Shogi for chess players – How to play and a first grudge match!

A video by chess GM Matthew Sadler and WIM Natasha Regan on their latest obsession: the Japanese game of shogi, which was another of the classic games mastered by AlphaZero after just 12 hours of training. Matthew and Natasha explain the rules of shogi and then play a first “grudge match” to demonstrate how the rules work and some basic strategy!
Matthew and Natasha’s new book “Game Changer” came out on 20th January 2019 and won the prestigious ECF Book of the Year and the FIDE Book of the Year prizes for 2019! It is available in print and digital versions from these links:
(Paperback English edition)
(Paperback and Kindle)
(Hardback German edition)


  1. Have you played other games of shogi since then?

  2. The ShogiGUI software used in the video is available from
    . You will probably need to let Google translate the page for you! Once you install it, you need to change the language to English. You can do this via the menu: click on the menu item (T), and then (O) and then click on Language to change to English.
    You can download the Gikou engine from
    . Unzip the files to a directory, then add the engine from Tools ¦ Engine ¦ Add
    Many thanks to the Dutch Shogi Association for these instructions (

  3. Amazing, thank you for the informative video. A new hobby to get obsessed with!

  4. I am so happy to see chess players trying shogi. Thank you for making this video!! If you need any shogi information, please ask me 🙂

    To become professional it is much more than a simple exam! For males it takes around 20 years of hard work to have a slight chance to become pro (2 people per half year among many strong talented boys; age limit is 26 yrs).

    Btw, G*55 was 1 move mate. Also, you can notice, how important it is to build a castle. Sente's (Black's) pieces were far away from the king, so Gote (White) could attack very severely. Really cool video!!!

  5. Just GREAT! Thank you for promoting shogi to the chess world. It is my passion and i always feel like it is underrated. It is such a beautiful game but whenever i suggested it to chess-streamers they just ignored me.
    Please make more videos! i would love to support you too. Showing you platforms and play games against you! 🙂

    You have my subscription and like! :3

  6. Great stuff, I'm a new Shogi player myself so seeing two players just talk about their thoughts during a game is very helpful. I encourage you to consider making more videos! There is not very much English Shogi content, and this type of Chess player's take on it is very unique.

  7. I still haven't had time to watch this excellent video in it's entirety, but I've now looked at most of it, and a few comments seem in order.

    The presenters score points *big-time*, right from the start by using Shogi pieces rather than the effete bastardised pieces (called Westernised or Internationalised by some) which are popular with folks who are too lazy to learn the (Chinese?) kanji used on Shogi pieces!

    I was a little apprehensive when I saw that the ShogiGUI board had been set up 'rotated' while the moves of the pieces were being explained (this moves the origin of the notation system to lower left, rather than upper right as is usual in Shogi), but when the demonstration game was started, the board was rotated to its 'correct' orientation

    The discussion between the two players whilst the game is in progress is interesting, informative and well-structured (though informal). All extremely helpful for a novice player!

    The video ends with the statement of the intention to produce more such videos (yes please!), and a visual link to Hidetch's Shogi videos.

    Good stuff – been needed for a looooooooong time!

    The only down-side is that the volume is rather low (I listened with the volume turned up to full, via headphones in a public library), but this seems to be a problem with very many YouTube videos.


  8. great video very helpful, Where do you find this board that you are showing us all this. I would love to have an online practice board for assistance while I read games.

  9. So at 34:00 would Natasha dropping a silver on 3iii been an effective move? I am new and may be missing something.

  10. Problem is she didn't use the rook. She should of used static rook

  11. Btw, in Japan, even when you get checkmated you have to resign for the game to end (or make an illegal move), but it doesn't automatically stop with a checkmate. That's most likely why this software you're using didn't stop the game when Matthew delivered checkmate. 🙂

  12. A reminder: Sente, the one who starts first is "black", not "white".

  13. my brain is on chess mode
    I put the bishop in front of a pawn a put check on my opponent
    my oponent captures my bishop with his pawn
    me: Damm brain shift your pawn logic

  14. This variant is amazing indeed. But I will prefer crazyhouse and shogun variant on pychess server for me.

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