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 A program for Win 3.x , Win 95/98 or later


Shogi Variants Version 1.55a


(Now with a computer player!)

Click here to download the program

To see "What was new last time the program was updated" click here

Screen shots One , Two , Three , Four

About the program:

Shogi Variants is a freeware Windows program to play 'Shogi' (the Japanese member of the chess family of games) or one of 16 other ancient and modern Shogi variants. The variants range from one of the smallest playable chess variants, Micro-Shogi, with a 4x5 square board and 10 pieces, to the world's largest chess game, the gargantuan Tai (Grand) Shogi with a 25x25 square board and 354 pieces! The ancient games comprise some of the most innovative and ambitious variations ever attempted on the chess theme and in some of the enlarged versions, introduce a menagerie of what must be the most powerful and bizarre pieces ever seen in a board game.

The program is for games between 2 human players or for play against a computer opponent, and includes full on-line rules, displaying of all legal moves, protection and threats, and the other features you would expect in a program of this type. Version 1.55a has a computer player for all supported variants except Tenjiku Shogi.

Development of the program has been in abeyance since May 1998, however if I find time I may recommence work on the project at some stage in the future. The planned changes for the next version include a faster and improved computer opponent that would play all variants and the addition of international style pieces. Options for play via internet and modem, and perhaps tsume (problem) solving capabilities were also being considered for the new version.

System Requirements:

Shogi Variants requires a 486 PC or better with 8 megs of ram, SVGA graphics and 4 megs of hard drive space. To play the large variants or to play against the computer a Pentium 90 or better is strongly recommended.


The Shogi Variants program is mainly based on the rules leaflets published by Mr George Hodges, of PO Box 77, Bromley, Kent, UK. In addition to the leaflets, George also has available sets and literature on 'Shogi' and its variants.

Without George Hodges efforts in bringing these wonderful Japanese chess games to the West, this program would not have been possible.

The Variants:

The following variants are included in Version 1.55a:





4 x 5



5 x 5


Judkin's Shogi 

6 x 6


Whale Shogi 

6 x 6


Tori (Bird) Shogi

7 x 7


Yari Shogi 

7 x 9


Heian (Early) Shogi 

9 x 8


Modern Shogi

9 x 9


Sho (Little) Shogi

9 x 9


Wa Shogi(2 variants)

11 x 11


Chu (Middle) Shogi

12 x 12


Heian Dai (Early Great) Shogi 

13 x 13


Dai (Great ) Shogi

15 x 15


Tenjiku (Exotic) Shogi

16 x 16


Dai-Dai (Great Great) Shogi

17 x 17


Maka-Dai-Dai (Ultra Great Great) Shogi

19 x 19


Tai (Grand) Shogi

25 x 25



  Shogi Variant Rules:

Hans Bodlaender has included rules descriptions and graphics from the Shogi Variant program in his excellent Chess Variant Pages. Pages with graphics from my program have been included for the following variants:

Heian Shogi

Tori Shogi

Sho Shogi

Judkin's Shogi

The Chess Variant pages also have rules for many other variants of shogi.


  Links to Other Shogi Variant Resources:

         Pieter Stoutenís Shogi.Net is an excellent resource on all things Shogi-related. I recommend it as a starting point to anyone who wants to learn more about the game. Shogi.Net is also the gateway to the Shogi-L discussion list and ladder, the Chu Shogi ladder.

         Eduard Werner maintains a comprehensive list of links to Shogi Variant software (hosted by Shogi.Net).

         Pieter Moermanís Cyber-Shogi pages contain a wealth of information on Shogi on the net, including links to lots of other Shogi programs.

         I also recommend Pauli Misikangas' very strong Shogi(and variant) playing program "Shocky" (soon to be released commercially as Universal Shogi)

         Phil Holland has written a shogi variant program for Windows 3.1. You can find both it and a nice DOS Shogi Variant program by Roland Marounek (Shogi+) at Phil Hollandís Shogi pages.

         Colin Adams has some great stuff on his Game Playerís pages, including a postscript book on Tenjiku Shogi, a Java Chu Shogi program and the Chu Shogi Information Library.

         There are many Shogi Variant rules and lots of other interesting information at Roger Hare's Shogi pages.

         Patrick Davinís Shogi Nexus is an excellent source of information on Shogi , including up to date results of the latest tournaments, problems (tsume), etc.

         Georg Dunkel has web pages on Micro (Poppy) Shogi and his own tiny (but very playable) variant Nana Shogi

         David Courtney has some great Tori Shogi pages on his "Kicked & Blended" site, together with a Tori playing program for RISC OS users.

         If you are interested in keeping up with the latest news in the world of Shogi Variants you should join ShogiVar eGroup list. Just enter your e-mail address below to subscribe.

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Other Great Abstract Board Game Links:


Visit Zillions of Games

Well, what can I say?

Zillions-of-Games is a dream come true for an abstract game enthusiast like myself.It is a commercial generic game engine for Win95/98 that is capable of playing almost any abstract board game. As well as the powerful game engine, the Zillions package comes with 292 games (!) ready to play, and there are hundreds more available from the Zillions web pages or other sites on the net.

Iíve even written a few games for Zillions myself. To date Iíve done implementations of :

         Chu Shogi

         Micro & Kyoto Shogi

         Nana Shogi(with Robert Price)

         Cannon Shogi

         Cannon Chess


To play these programs you need to own a copy of the Zillions of Games package.

ďAbstract GamesĒ is a unique magazine edited by Kerry Handscomb that is devoted to promoting, discussing and analysing many of the excellent but often underrated abstract games from around the world. The magazine has covered shogi variants such as Kyoto & Chu Shogi. Click on the banner to find out more!


Please e-mail any comments or suggestions, bouquets or brickbats to:

Steve Evans 

 Page last updated 5 August 2000


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