[Bau Haus Chess]


Chess and the Variants

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shogi perfecto

Thanks to Néstor Romeral Andrés in Spain, I have finally released a shogi set that I have long been dreaming.

Shapes of pieces are all based on a pentagon. On the promoted sides, the back of pieces, are engraved geometric patterns suggestive of historical designs both in Spain and in Japan. Gyoku (King) pieces are original pentagon shape that represents shogi. The initials of Néstor is engraved on the back of one Gyoku, and mine is on another.

The four stars that modestly indicate territories of players, the sides of the board that are little longer vertically, one extra Fu (Pawn), two Komadai (little boards for taken pieces to be used again in the game), Koma-bukuro (a bag for pieces) are all to cherish authentic shogi.

Both the board and pieces, luxury acrylic, are 8mm thick, that are felt comfortably massive, while Komadai is 5mm thick, to achieve good functionality and visual balance. The board size is about 27.2cm x 29.6cm、Koma-dai (Mini boards) are about 10.5cm x 11.7cm; a little smaller than the tournament board, easy to be handled.

The ice colored beautiful board is gracefully checker-patterned. Checker patters are revolutionary innovation to help following complex moves of chess pieces. Standard chess boards have checker pattern with clear contrast. I do not know why but Asian chess family excluding Mongolian chess does not have checker patterns *1.There have been voices from chess & shogi fans overseas that shogi boards also need checker patterns to help players visions. I introduced the thought in shogi perfecto.

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Iki (粋)

People in the Edo era loved “Iki” and detested “Yabo.” Being strictly formal or too talkative are typical “Yabo.” Being colorful and flashy may be well-favored, but it must be modestly hidden in ”Iki” way. The virtue of Edo fashion can be seen in Edo-Komon or beautiful designs on lining of clothes but not front; the thought is the beauty is for those who can see it.

Unlike the pieces of Chess, that are explicit figures of their roles or Queen and Knight of Xiangqi in a Chess family, that have clear roles in an army, pieces of shogi do not have figurative distinctions among them. Shogi is a very abstract game with its pieces named after precious materials, such as Gem, Gold, Silver, Cinnamomum cassia, Incense, and Horn.

Shapes of the pieces of shogi perfecto are designed to symbolize the moves of them. No kanji characters are on them. I tried to realize the lux in shogi perfecto with ice and black acrylic beauty, with the contrast of its smooth texture and engraved irregularity. We would probably hide real precious materials in the pieces when we have chance to create the super deluxe edition. [wink]

Those who do not play shogi regularly, or who will start learning the game may feel that pieces of shogi perfecto are not very helpful to know how they move when promoted.

In shogi, pieces are flipped on the board when promoted. Also, shogi has a very unique rule that you use pieces you have taken from your enemy. The taken promoted pieces are used as original pieces.

When you have played shogi repeately, or solved enough numbers of shogi problems, what you want to know is how they originally moved, rather than how they move now, when you have promoted pieces. Movement of Flying-chariot and Horn-force is the one of Gem-general in addition to their original one, and of all the other pieces is of Gold-general, when promoted. On the promoted side of pieces (except for Flying-chariot and Horn-force) of typical regular shogi shows a kanji character “Gold” in a different font so that players can tell what the piece was originally. The late XV Grand Master Oyama advocated to have kanji characters in red on promoted side, so that beginners can easily tell they are promoted. Since then, we see red characters on promoted sides. (Red characters are not for luxury sets or for professional though.) It is quite impressive that the leading person like him sincerely made efforts to make the game more popular.

I could have done the same with shogi perfecto, applying some signs to indicate their moves after promotion, but I did not. You should not talk too much. Let’s keep things “Iki.”

Making of shogi perfecto

Néstor Chess

Bau Haus Chess Set replica  Bau Haus Chess Set replica

Bau Haus Chess Set replica  Bau Haus Chess Set replica

On September 28 of 2016, It started when I asked a question on chat if my Spanish friend José*2, who collects shogis from all over the world like myself, happens to know about Grande Acedrex(Spain) that I have long been looking for. An old chess variant of Spain Grande Acedrex cannot be found anywhere in the world, except just one photo of the game in 参考文献/世界のチェス将棋展 published by 大阪商業大学アミューズメント産業研究所 as far as I know. I hoped maybe my Spanish friend José, a great collector of worlds’ chess sets, know about this legendary old Spanish game. José did know about Grande Acedrex, but said there was no product that we could purchase.

Following the conversation, José started to send out so many photos of his great shogi collections. I, the Curator of the Museum of Abstract Strategy Games, too, needed to show him all the collections I have. Childish conversation continues and when I boasted him “Look at this one. I do not think you have this: The Japanese Grande Shogi 摩訶大将棋! I own a replica of this one.” [worried] Néstor cut in saying, “Well then, why don’t we create a great one?”

So, what are we creating? Grande Acedrex? Oh, I definitely want one! Maka-Dai-Shogi (摩訶大将棋)? Wait, that’s just too huge, how can we produce and sell 192 pieces and the enormous board? How about Chu-Shogi? I want it if we can create a compact and cool one!

… Finally, we concluded we should start with adding a regular shogi to the lineup of Néstor Games. I love the modern design of Néstor Chess [smile]

Néstor and I agreed it should be an innovative one, a kind of homage of Bau House Chess or Néstor Chess.

OK, we should have it ready by Game Market 2016 Autumn!

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And the name. It must be easily found by key word search and it needs to include the word “shogi” so that it cannot be mistaken for other variants. Followings were the candidates:

Shogi Contigo, Shogi Absoluto, Shogi Ultimo, Shogi Lo Siento, Shogi Original, Shogi Gotanda y Aragon, Shogi De Nada, Shogi de Arigato, Shogi Hasta la Proxima, Shogi Picante, Shogi Super Picante, Shogi Hasta Luego, Shogi Historico, Shogi Authentico, Shogi con Leche, Shogi Muy Clasico, Shogi Perfecto, Shogi Para Ti, Shogi Mucho Gusto, Shogi para Todos, Shogi Ideal, Shogi Completo, Shogi Traditional, Shogi Mundial, Shogi Que Rico, Shogi Como No?, Shogi Masa y Nestor

Néstor commented “Huh! All sound terrible in spanish 😀”
I personally liked “shogi con Leche” very much... We finally chose “perfecto,” a very straight name for the product and does sound natural in Spanish.

The Néstor Chess series will (probably) continue. Look forward to it!

Néstor & Masa

Néstor Romeral Andrés Masa-hiro Nakajima

shogi perfecto at The SHOGI BAR

2016/11/19 Visited The Shogi Bar The SHOGI BAR (SHOGI BAR) in Shinjuku to introduce shogi perfecto to my friend Hassi (Hashimoto 8-Dan, a top shogi professional player) [bigsmile]

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※Previous report


※Ohashi Style

The visit had been reported to Néstor in Zaragoza.

Hassi is really a different person when playing shogi! I was soooo nervous [worried]

Hassi's extra ordinary abilities are really beyond human: He solved super hard Tsume-shogi problems just in the blink of an eye. He achieved a super human level with shogi, that is only achieved after full devotion of his precious childhood and youth to one thing: Shogi.

The meeting was extremely fruitful. I was very much inspired for the next production.

Visit SHOGI BAR! At The SHOGI BAR, you can touch and play shogi perfecto now.

Note

Copyright © Masahiro Nakajima 2016, www.nakajim.net 2016, All rights reserved.

Special Thanks
Tchié Tokoro, José Manuel Astilleros García-Monge

Pieces of Shogi & Chess

玉将/王将金将銀将桂馬香車歩兵角行飛車
How to ReadGyoku-sho/Ou-shoKin-shoGin-shoKei-maKyo-shaFu-hyoKaku-gyoHi-sha
English TranslationGem-general/King-generalGold-generalSilver-generalKatsura*3-horseIncense-chariotInfantryHorn-forceFlying-chariot
Conventional English NameKingGoldSilverKnightLancePawnBishopRook
Chess Piece to MatchKingQueenBishopKnightRookPawnn/an/a

SEE ALSO

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*1 Pieces of XiangqiJanggi are placed on grids, not in squares.
*2 The author of Duplohex and some other great games. We have been friends since Néstor Meeting 2015
*3 Cinnamomum cassia

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