Shogi on down and get go-ing!

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default Shogi on down and get go-ing!

Message par Tum0r le Ven 25 Avr 2008, 12:50 pm

Go shogi and go

Experience the spirit of bushido sitting down. KS gets hands on with Japanese board games.

The Japanese are fierce when it comes to competition and this holds true even in the nation's approach to board games. Shogi and go are two of the most popular but for most of us they are shrouded in oriental mystery. Fancy a new game to put beside Scrabble? Then read on …

Shogi and go both originate in China. Records show that the first versions of the games appeared in Japan from as early as the 7th Century.

Shogi has always been synonymous with the upper echelons of power in Japan, especially with members of the Government and the Emperor's family always showing huge interest in the games. It remained largely exclusive to these groups until the fall of the Tokugawa Shogunate at the end of the 19th Century. Skills and techniques were passed down through Japanese families with the games eventually gaining equal popularity with other traditions such as the tea ceremo- ny. With this growth in popularity the games eventually slipp-ed out of the exclusive realm of the elite and into the world of the regular folk.

Shogi is known for being a distant cousin of chess, and abroad is sometimes known as Japanese chess. There have been many variants over the centuries, with the main changes being made to the pieces, board and rules. The game is unique for its use of pentagonal pieces showing kanji chara-cters. The kanji can be intimidating at first, but it is less of
a challenge to learn the characters than it looks. Like chess, the objective is to protect your king until you have beaten your opponent.

The game of go also involves two players but the objecti-ves are slightly different. Played on a square board, the two players take turns to place stones on intersections, or liberti-es, to score points. Score big and the game is yours. Go is played with 180 white stones and 181 black stones (this player going first). It can be quite easy to learn the rules as some of the moves and strategies are familiar from drafts or checkers. This game can last for hours, sometimes days, if played with scrupulous regard to the many rules.

The games are celebrated in this part of the world for their history, skill and enjoyment. The estimated number of players is an impressive seven million with many beginners taking up the games every year. It doesn't matter whether you can speak Japanese or Chinese. If you have the will and skill to play, you will shine.

Shogi on down and get go-ing!

Thinking of taking up a new game? Then check out this guide of how to get involved with shogi and go …

Clubs and associations

Both games developed with the establishment of different clubs and associations. The Tokyo Shogi Association was founded in 1924, later becoming the current Japan Shogi Association. The website offers forums for Shogi enthusiasts and information about Shogi's leading players including Habu, Moriuchi and Sato.

Similarly, the founding of the Honinbo School (or Go Academy) in 1868 helped to establish go. The level of play increased with the introduction of a player ranking system and the prestigious Japan-ese go championship, the Honinbo Tournament. Nowadays, the annual China-Japan Super Go competition sees the most skilled Chinese and Japanese players battling it out in an intense test of boardmanship.

Players can join shogi or go clubs at university or high school. For something a little easier, you can join your own online club in the International Shogi Club. Learn new rules, play games and even become a member online dedicated to shogi.

Go clubs are a bit more difficult to find with most of them protected and authenticated by the Professional Igo Association. However, their official site does have some good links and information, tips and the chance to get online with other go enthusiasts.

Tournaments & competitions

Tournaments and competitions take place all over the world. America and Europe have their own associations and competitions set up and of course Asia is no stranger to contests. The International Go Federation site is a good starting point to find out where all the action is tak-ing place. The International Shogi Club site also features information about competitions in the Japanese chess world.

If getting to a tournament is a little difficult, then experience an internet game instead — both go and shogi are very active online. There are several internet competiti-ons and fixtures and it's a great way to meet other enthusiasts. Many of the sites also feature guides and tips to help you improve your tech-nique and you can play someone to suit your level of expertise. The Computer Shogi Association is one of the best places to start with several opportunities to set up your perfect fixture. For go, check out the Professional Igo Association (or Nihon Ki-In) for more information.


In the 21st century, both games have become more accessible to the younger generation. Manga and anime series have started using go in their stories to familiarise the youth market with the game. Shogi is televised on both NHK and BSN1 — a great way to study technique and learn more about the rules, but it is all in Japanese.

There's an impressive Japanese (and English) booklist on how to play shogi (or go) available online and in bookshops.
Newspapers are another good source of information and tips, Some publications have daily go or shogi columns. Newspapers are also res-ponsible for sponsorship of annual events, which, especially in the case of go, can last for months at a time with prize money in the region of $175,000. Not bad for a board game.

Online Help

If you fancy going back to school to get to know your game a little better, you can do it online from the comfort of your own futon.

The International Shogi Club has a section on their website to help beginners. Students can join the International Shogi School at any-time. The website offers advice, tips and also rule guides. Bulletin boards and Q and As also make it a valuable source of information. Internet matches can also be arran-ged here so you can hone your growing skills.

The Professional Igo Association has a website dedicated to events in Kansai but it's in Japanese only. The national Nihon page (available in English) is still quite helpful though and features information, rules and links to other sites to help you with go. You can also watch live games and find out all the latest news and gossip from the igo world. Gambatte!

Check out these sites to get involved with shogi or go in the
real world somewhere near you …
— shogi info
— Japan Shogi Association
— shogi info
— International Shogi Club
— Shogi Association
— Rules of go
— Professional Igo Association
— Kansai Professional Igo Association
— International Go Federation

Text: Naheen Madarbakus • Photos: Taka Kataoka


Nombre de messages : 438
Age : 38
Localisation : Liège
Emploi/loisirs : Shogi, Poker, Japon, Musique
Date d'inscription : 03/03/2008

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default Re: Shogi on down and get go-ing!

Message par guritogura le Sam 17 Mai 2008, 1:49 am

bon pas encore tout lu mais merci pour toutes les infos (je répète mais bon...)

Nombre de messages : 36
Age : 45
Localisation : Nouméa
Emploi/loisirs : plongée ; " japon "
Date d'inscription : 17/05/2008

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