Friday, August 21, 2009

Leggett's Japanese Chess

I returned this week from a family vacation in Toronto with a new item for the bookshelf: Japanese Chess by Trevor Leggett. Outside of the fact that I paid basically twice the amazon price at an Indigo bookstore, I am pleased with the book. It's most certainly for beginners (even going so far as to add a silly paper board and paper pieces in the back), however I was able to pick up a few ideas in the annotated sample game and the section on openings is presented well.

As Toronto has a large Japanese population and is packed full of Japanese restaurants (there are, literally, 2 or 3 on every block in the area we stayed downtown!), I began to wonder if I could perhaps find a new Shogi board. Unfortunately, I could find no Japanese shops at all! I even asked one sushi restaurant's waitress and manager for advice and they could offer no help.

During the trip I also became quite addicted to sudoku but that's another topic... :D

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Onto the Finals...

I never thought I'd say it, but I'm onto the finals of BrainKing's 2008 September Shogi Open. :) Each semifinal bracket contains three players and each of those three players has two matches against the other two players in the bracket. This morning I checkmated my second opponent, leaving me with 3 wins and an insurmountable spot in first. I am up a rook and my position feels very solid in the last match, so I could possibly go 4-0 in the semifinal bracket. Quite a surprise for someone who cannot even defeat the lowest AI in Shotest Shogi 3D.

The other bracket is still running and it would appear that it may continue for months as one player is taking two weeks per move. As a result, his matches are only on move 17. He also has the highest rating in the tournament so hopefully he'll lose. ;)