Shogi vs Go: All You Need to Know

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases

Both Shogi and Go are board games that have been around for centuries.

They are both very complex and can take a lifetime to master.

Shogi vs go board games
Shogi vs go

However, they are different in many ways. In this blog post, we will explore the differences between these two games.

What to Expect? We will start by discussing the history of each game and then move on to the rules. After that, we will look at the different strategies that can be used in each game. Finally, we will compare and contrast the two games.

Let’s get started.

Shogi vs Go

02/08/2024 10:08 am GMT

Shogi and Go are two classic board games that have been around for centuries.

While they may look similar, these two games have very different rules and strategic considerations.

History of Shogi

Shogi is a Japanese board game that dates back to the Heian period (794-1185).

It is thought to have originated from the Chinese game of xiangqi. Shogi was originally played with small pieces made of ivory or wood.

Shogi Lance - piece size
Shogi Lance

The game gained popularity in Japan during the Edo period (1603-1867). During this time, the game was played by samurai and nobles.

Shogi became so popular that there were even professional players who earned a living by playing the game.

Wooden Board
Yellow Mountain Imports Shogi Japanese Chess Game Set
$52.99

The Yellow Mountain Imports Shogi Japanese Chess Game Set is a comprehensive kit for playing Shogi, the traditional Japanese chess game. It includes a wooden board with drawers for piece storage and comes with the traditional Koma playing pieces. This set offers an authentic and enjoyable Shogi experience.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Thanks!
02/08/2024 10:08 am GMT

The game is still very popular in Japan today. In fact, it is one of the most popular board games in the world.

Booking.com

History of Go

Go is a Chinese board game that dates back to the Zhou dynasty (1046-256 BC).

It is thought to have originated from the game of mancala. Go was originally played with small pieces made of stone or clay.

Go board game rules explained
Go board game

The game gained popularity in China during the Tang dynasty (618-907). During this time, the game was played by nobles and scholars.

Go became so popular that there were even professional players who earned a living by playing the game.

The game is still very popular in China today. In fact, it is one of the most popular board games in the world.

Type Of Players For Shogi VS Go

Shogi is a game that is popular with all types of players.

The fast-paced nature of the game means that it is exciting for both beginner and experienced players.

Go is a game that is popular with both beginner and experienced players.

The slower pace of the game means that it is more suitable for beginners, but the wide range of strategies means that experienced players can also enjoy the game.

One thing that both of these games have in common is that they are incredibly strategy-heavy.

In Reality – Strategy and tactics are the only things that both of these games are about. Both games are set in a war setting, or in other words, they are based on military tactics.

If you prefer games that are easy to play, don’t need much strategy, and are mostly based on luck, then none of these games are for you.

Rules of Shogi VS Go

Shogi is played on a board that is nine squares by nine squares.

The game is played with black and white pieces.

Each player has 20 pieces:

  • one king
  • two gold generals
  • two silver generals
  • two knights
  • two lances
  • and nine pawns

The object of the game is to capture your opponent’s king.

You can capture your opponent’s pieces by either capturing them with one of your own pieces or by moving one of your pieces to a square where your opponent’s piece can be captured.

The game is won by either capturing your opponent’s king or forcing your opponent to resign.

Rules of Go

Go is played on a board that is 19 squares by 19 squares.

Best Japanese Board Games
Best Japanese Board Games listed

The game is played with black and white stones.

Each player has 361 stones:

  • 180 white stones
  • and 181 black stones

The object of the game is to surround more territory than your opponent.

You can do this by surrounding empty space with your stones or by capturing your opponent’s stones.

The game is won by either capturing more territory than your opponent or forcing your opponent to resign.

Strategies in Shogi VS Go

There are many different strategies that can be used in Shogi.

Some of the most common include:

  • Fighting for control of the center of the board. This is important because it will give you more space to maneuver your pieces.
  • Developing your pieces so that they can move around the board more easily. This is important because it will give you more options for attacking and defending.
  • Attacking your opponent’s pieces. This is important because it will put pressure on your opponent and force them to make mistakes.

There are many different strategies that can be used in Go.

Shogi Traditional Japanese Tabletop Games
Shogi equipment

Some of the most common include:

  • Fighting for control of the corners of the board. This is important because it will give you more space to maneuver your stones.
  • Developing your stones so that they can move around the board more easily. This is important because it will give you more options for attacking and defending.
  • Attacking your opponent’s stones. This is important because it will put pressure on your opponent and force them to make mistakes.

Shogi VS Go Boards

Shogi Board

Wooden Board
Yellow Mountain Imports Shogi Japanese Chess Game Set
$52.99

The Yellow Mountain Imports Shogi Japanese Chess Game Set is a comprehensive kit for playing Shogi, the traditional Japanese chess game. It includes a wooden board with drawers for piece storage and comes with the traditional Koma playing pieces. This set offers an authentic and enjoyable Shogi experience.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Thanks!
02/08/2024 10:08 am GMT

The smaller size of the Shogi board means that the game is usually more fast-paced and aggressive.

This is because there are fewer places for the pieces to hide and the players have to be more careful about their moves.

Go Board

Bamboo Wood
Brybelly Go Set
$76.99

The Brybelly Go Set is a complete 2-player board game package that includes an all-natural bamboo wood Go board with bowls and 361 Bakelite stones. 

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Thanks!
02/08/2024 11:01 am GMT

The larger size of the Go board allows for a wider range of strategies.

The game can be more slow-paced and defensive, as there are more places for the pieces to hide.

Comparison of Shogi and Go

Shogi and Go are both popular board games that originated in Asia.

Both games are still very popular today.

The main difference between the two games is the number of pieces each player has:

  • In Shogi, each player has 20 pieces.
  • In Go, each player has 361 stones.
Full Comparison of Shogi and Go
Comparison of Shogi and Go

Another difference is the number of squares on the board:

  • In Shogi, the board is nine squares by nine squares.
  • In Go, the board is 19 squares by 19 squares.

The object of the game is also different.

  • In Shogi, the goal is to capture your opponent’s king.
  • In Go, the goal is to surround more territory than your opponent.

There are many different strategies that can be used in both games.

Some of the most common include fighting for control of the center or corners of the board, developing your pieces so that they can move around the board more easily, and attacking your opponent’s pieces.

Which Game Is More Difficult?

There is no definitive answer to this question.

Some people may find Shogi to be more difficult because of the larger number of pieces on the board and the different rules regarding capturing pieces.

Shogi King piece board
Shogi King

Others may find Go to be more difficult because of the larger board size and the need to control more territory.

Ultimately – It is up to the individual player to decide which game is more difficult.

Shogi vs. Go: Which Game to Choose?

It’s tough to say which of these games is best for you because, at the end of the day, both are fairly complex strategy games, and neither is suitable for children.

Shogi vs Go board game rules
Which board game to choose?

Both of these games are recommended if you enjoy really strategy-heavy games that require a lot of brainpower.

With that in mind, if you’d want to start with something a little more familiar, Shogi, which is extremely similar to chess, might be a good place to start.


From Experience: Shogi is perhaps the easier game to pick up, and if there is one game that is better for kids, it is Shogi.


Is Go or Shogi More Popular?

Shogi is very popular in Japan, with 20 million Japanese estimated to be able to play shogi, of which perhaps 1 million are active players. It is even more popular than go, Japan’s other favorite board game.

In 2008, the number of Go players was estimated at 10 million in China, making it more popular than chess.

Shogi Pieces Size Guide
Shogi Pieces Size

However, shogi may be less popular outside of East Asia. In Europe and the United States, go is far more popular than shogi.

The American Go Association estimates that there are more than 200,000 active go players in the United States.

The International Go Federation estimates that there are approximately 40 million go players worldwide.

So while shogi may be more popular in Japan, go is more popular internationally.

Conclusion

Shogi and Go are both popular board games that originated in Asia.

They are both still very popular today. The main difference between the two games is the number of pieces each player has, and the size of the board.

The object of the game is also different. In Shogi, the goal is to capture your opponent’s king.

In Go, the goal is to surround your opponent’s pieces and capture them.

Also Helpful

About the author

Latest posts