Chu Shogi is here!


Chu shogi is here, give it a shot!

Hello everyone,

I'm happy to announce a new shogi variant on - Chu shogi!

If you are not familiar with chu shogi, check out variant page of chu shogi - there you will find chu shogi rules and links to more resources.

But to quickly summarize - chu shogi, which could be translated to English as "middle shogi" predates shogi as we know it today, with the earliest references reaching to the 14th century.

It is played on a larger board - 12x12 and with many more pieces. Once a piece is captured, it disappears from the game and cannot be dropped back. Your goal isn't to checkmate your opponent, but to capture all their royal pieces - king and prince. Among the new pieces you might not be familiar with is lion - the strongest piece in chu shogi and much stronger than any piece in standard shogi. It's strength comes from the fact that it can move twice per turn, in a way it redefines what a move even is.

With the large board and large number of pieces, chu shogi games last much longer that standard shogi games, so keep that in mind, when starting a game.

Many shogi players also claim, that playing chu shogi might help you with your standard shogi skills, so do give it a shot.

Currently lishogi offers three piece set designs for chu shogi:

- 1 kanji set based on Ryoko_1Kanji

- International version by CouchTomato

- Mnemonic set by H. G. Muller

As with any new feature, it's possible, maybe even likely, you will find some issues. A lot of issues were caught here with everyone's help, but even then it's possible something has slipped through or I (more likely) introduced an issue that wasn't present in the demo, while putting everything together.

If you find anything please submit an issue on GitHub. After I'm more certain everything is as it should be, scheduled tournaments and shield tournaments will be added.

Chushogi engine

Right now, lishogi doesn't support playing chu shogi against computer or analysing games neither on the server nor locally.

There is a great chu shogi engine - HaChu. But there are few problems currently, preventing me from integrating it into lishogi. It uses different protocol (XBOARD) than our other engines (USI), but more importantly it implements certain rules slightly differently. If there is enough demand for integrating HaChu into lishogi, I will start working on that.

This doesn't mean that you can't create a chu shogi bot, but keep in mind these slight rule differences, that might cause the server to reject your bot's move or your bot might reject player's moves.

New Board Layout

First suggested here, a new layout was added. You can switch to this layout in preferences > display.

With the old layout, streamers had to capture unnecessarily large portion of the screen, with the new layout all you have to capture is the board and the surrounding area where the pieces in hand are. Clock and player names were also moved directly next to the board.

This also makes scaling pieces in hands together with the board much easier and content shifts around much less.

And since a lot was moves from the table on the right of the board, I tried and make the move list there bigger. It always felt too small compared to analysis where you can fit more than dozen of moves.

It's possible that the layout might still change slightly in the near future, after I get some feedback, so please keep that in mind.

Other changes

- When engine suggest a move with promotion it adds '+' along the arrow line, instead of cluttering the board with an image of the promoted piece

- New loading spinner design

- Fixed incorrectly declaring perpetual check on non consecutive repetitions with check

- Many smaller CSS tweaks and other fixes

If you find any bugs or issues, or just want to request a new feature or even a small improvement, please start an issue here.

I would also like to thank everyone who has supported and contributed to this year. Your support is what makes it possible to continue to provide a platform for playing shogi. So thank you!

Happy holidays and let's have another great year on lishogi.