Shogi is a traditional Japanese board game that is often referred to as Japanese chess. The game is played by two players and can be enjoyed by both beginners and seasoned players.

Object of the Game

The goal of Shogi is to capture your opponent’s king. This is done by placing the king in checkmate, which means that the king is under attack and there is no way for it to escape capture.

Game Setup

Shogi is played on a board that is 9 squares wide and 9 squares long. Each player starts with 20 pieces, which are placed on opposite sides of the board. The pieces are arranged in two rows, with each row containing 9 pieces.

The pieces used in Shogi are similar to those used in Western chess, but with a few differences. Each player has the following pieces:

1 king
1 rook
1 bishop
2 gold generals
2 silver generals
2 knights
2 lances
9 pawns

The king is placed in the center of the first row, with the rook to its right and the bishop to its left. The gold generals are placed next to the rook and bishop, followed by the silver generals, knights, and lances. The pawns are placed in the second row, one in each square.


Players take turns moving one piece at a time. The pieces move differently, so it’s important to understand how each piece moves.

King: moves one square in any direction
Rook: moves any number of squares horizontally or vertically
Bishop: moves any number of squares diagonally
Gold general: moves one square in any direction except diagonally backward
Silver general: moves one square diagonally or one square straight forward
Knight: moves two squares forward and one square to the left or right
Lance: moves any number of squares straight forward
Pawn: moves one square straight forward

When a piece is moved, it cannot be moved back to its original position on the same turn. Pieces can be captured by moving one of your own pieces onto a square occupied by an opponent’s piece. Captured pieces are removed from the board and can be used by the capturing player in later turns.


When a pawn, knight, silver general, or lance reaches the opponent’s side of the board, it can be promoted to a more powerful piece. The piece is flipped over to reveal its promoted side, which has a different set of movements. Promoted pawns become gold generals, promoted knights become jump horses, promoted silver generals become pieces that move like a bishop and a rook combined (called “Tokin”), and promoted lances move like a rook (called “Nari Giku”).


The game ends when one player captures the other player’s king or when one player puts the other player’s king in checkmate. The game can also end in a draw if both players agree, if a player runs out of time, or if both players run out of pieces on the board.


Shogi is a fun and challenging game that requires strategy and critical thinking. With a bit of practice, anyone can learn to play and enjoy this fascinating Japanese board game!