The Shogi board is made up of 9 by 9 squares where Shogi pieces will be placed on each square. The board space is bigger by one row and one column than Chess board of 8 by 8.

Coordination Grid

A coordination system is used to indicate the address of the board, just as Chess uses the coordination of numbers and letters. In case of Shogi, the coordination system consists of two numbers. One is in Arabic numbers and the other is in Chinese letter. Arabic numbers should be no brainer. But how about recognizing Chinese letters? Chinese letters are pictorials, or at least the origins were pictorials. So, 1,2,3 are quite easy. They are 一,二 and　三 respectively.
Unfortunately for the rest of the numbers, you need to memorize them. They are 四(4) 　五(5)　六 (6)　七 (7)　 八(8) and 九 (9). By the way, those letters are taught to the first graders in Japanese school. I think I was told once that in China, they teach those letters while kids are in pre-school, but I have not validated that claim.

In the Shogi board, upper right square is 1一 and lower left square is 9九. The Center of the board is 5五.　 See the diagram above.

Implied 'from'

Now See this diagram. If we use pseudo Kurnik notation, then the move that is indicated in this diagram at the very beginning of the game can be written as "歩７七－７六". Instead, what we see in Japanese Kifu is "7六歩". This Shogi notation simply tells that the pawn(歩) is at 7六.

What is inconspicuously missing from this notation (from Kurnik players' eyes) is the information of where this pawn came from.

In Japanese Kifu notation, the origin of the piece is implied.

In this case, the only pawn that can be moved to 7六 is the one at ７七 (by the rule of Shogi play).

Therefore, there is no need to explicitly record this information.

"打”  (Drop)

In this diagram, the drop of the gold general will checkmate the king. Since there is already a gold at 2三、　"３二金" does not imply that you are dropping the king. Rather, it will imply that the gold at 2三 will move to ３二. Since this is not what we want to do, the notation must be more explicit, so the correct notation for checkmating the King will be "３二金打ち" the last two characters literally means "Strike" but you can paraphrase it with the word "drop"　 Note that if the piece at 2三 would have been a Silver general, then the notation "３二金" is suffice, because only way for the gold general to be at ３二 is by a drop.

"右、直、左、寄、引"

Look at the diagram here. There is another ambiguity when a notation says "５七銀." Since there are three Silvers that can go to that spot、the notation need to be more explicit. For the sake of explanation, let me use pseudo Western notations and corresponding Kifu notations for each piece's move to ５七

５七銀左　=s６八－５七

The letter 左　means "Left." The silver moved from the left.

５七銀直  =s５八－５七

The letter 直　means " Straight"　The silver moved straight (up).

５七銀右  =s４八－５七

The letter 右　means "Right." The silver moved from the right .

Likewise, There are three gold that can go to a position  7七
7七金寄=G6七－7七

The letter 寄 means "go to the side", If there would have been another Gold at ８七、Then this move would have been written as 7七金右寄, signifying that the gold moved from the right side.
7七金直 =G七八－7七

We already saw this. the Gold moved straight up.
7七金引 =G7六－7七

The letter "引"means "pull (back)" The gold moved one step back to the position.

"行、上がる" (go, or rise)

These two words are used interchangeably.

The letter "行"　means go and "上" means "to rise"

These two letters are used interchangeably in Shogi notation.

in the diagram here,

"5五角行く"　or "5五角上がる" = B9九-5五

"5五飛行く"　or "5五飛上がる" = R５九-５五

Paring letters are "引"、and "下"

５五角引く、５五角下がる=B１一-５五

５五飛引く、５五飛下がる=R５一-５五

"成り、不成り"
Promoting or not promoting

Whether the piece will be promoted or not is always explicit, since the player has a choice. So, every move where the piece is promotable, the notation is suffixed with either 成り(promote) or 不成り(not promote), but often times times the last hiragana part is omitted, so you will see 成　and 不成. a use case of this is also shown in the board above. Note that ５五飛不成引 shown there is something I made up, to show usage of both 引 and 不成 instead. For this move, ５五飛不成 is exprlicit enough, as only Rook that can be promoted is the one at 5一

"同"

Play at the same position.

You will see this letter a lot, in a sequence like this "２四歩、同歩、同銀、同銀、同角、同角、同飛". the letter's literal meaning is "same". It simply means the move was played on the same spot as the previous move. It always involves capturing a piece. See the diagram next for the above sequence.

For the clarity, each move can be prefixed with symbols to notate Sente 先手 (White in Chess) and Gote 後手(Black in Chess.)  Unfortunately, Japanese notation historically uses white triangle (△) to indicate Gote's move and black triangle (▲) to notate Sente's move.  Therefore, in Shogi, Black moves first, not White.

End of Game

most of the kifu notation ends with this word. This word "Touryou" means "resign"
Exceptions are "千日手"(repetition of moves),"待将棋" (draw) and "入玉"(different set of rule applies).
Compared to Chess games, Draws are almost non-existent, so most of the time you will see the word 投了at the end.

It may be unthinkable, but when you look at old shogi books, there is no diagrams or figures. Only thing you had to go by was with Kifu notation, something like this.

```

▲７六歩    △３四歩    ▲６六歩    △８四歩    ▲７八銀    △６二銀
▲６八飛    △４二玉    ▲４八玉    △３二玉    ▲３八玉    △５四歩
▲２八玉    △５二金右  ▲５八金左  △５三銀    ▲１八香    △１四歩
▲１九玉    △３三角    ▲２八銀    △２二玉    ▲３九金    △３二銀
▲６七銀    △８五歩    ▲７七角    △２四歩    ▲４六歩    △２三銀
▲３六歩    △３二金    ▲４五歩    △２五歩    ▲４七金    △２四角
▲６五歩    △３三桂    ▲５六銀    △７四歩    ▲３七桂    △２一玉
▲１六歩    △４二金右  ▲１七銀    △８六歩    ▲同　歩    △７五歩
▲２八飛    △７六歩    ▲５九角    △３五歩    ▲同　歩    △同　角
▲３六歩    △１七角成  ▲同　香    △７七歩成  ▲同　角    △７二飛
▲４六角    △９二香    ▲１八玉    △７六飛    ▲６七銀    △７四飛
▲８二角成  △５五歩    ▲６四歩    △１五歩    ▲同　歩    △１六歩
▲同　香    △１七歩    ▲２九玉    △１八銀    ▲３八玉    △１九銀不成
▲６三歩成  △２八銀成  ▲同　金    △６九飛    ▲５八銀打  △８九飛成
▲７六歩    △２四桂    ▲６九歩    △１六桂    ▲５三と    △２八桂成
▲同　玉    △５三金    ▲５五馬    △１八歩成  ▲３八玉    △６六歩
▲同　馬    △６三香    ▲３三馬    △４四歩    ▲２五桂    △６七香成
▲３四桂    △同　銀    ▲同　馬    △４三金寄  ▲２二銀    △同　玉
▲２三銀    △同　金    ▲４三馬    △２九銀    ▲３七玉    △２八銀
▲４六玉    △３四桂    ▲５六玉    △６六金    ▲同　角    △同成香
▲同　玉
まで121手で先手の勝ち
```

It is certainly easier to use modern tools such as kifu for JavaScript, like below.

This page was originally created 3 years ago and last updated 1 year ago