Check out Chess with Different Armies, our featured variant for July, 2024.

This page is written by the game's inventor, Sean Humby.

Hishigata Shogi

a Diamond Shaped Maka Dai Dai Shogi Variant 

by Sean Humby


The game of Maka Dai Dai shogi (or Ultra Great Great Shogi) is a large and complex Shogi variant played on a 19x19 board. Each player has almost 100 pieces of 50 varieties. The game has many interesting ideas and pieces but some feel it simply takes far too long to play and the key pieces seldom get a chance to show their strength.

Thus the idea for Hishigata (Diamond Shaped) Shogi was born. The game is a direct derivative of it's parent, but takes about a quarter as long to play. It uses the same pieces, the same board and the same rules. The only real difference is it's original setup and board position. This may seem to be a trivial matter, but it is not.

The setup was designed to have the initial conflict be as fiery and violent as the last piece moved. The King is only a couple moves away from the front lines and this proves to be an interesting factor as you both try to defend him and also try to promote him to Emperor. Once you have an Emperor, who can teleport to any unguarded position on the board, you have little difficulty overcoming your opponent. The flanks and rear are precariously guarded by quick moving and powerful pieces, but these battles tend to be short lived. The main army has pieces that tend to promote to more powerful ranged movers and this generally makes them break away to fight around the outside. The fight more resembles that of an dog fight over an battle field than the traditional armies meeting in formation.

This game was recently developed and I am entirely open to ideas and/or criticism. Please feel free to Email me (see below name link - ed.). I sincerely hope this variant sparks some interest in one of the most interesting tactical games Japan has to offer.



These are the same pieces that Maka Dai Dai uses on the same board. Thus, if you have Maka Dai Dai, you have Hishigata. (That was the idea.)


The rules are also exactly that of Maka Dai Dai, including capturing by promotion and playing without drops. (I recommend using the original Teaching King variant as the more powerful version is too powerful for this application.)

Thanks to Steve Evans, author of Shogi Variants Freeware.