From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A game of shogi (Fortress opening)
Genre(s)Board game
Abstract strategy game
Mind sport
Setup time< 2 minutes
Playing time30 mins. to 2 hours (typically)
Random chanceNone
Random chanceNone
Skill(s) requiredStrategy, tactics
Synonym(s)Japanese chess
Game of Generals

Shogi (将棋, shōgi, generals' chess) is also known as Japanese chess. It is a two-player board game in the same family as International chess, and Chinese Xiangqi. Shogi is the most popular of a family of chess variants, and is native to Japan. Shōgi means general's (shō) boardgame (gi). In early years, however, shogi was written 象棋 (the same as Xiangqi, "elephant chess").

The earliest predecessors of the game, chaturanga, originated in India in the 6th century AD, and spread from China to Japan, where it spawned a number of variants. Shogi in its present form was played as early as the 16th century, while a direct ancestor without the "drop rule" was recorded from 1210 in a historical document Nichūreki, which is an edited copy of Shōchūreki and Kaichūreki from the late Heian period (~1120).

According to, "Perhaps the enduring popularity of Shogi can be attributed to its 'drop rule'; it was the first chess variant wherein captured pieces could be returned to the board to be used as one's own. This has the consequence that few games are drawn, which is a weakness of international chess. David Pritchard credits the drop rule to the practice of 16th century mercenaries (ronin) who switched loyalties when captured—no doubt as an alternative to execution".[1][2]

Famous players[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  2. Pritchard, David Brine 1994. The Encyclopedia of chess variants. ISBN 0-9524142-0-1