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Shio-Ghi

SHIO-GHI, the Japanese game of chess. Like Go-bang, the game of the middle classes, and Sugorochu (double-six), that of the common people, it was introduced from China many centuries ago and is still popular with the educated classes. It is played on a board divided into 81 squares, nine on a side, with 20 pieces on each side, arranged on the three outer rows. The pieces, which are flat and punt-shaped with the smaller end towards the front, represent, by means of different inscriptions, the O, or Sho, King-General, with whose checkmate the game ends, his two chief aids, the Kin and Chin, gold and Silver Generals (two of each), Ka-Ma, horse or knight (two), Yari, spearman (two), one Hisha, or flying chariot (rook), one Kaku (bishop), and nine Hio or Fu, soldiers or pawns. All these pieces, like those in chess, possess different functions. The chief difference between chess and Shio-ghi is that in the Japanese game a piece does not cease to be a factor in the game when it is captured by the opponent, but may be returned by him to the board at any time as a reserve; and, secondly, all pieces, except the King and gold General, are promoted to higher powers upon entering the last three rows of the enemy's territory. This possibility of utilizing captured forces against their former masters and the altering values of the different men render shio-ghi a very difficult and complicated game.

See Games Ancient and Oriental, by E. Falke'ncr (London, 1892); the Field (Sept. 1904).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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