In this video, which I shot in August of this year, Doctor M kindly agreed to explain the basics of how to play Shogi, or “Japanese Chess”.
I was using a old Sanyo Xacti 5x Zoom on a tripod, but had zoomed in a little too much. Then, trying to zoom in to the board while adjusting the angle of the camera on the tripod also proved to be a challenge and resulted in more camera shake than if I’d simply held the camera in my hand.
Doctor M gamely endeavoured to explain the basics of Shogi in English, without any preparation. We talk about the board, the pieces, the cushions and the “koma dai” – or raised trays where you place your pieces after capturing them.
One of the unique features of Shogi is that you can “turn” any captured piece and replace it on the board as your own piece, which is apparently why Dr M’s Jesuit teacher disapproved of the game, not that it stopped Dr M from playing the game as a schoolboy.
In the last part of the video we sit down to play a game of Shogi, and the video closes at a point where this blogger has got into a bit of a pickle and is declaring that there is “no need to panic”… Needless to say, disaster swiftly followed…
You can learn how to play Shogi on Wikipedia and see Japanese-Games-Shop.com if you would like to own a set of Japanese shogi koma.