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Cool Japan / Shogi (将棋)

File:Shogi.jpg
(A shogi game being played with a magnetic traveling set. Captured pieces in the tray
(bottom-center) can be dropped on the board by the capturing player.)

Shogi is a Japanese chess game using a board and 40 pieces. In the formal type of the game called Hon-Shogi, the game is played between two players of Sente (the first player) and Gote (the opponent player). The two players alternate taking turns and the game is won when a king is captured.
File:Shogi Ban Koma.jpg
(A traditional shōgi-ban (shogi board) displaying a set of koma (pieces). The pieces
on the far side are turned to show their promoted values. The stands on either side are
komadai used to hold captured pieces. The board itself is raised for the comfort of
players seated on tatami mats (background), and is hollowed underneath to
produce a pleasing sound when the pieces are moved.)

The pieces are divided into eight kinds, each of which is moved or captured according to the rule defined to each piece. The appeal of Shogi lies in the process of running the king to ground by capturing the opponent pieces and using it as the friendly pieces or promoting the pieces to add them different movement.
File:Shogi Koma Ryoko.jpg
(Closeup of shogi pieces. Top: +R, R, K (reigning), K (challenging), B, +B. Bottom: +L, L, +S, S, G, N, +N, p, +p.)

Other than Hon-Shogi, there are some variants such as Hasami-Shogi (sandwiching shogi), in which the game is won when the agreed number of pieces are captured, or Mawari-Shogi for children, in which players cast four king pieces move according to how the piece fall.

By TS on May 12, 2012
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