Best Free Computer Shogi - Japanese Chess



Shogi, or Japanese Chess as it is sometimes known in the West, is one of several two player boardgames owing its lineage to the Indian game of chaturanga. Like its cousins Western chess and Xiangqi (Chinese chess), Shogi consists of two opposing armies fighting a war of tactics and attrition with the goal of capturing the opposing army's King.

The board is divided into 81 squares on which each player's force of 20 pieces line up in three ranks at outset of the game. While the ultimate goal of the Shogi player is identical to that of other chess variants, the route to victory features several unique rules making Shogi an exciting and challenging alternative to Western chess.

In Shogi, when a player captures an opponent’s piece, that piece becomes the property of the capturing player's army allowing him/her to “drop” the captured piece into play anywhere on the board. Successful play must therefore incorporate dropped pieces as part of a player's offensive and defensive repertoire.

Another unique feature of Shogi is the fact that nearly all pieces in Shogi have the option of promoting when they reach their opponent’s 3rd rank. These promotions typically increase a piece's offensive capacity. While these unique rules may appear intimidating to the new player, there is thankfully Shogi freeware that is user-friendly for the novice.


Rated Products


Incorporates a user-friendly design into a full-featured and versatile gaming program.

Our Rating: 
License: Free
Responsive play, user-friendly, versatile.
Lack of piece movement guide may be difficult for novice players.
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Offers an attractive and highly playable application primarily for play against an AI engine.

Our Rating: 
License: Free
Attractive interface, novice-friendly, responsive play.
Installation of additional chess engines is difficult, no play on remote servers, registration (free) required to access all features.
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