Game: Wa Shogi

Board Game: Wa Shogi
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22. Board Game: Chu Shogi [Average Rating:8.23 Overall Rank:11128]
Board Game: Chu Shogi
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Chū Shōgi ("Middle Shogi")

Pub. year: ~1300 (TSA 1980)
Board size: 12×12
Pcs./player: 46
Diff. pieces: 21
Diff. names: 30
Diff. moves: 28
Drops: No
Promotion: At 9th rank (last 4 ranks)

Features: The powerful Lion
Designer: -
Publisher: TSA - George Hodges
Wikipedia: Chu Shogi


Notes:
Before the invention of modern Shogi and the drop rule, "Middle Shogi" or Chū Shōgi was the most popular Shogi variant in Japan. It is a larger and more complex game compared to "Small Shogi" (Shō Shōgi), and a more manageable, faster and intense game than "Large Shogi" (Dai Shōgi) from which it evolved. Chū Shōgi only have four pieces fully identical to standard Shogi (King, Rook, Bishop, and Pawn). The Knight is not included in Chū Shōgi. Gold, Silver and Lance have promotions different from Shogi. All pieces of Chū Shōgi are to be found in Dai Shogi - the more "boring pieces" of Dai Shōgi have been removed in Chū Shōgi. The two strongest pieces are the Free King (move like a Chess Queen) and the Lion. The latter piece dominates the board of Chū Shōgi. The Lion may move like a King twice and is able to capture two pieces in one turn. Also, the Lion may jump directly to any square two steps away (i.e. to all the squares in the 5x5 matrix around the Lion). Finally, the Lion may "eat" a neighboring piece and return to its original square (called "igui") or simply "pass" (if an adjacent square is free, by moving there and back). Special rules prevent the trading of Lions (unless another substantial piece is captured at the same time). To mention a few other strong pieces: Each player also starts with two Rooks, two Bishops, two Promoted Rooks (Dragon King), and two promoted Bishops (Dragon Horse). The latter two pieces may promote further to Soaring Eagle and Horned Falcon, respectively. The Drunk Elephant, which may promote to Crown Prince (a second royal piece to be mated too), is also present. Chū Shōgi has been described as one of the best chess games invented but is from an era where the players had more time on their hands and accepted substantially longer games than current players of Shogi (and Chess).

There are good historical records of Chū Shōgi. The best reference in English is The Middle Shogi Manual by George Hodges, 2nd ed. 2002/2005, which I own. This great 347-pages book contains rules, strategy, opening theory, complete records of 7 historical games and one modern game, description of the handicap system with 10 complete example games, and an appendix with 224 historical Chū Shōgi mating problems.

Board Game: Chu Shogi

Board Game: Chu Shogi

Board Game: Chu Shogi

Board Game: Chu Shogi

Board Game: Chu Shogi

Board Game: Chu Shogi

Board Game: Chu Shogi

Board Game: Chu Shogi

Board Game: Chu Shogi
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23. Board Game: Chu Shogi [Average Rating:8.23 Overall Rank:11128]
Board Game: Chu Shogi
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ISBN: 1-85723-146-5
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Tsu Sho-Gi - Japanese Great Chess)

Pub. year: 1998
Board size: 12×12
Pcs./player: 46
Diff. pieces: 21
Diff. names: 29*
Diff. moves: 28
Drops: No**
Promotion: At 9th rank (last 4 ranks)

Features: Pieces with movement icons
Designer: -
Publisher: Diverse Enterprises
Wikipedia: Chu Shogi


Notes:
Tsu Sho-Gi is a boxed version of Chu Shogi, published in Australia as a game in "The Games of the World collection" by Diverse Enterprises. I got this game in Sidney in 1999. Thus, it is my second Shogi/Shogi variant set.

The pieces are marked with movement diagrams and names in Latin letters instead of Chinese characters, which seems like a great idea for the unexperienced players. However, using the Chinese names instead of the English names is annoying. Also, the transcription from Chinese to English is nonstandard - or at least different from the TSA nomenclature used in the West. E.g. the Lion is marked Sisi, the Phoenix is Hoo-Woo, etc. I find it easier to remember the Chinese characters and associate them with the English names than to understand and remember the Chinese names written in Latin letters. Finally, I find the movement diagrams difficult to read compared to those of Let's Catch the Lion! or Navia Dratp.

Board Game: Chu Shogi

Board Game: Chu Shogi

Board Game: Chu Shogi

Board Game: Chu Shogi


Unfortunately, this version of Chu Shogi has a number of errors, several of which I did not realize untill years after I got the game:

• **The rules incorrectly claim the game is played with drops like standard Shogi.

• The game rules (and the included pieces) show an incorrect starting position with an extra Phoenix in place of a missing Go-Between.

• Five of the stronger pieces have incorrect moves - both in the rules description as well as in the diagrams on the pieces. The incorrect pieces being: Lion (Sisi), Free King (Hon-Woo), Soaring Eagle (Fi-Ziu), Horned Falcon (Kaku-Yu), and Flying Ox (Fi-Gui).

• Especially, the moves of the Lion are erroneous and the special rules preventing trade of Lions are missing.

• Promotion of the Phoenix is missing both in rules and on the pieces.

• No mention of the royal nature of the Crown Prince.

• The Chinese names are written inconsistently. E.g. "Sisi" for Lion and "Sisa" for Lion as a promoted Kirin. Likewise the game is called "Tsu Sho-Gi" on top of the box and "Tsui Sho-Gi" further down in the text.

• *The Pawns (Fu) promote to Gold (Kin) instead of the standard Tokin (which moves as Gold General).

I am mainly keeping the game for nostalgic reasons.
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24. Board Game: Dai Shogi [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Dai Shogi
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ISBN: 1-85723-146-5
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Dai Shōgi ("Large Shogi")

Pub. year: ~1230 (TSA 1980)
Board size: 15×15
Pcs./player: 65
Diff. pieces: 29
Diff. names: 38
Diff. moves: 36
Drops: No
Promotion: At 11th rank (last 5 ranks)

Features: Oldest of my Shogi variants
Designer: -
Publisher: TSA - George Hodges
Wikipedia: Dai Shogi


Notes:
Old, large Shogi variant developed from the earlier (~1120) Heian Dai Shōgi, which was smaller (13×13) and only included 34 pieces for each player. Dai Shogi predates Chu Shogi and includes, for each player, all Chu Shogi's pieces as well as 3 additional Pawns and a pair each of: Angry Boar, Cat Sword, Evil Wolf, Flying Dragon, Iron General, Knight, Stone General, and Violent Ox. Remarkably, this old Shogi variant, which predates Modern Chess by ~250 years, includes the Free King (Queen), the Lion, and the Drunk Elephant (which promote to Crown Prince, a second royal piece to be captured). Thus, Dai Shogi was a very advanced Chess game for its time.

"Large Shogi" (Dai Shogi) coexisted with "Small Shogi" (Sho Shogi) and "Middle Shogi" (Chu Shogi), the latter being most popular in its time.


Board Game: Dai Shogi

Board Game: Dai Shogi

Board Game: Dai Shogi

Board Game: Dai Shogi

Board Game: Dai Shogi

Board Game: Dai Shogi

Board Game: Dai Shogi

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25. Board Game: Tenjiku Shogi [Average Rating:6.45 Unranked]
Board Game: Tenjiku Shogi
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Tenjiku Shōgi ("Exotic Shogi")

Pub. year: ~1550 (TSA 1983)
Board size: 16×16
Pcs./player: 78
Diff. pieces: 36
Diff. names: 45
Diff. moves: 43
Drops: No
Promotion: At 12th rank (last 5 ranks)

Features: Very powerful exotic pieces
incl. Fire Demon
Designer: -
Publisher: TSA - George Hodges
Wikipedia: Tenjiku Shogi


Notes:
Exact publication date unknown but probably more recent than Dai-Dai Shogi, Maka Dai-Dai Shogi, and Tai Shogi.

While Chu Shogi is Dai Shogi without the "boring pieces", Tenjiku Shogi is a supercharged version of Chu Shogi. The strongest power-pieces are: Fire Demon - range and three-step area moving piece, which burns all enemy pieces in the adjacent eight squares; Great General - range-jumper (may jump any number of lower-ranking pieces when capturing) moving like a Chess Queen; Vice General - range-jumper moving like a Bishop and three-step area mover; Rook General - range-jumper moving like a Rook; Bishop General - range-jumper moving like a Bishop; Lion Hawk (promoted Lion); and Free Eagle (promoted Free King [“promoted Queen”]).

The pieces (own and opponent’s) are ranked as:
1 King, Prince
2 Great General
3 Vice General
4 Rook General and Bishop General
5 All other pieces

Why the game is not broken:
Original TSA rules for the range-jumpers:
When capturing by jumping, a piece may only jump over or capture lower ranked pieces.

1st update of rules:
When capturing by jumping, a piece may only jump over lower ranked pieces.
The range-jumping pieces only have the power to jump other pieces on a move in which they are making a capture.
Where a jump is legal, a ranging general can capture any piece, even a higher ranking general or King.
Note that the 'Bishop General' and 'Rook General' are considered to be of equal rank and neither may therefore jump the other.
The new Jumping Generals rule was first suggested and championed by Edi Werner according to this page.

Further update of rules according to Wikipedia (based upon the Japanese Wikipedia):
Range-jumpers may only jump over other pieces of lower rank, whether friend or foe. None may jump a King or Prince of either side.
Thus, Bishop and Rook Generals cannot jump over any other range-jumping piece.
The range-jumpers can nevertheless capture each other, even if they cannot jump over each other and there are other pieces outside the ranking in the way. For example, though a Rook General cannot jump over an enemy Great General, it may still capture the Great General. They cannot capture a King or Prince by jumping, but can do so without jumping.

The original rules provided by TSA appear broken - a win for the starting player with the right strategy, according to the throughout analysis by Colin Adams:
The Struggle for Survival by Colin P. Adams, 2nd Ed., February 14th 1999. 185 pages.
Can Tenjiku Shogi be played without restricting the opening move? by Colin P. Adams, May 23rd 1999. 5 pages.
Further explorations of the defence to P-8k by Colin P. Adams, July 19th 1999. 5 pages.
• Colin P. Adams, between Jun. 8th and Oct. 2nd 2000: "After experimenting with the critical line in the second supplement, I believe that it is not viable, and that the game is a win for the first player."
See links to Colin Adams Tenjiku opening theory papers on the Internet Archive here.

Thus, the rules have been revised by both scrutinizing the original Japanese texts (removing errors) as well as by modern analysis. The revised ruleset leads to a viable and very dynamic and tactical game.

Board Game: Tenjiku Shogi

Board Game: Tenjiku Shogi

Board Game: Tenjiku Shogi

Board Game: Tenjiku Shogi

Board Game: Tenjiku Shogi

Board Game: Tenjiku Shogi

Board Game: Tenjiku Shogi

Board Game: Tenjiku Shogi

Board Game: Tenjiku Shogi

Board Game: Tenjiku Shogi

Moves in the Shogivar diagrams above reflect the original TSA rules, not the updated rules by Wikipedia. Not shown in the diagram above: Lion promotes to Lion Hawk.

Disputed/updated moves:
TSA - The Shogi Association/George Hodges rules pamphlets.
JW - Japanese Wikipedia according to the English Wikipedia.

Fire Demon
TSA: Orthogonal ranging move along the file of the board.
JW: Orthogonal ranging move along the rank of the board like the Water Buffalo from which it promotes.

Free Eagle
According to original sources: "Able to make a cat-sword move twice" (one square in any diagonal direction, twice). Thus, JW states that the Free Eagle moves as a Queen combined with the diagonal moves (powers) of the Lion. This also creates symmetry between Lion Hawk and Free Eagle.

Heavenly Tetrarch (singular according to JW)
JW: Orthogonal ranging move along the file of the board as well as along the diagonals. May move two or three squares along the rank of the board. Igui (Lion eating) at the eight adjacent squares but may not move to these. May jump any piece on these, though. This pattern is also consistent with the Chariot Soldier from which it promotes.

Lion Hawk
TSA rules does not give the Lion Hawk full Lion powers.
JW gives the Lion Hawk full Lion Powers (i.e. like Version 2 in Steve Evans' Shogivar).

Range-jumping Generals
See discussion above regarding why the game is not broken.

My own thoughts:
Evidently, the updated rules for the Range-jumping Generals are now canon or the game is broken.

George Hodges seemed aware that the TSA rules for the Free Eagle were odd and based upon unclear translation of the original rules. It is my impression, that the JW rules for the Free Eagle and the Lion Hawk are based on improved translations of the original texts relative to the TSA version. Also, the JW rules show symmetry between the two pieces. Thus, I would go with the JW rules:

From gallery of The Player of Games


Regarding the Fire Demon and the Heavenly Tetrarch: The alternative moves suggested by JW seems more coherent with the movements of the respective unpromoted pieces (Water Buffalo and Chariot Soldier). Also, the alternative movement pattern may slightly limit the use of the Fire Demon as a nuclear tipped missile. However, these two rule changes does not make a substantial difference to the game.

From gallery of The Player of Games
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