How to play Shogi(将棋) -Lesson#1- Introduction

Uploaded by HIDETCHI on 05.09.2008

Hello, everyone. In this channel, I will explain how to play Japanese chess, shogi.
I decided make these English video lessons, because I believe there're many people overseas who are interested in shogi,
but can't find enough lessons on how to play it or, what kind of strategies or techniques are used in shogi.
I hope you learn about shogi in detail from these lessons, and I'll be glad if it can be interactive, which means...
if you can leave comments, (any requests or questions), I think I can reflect them to later lessons.
So what I'm doing know is making the initial setup of shogi.
Shogi and Western chess, they both originated from Chaturanga, a board game in India.
So, the rules of shogi are very similar to Western chess rules, except one unique point of shogi, that is,
You can re-use captured pieces. That's why we have these small tables here.
As you can see, the board has 9x9, 81 squares, and 40 pieces in total. 20 pieces per player.
The numbers of the squares and pieces are larger than those of Western chess, which makes it more complicated.
By the way, I'm a pure Japanese and my English is not good enough. I know that.
But I'll do my best to make it easy to understand.
This is the initial setup of shogi.
In Western chess, you distinguish between your pieces and your opponent's by the colors. Black and White, for instance.
But if we do that in shogi, it'll make a big problem, because we re-use captured pieces.
So in shogi, we use the orientation of the piece to tell which player it belongs to.
Your piece is this way,
and your opponent's piece this way.
I'll introduce each of these pieces, one by one. I'm gonna zoom a little.
First of all, these are the pawns. It says "foot soldier", actually.
It's motion is quite similar to a Pawn in western chess.
I'll explain how the pieces move in the next lesson, so I'll just make a quick and simple explanation on this one.
Anyway, the pawns are the weakest pieces in shogi. In Japanese, "Fu-Hyou" or "Fu".
Next, let's go to these ones. These are the Lances.
We call it a Lance, because it kind of moves like a lance. Actually, it says "incense chariot". In Japanese, "Kyou-sha" or "Kyou".
These are the Knights. Actually, it says "Cassia Horse". In Japanese, "kei-ma" or "kei".
It's motion is similar to a Knight in western chess, but not exactly the same.
A western chess knight has eight possible squares to go to. But a shogi knight has only two. I'll show that to you in the next lesson.
These are the Silver Generals. The word written here is also "Silver General". In Japanese, "Gin-shou" or "Gin".
These are Gold Generals. It also says "Gold General" in Japanese. In Japanese, we call it "Kin-shou" or "Kin".
Sometimes we refer to Gold and Silver Generals as metal pieces, because gold and silver are metal.
And the way they move is a bit complicated.
All the pieces I have explained - Pawn, Lance, Knight, Silver, and Gold -, we call them minor pieces.
The biggest piece in the middle is the King. Actually it says "Jewel General". In Japanese, "Gyoku-shou" or "Gyoku".
It moves exactly same as a western chess King.
It's role is exactly same as that of a western chess King, so when your King is captured, you lose the game.
This King and the other King, their letters are a bit different.
It has a dot here.
This one hasn't.
Actually, this means jewel.
And this means King. It's pretty interesting.
It is said that originally they were both Jewel Generals. But at some point, one changed to King General.
Usually the better player of the two uses the King General. For example, the champion uses the King and the challenger the Jewel, or older player uses the King and the younger the Jewel, so on.
Now we have two pieces left here. These are called major pieces, and they're the strongest pieces in shogi.
Their size is almost as big as that of the King.
This one on the right is a Rook. It moves exactly same as a western chess Rook.
Actually it says "Flying Chariot". In Japanese, "Hi-sha" or "Hi".
And the one on the left is a Bishop. It moves exactly same as a western chess Bishop.
It's written "Angle Goer", which means it moves in the direction of the angles.
So, it moves diagonally just as a western chess Bishop.
In Japanese, it's "Kaku-gyou" or "Kaku".
That's all for today. In the next lesson, I'll explain how the pieces move.
Thanks for watching. Good-bye.