Saturday, August 23, 2008

Shogi at Mitsuwa: Failure and Success

Well, I decided to take the family down to Mitsuwa Marketplace in hopes of finding some shogi players and possibly a board. We were there from 12:30 to 2:00pm or so and did not see anyone playing. I asked a number of shopkeepers and nobody knew anything about a regular gathering of players. So, we sat down and enjoyed some sushi. :) After eating, I did a few google searches on my iPhone and came across an email from 2000 stating that the club meets from 9:00am to noon. I'm going to email a few people this week and hopefully I'll have more info.

The search for a board also came up empty. We even checked a Japanese Toy and Gift shop in the general area of the marketplace and they didn't have anything. They did have some rather risque girly action figures, so we quickly left before the kids had a chance to notice. :)

In the bookstore inside Mitsuwa, however, I managed to find a tsume shogi book (pictured above)! I looked around until I found what appeared to be a game section. Then I saw some Sudoku books and knew I might be close. Finally, I looked at a few bindings hoping to recognize a shogi character when BINGO, this one popped out at me. I pulled it out, opened it up (upside down, since I forgot to read backwards) , and saw the shogi board diagrams. I'm really excited about this one since I wanted a tsume shogi book and there are none published in english. I wish I knew what all the text says, but for now I know enough to get me going.

Hopefully it's not a book for high dan players. :o


takodori said...

That's hard luck. I think the gathering may have been canceled due to holiday season. I would recommend to call email to Mr. Kishikawa. His email address can be found in this year's US championship notice held in March 2008 at

As to the tsumeshogi book, the page shows the promlem is for "8 kyu(8th kyu grade)". It means it's for beginners.

frankiii said...

Well, 8 kyu might be a beginner to you, but I think it's probably "very advanced player" to someone like me. :) :)

I've been able to solve the first 10 problems, but it has been extremely slow. Interestingly, what I've been slow to grasp is the importance of promotion as a step in solving the problem. I'm also missing out on a lot of sacrifices...which is odd because I consider that to be one of my stronger skills in chess problems.

Can you tell me what the title of the book is? Thanks as always!

takodori said...

Here you are.

"九級から初段まで" = from 9 kyu to Sho-dan(9th Kyu Grade to 1st Dan grade).

"実戦式" = for practical use

"詰め将棋" = Mate(Tsume) problems

"10の手筋で初段になる" = You can reach 1st Dan level learning 10 sets of Tesuji(tactical moves).

"永世十段" = Permanent 10 Dan

"中原誠" = Nakahara Makoto. (He is one of the greatest players in the Shogi history.)

"監修" = Supervisor

"池田書店" = Ikeda Shoten(Publisher's name).

Different from mate problems in chess, Shogi tsume problems require all the move of the attacking side to be checking moves. This means it is a good way of logical solution to think about all the possible checking moves first and choose the best move of them.

frankiii said...

Thank you very much for the translations! I am really amazed right now. In a store full of thousands of books written in a language that I cannot read, I managed to find a book that should be perfect for me AND I found someone that can translate the title!

I think it's destiny. :)