Saturday, January 31, 2015

Hidetchi's Shogi Dictionary

Any English speaker attempting serious study of shogi knows the biggest issue involved. It's language. Most of the primary source material that shogi masters study is still only published in Japanese.

Those of us that take up the study of Japanese in an effort to overcome the language barrier learn very quickly, shogi has a unique vocabulary. Shogi specific phrases don't translate well with online translation engines, and Japanese-English dictionaries don't have many of the shogi specific terms needed for reading Japanese shogi texts. Not only do we have to overcome the barrier of learning Japanese, but we also have to learn a specific niche of Japanese vocabulary that isn't found in standard textbooks and dictionaries.

Shogi Dictionary by Hidetchi
Some of the frustration has come to an end. We now have access to a shogi dictionary thanks to the hard work of Tomohide Kawasaki.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Speeding up Shogi

I'd love to play a game of shogi, but I don't have time.

That's a common complaint. We all have limited time, and an hour to play, even our favorite game, is hard to come by. And if one or more of the players tend to think for a long time on each move, forget about a quick game.

Shogi games between evenly matched opponents often take over a hundred moves to complete. They can even take hundreds of moves to finish. And, with shogi's highly developed handicap system, all games tend to be between evenly matched opponents. The number of moves adds up to a long game, very quickly.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Five Shogi Tips for Novices

You've played your first few games of shogi, and want some quick tips to impove your game. Shogi players range in skill from first-time players to fully professional players making their living off shogi play. Advanced strategies aren't a good starting point for novice players. Here are five tips tailored for shogi begginers. These tips just might save your king.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

In remembrance of George Hodges (1934-2010)

George Hodges first learned shogi from Trevor Leggett's book, Shogi: Japan's Game of Strategy (1966). He felt Westerners would love shogi, so arranged the creation of westernized shogi sets, and imported traditional shogi sets from Japan. With the help of Glyndon Townhill, he devised the common English shogi game notation still used globally.