Re: Digest for - 4 updates in 1 topic

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M. M.

Mar 12, 2021, 1:59:40 AM3/12/21
" Writing a book requires a significant commitment."

Boris, you are absolutely right.

Am Fr., 12. März 2021 um 00:35 Uhr schrieb <>:
captbirdseye <>: Mar 10 10:39PM -0800

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
" 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...
Daniel Toebbens <>: Mar 11 10:09AM +0100

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" <>
Betreff: Re: new Shogi book in english
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.
On Wed 10. Mar 2021 at 21:29, Riko 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.
johnnymam <>: Mar 11 06:10AM -0800

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.
On Thursday, 11 March 2021 at 01:39:34 UTC-5 captbirdseye wrote:
Angela Salvaggione <>: Mar 11 02:59PM -0600

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.
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Mar 12, 2021, 5:39:58 AM3/12/21
to M. M.' via SHOGI-L
For those not immersed in the Shogi scene, the conclusion is inescapable: the introduction of Shogi into the western world so far has been a dismal failure so far. Last time I looked the Dutch Shogi Association for example had only 56 members, about half of those regularly active. The Dutch Chess Association has about 23,000 members...

So it is refreshing that someone tries a different approach, as the 'time-proven methods' in fact have only proven they lead nowhere. Treating Shogi as a vehicle for spreading Japanese culture is probably at the basis of the failure to appeal to more than a hand full of people. Plenty of people are interested in strategic board games. Virtually no one is interested in deciphering kanji.

I would not be surprised at all if a 'de-Japanesed' version of Shogi would easily attract 10-100 times as many players as 50 years of pushing kanji could.

Just the opinion of an outsider...

Op vr., mrt. 12, 2021 om 07:59, M. M.' via SHOGI-L <> schreef:
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