Great generals are good at chess

Train regulations

In principle, the shogi pieces move like chess pieces. Some moves are identical, for example that of the king, tower or bishop. With others it is noticeable that they have more possibilities of pulling forward than backward. The western chess player only knows this from the pawn, with the shogi it strikes him especially with the different moves of the knights. The lance and generals are also strongly forward-looking. Although the shogi board is larger, there are more stones with a rather short range in the shogi. This is more than compensated for by the possibility of using captured pieces. The board burns in every game, there are hardly any leisurely games - there are also no draws.

In the following descriptions of the move rules, a point symbolizes the possibility of moving to exactly this space (king, etc.), an arrow the possibility of moving any distance in a certain direction (tower, bishop, lance).

The king (in the notation he has the symbol "K"), the main character in the game. All the attention is given to him. He may move one space in any direction on each turn. He cannot be promoted, there is nothing left over the king.
Strictly speaking, there is only one king. The other is called Jade General and has this appendix in the characters on the right, while the king is symbolized only with the four strokes. But both draw the same. The older or higher ranking player gets the king, the other the jade general. Everything has to be in order.

The gold general (G), also known as gold for short, is ranked below the king. He pulls similarly to this one, but is not allowed to pull back at an angle. He is not promoted, there is only the king above him and “there can only be one”!
It is often used for the immediate protection of one's own king. In addition, he is probably the figure that most often mates by inserting.
For those familiar with the western game of chess, the generals are very unfamiliar figures.


The silver general (S) or silver also moves in a similar way to the king, but cannot straighten to the side or backwards. It is particularly sensitive on the sides.
Promoted (right picture) he moves like gold and loses the ability to move diagonally backwards.


The pawn (P) always moves one space forward. In contrast to western chess, it also moves a square forward (and not at an angle), which means that pawns cannot block each other. This makes the game more open than chess. The promoted farmer is called Tokin and moves like a gold general.
Pawns may not be placed on a line that already has a (unsupported) pawn from the same team. Pawns are also not allowed to be placed on the last row, because then they can no longer move. After all, the pawn is the only piece that cannot be used with mate (but with check). Of course, he is allowed to mate (by moving, not by inserting).


The lance (L) pulls straight ahead as far as you want (not back, not to the side). When she is promoted, she moves like a gold general. It can be used anywhere, except of course on the back row.
You can still see certain similarities with the rook of western chess: in the initial setup, the position in the corner and the straight and far-reaching movement.


The knight (N) moves one square forward and then one more diagonally forward. So he has a maximum of two options. As in chess, he is the only piece allowed to jump over other pieces. Promoted, he pulls like a gold general.
It cannot be used on the last two rows.


The runner (B) is a posable figure with a long reach. He moves diagonally as far as he likes - just like in chess.
He is promoted to the horse (not to be confused with the jumper!) And can also go straight one space. The horse is the strongest defender.


The rook (R) moves straight in all four directions, as far as you want - just like in chess.
He is promoted to a kite, can also go one space diagonally and is the strongest attacker on the board.

If you want to try the game now, you can do it against computer programs. Search for Shogivariants (weak) or Bonanza (strong) on ​​the web - both are free.

If you want to play against people online, PlayOK is recommended as a beginner. The better platform would then be 81-square-universe.

Anyone who needs further help is in good hands on the German-language website Shoginet, where there is also a more detailed description of the online platforms.