What is the Difference Between Shogi and Chess?
- Captured pieces in shogi become the property of the capturer and can be re-entered into play by being put into almost any unoccupied square. But captured pieces are removed from the game of chess. Therefore, endgames involving only a few pieces do not occur in shogi as piece exchanges greatly complicate the game, but in chess, they simplify it.
- The shogi board is 9×9 with Tori Shogi board 7×7; the chess board is 8×8.
- Shogi has five pieces that do not exist in chess: gold and silver generals, lance, promoted rook, and promoted bishop. Chess has one piece that shogi does not have: the queen. In shogi, the knight’s move is significantly more limited than in chess. In general, shogi pieces have a significantly narrower range of movement than chess pieces (unless they are in hand).
- Promotion is simpler in shogi because the promotion zone is closer to the pieces’ starting positions (especially pawns). All pieces can promote except the gold general and the king, but only to one type of piece. Only the pawn can promote in chess, but it can promote to any other piece except the king.
- In shogi, pawns capture the same way they move. There is no two-space pawn move in shogi; hence there are no en-passant captures. Pawns capture diagonally in chess, therefore allowing opposing pawns to block each other.
- There is only one rook and one bishop in shogi. In shogi, you only have one rook and one bishop. Promoted bishops can also move one square orthogonally; therefore, the bishop is not confined to only one “color” square (squares in shogi are not colored).
- In shogi, there is no special castling motion. In shogi, the term “castle” denotes a defensive formation composed of typically three generals who guard the king. There are several similar castles (about 40 or so have names).
- Draws are rare in shogi than in chess. Perpetual checking is not permitted. Stalemate is a virtual impossibility that results in a loss for the stalemate.
- Endgames involving only a few pieces do not occur in shogi since pieces are never out of play.
- Shogi games are typically longer than chess games (about 60-70 moves are typical).
- Shogi has a well-developed handicap system that is commonly used, but chess does not.
Image Credits: Chess.com