Archive for the ‘Shogi’ Category

Shogi during Dinner


Clearly I stole the above pics from somewhere. 🙂 Got it from the blog of a newcomer to JC, Shino.

Anyway it shows me playing a game of Shogi against Xinwen, while being watched by Ryou Takehito. It was played on Saturday night during dinner at the authentic Japanese restaurant in JC.

Some people go to parties, go to clubs and go to karaoke box for fun. But for me, a night playing strategic board game is all the fun I need. And I am not overstating this.

To have ideas, and to be able to realise them. I guess that’s where most joy come from for me. Which may also explain why I love programming so much.

Anyway about the game, I PAWNZOR ..! (using Xinwen’s own vocab)


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Haha, Shogi again, but at home !

Hmm Shogi again. I hope  Go community won’t think I have left them 🙂 It’s just that, I am interested to know how good can I be in Shogi without learning any theories, but just relying on my past experience as a chess player. Anyway, I love all board games. Perhaps should get acquainted with some Scrabblers and invite them home too.

It was raining heavy, so Xinwen and Ryou were quite delayed. While both of them knew how to play Shogi, only Ryou and me played. Out of four games played, I won one, which was good enough, I guess. One important thing I learned was – it’s very important to castle early. In other words, to build formidable fortress around the king.

Dinner was supposed to be on me, but I have just realised that they secretly left the money on the desk. Haizzz…

By the way, I know what to dream of tonight.

One day, I will open a tea shop somewhere in a quieter area of KL, and people  nationwide come to play all sorts of challenging board games 🙂 And also strong players will conduct occasional classes on the relevant theories to interested parties. At times, open tournaments will be held.

 I will sit in one corner doing research on Artificial Intelligence, Telecommunication and Information Security – only to be interrupted when worthy game masters challenge me to deathly duel.

Sifu, sorry to interrupt. There’s a Korean Master challenging you to a game of Go.

A worthy master. Neko-chan, please get us some oolong tea, thank you.

I seriously think I can live satisfied like that.

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It appears to me that many people from Malaysia Weiqi Association are getting stronger and stronger everyday. Not including me, sadly!

Suzanne in particular had improved tremendously, and even beat Billy recently. Honestly I can’t wait to see her playing against Saenson Apaporn from Thailand, and Karen, Kay from Singapore. I heard there are other strong female Singaporean players, but I haven’t met them yet and unsure of their level. Hopefully they will all clash in upcoming Tri-country tournament end of this year, in KL !

The level of female Go sure is rising in South East Asia.

Whereas Hock Doong and Alex seem to have found time for Go amidst busy schedule. Alex apparently is concentrating on solving Life and Death problems, whereas I suspect Hock Doong is focusing more on replaying professional games. His understanding of overall theory on Go strategy is at a much better level than before.

Boon Ping? Haven’t played him for quite some time. He is probably superstrong now, after I delivered the Nihon Ki-in sea shell stones to him. 3 months training on a goban with real quality surely brings shiny result. 🙂 My goban from Korea instead, is happily collecting dust at the moment. 😩

To get myself out of current slump, I have started studying Buju Daquan and Zhanshu Daquan although yeah, I dont understand the text, only the diagrams. Sometimes I wish I have a study partner, as I often I get very sleepy and hungry replaying the positions alone. 😩

Anyway, from Ryou’s blog,

To all the chess-players in the world. Have you ever experience something similar like mine where people mock or tease you when you said you are going to become a professional chess player? Please share your thoughts and opinions with me.

I was lucky to have supporting friends when I first started out playing Go. But even before that, I had established myself as a board game freak. In fact, if I had an invititation for a board game when I was having exam preparation at the eleventh hour, I would postpone studying to be last-minute.

Anyway, I still remember an advice from Wan Aimran, my ex-housemate where he said, “people don’t have to understand you, they just have to accept you for who you are”. Really Ryou, why are you troubled so much by what other people say when you have dream and means before your eyes? But hehe, I’m not responsible if you’re not satisfied with your future later 🙂

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Suzz helped me to spell “idazuwaika” in Katakana 🙂 How can I make my Japanese name official?

Anyway, she also informed me of a Japanese Drama based on Shogi. It was Hachi-One Diver. Hachi-One or 81, represents the number of squares in Shogi, or Japanese Chess. A bit like a chess board, it is square but with 9 x 9 dimension, instead of 8 x 8. Hence the name, 81 Diver.

The story was about a man who failed to be Shogi professional player, despite studying the game for 20 years. Indeed the level of board game professionals is really high, and certainly not attainable by any average person with average mental strength and average spirit. It’s discomforting to know that this happens in reality – many people fail professional Go examinations despite studying unthinkably diligent for decades.

Back to the story, this man Segata Kentarou then became a Shinkenshi, or a gambler, who earned money by gambling and winning Shogi. With his higher than average skill, he managed to win money easily, until he met Akihabara Champion, Ukeshi who Segata lost Shogi (and big money) to.

The Akihabara Champion had two personalities, one as a superb Shogi player, another as a cleaning maid. The maid version does not really fit into the story line well, except adding some fantasy to the drama. Anyway Ukeshi then brought Segata into the a new world of Shogi gambling, where he had to gamble life, future (loser quit Shogi) and so on. Through many desperate games, Segata managed to acquire higher level of concentration in Shogi – including diving into Shogi board – hence the name 81 Diver.

The story continues with them later having to oppose an evil organization Kishoukai who wanted to bring the world of professional Shogi down.  This organization is full of strong Shogi players who harbored discontentment towards professional Shogi. Segata with his improved skill managed to beat this organization with many top-skilled players, but at the end he was stopped by the leader of the organization who happened to be Ukeshi’s own father.

Later, Ukeshi’s father died and Ukeshi inherited the organization despite opposing it in the beginning. She felt it was her responsibility to continue her father dream to bring professional Shogi down Just like her father, Ukeshi had Second Sight skill which was far superior than Segata’s ‘diving’. However, in his desperation to save Ukeshi from the ill path of Shogi, Segata later gained even higher level of concentration, Clear and Serene (going over the 81 boundary into space of emptiness) to have a rematch against Ukeshi. The bet, if he wins, Ukeshi must quit the organization and be at his side forever, if he loses, he must never see Ukeshi again.

Haha.. personally I think this drama to be quite enjoyable, although too much nonsense. Luckily it’s only 11 episodes, otherwise I probably wouldn’t finish it. I admit, I used to dream saving girls, even nation by winning a high-tension chess game. LOL 🙂 Anyway, the story teaches never to give up, even after 20 years of hard effort !

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Me and Shogi

Thanks to Ryou Takehito, now I know how to play Shogi 🙂 . And the best part is, I dont think it is too different from chess, and if that is true I suppose I could skip some learning process. However some very distinct rules such as dropping the captured pieces and promotion when entering opponent’s base for all pawns, bishop, rook, lance and knight are very new to me – but then again, the nature of all board games are the same, it’s all about reading ahead and imagining, with faithfulness to the fundamentals.

Source : Wikipedia

The strategies and techniques from chess seemingly applicable to Shogi (Japanese Chess)

  1. Pin
  2. Fork
  3. Rook and bishop have to be unobstructed by our own pieces, or can be activated easily
  4. Sacrifice to gain tempo

Haha only four. I forgot many of chess theories already, having left it for few years. By the way, dont be turned off by the characters on shogi pieces, they are not hard to remember ! The game is fun and challenging too. I only know two Malaysians who play Shogi, one is named Voon a.k.a Xinwen, another is surnamed Voon a.k.a Ryou Takehito. But you can get a lot of opponents in Malaysia if you come to Japan Club, and play against the Japanese club members there.

Lastly, Learn Shogi !.


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