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Shogi

Shogi is the Japanese form of Chess. It has been evolving in a different direction as international Chess for more than 1000 years, however, and its history contains many Shogi variants, some even still played today. Modern Shogi is played on a 9x9 board, with 20 pieces per side (King, Rook, Bishop, Gold and Silver Generals, Knights, Lances and Pawns). The pieces do not always move the same as their western namesakes, e.g. a Pawn moves and captures straight ahead only. The largest difference with international Chess, however, is that pieces that are captured change side, and can be dropped back onto the board by the player that captured them (which counts as a move). This makes draws very rare, as the position never simplifies. Another major difference is that not only Pawns promote, but most pieces can, when their move touches the 'promotion zone' consisting of the furthest three board ranks. Each piece type has a fixed promoted form, e.g. Pawns always promote to Gold General, and Rooks always to 'Dragon' (which combines the Rook and King moves, and is the strongest piece of the game).

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