Sunday, 8 August 2021

First Moves: A Journey Into Shogi

I was once a very keen chess player. At my best I reached the dizzy heights of "slightly above average British club player". Then Open University study, marriage and children came along and chess dropped out of my life completely.

Roll forward many years to 2021 and I found myself watching the popular Netflix series "The Queens Gambit". This triggered memories of the fun I had teaching myself to play chess when I was a child. Before long I was replaying classic games on chessgames.com then playing online at chess.com and lichess.org. Pretty soon I was rated 1405 Rapid on chess.com putting me in the top 10% of players.

It occurred to me that if I was to make any further progress with my chess then I would have to put in some effort studying intermediate level opening and endgame theory. Or perhaps I could move in another direction...

For some time I had been participating in an English reading group held in a local community centre. Once a week I would gather with a small group of Japanese women to read English books out loud. I had noticed that in one of the other meeting rooms a group of Shogi players met regularly. I had never played Shogi before.

I decided that before continuing with my chess playing I would learn how to play Shogi and see how quickly I could progress starting as a complete beginner who did not even know how the pieces move! In future posts I will describe what I did and how it went...

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