General Knowledge Trivia Quiz
The popular Japanese game of shogi closely resembles another game that is better known internationally. Which one?
Your answer — A) Backgammon — was incorrect.
Though it has much in common with standard chess, and a common ancestry from the ancient Indian game of chaturanga, shogi’s distinctive features make it a fascinating game in its own right. Each player begins with an army of 20 pieces on a nine by nine board. Some pieces move exactly as in chess, including the king (or “jeweled general”) whose capture by checkmate ends the game. Others have no chess counterpart, like the “silver general”, which moves either one square diagonally or any number of squares in the forward direction only.
Whereas in chess a captured piece is permanently removed from the game, in shogi it may be returned to the board on the side of the capturing player.
On reaching one of the far three ranks of the board, most pieces are eligible for promotion, another intriguing aspect of the game. Some special pieces can be created only by promotion, such as the “dragon king”, which is created by promoting a rook (or “flying chariot”).