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Subject: Roku-roku shogi variant rss

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Russ Williams
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Has anyone tried this apparently new 6x6 variant?
Ordinarily, shogi is played on an 81-square board (with nine rows and nine columns) on which each player commands 20 koma pieces. But in the modified game, each player uses just 12 koma, consisting of six fu pawns, an osho king, a kinsho gold general, a ginsho silver general, a keima knight, a kyosha lance and the player’s choice of either a hisha rook or kakugyo bishop.

The modified shogi is played on a board with six rows and six columns for a total of 36 squares. It is therefore called “roku-roku” (six-six) shogi.

The pieces move in the same way as in the usual game. But there are special rules for roku-roku shogi, including that koma — with the exception of pawns — can be positioned freely at the start of the game. With the number of koma reduced by nearly half compared to conventional shogi, a game of roku-roku shogi can be finished in an average of about six minutes. This is the most distinctive feature of the modified game.

Amid a decline in the number of people playing shogi, the altered version was developed to easily give people a taste of what the traditional game is like.


It seems to have been created to help promote Shogi and to promote tourism interest in the city Tendo, where Shogi pieces are produced.
Quote:
Roku-roku shogi is the centerpiece of a “Komanomics” economic initiative promoted by the Tendo Chamber of Commerce and Industry from the current fiscal year to vitalize the region. The three objectives of Komanomics are to expand the number of shogi players, to market koma for use as decorative items and to build an attractive community.

Hisayuki Ouchi, 39, a section chief at the chamber, said: “Despite living in the city with the largest production of koma pieces, many residents here don’t know how to play shogi. Our reputation as the biggest producer of koma has yet to be fully utilized to attract tourists.”

According to a survey conducted in December last year on all elementary and junior high school students in the city, only about 40 percent said they know how to play shogi.

The number of tourists visiting the city has hovered at slightly less than 2.5 million in the past several years, according to the chamber. For reasons such as the spread of online shogi games, sales of koma pieces have dropped by more than 30 percent from their peak around 1980.


The city’s production of koma, or shogi pieces, currently accounts for about 90 percent of the total national output and has continued since the late Edo period (1603-1867). Koma production was recommended as a side job for samurai of the Tendo domain who were not in good financial condition.

Koma-themed objects can be seen in various places in the city. Sidewalks on which shogi problems are described are dotted with tiles embedded in the pavement.
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No. Sounds interesting.
Could be played using a Judkins shogi board and a standard set of Shogi pieces.
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Russ Williams
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The Player of Games wrote:
No. Sounds interesting.
Could be played using a Judkins shogi board and a standard set of Shogi pieces.

Heh, yeah - when I started reading article, I thought at first that they might be talking about Judkins Shogi... but it soon became clear that it was some newer variant.

I can't find any other info about it elsewhere. In the absence of a clearer rules description, I guess I'd use the Arimaa-style method of "first player sets up their pieces as desired, then second player sets up theirs, then first player makes their first move". (And presumably the pawns are in the 2nd row and the 6 other pieces in the back row!)
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russ wrote:
(And presumably the pawns are in the 2nd row and the 6 other pieces in the back row!)

If you look at the photo in the online article, the players seems indeed to have a second row pawn line.
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Board and rules (in Japanese) can be downloaded from:

http://www.tendocci.com/shogi/index.html

As far as I can tell (Google translate is suprisingly poor in Japanese ):

The six pawns starts at the second and fifth ranks, respectively.

Players draws lot (by throwing five pawns) for who goes first.

Players takes turns (first player first) to place one of the seven non-pawns in first or sixth rank, respectively. A player must choose between Rook or Bishop - the other piece goes back in the box.

When all pieces are placed, the first player make first move.

Promotion zones are first + second rank and fifth + sixth rank.

Promotion rules and drop rules, etc like standard Shogi as far as I can tell.

However, it would be nice if somebody fluid in Japanese would confirm above from the online rules.
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I have added the game to the BGG database. Will take some time to process in my experience.
Somebody reading Japanese please chime in.
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Russ Williams
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Thanks for the rule synopsis and for submitting the game to BGG's database!

I look forward to trying it out.

(And to logging plays of it.)
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Russ Williams
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Of possible interest: another article about the city Tendo trying to raise awareness of Shogi and promote the game:

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/01/17/national/mayor-...
Quote:
A survey conducted by the Tendo Municipal Government in December 2017 found that 60 percent of students attending elementary and junior high schools within the city did not know how to play shogi.

The decline in the passion for shogi among younger generations sent a shock wave through the city.

In response, Tendo Mayor Shinji Yamamoto proclaimed that he “wants to make the city (a place) where every citizen is able to play shogi.”

Hoping to spur a renewed interest in the game, the Tendo government held an event in which 4,000 people, including residents, played shogi in October last year.
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