Shogi, also known as Japanese chess, is a two-player strategy board game. Its earliest predecessor of the game, chaturanga, originated in India in the 6th century was brought to Japan where it spawned a number of variants. Two players, Sente (Black; more literally, person with the first move) and Gote (White; person with the second move), play on a board composed of rectangles in a grid of 9 ranks (rows) by 9 files (columns).
The rectangles are undifferentiated by marking or color. The board is nearly always rectangular; square boards are uncommon. Pairs of dots mark the players' promotion zones.Each player has a set of 20 wedge-shaped pieces of slightly different sizes. Except for the kings, opposing pieces are undifferentiated by marking or color. Pieces face forward (toward the opponent's side); this shows who controls the piece during play.
The pieces are arranged symmetrically, and like other forms of chess, the object of shogi is to force capture of the opposing king: to put him in checkmate. The two players alternate, moving one piece in each turn, using the characteristic moves of the various pieces. Some of these moves are the same as those found in western chess, and some are different.
The Japanese cousin of chess allows players who are behind to more easily get ahead, and it can keep the outcome of the game more uncertain until the very end. This difference from chess helps keep the game interesting and exciting until the end!
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