help an absolute beginner

I'm an average chess player who wants to improve at shogi. It's hard for me to differentiate the pieces from one another, so i have a piece theme that allows me to visualise them better. What are the best ways of getting familiar with the game and where can i find people to play at my level? the p´layerbase on this website seems much more ahead than i am.

Thank you for your help in advance!


If you have trouble to differentiate the pieces at the beginning, it's a good thing you can use the international version, but I would recommend you to not hold to it too long, the longer you wait to use "real" pieces the harder it will become to use them, and it will certainly be an hindrance on your shôgi's journey.
If you are a total beginner i would absolutely recommend you HIDETCHI's videos on youtube, but alas there is not a lot of ressources available on the net about shôgi if you don't speak japanese.
Along with playing a lot of games, doing a lot of puzzles is a great way of improving, and of course learning theory (particulary opening's joseki).
Lishogi is still a young website and there is not a lot of players here (although it's probably the most ergonomic and pleasant), you can go to 81dojo, you will find hundreds of players and a lot of beginners too.

PS: I'm sorry if I made some mistakes, english is not my native tongue.

Thanks for your answer, and no i understood perfectly.
I am already trying to get familiar with 1 character kanji and i am like 85% familiar already. I'll check out hidetchi, and i'll try to improve my opening theory. i did find shohi harbour in 81-dojo, a nice website and discord server where i was able to find players of my level. Thank you so much!

I can relate, as a native western alphabet user,learning the characters for the pieces was the hardest part of learnimg to play xiangqi. Fortunately, the piece sizes in shogi can help you while learning. For me, the main thing was to identify some unique characteristic of each piece. I think it helps to choose a more detailed piece set as it will offer more points of differentiation. I picked the 7th piece style on Lishogi (I cant find a name for the style, but it's the 7th one starting from the top left of the Piece Set window). I picked it because it matches the "font" of my xiangqi set so I could carry over what I learned there. The examples I give may only apply to that specific piece set. Pawns are kind of easy because there are eight of them and they are the smallest pieces. You'll see that Lances and Rooks share a character element, not seen in other pieces (a "hat" with a "dagger" through it) so you know by size which is which. For the horse, there are four up/down hash marks on the bottom element, so think of those as the legs of a horse. For the generals, I look at the topmost elememts. I think of the Silver General as having two elememts, and the word silver has two syllables. The Gold General has a single element on top and "gold" has one syllable. The Bishop is the large piece that isnt the Rook, and the King is the largest piece of all. As for promoted pieces, you only need to learn the Bishop and Rook since all the rest move the same. For me the promoted Bishop has a bottom element that looks like a 3, so the other big piece is the Rook. I also found it helpful to print out images of the pieces and make flash cards. I then just practised until I learned them.

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