Sunday, December 6, 2009


It's Japanese Chess - check it out!

Try ityou might like it!

Come, get a free Shogi set and rules, learn the moves, and play a practice game or two. Then decide. Even Kasparov has given it a try!

Learn to play Shogi at the Balboa Club                                                                                           

—Tuesday, December 8th at 7:00 pm

—Monday, December 14th at 7:00 pm

Taught by Chess Expert Eric Kuniholm, now Shogi Master 1st Dan.

      Shogi is a cousin of Western Chess, independently developed as the game spread outward from India over the last 1000 years or so. About 75% of the rules are similar so it’s really easy to learn if you know how to play Chess. Most of your skills will be transferable! —And transferable both ways if you get good at Shogi! Three of the top Shogi players in Japan have made master norms in their first ever attempts to play in Chess tournaments, and IM Larry Kaufman finally got his GM title after becoming the top rated Shogi amateur in the West.

      But be warned, Shogi has several orders of magnitude more possibilities than Chess, and computers have yet to beat Shogi professionals in match play. The main reason for the increased complexity is because in Shogi, prisoners can be reintroduced into play, like bughouse, and almost all pieces can promote—rooks, knights, bishops, and not just pawns. Almost every game ends in a sacrificial mating attack, and only 2% of games between professionals end in draws (for amateurs, the figure is even lower). And no problems finding opponents once you learn the game, it’s more popular than Go in the Japanese community, and the Shogi equivalent of the ICC offers free online membership to all players outside Japan.

      We will use special sets with the movement capabilities printed on the pieces, so nothing to memorize! People are welcome to come to more than one session if they want to, since I’ll have a slightly different “curriculum” each time, although the limit is one free set per person. I'll teach the moves, demo a sample game, and play a simul. Any questions, feel free to email me at or call (760) 525-9411

So come! & get a free Shogi set for attending—No charge!


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