Japanese chess known as Shogi is a two player board game of strategy that is similar to Western chess and the meaning of Shogi is the general’s board game.
Shogi’s early predecessor was thought to have originated in India around the 6th century and in approximately the 12th century it found its way into Japan and since it has spun off several variations of the game.
The game begins with black (game piece) and followed by white (game piece) with the second move on a game board consisting of rectangles arranged in a grid of nine rows by nine columns. Unlike other chess boards that are square the Shogi board is generally a rectangle.
Each player controls 20 wedge shaped game pieces that are different sizes and are: 1 king, 1 rook, 1 bishop, 2 gold generals, 2 silver generals, 2 knights, 2 lances and 9 pawns.
Modern day Shogi
Shogi is extremely complex when compared to all popular chess variants. Computers have steadily improved in playing shogi since the 1970s. In 2007, champion Yoshiharu Habu estimated the strength of the 2006 world computer shogi champion Bonanza at the level of two-dan shoreikai.
There are also video game versions that are exclusive to Japan.