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Minishogi (5五将棋 Gogo Shōgi "5V Chess" or "5×5 Chess") is a modern variant of Shogi (Japanese Chess). Shigenobu Kusumoto of Osaka, Japan, invented or rediscovered the game c. 1970. The rules are identical to those of standard Shogi, except that it is played with a reduced number of pieces on a 5x5 board, and each player's promotion zone consists only of the rank furthest from the player.

The Nihon Minishogi Renmei ("Japanese Minishogi Association") organizes tournaments and governs the rules of the game. It can also be played online against human opponents at Brainking and on Richard's PBeM server.

Minishogi board setup

Rules of the Game[]

Minishogi is identical to standard Shogi with the following exceptions:

Game Equipment[]

Two players play on a board ruled into a grid of 5 ranks (rows) by 5 files (columns). The squares are undifferentiated by marking or color.

Each player has a set of 6 wedge-shaped pieces. The pieces are of slightly different sizes. From largest to smallest (or most to least powerful) they are:

  • 1 King
  • 1 Rook
  • 1 Bishop
  • 1 Gold General
  • 1 Silver General
  • 1 Pawn

These are identical to the standard pieces of the same names.


Each side places his pieces in the positions shown below, from the perspective of Black, pointing toward the opponent.

55 shogi
  • In the rank nearest the player:
    • The King is placed in the left corner file.
    • The Gold General is placed in the adjacent file to the King.
    • The Silver General is placed adjacent to the Gold General.
    • The Bishop is placed adjacent to the Silver General.
    • The Rook is placed in the right corner, adjacent to the Bishop.

That is, the first rank is |K|G|S|B|R|.

  • In the second rank, each player places the Pawn in the same file as the King.

Promotion and Drops[]

These are as in Standard Shogi, except that the promotion zone is a single rank deep.

See also[]

External Links[]


Adapted from the Wikipedia article, "Minishogi", used under the GNU Free Documentation License.