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Shogi (将棋 shogi, "general's game") is the Japanese version of Chess. It is famous for its drop rule, which lets you return pieces you capture to the board under your control.

Find out more on the dedicated page on chessvariant website.


Shogi (Japanese Chess)

Shogi is the Japanese cousin of Chess. Very similar to it in some respects, it differs from Chess mainly by allowing players to keep captured pieces and replay them as their own. To win you have to checkmate the king of your opponent.


The board is a 9x9


for each team:

Initial setup

We made a western set of pieces for players who might not be familiar with the traditional japanese version.

Pieces actions and properties

Gold general: moves and captures to adjacent squares in any orthogonal or the forward diagonal direction.

Silver general: moves and captures to adjacent squares in any diagonal or the forward orthogonal direction.

Pawn : The Pawn: moves and captures to the square directly in front of it.

Rook : as in chess.

Bishop : as in chess.

King : as in chess.

Knight : The Knight has the two forward-most moves of the Chess knight.

Lance : The Lance moves as a Rook but only forward in the same file, never sideways or backward.


Pawn, Lance, Knight, and Silver general promotes to Tokin, Promoted lance, Promoted knight, and Promoted silver, respectively, all of which move like a Gold general.

Rook and Bishop gain king move upon promotion to Dragon king and Dragon horse, respectively.

The promotion zone is the farthest three rows of the board, and a piece may promote if part of its move touches the zone. Promotion is optional unless no subsequent move is possible otherwise. So a Pawn or Lance must promote on the last row, and a Knight must promote on the last two rows.

The King does not promote, nor can already promoted pieces promote further.


Captured pieces become prisoners and lose their promotion, guarded on your right. You can use your turn to put them back into play. A player can either move one of his pieces or drop a prisoner back into play on his behalf.

A Pawn can’t be dropped on a column with an unpromoted Pawn of the same color.

A Pawn can’t make an immediate checkmate when dropped. It is allowed for other pieces.

A piece can’t be dropped is no subsequent move is possible, so a Pawn or Lance cannot be dropped on the last row, and a Knight cannot be dropped on the last two rows.

Available skins

2D skins are available for all, 3D skins need WebGL so please use Chrome or Firefox.


Jocly implementation