new Shogi book in english

326 views
Skip to first unread message

johnnymam

unread,
Mar 8, 2021, 1:00:13 PMMar 8
to SHOGI-L

New book published in English, available on Amazon:

Japanese Chess or Shogi Book of Board Game Strategy


calogero salomon

unread,
Mar 8, 2021, 1:36:30 PMMar 8
to SHOGI-L

congratulations, you use the classic shogi pieces or as seen in the cover of the book

Riko De Las Casas

unread,
Mar 8, 2021, 1:46:58 PMMar 8
to sho...@googlegroups.com
  Hi Johnny,

With all due respect, who is this book for?  Just a cursory look at this book makes it apparent that you are either ignorant of or simply ignoring the work that shogi promoters before you have done.

You've created *yet another* westernized piece set, with the description on your book claiming it's "an easier way for English speakers to learn this complex board game," but not only have you come up with your OWN notation style that completely contradicts any of the notations that have come before you, the book is also riddled with Japanese shogi jargon.  This is an unnecessary mountain for beginning readers to climb over, especially when we already have established translations for most strategies.  Furthermore, while I understand that algebraic notation may not be the most intuitive to have a leisurely read while sitting back in your chair, having access to a comprehensive move list when covering strategies is extremely important for someone studying, as it makes it easy to check all the moves at a glance.

I worry that someone who learns from this book would actually have to re-learn the game, yet again, just to be able to communicate with the rest of the English shogi community.  For that reason, I cannot in good conscience recommend this book to anyone, regardless of skill level, 

-Riko

On Mon, Mar 8, 2021 at 12:00 PM johnnymam <mamo...@gmail.com> wrote:

New book published in English, available on Amazon:

Japanese Chess or Shogi Book of Board Game Strategy


--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "SHOGI-L" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to shogi-l+u...@googlegroups.com.
To view this discussion on the web visit https://groups.google.com/d/msgid/shogi-l/c789ef86-a2bf-48cf-91b2-560004e27261n%40googlegroups.com.

Gabriel Saavedra Morrás

unread,
Mar 8, 2021, 1:57:25 PMMar 8
to sho...@googlegroups.com
Do you have a quick view of the book? Because I think, re-do everything is just out of logic, is like being alone in a island with no source of any information. In the descriptions it say you use computer análisis, so why change notation? Why make more stuf to learn before start to play? The book comes with a set with those pieces or you expect people learn shogi from your book, then they have to re learn to play with a normal set? 

Really in this way your book make more questions than answers

bali...@yahoo.com

unread,
Mar 8, 2021, 2:59:36 PMMar 8
to SHOGI-L
It looks like this author has published a lot of game books of the same sort, with computer analysis - xiangqi, nine men's morris, yahtzee, some backgammon variants ...

johnnymam

unread,
Mar 8, 2021, 7:49:06 PMMar 8
to SHOGI-L
Hmmm....
Actually, the notation system I use is basic international chess notation, with the bottom in letters and the sides with numbers.  This notation system is nothing new, I did not invent it.  Actually, this notation system was applied to Shogi in a book on Shogi published in 1954, by O'Hara.  It was already used almost 70 years ago in a Shogi book!  I am only using conventional notation here.  Nothing new under the sun.  However, i also have a section in the book that is devoted to explaining all of the different standard notation systems for shogi.  So the reader will be able to understand all of the books written with different notation systems.  Each shogi book writer uses a different notation system, depending on their whim.  There is no one best standardized notation.

I also did not create the westernized chess set.  I basically took the westernized chess set used in the XBoardSG open source program, and edited it slightly.  I made up my own pieces
for the silver general and gold general, and used radiating stripes to indicate promotion.  The silver and gold general pieces were designed to be easy to read when diagrams were shrunk
down to a board diameter of about 2.5 inches on the printed page.  Using radiating stripes is a no-brainer.  It makes it much easier to see promoted pieces, compared to the weird shapes
of promoted pieces used in other Shogi chess sets. 

The book minimizes use of Japanese Shogi jargon and I don't invent new jargon.  One of the goals I pursued in this book was to provide enough vocabulary for the reader to be able to understand this vocabulary when the reader saw it in other essays/writings on shogi on the internet.  You can understand technical terms for different castles, you can understand the explanations on the Yamajunn
webpage on Shogi.

Actually, this book is designed for people who don't have a clue about the game to gain enough knowledge to become intermediate level players.  It instructs in the game from the ground up. 
Previous books and writings on Shogi seem to have glitches in formatting that make it difficult to follow diagrams and explanations.  Diagrams combined with international chess notation make
it much easier to understand diagrams in the new book. 

There are many small essays or modules illustrating basic and advanced strategies, blunders and pitfalls, checkmate combinations....The reader will not have to "re-learn" anything.  The vocabulary
used in the book is the same as what's written previously in english.  This is a clearly written book on the game, not like the hard-to-read or hard-to-follow treatments by O'Hara or Legget.  Not sure
what you mean by there already being "established translations of most strategies."

johnnymam

unread,
Mar 8, 2021, 7:56:45 PMMar 8
to SHOGI-L
To provide a basic background of opening games and strategies, the book summarizes much of what has been previously done about the game, so there is a foundation from previous information.  The
notation system used is actually an old one applied to Shogi, that was used in O'Hara's book on Shogi published in 1954.  So I did not "invent" or "change" notation.
There are also additional strategies derived from computer analysis that go beyond pre-existing research. 

The digital Shogi set used was uploaded to the Internet Archive as a public domain set.  Anyone can install it in XBoardSG and play Shogi using the set.  The pictographic set, in my view, makes it much
easier for a non-Japanese speaker to see the inter-relationships between the pieces and intelligently visualize strategies.  The reader does not have to "re-learn to play with a normal Japanese set."  The
strategies are all the same, whatever set is used.  If you want to use a classical Japanese set, go ahead.  If a reader can more efficiently learn the game from a pictographic set than a Japanese set, then
the reader will become a better player using the Japanese set, after efficiently learning insights using a pictographic set.

captbirdseye

unread,
Mar 8, 2021, 9:49:27 PMMar 8
to SHOGI-L
On Monday, 8 March 2021 at 18:46:58 UTC Eric De Las Casas wrote:
With all due respect, who is this book for?  Just a cursory look at this book makes it apparent that you are either ignorant of or simply ignoring the work that shogi promoters before you have done.

etc.

I too have had a cursory look at this book. I will look at it in more detail later.

I unhesitatingly agree with every point made by Mr. De Las Casas, particularly those dealing with:

- work done by previous Shogi promoters (eg: the late George Hodges)
- the introduction of yet another westernized piece set
- the notation system
- the need to re-learn the game when moving from a westernised version to real Shogi

This is yet another misguided attempt to force Shogi to look as much as possible like International Chess,
with no regard or consideration for the fact that Shogi is essentially a Japanese game which comes with all
the cultural associations to be expected (and appreciated!) with such a distinctive game. These cultural
associations are part of the 'fun' of learning to play Shogi.

On first inspection, this is a very poor book. Unfortunately, it is not the only very poor book which has been
published in English in the recent past.


Message has been deleted

captbirdseye

unread,
Mar 8, 2021, 10:34:58 PMMar 8
to SHOGI-L
On Tuesday, 9 March 2021 at 00:49:06 UTC johnnymam wrote:
> Actually, the notation system I use is basic international chess notation, with the bottom in letters and the sides with numbers.  This notation system is 
> nothing new, I did not invent it.  Actually, this notation system was applied to Shogi in a book on Shogi published in 1954, by O'Hara.  It was already used
> almost 70 years ago in a Shogi book!  I am only using conventional notation here...

This is not conventional Shogi notation!

On my bookshelf, I have almost every Shogi book published in English in the last 30 years. They all use either the 'algebraic' system,
or a 'numeric' system. No modern Shogi book of which I am aware uses International Chess notation. Why would they when there is an
established Shogi notation system (which originates at the top right of the board, not the bottom left).

> I also did not create the westernized chess set...the weird shapes of promoted pieces used in other Shogi chess sets. 

No, you simply plagiarised another weird Shogi chess set  

> Actually, this book is designed for people who don't have a clue about the game

After reading this book, it is my guess that they will still not have a clue about the game.

> Diagrams combined with international chess notation make it much easier to understand diagrams in the new book.

I simply do not believe this assertion. I'd like to see some evidence that this is indeed the case.

> This is a clearly written book on the game, not like the hard-to-read or hard-to-follow treatments by O'Hara or Legget. 

I've never managed to track down the book by O'Hara, but I suppose that we have to agree on something - Legget's book is rather poor.
Poor diagrams, very strange notation system, at least one very major mistake in the rules, plus doubtful strategic advice. 

> Not sure what you mean by there already being "established translations of most strategies."

If you haven't already done so, to see what is meant by  "established translations of most strategies", Please look at The Art of Shogi
by Tony Hosking (or any book published by The Shogi Foundation), Shogi for Beginners by John Fairbairn (or Fairbairn's translations of 
Guide to Shogi Openings or Better Moves for Better Shogi), or any of the books published by Aobo, or any English Wikipedia Shogi page.


Reply to all
Reply to the author
Forward

johnnymam

unread,
Mar 8, 2021, 11:39:35 PMMar 8
to SHOGI-L
I unhesitatingly agree with every point made by Mr. De Las Casas, particularly those dealing with:

- work done by previous Shogi promoters (eg: the late George Hodges)

*****I cited Hodges' magazines as a source in the book's bibliography, and the hoskins books.  Nothing in the book negates
whatever Hodges did, his writings were quite sensible.  Basically, my book is meant to present an over-arching view of the game, in a teaching style similar to that of Irving Chernev in his "An Invitation to Chess."  Lots of expository writing about core strategies, heavily illustrated.  I think a book on a
game like Shogi requires heavy illustration, due to the huge information complexity in a single board configuration.  Having a laundry list of algebreic
notation would not give a reader as much insight about the game as seeing a complete board position, unless the reader is one of those hyper elite
types with an IQ of 179 and the memory of a Bobby Fischer.  That's not a mainstream audience.
 
- the introduction of yet another westernized piece set

*****A pictographic set to demonstrate Shogi is the kind of set that I personally want to see as the basis of illustrating a Shogi book.  I think many people would agree.  It is difficult for me personally to distinguish between letter characters for pieces, and then determine how these are inter-related.  If you have that talent, more power to you.  Not everyone has, and there are people who find it difficult to get into the game because it is challenging to work with letter pieces versus pictographic pieces. 
 
- the notation system

****notation doesn't matter.  Only the concepts matter.  There is no standard Shogi notation.  Even the Japanese professionals use different notation systems in their essays on the game.  One system is not better than another, except if a reader finds one system to be more intuitive than another.  I find a standard numerical notation system with pairs of numbers to be cumbersome compared to a basic letter/number system.  The notation system is secondary to the meat and potatoes of the book, which is the demonstration of strategic or tactical concepts.
 
- the need to re-learn the game when moving from a westernised version to real Shogi

*****The core strategies and concepts do not need to be relearned.  Notation systems or piece representations may need to be relearned, but this is not particularly difficult or time-consuming.
 
This is yet another misguided attempt to force Shogi to look as much as possible like International Chess,
with no regard or consideration for the fact that Shogi is essentially a Japanese game which comes with all
the cultural associations to be expected (and appreciated!) with such a distinctive game. These cultural
associations are part of the 'fun' of learning to play Shogi.

*****Ahhh...an arbitrary cultural relativism argument.  My view is that Shogi is an abstract board game, so that ultimately, it is an object of mathematical or scientific analysis.  You can talk about cultural bells and whistles, like making the board out of an expensive type of wood, or holding each piece between two fingers, the beauty of Japanese calligraphy, etc.  The book discusses things like Japanese vocabulary in the game and gives credit to
Japanese Shogi experts and how they helped develop the game.  But mainly I am concerned about how this game is related to rigor in problem-solving and scientific analysis.  Chess is more of a game of war than culture...you try to outsmart and out-strategize the opponent in order to kill him or her.

 
On first inspection, this is a very poor book. Unfortunately, it is not the only very poor book which has been
published in English in the recent past.

*****I saw many flaws in how other english books presented the game, and sought out solutions to avoid these flaws in my book.  The key is to avoid flaws that reduce the pedagogical value of the book. 

It boils down to the opinion of the reader.  Some chess books a reader likes, others they dislike.  Depends also on how the neuron architecture is of the chess book reader.  some books click in some neuron architectures, others do not.

Angela Salvaggione

unread,
Mar 9, 2021, 10:05:08 AMMar 9
to sho...@googlegroups.com
Riko,
 
Looking at this, it seems like the audience might have to be western chess players who already know how to play shogi? I don't see any introduction of piece movement or game rules, and no explanation of what the pieces are - particularly the ones with no correlation to western chess pieces. As the book jumps right in with Yagura, it would seem that some substantial foreknowledge of how to play is expected. And if someone's already gotten that far along, they've most likely already been introduced the the piece kanji and basic ability to read kifu and understand shogi game notation. A quick one-page J/E vocab list would be ample to provide that information, rather than creating an, essentially, upside-down version of reading a score, that will need to be unlearned once the reader wants to examine other resources.
 
I don't play a lot of chess, but even just looking at western-ish stylized pieces, if I see P7f with chess looking type pawns, my brain first interprets that as that pawn has two other pawns supporting it.
 
Yes move lists would be extremely helpful. Actually reading the score and moving the pieces on the board is something that helps me a lot, and I imagine would help for many others as well.
 
There may be some good information in this book, to be sure. But I wish the author had run the idea of the text and diagrams past a strong, well-read shogi player or two and gotten some input as to layout and audience. The diagrams, for me, are very off-putting, and would be the primary reason why it's not a book I'd consider adding to my collection.
 
On the whole, I agree with your assessment. However, I don't know that anyone for whom this book might be useful would have to relearn shogi. To get any benefit from this book, you'd already need some initial knowledge of the game. Rather, I think people who might benefit from this book would have to unlearn shogi notation to read the book.
 
Ang

johnnymam

unread,
Mar 10, 2021, 8:35:07 AMMar 10
to SHOGI-L
The book has a section on rules and notation, put in an appendix area.  The Look Inside feature on Amazon only
shows one page of the two page table of contents.  Authors cannot control what is displayed in the Look Inside
feature, hence the inappropriate truncation.  Here is the basic table of contents:

Table of Contents:

Introduction to Japanese Chess or Shogi.................1
The Shogi Opening Game..................................2

Introduction to the Shogi Opening Game………………………………………………. 2

Common First Moves of the Shogi Opening Game……….…………………….. 4

The Yagura Opening……………………………………...........................………….… 6

White Static Rook (Ibisha) Opening and a Bear-in-the-Hole (Anaguma)

Castle vs. Black Ranging Rook (Furibisha) Opening and a Mino Castle... 13

Ai-Yokofudori or Double Side Pawn Picker Opening Game…............... 18

Ai-Yokofudori Opening Game Pitfall for Black…………........................... 20

Ai-Yokofudori Opening Game Trap And Zap No.2………………………….…. 23

Kakugawari or Bishop Exchange Opening Game……………….………… 29

Kakugawari Opening Game Trap And Zap No.1…………………………………. 31

Kakugawari Opening Game Trap And Zap No.2……………………..……….... 32

Kakugawari Opening Game Trap And Zap No.3………….………………….. 33

Aigakari Double Wing Attack Opening Game……………………………………. 34

Primitive Climbing Silver (Bogin) Opening, Leading from a Double

Wing Attack (Aigakari) Opening……………………………………………………….. 35

Basic Defense Against Primitive Climbing Silver Opening Game……..... 41

Primitive Climbing Silver Opening Variation…………………………………....... 43

Mukaibisha or Opposing Rook or Second File Rook Opening Game…... 49

Mukaibisha Opening Game Pitfall: Pinned Rook Blunder…………......… 51

Mukaibisha Opening Game Pitfall: Rook Discovery Threat Blunder….... 54

Two Ranging Rook (Ai-Furibisha) Opening Games Consisting of Two Sangenbisha

(Third File Ranging Rook) Openings with Black Gold

Excelsior or Twin Gold Castle versus White Mino Castle…………….……..... 55

Quick Ishida Attack (Haya Ishida) Third File Rook (Sangenbisha)

Opening Game……………………………………………………………………………….… 59

Quick Ishida Opening King-Rook Fork Pitfall………………………………….... 60

Quick Ishida Opening Rook-Silver Fork Pitfall………………………..………… 61

Quick Ishida Opening Double Lance Fork Pitfall……...……………..……..... 66

Black Ibisha (Static Rook) Opening with Elmo Castle versus White Shikenbisha

(Fourth File Ranging Rook) Opening with Mino Castle

(Mino Gakoi)…………………………………………………………………………….……. 68

Black Shikenbisha (Fourth File Rook) Opening with High Mino Castle

versus White Ibisha (Static Rook) Opening with Millennium Castle….… 72

Fuji System: Black Shikenbisha (Fourth File Ranging Rook) Opening

Game versus White Ibisha (Static Rook) Opening Game: Black Prevents

White from Forming Anaguma Castle…………………………..……….………….. 78

Black Cheerful Central Rook Opening (Gokigen Nakabisha) versus

White Ibisha (Static Rook) Opening with Boat Castle (Funa Gakoi)….... 85

Shogi Opening Game Blunders and Pitfalls…………………….….………….…… 89

Shogi Opening Game Blunders and Pitfalls................89
Castles in Shogi........................................114
Gallery of Shogi Castles................................117
Importance of Keeping Castle Structure Intact...........133

The Shogi Middlegame and Endgame........................149
Strategies and Tactics of Dropping Pieces...............149
Middle Game Infiltration and Dropping Tactics...........167
Endgame Infiltration and Dropping Tactics...............228
Shogi Checkmate Problems and Solution...................267

Appendix
Rules of Shogi..........................................323
Shogi Notation Systems..................................332
Shogi Annotated Game No.1 — Fast Checkmate..............340
Shogi Shogi Annotated Game No.2.........................341
About this Book.........................................348
Bibliography............................................349

Riko De Las Casas

unread,
Mar 10, 2021, 3:29:02 PMMar 10
to sho...@googlegroups.com
So... you wrote a book with the idea to teach the game and you stuck all the stuff about learning the game in the back of the book...? Seems counterproductive to me.

Boris Mirnik

unread,
Mar 10, 2021, 3:35:23 PMMar 10
to sho...@googlegroups.com
Writing a book requires a significant commitment. I do very much appreciate any effort to popularize Shogi. So each book is good news. Those who feel that they can write an even better book are obviously free to do so.

captbirdseye

unread,
Mar 11, 2021, 1:39:34 AMMar 11
to SHOGI-L
On Wednesday, 10 March 2021 at 20:29:02 UTC Eric De Las Casas wrote:
So... you wrote a book with the idea to teach the game and you stuck all the stuff about learning the game in the back of the book...? Seems counterproductive to me.

Yes, that's pretty counter-intuitive, isn't it...

The author's response to a previous post of mine is so full of BS that I can't be bothered to comment - except for the 
remark:

 "...my book is meant to present an over-arching view of the game..."

No false modesty there, then...

This author seems to be determined to force Shogi into a Chess-like mould (chequered board, chess-like notation,
faux-Staunton style piece images). As far as I am aware, this old and discredited idea was first recorded on paper 
in the now defunct magazine 'Variant Chess' in 1990. The first article in a remarkable short selection is unashamedly
titled 'The Westermisation of Shogi', and the authors actually take us through a series of diagrams, starting with a 
proper Shogi diagram, and ending up with one of these chess-board like messes. This is (apparently) a 'Good Thing'.
The idea seems to be that the more we make Shogi look like Chess, the better the game will be... Give me strength!

Since then, it's been downhill all the way as far as making Shogi look like Chess is concerned, but these folks are
really determined - you have to give them 10/10 for persistence.

These 'Westernisers' seem completely impervious to the idea that Shogi is a different game to Chess, and deserves
to be treated as such. How do you cope with folks who are convinced that the world is flat? I dunno...


Daniel Toebbens

unread,
Mar 11, 2021, 4:09:43 AMMar 11
to sho...@googlegroups.com
I wonder to which degree our community here is representative for Shogi players in the West? In old times it certainly was the hub of the world for western Shogi, with basically all active players being a member of this list. However, mailing lists have gone out of style years ago. The membership basically fossilized and nowadys consitsts mostly of players that learned the game the traditional way, with japanese equipment, from japanese literature. We like it this way, otherwise we would have quit playing years ago. 
 
But these days there are many, many players that learned the game from electronic sources, playing on western portals like 81Dojo or PlayOk, on mobile apps, or on the Nintendo Switch. For many of these players the use of westernized sets should be very common. Also, they typically know the moves from playing around with the game. If they bother with theory, they will want to go directly to the basic strategies. This book might be for them.
 
We rarely meet those players, as only few of them turn up for real-life Shogi. And they certainly will not join a mailing list.
 
 
Gesendet: Mittwoch, 10. März 2021 um 21:35 Uhr
Von: "Boris Mirnik" <boris....@gmail.com>
An: sho...@googlegroups.com
Betreff: Re: new Shogi book in english

johnnymam

unread,
Mar 11, 2021, 9:10:02 AMMar 11
to SHOGI-L
I was not expecting people to get so emotional about a chess book.  I was expecting a response more like, "Oh, a new book on Shogi?  That's cute.  Maybe I'll buy it six months from now."

What can I say...I see lots of flaws in how existing Shogi books project ideas about the game to english speaking audiences.  That's what I see, so I decided to write a book that was a reflection of what I think are ideal ways of projecting the concepts to english speaking audiences.  No chess book is liked by everyone.  My book will not turn a person into a grandmaster, and in that sense the book is flawed, but that is not my fault, but rather it is because Shogi is a combinatorially colossal game.  Maybe with 3,000 more books on Shogi, a true big picture will emerge.  

There is no one "standard" layout for a Shogi book.  Each book on Shogi uses its own different style of presenting the material, and each book uses a slightly different notation system, as does each website on Shogi.  People are acting like this Hodges guy was some kind of intellectual god and that subsequent Shogi writings must build on his work.  But no one author had all the answers, or had a definitive way of explaining the game.  Was Galen a god of anatomy, not to be questioned?  Was Ptolemy a god of astronomy, not to be questioned?  Did Aristotle have all the answers?  People thought yes, and there was no progress in their respective fields for 1,500 years.  Ironically, these ancient intellectuals did not think that they were gods either, they expected others to critique and correct their work.  

Yes, I am trying to fit Shogi into a pictographic chess pieces "box."  Perhaps this is a bit presumptuous and arrogant intellectually.  Big deal.  If, as some people are implying here, the book is the crappiest book on Shogi since the invention of slice bread or the building of Cheops' pyramids, fine.  The free market shall decide its fate.  The brutal customer can kill it by not feeding it his or her dollars.  Or, the customer can give its author the ability to buy an occasional sandwich with the royalties.  

Shogi is a different logic system compared to international chess, but it shares one thing in common with chess: it is an object of scientific and mathematical analysis.  You can analyze the game in objective, strictly scientific terms, without needing some kind of stylistic construct for embellishing the game.

Angela Salvaggione

unread,
Mar 11, 2021, 3:59:10 PMMar 11
to sho...@googlegroups.com
Oh, a new book on Shogi? That's cute.
 
I do find it interesting of the names you cite, that their work should be critiqued and corrected, but you're not so amicable to the prospect of having the same done of your work. You may very well have some excellent information in it, and it could be a welcome addition to the body of work available. Honestly, I hope so. But by creating a completely new westernized system, you likely won't garner a lot of interest from those who already read at least scores in Japanese, as is much of the audience in this group. As you say, you see flaws in how existing shogi books project ideas about the game to English speaking audiences. Many here, including myself, agree with you. But you've offered your work here and gotten some reaction as well.
 
To Daniel's point, you may indeed find a larger audience among other groups and venues than here, as the membership here is still here from the previous millennium. Reaching new audiences would be a good thing. The more players, the better, as far as many of us are concerned. However, I'm wondering if there's a market for a sequel along the lines of "You Learned How To Play Shogi Through a Westernized System, Diagrams, and Notational System. Now Here's How To Read Them In a Standard Japanese System." If for anyone who purchases your book as a first foray into shogi, if they decide they want a second foray, they'll be learning a new notational system and diagrams.
 
I'm curious - do books written in Japanese about chess use shogi-style diagrams and notation systems?
 
None of us writing material are anticipating getting rich off writing books. Like you, in my own field of authorship, I'm happy to receive an occasional check in the mail. Yes, it generally amounts to beer money. Which, in the grand scheme of things, I don't mind. For areas where I am absolutely confident in my expertise and professional credentials, I trust myself and just have someone eyeball it for anything I might have overlooked. But I have one right now where, though I'm relatively confident in my work achieving its goals, I do have it out to a couple other people, more knowledgeable than I am, to nit-pick over it and offer critique and improvements and see if what I think I've done to achieve my goals does so as I think they do. Of course, YMMV. Nothing says you have to run a work past anyone before you publish it. And if it works for you and your audience, then again, that's awesome. Anything to promote shogi is a plus.
 
I'm not emotional about this. Perhaps this is me just offering unsolicited thoughts after the horses have left the barn. I'm more thinking this is a good discussion to have in general about ways we can promote shogi to western audiences. 
 
Ang
--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "SHOGI-L" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to shogi-l+u...@googlegroups.com.

[Shogi] Fabien Osmont

unread,
Mar 12, 2021, 8:17:22 AMMar 12
to sho...@googlegroups.com
Dear Jhonnymam,

I won't comment your action by publishing such a book considering each
initiative has its' value.
I don't consider myself as being clever enough to judge what is good or
not, although having written 2 shogi books (in french) in the past.
You decided to spend time to write such a book to find a way to publish
it. It is therefore up to you to decide how to design it.
Later, it will be up to your potential customers to buy it or not, if
they feel comfortable with such a design.
End of story.

I feel more annoyed by one sentence you used, maybe somehow touched
emotionally by so many reactions :

"People are acting like this Hodges guy was some kind of intellectual god"

Maybe it's a misunderstanding due to my poor level of English but I get
the feeling by reading this sentence that you don't express so much
respect for Mr Georges Hodges. "This Hodges guy" sounds actually even
quite irrespectful based on my french understanding of English language.

I think most of the people within this list would have never been aware
of shogi, or would have been made aware of shogi much more later in
their life, if Georges Hodges had not been there and didn't make his
huge work regarding shogi promotion in western world.

So, unless I misunderstood the abovementioned sentence, I would kindly
ask you to keep for yourself your opinion about mister Hodges, who
indeed was not a god, but had such an effect on the spread of shogi
knowledge among western world that we indeed should express at least
respect for his contribution, which has been stronger than none of ours.

Kind regards

Fabien

------------------------
Fédération Française de Shogi
http://www.shogi.fr
Association Shogi d'Alsace
http://shogialsace.wordpress.com
fab...@shogi.fr
+33 677 849 449
>  "...my book is meant to present an *over-arching view* of the
> game..."
>
> No false modesty there, then...
>
> This author seems to be *determined* to force Shogi into a
> Chess-like mould (chequered board, chess-like notation,
> /faux/-Staunton style piece images). As far as I am aware, this
> old and discredited idea was first recorded on paper
> in the now defunct magazine '/Variant Chess/' in 1990. The first
> article in a remarkable short selection is unashamedly
> titled '/The Westermisation of Shog/i', and the authors actually
> take us through a series of diagrams, starting with a
> proper Shogi diagram, and ending up with one of these chess-board
> like messes. This is (apparently) a 'Good Thing'.
> The idea seems to be that the more we make Shogi look like Chess,
> the better the game will be... Give me strength!
>
> Since then, it's been downhill all the way as far as making Shogi
> look like Chess is concerned, but these folks are
> *really determined* - you have to give them *10/10* for persistence.
>
> These 'Westernisers' seem completely impervious to the idea that
> Shogi is a *different* game to Chess, and deserves
> to be treated as such. How do you cope with folks who are
> convinced that the world is flat? I dunno...
>
>
> --
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google
> Groups "SHOGI-L" group.
> To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send
> an email to shogi-l+u...@googlegroups.com
> <mailto:shogi-l+u...@googlegroups.com>.
> To view this discussion on the web visit
> https://groups.google.com/d/msgid/shogi-l/6a2b10f1-1d7a-4121-b024-385f69b8cb4bn%40googlegroups.com
> <https://groups.google.com/d/msgid/shogi-l/6a2b10f1-1d7a-4121-b024-385f69b8cb4bn%40googlegroups.com?utm_medium=email&utm_source=footer>.

calogero salomon

unread,
Mar 12, 2021, 8:35:41 AMMar 12
to SHOGI-L

I would like to give a simple opinion about the fact of publishing a book, I think that publishing a shogi book is something important, quite apart is the fact that whether or not it maintains the classic shogi cards, as a personal opinion I do not like the westernizations of The shogi tokens because I feel that what I play is not shogi, but each person has their opinion as well as each person can play and learn in the way they want and this must be respected, impose our point of view on others Right.
On the other hand, although it is true that in the past there have been people who have tried to explain shogi, making publications like Mr. Georges Hodges, I think it is fine, but to turn someone into a kind of God, as they have said, well I think it is something wrong, I do not criticize the work of Mr. Hodges.
As Fabien has said, he has published shogi books in French in the past, just as I have published the only shogi book in Italian and I have made his version of my book in English that is sold in other countries, I believe that each person have your opinion about one book or another, but we can only give this opinion after reading the book and in any case advise the author perhaps to correct some things that would help to better understand the game, but criticizing a book without reading it is not Okay, as it is in my case, where a group of people here in Italy have criticized my book without reading it, without buying it, unfortunately ignorance is great and it makes people speak.
To finish I just want to say that if you have published a shogi book with the intention of making it known, with the intention of helping others, well, keep going, don't stop, maybe some people will appreciate your book a lot and others will not, but only after reading it can you give your opinion, this would be fair for everyone. Like I said before, go ahead with your book and don't stop.

John Mamoun

unread,
Mar 12, 2021, 9:27:02 AMMar 12
to sho...@googlegroups.com
I have a great deal of respect for Mr. Hodges, and also Karolina, for
publishing their innovative magazines. They are not gods
in the sense that people who help to develop a topic rigorously are
basically humble workers working with a challenge that is
probably bigger than them, because a game like Shogi is bigger than
the human mind. As such, no one person's judgement,
including my own or yours as authors, is definitive, but instead, each
judgement is part of an ongoing developmental flow to
reach definitive conclusions about the logic system in question. One
does not have to consider any one thinker to be so
definitive as to be copied or built upon unquestionably or
arbitrarily. My own book is also not definitive. The more I learned
about Shogi, the more I saw how huge this game was conceptually, and
the more I realized that, no matter how much info
I tried to cram into my book, it was just the tip of the iceberg. I
expect others to add more books to this genre. There are
tens of thousands of books on international chess, and only taken
together do they provide a big picture.
> You received this message because you are subscribed to a topic in the Google Groups "SHOGI-L" group.
> To unsubscribe from this topic, visit https://groups.google.com/d/topic/shogi-l/cNJBbGnvuDA/unsubscribe.
> To unsubscribe from this group and all its topics, send an email to shogi-l+u...@googlegroups.com.
> To view this discussion on the web visit https://groups.google.com/d/msgid/shogi-l/ef7a4e23-abb9-eb8d-5909-246d3f885c16%40shogi.fr.

captbirdseye

unread,
Mar 16, 2021, 7:01:24 AMMar 16
to SHOGI-L
On Friday, 12 March 2021 at 13:17:22 UTC Fabien Osmont (French Fed.) wrote:
I feel more annoyed by one sentence you used, maybe somehow touched
emotionally by so many reactions :

"People are acting like this Hodges guy was some kind of intellectual god"

Maybe it's a misunderstanding due to my poor level of English but I get
the feeling by reading this sentence that you don't express so much
respect for Mr Georges Hodges. "This Hodges guy" sounds actually even
quite irrespectful based on my french understanding of English language.

I think most of the people within this list would have never been aware
of shogi, or would have been made aware of shogi much more later in
their life, if Georges Hodges had not been there and didn't make his
huge work regarding shogi promotion in western world.

So, unless I misunderstood the abovementioned sentence, I would kindly
ask you to keep for yourself your opinion about mister Hodges, who
indeed was not a god, but had such an effect on the spread of shogi
knowledge among western world that we indeed should express at least
respect for his contribution, which has been stronger than none of ours.

You have not misunderstood. The good doctor clearly has no conception of how important George
Hodges was to the introduction of Shogi outside of Japan (largely in the English speaking world).
I never met George, but I spoke to him on the 'phone a couple of times, and corresponded with him
occasionally using old-fashioned snail-mail. He spent an enormous amount of time (and probably
money) promoting Shogi outside of Japan. You are almost certainly correct in your assessment of
the effect George's efforts had on those of us who have been interested in Shogi for longer than the
attention span of a mayfly (over 50 years in my case).

If I can adopt his own rather churlish style, this guy Mamoun should stick to dentistry and playing
the pianner! 

captbirdseye

unread,
Mar 16, 2021, 10:12:38 AMMar 16
to SHOGI-L


On Thursday, 11 March 2021 at 20:59:10 UTC angel...@comcast.net wrote:
... 
I'm curious - do books written in Japanese about chess use shogi-style diagrams and notation systems?
...

The same question had occurred to me. I am currently throwing together my idea of what such a 'Japanised' 
International Chess board and pieces might look like. When I have completed it, I'll find some way of posting
it here. Advance warning - when it appears, this should not be taken too seriously...

h.g.m...@hccnet.nl

unread,
Mar 16, 2021, 11:09:28 AMMar 16
to captbirdseye' via SHOGI-L
Easy enough: just start XBoard, and select a Chu-Shogi oriental piece theme. (See attachment.)



Op di., mrt. 16, 2021 om 15:12, captbirdseye' via SHOGI-L <sho...@googlegroups.com> schreef:
--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "SHOGI-L" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to shogi-l+u...@googlegroups.com.
chesshogi.png

captbirdseye

unread,
Mar 17, 2021, 2:57:33 AMMar 17
to SHOGI-L
On Tuesday, 16 March 2021 at 15:09:28 UTC H.G.Muller wrote:
Easy enough: just start XBoard, and select a Chu-Shogi oriental piece theme. (See attachment.)
 
Just so! Smashing! That's pretty much how I'm visualising it, although the fine detail is different,
of course. 

Question - how do you cope with the Pawn promotions (a Pawn can promote to either a Queen,
Bishop, Knight or Rook). I'd check myself, but don't have XBoard installed.

I think I'll continue with my little project - I'm having fun doing it, and it's almost complete in any
case.

RJH

h.g.m...@hccnet.nl

unread,
Mar 17, 2021, 5:04:46 AMMar 17
to captbirdseye' via SHOGI-L

Op wo., mrt. 17, 2021 om 07:57, captbirdseye' via SHOGI-L <sho...@googlegroups.com> schreef:

Question - how do you cope with the Pawn promotions (a Pawn can promote to either a Queen,
Bishop, Knight or Rook). I'd check myself, but don't have XBoard installed.

Like always: the Pawn becomes what the player selects, and the image would be the same as the image that piece has in the initial setup. In Chess diagrams pieces that are promoted Pawns do not use other images than the corresponding primordial piece. That would be different in Crazyhouse, btw., which has Shogi-like drop rules. There XBoard uses the images for Bishops, Rooks and Queens obtained through promotion that it would use in Chu Shogi for Dragon Horse, Dragon King and Flying Ox.
 

I think I'll continue with my little project - I'm having fun doing it, and it's almost complete in any
case.

RJH

--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "SHOGI-L" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to shogi-l+u...@googlegroups.com.

captbirdseye

unread,
Mar 17, 2021, 6:32:05 AMMar 17
to SHOGI-L
On Wednesday, 17 March 2021 at 09:04:46 UTC H.G.Muller wrote:
Like always: the Pawn becomes what the player selects, and the image would be the same as the image that 
piece has in the initial setup.etc.

Aye, I didn't really explain myself properly. I'm producing a 'paper template' so the eager user can make their own physical set.
I think I'm just going to make 4 of the Pawns with a Queen (Free King) on the reverse side, 4 with a Bishop on the reverse side, etc.
It's not really a serious project in any case, just a 'demo'...

h.g.m...@hccnet.nl

unread,
Mar 17, 2021, 7:41:38 AMMar 17
to captbirdseye' via SHOGI-L
Ah OK, I see. You are are making a real-life set. Chess players hardly ever bother about this; Except for the Rook Chess pieces cannot be flipped, and they just use a one of the pieces that was captured. Some Chess sets do have an extra Queen, but most do not even bother about that. To stay in style you could a (red) Queen on the back of the Rooks.

Of course, when you flip the piece to show promotion, FIDE rules would allow the opponent to say "j'adoube", and flip it back! :-)




Op wo., mrt. 17, 2021 om 11:32, captbirdseye' via SHOGI-L <sho...@googlegroups.com> schreef:
--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "SHOGI-L" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to shogi-l+u...@googlegroups.com.

captbirdseye

unread,
Mar 18, 2021, 2:08:05 AMMar 18
to SHOGI-L
On Wednesday, 17 March 2021 at 11:41:38 UTC H.G.Muller wrote:
Ah OK, I see. You are are making a real-life set....just use a one of the pieces that was captured

Yup. I guess if a Pawn arrives on the far side, and doesn't have the required image on the reverse side, the player just
hunts through the captured pieces to find one that is correct in much the same way you describe... 

Of course, when you flip the piece to show promotion, FIDE rules would allow the opponent to say "j'adoube", and flip it back! :-)

Heh! I didn't know that - but then, I'm not a chess player.
 

george.hodges

unread,
Mar 20, 2021, 5:03:31 PMMar 20
to sho...@googlegroups.com

Hello everybody,


I have been reading the thread about the use of kanji or westernised markings with interest, personally I prefer the Kanji as I think it’s beautiful to look at. However, the difficulty with learning the pieces and moves of Shogi has been a perennial problem and every few years a similar debate takes place.


Back in the 1970s, George Hodges (my late husband) developed a set of markings designed for a westernised audience to use. These markings indicate how the pieces should move and enable players of any age or ability to understand the game clearly.


Fortunately, I am able to supply standard Shogi sets in either westernised markings or the traditional kanji. Unfortunately for those fans of the variants such as Dai Shogi and Wa Shogi these are only available in the original kanji but come with detailed leaflet that shows the markings of every piece. If anyone would like more information on any of these or our other products, please send an email to George...@talk21.com


Thanks


Angela Hodges

bali...@yahoo.com

unread,
Mar 21, 2021, 8:52:13 PMMar 21
to SHOGI-L
Has anyone ever used the "westernised" pieces and gotten to be a shogi enthusiast?  A decent amateur player?

Kanji have shapes.  Chess pieces have shapes.  You can recognize kanji without knowing what they mean, just as you can recognize chess pieces without understanding the medieval symbolism in the piece shapes.

I have more trouble recognizing makruk pieces (than shogi pieces), several of which are basically the same shape but differ in size and squatness.

Take a look at the videos at youtube's Minsk Shogi channel.  Lots of people of all ages (mostly young, though) playing shogi with traditional kanji pieces.  Eastern European people, not East Asians who grew up with Chinese characters.

h.g.m...@hccnet.nl

unread,
Mar 22, 2021, 5:34:28 AMMar 22
to bali...@yahoo.com' via SHOGI-L




Op ma., mrt. 22, 2021 om 01:52, bali...@yahoo.com' via SHOGI-L <sho...@googlegroups.com> schreef:
Has anyone ever used the "westernised" pieces and gotten to be a shogi enthusiast?  A decent amateur player?

I don't think that is the relevant question. Because in the Shogi scene it is not possible to be "a decent amateur player" without playing with kanji pieces. So those who are put off by kanji (like 99.9% of the non-Asian world population?) will never become club players, no matter how talented they are.

On-line play could in principle solve that, if there were popular websites that offer the possibility to customize the interface with a wide choice of piece images. It seems, however, that Japanese sites have it pretty high on their agenda to prevent exactly that.
 

Kanji have shapes.  Chess pieces have shapes.  You can recognize kanji without knowing what they mean, just as you can recognize chess pieces without understanding the medieval symbolism in the piece shapes.

This is very true: in the end it just boils down to identifying visual images. But stating that ignores the point that there is a continuous scale of distinguishability. Not all images are equal, and some are far more unequal than others. The traditional kanji representation scores very low on distinguishability of the pieces. For one, distinguishing by shape or orientation is far more difficult than distinguishing by color. Show a person a field with a million dots, one red, the others black, and ask him to point out the red dot. He can do that instantly. Then show him a field with a million black spots, one square, the others circles of equal area. Now it will take him an hour to locate the square.

So it is not just a matter of kanji versus other symbols. (Even though of course it is very easy to design a set of symbols that requires much less resolution, and thus effort, to distinguish from each other than the traditional kanji.) From an ergonomic point of view the traditional representation sucks at many levels, to the point of being annoying. The fact that the players have to be distinguised by the orientation of their tiles on the board being the worst.

Of course I understand that the need for pieces to be able to promote as well as change owner does put a severe restriction on the possible 'woodware' designs of playing sets. And that the traditional Shogi representation has evolved in a era where pieces had to be hand-cut out of wood. But even then it should be possible to come up with something far more convenient. It is for instance not that hard to couple orientation of an object put on the board with perceived color. Just printing pictograms of Chess pieces (all of the same color!) on shogi tiles, or putting markings next to the kanji to indicate how they move, wil NOT do the job.
 

I have more trouble recognizing makruk pieces (than shogi pieces), several of which are basically the same shape but differ in size and squatness.

Take a look at the videos at youtube's Minsk Shogi channel.  Lots of people of all ages (mostly young, though) playing shogi with traditional kanji pieces.  Eastern European people, not East Asians who grew up with Chinese characters.


On Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 5:03:31 PM UTC-4 george...@talk21.com wrote:
Hello everybody,


I have been reading the thread about the use of kanji or westernised markings with interest, personally I prefer the Kanji as I think it’s beautiful to look at. However, the difficulty with learning the pieces and moves of Shogi has been a perennial problem and every few years a similar debate takes place.


Back in the 1970s, George Hodges (my late husband) developed a set of markings designed for a westernised audience to use. These markings indicate how the pieces should move and enable players of any age or ability to understand the game clearly.


Fortunately, I am able to supply standard Shogi sets in either westernised markings or the traditional kanji. Unfortunately for those fans of the variants such as Dai Shogi and Wa Shogi these are only available in the original kanji but come with detailed leaflet that shows the markings of every piece. If anyone would like more information on any of these or our other products, please send an email to George...@talk21.com



Thanks



Angela Hodges

--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "SHOGI-L" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to shogi-l+u...@googlegroups.com.

captbirdseye

unread,
Mar 22, 2021, 7:06:13 AMMar 22
to SHOGI-L
On Monday, 22 March 2021 at 09:34:28 UTC H.G.Muller wrote:
So those who are put off by kanji (like 99.9% of the non-Asian world population?) will never become club players, no matter how talented they are.

Well now, I must say that I have never met anyone who was really put off by the Japanese pieces. Indeed, they regarded overcoming any slight difficulties
with learning the kanji as part of the fun of learning the game.

This is why I'm so strongly opposed to the use of 'westernised' pieces like the ones in the book which started this thread - I just don't think they're
necessary...

Maybe I've been lucky, and only met folks in that tiny 0.1%?

Ho hum - we're all different, I guess...

h.g.m...@hccnet.nl

unread,
Mar 22, 2021, 8:10:22 AMMar 22
to captbirdseye' via SHOGI-L




Op ma., mrt. 22, 2021 om 12:06, captbirdseye' via SHOGI-L <sho...@googlegroups.com> schreef:
On Monday, 22 March 2021 at 09:34:28 UTC H.G.Muller wrote:
So those who are put off by kanji (like 99.9% of the non-Asian world population?) will never become club players, no matter how talented they are.

Well now, I must say that I have never met anyone who was really put off by the Japanese pieces. Indeed, they regarded overcoming any slight difficulties
with learning the kanji as part of the fun of learning the game.

This is what is known as 'selectional bias'. It is like going to a home for the retired, and asking whether any of them died as a child.


This is why I'm so strongly opposed to the use of 'westernised' pieces like the ones in the book which started this thread - I just don't think they're
necessary...

Maybe I've been lucky, and only met folks in that tiny 0.1%?

Ho hum - we're all different, I guess...

--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "SHOGI-L" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to shogi-l+u...@googlegroups.com.

bali...@yahoo.com

unread,
Mar 22, 2021, 9:51:59 AMMar 22
to SHOGI-L
" It is for instance not that hard to couple orientation of an object put on the board with perceived color."

Color-blindness is not that rare.  Please, no color-coding.  Chess (or checkers or backgammon) is fine with one very dark color and one very light color.  That works.  

I recently read of a pro snooker player who fouled by shooting at the brown ball when a red ball was on.  I understand, because I watch snooker on youtube and can't tell them apart - except by noticing when the brown ball is knocked off its spot and keeping track of it.  Presumably that's what this snooker pro was doing but he lost track.

h.g.m...@hccnet.nl

unread,
Mar 22, 2021, 10:04:28 AMMar 22
to bali...@yahoo.com' via SHOGI-L




Op ma., mrt. 22, 2021 om 14:52, bali...@yahoo.com' via SHOGI-L <sho...@googlegroups.com> schreef:
" It is for instance not that hard to couple orientation of an object put on the board with perceived color."

Color-blindness is not that rare.  Please, no color-coding.  Chess (or checkers or backgammon) is fine with one very dark color and one very light color.  That works. 

Well, for Shogi there are also only two players, and the inability to distinguish black from white is known as 'blindness', rather than color-blindnes. In traditional Shogi sets the sente and gote pieces all have the same color, though. That is the worst flaw of all.
 

I recently read of a pro snooker player who fouled by shooting at the brown ball when a red ball was on.  I understand, because I watch snooker on youtube and can't tell them apart - except by noticing when the brown ball is knocked off its spot and keeping track of it.  Presumably that's what this snooker pro was doing but he lost track.


On Monday, March 22, 2021 at 7:06:13 AM UTC-4 captbirdseye wrote:
On Monday, 22 March 2021 at 09:34:28 UTC H.G.Muller wrote:
So those who are put off by kanji (like 99.9% of the non-Asian world population?) will never become club players, no matter how talented they are.

Well now, I must say that I have never met anyone who was really put off by the Japanese pieces. Indeed, they regarded overcoming any slight difficulties
with learning the kanji as part of the fun of learning the game.

This is why I'm so strongly opposed to the use of 'westernised' pieces like the ones in the book which started this thread - I just don't think they're
necessary...

Maybe I've been lucky, and only met folks in that tiny 0.1%?

Ho hum - we're all different, I guess...

--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "SHOGI-L" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to shogi-l+u...@googlegroups.com.

Shogi Besancon

unread,
Mar 22, 2021, 11:08:14 AMMar 22
to sho...@googlegroups.com
My cent in the conversation:

We already had this conversation few years ago. But I continued to think about it, here is my last thought, and only mine: 

some well-designed initiatives tried to impose a western style, without success for what I know. The real question is "what is the benefit with western style". Without benefit, nobody will use it. I teach shogi since 2010 in a French club. I never used a western style. At the beginning we used teaching set (kanji + arrows), but we don't even use it anymore. Why? Believing it helps in shogi teaching is wrong. Learning pieces isn't an issue. After 3 games nobody cares anymore, exactly the same as in chess! People are more focused on strategy. Moreover, using western style create confusion and deception. When a new player comes in the club, he wants to learn SHOGI, not something that copy the game. He wants the original game, because he heard about it or see it in a manga, or he is just curious about mind games. If you furnish a western-style game, this is not what he asked for. There is a cultural aspect in the game you cannot ignore. And players want to integrate it, it is part of the adventure. If you remove it, you are not respecting peoples who pushed the door of your club, because you chose for them and you suppressed a part of the color and the taste of Japanese culture.  

Western style is supposed  to help in western shogi diffusion. But it appears it is not an efficient manner. I was in contact with French kids recently who are learning shogi. In France we have 1 reference book in French, using Japanese style. What kids are saying is simple: we want more BOOKS in FRENCH to study specific strategy. They never say that Japanese style was a problem  (they enjoy to be able to read kanji because their friends are impressed).  They want to play with other kids at school, no more.

I haven't found a real benefit of western style. To me, there is no need from players I've met. Based on that, if there is no need, nobody will use it. One day maybe. But the willing to defuse shogi in western world continues to be a personal focus. What I see is that for young players, the most important thing consist in having a book in their own language to progress. If Japanese editors will accept to help us, it would be nice! This is in their interest. For a try they should furnish, to each European federation, the English translation of top best strategy book (you know the small pocket books with few pages). In return, each federation translate it in its own language. After what editors can test the shogi market in western world, for a very low cost, and players are happy to have new literature. But I don't speak Japanese, and I have no contact with editors ^^. 

The communication initiative will be easy: furnish a shogi paper in every sushi box and martial art center during one month and the job is done, you just have to see the downloads.

It was just my cent.

Gilles

bali...@yahoo.com

unread,
Mar 22, 2021, 12:05:30 PMMar 22
to SHOGI-L
"Well, for Shogi there are also only two players, and the inability to distinguish black from white is known as 'blindness', rather than color-blindnes. In traditional Shogi sets the sente and gote pieces all have the same color, though. That is the worst flaw of all."

OK, I thought you meant knights would be one color, lances another color, etc.  Sorry.

I still think the directional pieces are OK, though.

h.g.m...@hccnet.nl

unread,
Mar 22, 2021, 1:56:14 PMMar 22
to bali...@yahoo.com' via SHOGI-L
Well, it is a myth that the traditional Shogi representation in any way would serve its purpose satisfactorily. Illegal Pawn drops are so common amongst Shogi players that those who run the 81Dojo server insist on the the interface not testing for move legality. Such testing is considered 'computer help', and would spoil the 'genuine Shogi experience'. Which apparently includes suffering regular losses by illegal Pawn drops...

So a natural question is: why would people need computer assistence to merely play legal moves? Is that because the average Shogi player doesn't know the rules of the game? Or is it because the representation is so poor that they overlook the important aspects (such as which files already contain a Pawn)?

In Chu Shogi it is even worse. I watched many Chu Shogi games of my bot against Japanese players (who presumably would not have any difficulty reading the kanji), and noticed the high predictability of them overlooking the most elementary tactics (such as a discovered attack). Which I, without any Chu-Shogi playing experience, would instantly spot. (Of course using my own, non-traditional board representation.)




Op ma., mrt. 22, 2021 om 17:05, bali...@yahoo.com' via SHOGI-L <sho...@googlegroups.com> schreef:

captbirdseye

unread,
Mar 22, 2021, 3:38:06 PMMar 22
to SHOGI-L
On Monday, 22 March 2021 at 12:10:22 UTC H.G.Muller wrote:
This is what is known as 'selectional bias'. It is like going to a home for the retired, and asking whether any of them died as a child.

Heh! Nice comparison! In my own defence, I did say: 
Maybe I've been lucky, and only met folks in that tiny 0.1%?
That's me, implicitly recognising that 'selectional bias' may be happening, and that it may be affecting my 'sampling'.

Still can't stand the bloody things ('Westernised' sets) though. I genuinely believe that they put off more people than
they 'encourage'...

johnnymam

unread,
Mar 22, 2021, 8:51:07 PMMar 22
to SHOGI-L
If I may add a few more building blocks to the paradigm structure of this discussion...

Non-Japanese players of Shogi face several obstacles to learning Shogi using Kanji characters.  There is a psychological obstacle, in that they must learn a language character set that is totally different from typical european or english letters.  A european/american must be exceptionally open-minded and creativity-liking to engage in such a relatively advanced intellectual activity.  Such a person does not need the creativity level of a Da Vinci or a Durer, but probably needs creativity and "artsiness" that would be found in only the top 5% most creative segments of the european/american population.  The character sets also probably have to be interpreted pictographically in the mind of the non-Japanese Shogi player, since that player would not be a native or trained Japanese speaker, and would not intuitively "feel" the characters as literary representers.  As such, the non-Japanese player will need to somehow zero in on some calligraphic elements of the Japanese Shogi characters that are found in one piece type but not in others.  That can be a conceptually tricky undertaking, not impossible, but tricky for many europeans/americans, requiring a relatively higher level of intelligence/IQ to succeed at.

Also, most Shogi books contain explanations where there might be one diagram in kanji characters, followed by a laundry list of algebreic notations, followed by another kanji diagram.  One must have great intelligence and memory to be able to comprehend such a layout for presenting shogi game sequences, and the difficulty is compounded by having to visualize a board of Kanji characters in the mind's eye, as it changes with the algebreic notation.  The amount of IQ power needed to do this would be very high, probably in the 140-160+ range, found in perhaps 1 in 1 thousand people, especially given the great information complexity of a typical shogi position, and the complex inter-relationships between the pieces.  Perhaps a dusting of autism and asperger's sydrome might be needed on top of such IQ power, both to help provide the ability and motivation to engage in super-cerebral tasks like understanding such shogi game sequence representation, and to be able to overcome emotional resistance to delving deeply into a different cultural way of representing language.

Note that the people populating this newsgroup tend to be of a higher level of intellectual capabilities, with master's degrees, professional music skills, engineering degrees, etc. among the population.  There is a selection bias operating here, in that people of very high intellectual abilities will find it easier to learn shogi with kanji characters, and are more likely to be intellectual purists to the extent of demanding learning the game strictly within its original cultural context.  Among such an intellectually elite population, there would be less difficulty in learning shogi in this orthodox way, and there may even be revulsion against learning shogi using some kind of pictographic or "westernized" character set.

The problem with the above reality is that the shogi game with its kanji characters is "priced out" of the european/american market.  There are too few people with enough intellectual caliber/extreme open-mindedness/autism (perhaps) in european/american societies to form a significant market for this game.  The human capital of a european/american shogi kanji player may be very high, perhaps approaching Einstein level, perhaps found in only 1 in 5,000 people.  How can one sustain interest in a game that requires such a cognitively elite audience?  Il ne marche pas.

Now, imagine a shogi book where each move is shown with a corresponding diagram.  That eliminates the requirement that the shogi player have an exceptional memory, or possess ultra-high intelligence to be able to process laundry lists of algebreic notation.  And, each diagram is made of pictographic characters, and not kanji characters.  That eliminates the need for extreme cross-cultural open-mindedness to learn unusual language representation sets.  The pictographic characters are more simplified in details compared to characters made of ornate calligraphy, reducing the intellectual barrier from the difficulty of interpreting calligraphic pieces.  Suddenly, the game becomes more democratized.  The player no longer needs an IQ of 160+, a dusting of Aspergers, a great memory, and extreme open-mindedness (all known traits of Albert Einstein) to be able to play the game.  A european/american can probably learn the game quite systematically with a more "gentlemanly" IQ of 120+ (found in 5-10% of the global population, still elite but much more down to earth than IQ 140-160, and this person's memory could be non-remarkable as well, and the person does not have to overcome psychological obstacles to learning a different language character set in order to access an abstract board game.  

Note that part of the reason why westernized shogi sets have not been popular is that they were poorly done.  They contain too much detail, or do not work as black and white shogi sets.  A westernized shogi set will really be a failure if it cannot be shrunk down to a small size, like a board diameter of 2.5 inches, and still be readable.  Promoted pieces in westernized sets often feature extreme detail that cannot be resolved unless the board is blown up to a large size on a computer screen.  Simple pictographic pieces, similar to black and white "newspaper chess diagrams," are readable at a tiny board size, and simply putting radiating black lines around promoted pieces also makes them readable at a tiny 2.5 inch board diameter.  No one previously formulated a pictographic shogi set that could be practically shrunk so small.  The lack of such a set results in shogi books that have a poor information-projecting layout.  In particular, such books often feature a diagram that must be enlarged to most of the size of the page, in order for its bogged-down graphical details to be discernable.  Large amounts of white space would surround such a diagram, indicating a waste of paper.  When there is a small amount of ink on a page relative to the area of the paper, there is also a lack of quantity of information on each page.  A shogi page of hundreds of pages could contain only small amounts of information, due to the large size of diagrams.  If a pictographic set could be formed that could be shrunk down to 2.5 inches in board diameter and still be readable, then a shogi book could be made with a two-column 7 by 10 inch layout, jammed with information on each page.  There would be more effiency in projecting concepts of the game with a book of such a layout.  The design of the pictographic set is engineered to be practical in use of a book of such a layout, which is a far more efficient way of projecting large amounts of information about the game, compared to previous shogi books.  The standard pedagogical format of previous shogi books, where on each page there is a large diagram surrounded by a laundry list of algabreic notation, is not a "democratic" way of teaching the game, since only an extremely intellectually elite audience could follow such a book format. If you tweak the parameters of the pictographic set, you can access a more pedagogically efficient 7 by 10 2-column page format for a shogi book, and larger numbers of diagrams can be crammed into such a book, making it more accessible to a more generalizable intellectual bracket with an IQ more in the 120 range.  Pictographic form follows function.  Unless the function parameters are previously thought out, the pictographic set will not be good.

Riko De Las Casas

unread,
Mar 24, 2021, 1:17:10 AMMar 24
to sho...@googlegroups.com
Non-Japanese players of Shogi face several obstacles to learning Shogi using Kanji characters.  There is a psychological obstacle, in that they must learn a language character set that is totally different from typical european or english letters.  A european/american must be exceptionally open-minded and creativity-liking to engage in such a relatively advanced intellectual activity.  Such a person does not need the creativity level of a Da Vinci or a Durer, but probably needs creativity and "artsiness" that would be found in only the top 5% most creative segments of the european/american population. 

I'm not even going to bother responding to the rest of your message, but this is such a huge load of garbage.  Only the top 5% of creatives are even capable of learning the game?  This is horse shit.  It does not take a genius to be able to differentiate different Japanese characters.  All it takes is a little bit of effort, only a little harder than learning westernized pieces.  I've taught plenty of people to recognize shogi pieces who have no knowledge of Japanese or Chinese.  Your condescension towards people who don't read kanji is really insulting, and I frankly do not want you anywhere near shogi promotion.

--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "SHOGI-L" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to shogi-l+u...@googlegroups.com.

captbirdseye

unread,
Mar 24, 2021, 2:02:37 AMMar 24
to SHOGI-L
"What's up doc?" (Bugs Bunny - cartoon character, Warner Brothers, 1930s - present)

Forgive my whimsy, but it seems somehow appropriate to open with a quote from one cartoon character
in a post dealing with the antics of another cartoon character...

On Tuesday, 23 March 2021 at 00:51:07 UTC johnnymam wrote:
If I may add a few more building blocks to the paradigm structure of this discussion...

It would be nice if you did - unfortunately you haven't. 

There are only 2 points of 'interest' in this lengthy farrago of nonsense:

1) Your oft-repeated assumption that the majority of Westerners do not have the intellectual capability
to learn Shogi - unless of course, they invest in a copy of your over-arching Shogi book.

As has already been stated, this assumption is arrogant, patronising and offensive! I suspect it's entirely
in-character!

2) I'm fascinated by the idea that having an IQ of (say) 120 somehow makes one more of a 'gentleman''
than those of us who are unfortunate enough to have an IQ somewhere above 120. Is there some sort of 
'gentlemanliness quotient' which starts with a value of (say) 1.0, and decreases with increasing IQ until
it reaches a value of zero at an IQ of 160? How does it work? Is it a logarithmic law? A linear law? A power 
law? Please explain - giving reputable peer-reviewed references and sources for this 'theory'.

The good doctor would also appear to be a male chauvinist. He only mentions the 'gentlemen'...

Mr. De Las Casas is quite correct. This guy Mamoun should not be allowed anywhere near shogi promotion.
These blinkered 'westernising' zealots with a ruthless and cynical self-promotional agenda are a liability, not
an asset as far as the promotion of Shogi is concerned.


 

johnnymam

unread,
Mar 25, 2021, 1:51:14 PMMar 25
to SHOGI-L
On Wednesday, 24 March 2021 at 02:02:37 UTC-4 captbirdseye wrote:
"What's up doc?" (Bugs Bunny - cartoon character, Warner Brothers, 1930s - present)

Forgive my whimsy, but it seems somehow appropriate to open with a quote from one cartoon character
in a post dealing with the antics of another cartoon character...

This cartoon joke is basically an ad hominem argument that is not germane to the topic.

 
On Tuesday, 23 March 2021 at 00:51:07 UTC johnnymam wrote:
If I may add a few more building blocks to the paradigm structure of this discussion...

It would be nice if you did - unfortunately you haven't. 

There are only 2 points of 'interest' in this lengthy farrago of nonsense:

1) Your oft-repeated assumption that the majority of Westerners do not have the intellectual capability
to learn Shogi - unless of course, they invest in a copy of your over-arching Shogi book.


I am simply explaining some of the rationale for designing my book the way I did.  I am not suggesting that people should buy my book.  It would be pointless for me to suggest that, simply because books on Shogi are fringe topics, and either sell themselves or don't.  There is no point in promoting or denigrating them, in the sense that such arguments are irrelevant to the power of the free market to decide whether or not the book sells, has commercial value, or provides enough perceived value to the reader to make the reader part with some money voluntarily to possess the book.
 
As has already been stated, this assumption is arrogant, patronising and offensive! I suspect it's entirely
in-character!

Each one of these adjectives---arrogant, patronising, offensive, "entirely in-character," constitute four separate ad hominem arguments that are not relevant to the topic at hand.
 
2) I'm fascinated by the idea that having an IQ of (say) 120 somehow makes one more of a 'gentleman''
than those of us who are unfortunate enough to have an IQ somewhere above 120. Is there some sort of 
'gentlemanliness quotient' which starts with a value of (say) 1.0, and decreases with increasing IQ until
it reaches a value of zero at an IQ of 160? How does it work? Is it a logarithmic law? A linear law? A power 
law? Please explain - giving reputable peer-reviewed references and sources for this 'theory'.

I am not sure who your mind elaborated the word "gentlemanly," used as a figure of speech to mean "average" or "down-to-earth" in that context, into a convoluted argument about "gentlemanliness quotient," which is not germane to the topic at hand.  However, since it is not pertinent, I have no problem saying that you are correct, there is no such thing as a
"gentlemanliness quotient" as you define it, and insofar as I might have implied that such a quotient exists, which is about as likely as me dining on the surface of the moon, then I would have made a mistake in implying it.
 
The good doctor would also appear to be a male chauvinist. He only mentions the 'gentlemen'...


Another ad hominem argument, and also an untrue one.  Actually, I believe that women are every bit as equal as men.

 
Mr. De Las Casas is quite correct. This guy Mamoun should not be allowed anywhere near shogi promotion.
These blinkered 'westernising' zealots with a ruthless and cynical self-promotional agenda are a liability, not
an asset as far as the promotion of Shogi is concerned.

Ruthless, cynical, self-promotional---again, each pejorative adjective constitutes a separate ad hominem argument.  I'm struggling to find an intelligible argument within the morass of
ad hominem arguments.  As for shogi promotion, one can promote shogi however they would like.  If one wants to teach shogi using kanji characters, I would not stop them at all, or try to "bar them from promoting shogi," since this approach to teaching shogi has clearly worked for many people.  And then I also provide a different approach using pictographic characters.  The free market will decide which approach will apply to which audiences.  What I, or anyone else thinks about either approach is irrelevant to the power of the free market.  My book has sold 14 copies so far, to people who have seen the "look inside" feature of the book on Amazon, and knew ahead of time of the general approach of the book.  No, my book will not be a bestseller, but it seems that some people find the approach worth investigating.
 
 

Eric Kuniholm

unread,
Mar 27, 2021, 12:23:21 AMMar 27
to sho...@googlegroups.com
Sorry, Johnnymam, but an ad hominem argument would attack you directly: say something about your level of education for instance, comment on details of your personal life, your hygiene, etc. They are properly off limits in rational discussion. What you are objecting to are more properly called ad personam arguments, assessments of those characteristics you display in your writing. These are not out of bounds precisely because, yes, you have demonstrated their relevance in the way you made your points.
So when someone charges you with arrogance, and gives reasons for that assessment, then you have to respond to those reasons, or admit their validity, not dismiss them with some clumsy attempt at verbal sleight of hand.
I might add that, concerning your book and its approach, I share virtually all the misgivings of those who have written so far. Your project might serve as interesting undergraduate research paper on 'Orientalism,' a sum of outworn, Western approaches the late Edward Said described as "dealing with the 'Orient' by making statements about it, authorizing views of it, describing it, by teaching it, etc., in short, Orientalism as a Western style for restructuring and having authority over the Orient." I find your approach distasteful from philosophical as well as practical considerations.
The Japanese Shogi Association has a wonderful fold-out flyer in English with a description of the game and two sets of punch-out cardboard pieces, one with George Hodges' movement symbols, the other with Kanji. I've found that it's all that is necessary to introduce Westerners to the game, decide whether or not they like it, and then go on to learn the kanji ando read books by Tony Hosking and even Yasuharu Habu published by the Shogi Foundation, among many in print and easily available. A little market research would have informed you that your contribution was essentially unnecessary. I might even add counterproductive.

--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "SHOGI-L" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to shogi-l+u...@googlegroups.com.

Rod Jackson

unread,
Mar 27, 2021, 1:10:21 AMMar 27
to sho...@googlegroups.com
On Saturday, 27 March 2021, 2:23:24 pm AEST, Eric Kuniholm <ericku...@gmail.com> wrote:


Sorry, Johnnymam, but an ad hominem argument would attack you directly: say something about your level of education for instance, comment on details of your personal life, your hygiene, etc. They are properly off limits in rational discussion. What you are objecting to are more properly called ad personam arguments, assessments of those characteristics you display in your writing. These are not out of bounds precisely because, yes, you have demonstrated their relevance in the way you made your points.
So when someone charges you with arrogance, and gives reasons for that assessment, then you have to respond to those reasons, or admit their validity, not dismiss them with some clumsy attempt at verbal sleight of hand.

Since people are trolling this Author, I have decided I will be buying this book. I originally wasn't going to. What was the name of it again?

thanks
RAZA 2021

johnnymam

unread,
Mar 29, 2021, 8:45:49 AMMar 29
to SHOGI-L
"Disputes with men, pertinaciously obstinate in their principles, are, of all others, the most irksome; except, perhaps, those with persons, entirely disingenuous, who really do not believe the opinions they defend, but engage in the controversy, from affectation, from a spirit of opposition, or from a desire of showing wit and ingenuity, superior to the rest of mankind."

Are you sure you understand this "orientalism" concept?  Because it is not applicable in this context, for a couple reasons.  

First, abstract board games like Shogi or Go are products of the scientific mind.  They are basically logic systems that output board positions based on an algorithmic process, and can be understood in a 100% reductionist way using scientific or mathematical analysis.  As such, they are not esthetic products, but scientific products.  Anyone commenting on these objects of scientific analysis has considerable leeway of interpretation before it would be remotely plausible for that person to be labelled an "orientalist" as it is defined here.  One would not, for example, say that an author was an "orientalist" because that author translated a mathematical paper, originally written in chinese, from chinese to english because they thought that english readers would have trouble reading the chinese.

Second, the use of pictographic characters to represent shogi pieces originally represented by kanji characters is done for practical logistical reasons, not because I might be some kind of "orientalist" objecting to the esthetic qualities of kanji calligraphy.  It would be difficult to shrink kanji pieces within a board with a 2.5" diameter to fit into a two column format book on the game, and be able to recognize the pieces without printing distortion.  Even the commonly used pictographic chess set on the 81dojo site is too ornate and detailed to be shrunk down to that size.  A different, more graphically simple pictographic chess set design was needed, similar to newpaper chess diagram pieces.  On the Japanese 81dojo shogi website, one can play shogi using pictographic chess pieces.  Are the authors of this website also "orientalist" because they permit the substitution of kanji characters with pictographic chess pieces?  

This is opposed to criticizing an esthetic product through a western lens, and declaring that this product was wrong because it did not fit some king of westernized esthetic criteria.  For example, a product of non-linear thinking, with an esthetic characteristic to it, like a Japanese No play, being criticized because it did not fit some kind of Shakespearean or Aristophenes concept of how drama should or should not be presented.  Or criticizing the design of a Japanese pagoda because it did not display geometric qualities similar to that of the Greek Parthenon.  

Then there is this criticism:


"A little market research would have informed you that your contribution was essentially unnecessary. I might even add counterproductive."

So, according to this statement, my book on Shogi should never have been written, that the world would have been a better place if it was not written, and that no one would ever need it or buy it, because it did not fit a criterium of how a book on Shogi should or should not be written, namely that a book on Shogi should never be written unless it uses original Kanji pieces as chess piece representors, and never pictographic pieces.  Applying this criterion strictly would result in the complete censorship of my book.  It would represent a naive understanding of how books contribute to wider intellectual development if one were to apply strict criteria in deciding what books should and should not be published.  The vast majority of books in any library are read and used by only a small number of people, with books often selling less than 200 copies.  The sum intellectual system of mankind consists of vast numbers of books that rarely sell more than 200 copies.  If one were to censor these books and wipe them out, because they did not meet some kind of strict publishing criterion, probably 95% of books existing now in libraries would never be published.  Many of these books which would not be published would fit critically important intellectual niches, and be critically important for adding to the intellectual base of mankind, but due to market forces would not possibly be able to sell more than a small number of copies.  Not publishing my shogi book might make sense if absolutely no one ever bought it or would buy it, and perhaps if it could not possibly meet an intellectual need not met by any other shogi book.  There is no way to prove the latter, and the former is not true because 15 people have bought the book so far, within its first month of publication, with virtually no marketing.  Perhaps if absolutely every one of those 15 people thought the book was a useless waste of money, then it might be true that the world would have been better off if the book never existed to begin with.  But how can this be proven?  So now this book should be censored based on unproven possibilities, or because it does not fit some arbitrary publishing criterion?  If the book was published using kanji diagrams, the diagrams would likely have to be blown up double in size or more, and the book format would consist of pages surrounded by large amounts of white spaces around the diagrams, a waste of paper and space that could be filled with information.  Whoever bought the book would feel as duped as someone who buys an overpriced snack that contains vast volumes of fluffy corn puffs, but only a tiny volume of actual food if it was compressed down to a dense mass.  This actually describes many shogi books published nowadays.  But I need to stop posting counter-arguments.  I can't win here.  If too many lion cubs gang up on the elephant, eventually the elephant will go down.

captbirdseye

unread,
Mar 30, 2021, 5:37:22 AMMar 30
to SHOGI-L
> If the book was published using kanji diagrams, the diagrams would likely have to be blown up double in size or more

Why? Remember, one picture is worth a thousand words - doubly so in the case of this book.

> and the book format would consist of pages surrounded by large amounts of white spaces around the diagrams, a waste of
> paper and space that could be filled with information.

Publishing a book is not about saving paper. It is about conveying information in a comprehensible form. This includes the use
of 'white space' in a sensible way. Packing as much information on to the page as possible; using a two-column format which
results in too-short lines with frequent line breaks and ugly, distracting, and larger-than-necessary inter-word spaces is not a
sensible use of white space.  Packing the diagrams as hard up against the surrounding text as possible (but not all the time)
is not a sensible use of white space. Making the inter-column gap so narrow that it is necessary to divide the columns with an 
unsightly vertical line (to avoid inadvertently reading across two columns) is not sensible use of white space.

It is, of course possible to use too much space, but this book would have been a better book if every page was made up entirely 
of white space.

Karolina Styczyńska

unread,
Apr 5, 2021, 8:09:31 AMApr 5
to SHOGI-L
Hello "thermodynamically unstable concatenation of atoms and molecules known as John"!

After buying and reading your book, I thought I will leave a small positive review.

I really liked it. I can feel you put a lot of work into it, explaining many things in detail, including a lot of examples and diagrams along the chapters.
I laughed so hard reading some of your jokes, especially "about author" page. Also, thank you for mentioning my magazine in the book section.
I like how you included many opening traps and tactics. And how you used computer to make sure they are correct.

May I add a suggestion to add diagrams how pieces move in appendix to visualize it more, same with promotion zones.

In case you are working on further revisions, here are some things that I thought could be slightly improved:

Generally, I think some editorial checks might be needed.
There were few errors I found, for example in rules section. The draw occurred when both players have "at least" 24 points, not 24 points. 
Or calling "pawn" a "rook" in another paragraph.

About opening chapter, I loved the traps examples and the fact you include both Japanese and English names. 
But there is little problem with names like "second file rook" (never heard it) and Excelsior (I call it "Twin gold" only..? but not sure about this one).
And finally Fujii system with two "i", from name 藤井 (ふじい = fu+ji+i) professional player.

My biggest criticism would be about the castle chapter.
There are few castles that I never saw and some of them wouldn't be considered castles. (honestly, I wonder where you got them from!:) ) 
There are strategical problems with some diagram (for example double boat castle game never happens).
The castle diagrams where positionally wrong in some cases (for example there is a bishop on 55 that can be taken for free on page 120, crab castle)
Also there is castle called "high mino" which you called "mino". <- might have been in opening section.

And one small thing, I am not sure how you count "turns", there is a mate problem that you call "11 turns" but it is mate in 19 (moves as we call it).

Enjoyed your work,
Karolina Styczynska



On Tuesday, March 9, 2021 at 3:00:13 AM UTC+9 johnnymam wrote:

New book published in English, available on Amazon:

Japanese Chess or Shogi Book of Board Game Strategy


johnnymam

unread,
Apr 7, 2021, 6:31:30 PMApr 7
to SHOGI-L
Hi, Karolina,

Thanks for the interesting review.  I am always interested in ways to improve the text, and will look at your suggestions and incorporate them into a proof modification.  Maybe you can email me a laundry list of suggestions.  My email can be found from one of my open-source articles in the field of dentistry, downloadable from pubmed. 

"second file rook" would be like "opposing rook" or mukaibisha opening.   rooks opposing on the second file.  not sure how conventional it would be to call it "second file rook."

The castle chapter is potentially one that can be interpreted or modified given expert opinion.  If you are still in Japan, maybe you can show it to some expert shogi players there and see what their input might be about that chapter.  If they have some interesting ideas I could incorporate them into some kind of modern synthesis shogi castle chapter.  There are a few castles that are commonly used among experts, and perhaps advanced artificial intelligence computer programs, and other castles are of less strategic significance, and some castles might be insignificant.  I was not sure how to rank castles based on their strategic importance, so I put a wide range of castles in a "gallery of castles," with the intention of leaving it up to the reader to form their own judgements about which castles are more strategically optimal to use than others.  I am not enough of an expert on the game to be able to determine this myself (maybe no one is...maybe this topic is too computationally complex).

congratulations on the citation of your shogi magazines.  you might not get another citation for a long time.  English books on shogi come along maybe once every 5-10 years.

Karolina Styczyńska

unread,
Apr 7, 2021, 11:14:41 PMApr 7
to SHOGI-L
Hi John!

Thank you for your message.
Unfortunately I do not have time to prepare a list for you nor I am a native English speaker.

About "second file rook":
In my 11 years of shogi experience, I have only heard about Opposing rook (direct translation from Japanese Mukaibisha: Mukai - opposite, bisha - rook). This same term was used in Hidetchi's book as well as in Hosking book, which I believe are main two books that influenced which shogi language we use today. Second file rook is a description of square (maybe easy to understand for beginners), but is not used in Japanese. On the other hand openings like 3rd file rook actually come from Japanese san-ken-bisha which translates to 3rd-file-rook.

About castles: 
Usually we divide them by openings. We have two main strategies: static and ranging rook. Combination of both gives us 3 different types of openings: static vs swinging, double static and  double swinging. Depending on those we use different castles. To avoid confusion about which castle to use where, I would recommend using only half diagram where you show one side of the board with sente's (in your book White) castle only. This is how it was done in Hosking book, and wikipedia. This way you could show all the castles you want while avoiding strategical mistakes of their combinations.
But now I understand that you wanted to show all the castles, not necessary the trending ones! That's great.

And yes, I wish we had more English shogi books!

Best regards,
Karolina Styczynska, Ladies Shogi Professional 1 Dan

John Mamoun

unread,
Apr 8, 2021, 8:25:25 AMApr 8