A quick 411 on shougi as a reference for Shion no Ou.
Introduction: Shogi (Japanese chess) is the most popular of a family of chess variants native to Japan. It is also sometimes spelled as shougi.
1. Kishi – a shougi player
2. Dan – rank of a shougi player (details below).
3. Meijin – master, highest kishi rank.
4. Furigoma – a method to decide who goes first by tossing 5 pawns up in the air. 5. Komaoto – the sound of shougi pieces.
:: RULES OF THE GAME ::
Objective: Technically the game is won when a king is captured, though in practice defeat is conceded at mate or when mate becomes inevitable.
Game equipment: Two players, Black and White (sente and gote) play on a board composed of squares (actually rectangles) in a grid of 9 ranks (rows) by 9 files (columns). The squares are undifferentiated by marking or colour.Each player has a set of 20 wedge-shaped pieces of slightly different sizes. Except for the kings, opposing pieces are differentiated only by orientation, not by marking or color. From largest to smallest (most to least powerful), the pieces are: 1 king, 1 rook, 1 bishop, 2 gold generals, 2 silver generals, 2 knights, 2 lances, 9 pawns. Several of these names were chosen to correspond to their rough equivalents in international chess, and not as literal translations of the Japanese names.
Each piece has its name written on its surface in the form of two Japanese characters (kanji), usually in black ink. On the reverse side of each piece, other than the king and gold general, are one or two other characters (in amateur sets, this is often in a different colour, usually red); this side is turned face up during play to indicate that the piece has been promoted. The pieces of the two players do not differ in colour, but instead each faces forward, toward the opposing side. This shows who controls the piece during play.
Player ranking: Players are ranked from 15 kyū to 1 kyū and then from 1 dan and upwards; this is the same terminology as in karate, go, calligraphy and many other arts in Japan. Professional players operate with their own scale, from professional 4 dan and upwards to 9 dan for elite players. Amateur and professional ranks are offset.
Set up: Each player places his pieces in the positions shown below, facing the opponent.
In the rank nearest the player: The king is placed in the center file. The two gold generals are placed in the adjacent files to the king. The two silver generals are placed adjacent to each gold general. The two knights are placed adjacent to each silver general. The two lances are placed in the corners, adjacent to each knight. That is, the first rank is |L|N|S|G|K|G|S|N|L|.
In the second rank, each player places: The bishop in the same file as the left knight. The rook in the same file as the right knight. In the third rank, the nine pawns are placed one to each file.
Gameplay: The players alternate taking turns, with Black (the side containing the Jeweled General) playing first. The terms “Black” and “White” are used to differentiate the two sides, but there is no actual difference in the color of the pieces. For each turn a player may either move a piece which is already on the board and potentially promote it, capture an opposing piece, or both; or to “drop” a piece that has already been captured onto an empty square of the board. These options are detailed below.
Professional games are timed as in International Chess, but professionals are never expected to keep time in their games. Instead a timekeeper is assigned, typically an apprentice professional. Time limits are much longer than in International Chess (9 hours a side plus extra time in the prestigious Meijin title match), and in addition byōyomi (literally “second counting”) is employed. This means that when the ordinary time has run out, the player will from that point on have a certain amount of time to complete every move (a byōyomi period), typically upwards of one minute. The final ten seconds are counted down, and if the time expires the player to move loses the game immediately.
Movement and capture: If an opposing piece occupies a legal destination for a friendly piece (that is, a piece belonging to the player whose turn it is to move), it may be captured by removing it from the board and replacing it with the friendly piece. It is not possible to move to or through a square occupied by another friendly piece, or to move through a square occupied by an opposing piece. It is common to keep captured pieces on a wooden stand (or komadai) which is traditionally placed so that its bottom left corner aligns with the bottom right corner of the board from the perspective of each player. It is not permissible to hide pieces from full view. This is because captured pieces, which are said to be in hand, have a crucial impact on the course of the game.
The knight jumps, that is, it passes over any intervening piece, whether friend or foe, without an effect on either. It is the only piece to do this.
The lance, bishop, and rook are ranging pieces: They can potentially move any number of squares along a straight line limited by the edge of the board. If an opposing piece intervenes, it may be captured by removing it from the board and replacing it with the moving piece. If a friendly piece intervenes, one is limited to a distance that stops short of that square; if the friendly piece is adjacent, one may not move in that direction at all.
All pieces, except the knight, move either orthogonally (that is, forward, backward, or to the side), or diagonally.
http://www.live-evil.org/ – Live-Evil subs (they show a list of shogi key terms used at the end of every Shion no Ou episode that they sub)
http://www.shogidojo.com/ (where I got the image from)