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1 Introduction

GNU shogi is a program that plays shogi, the Japanese version of chess, against a human (or computer) opponent. This file describes how to use GNU shogi and also gives background information about the game of shogi.

This file describes GNU Shogi version 1.4.1, but most of it was written for version 1.3.2 by Mike Vanier, maintainer of GNU shogi at that time.

GNU Shogi is currently maintained by Yann Dirson

GNU Shogi is actually one program, ’gnushogi’, the text-based program which also contains the game-playing engine. By default it will play Standard Shogi, but can be built to play Mini Shogi (with GNU Shogi 1.4.x, you will need to do that explicitely using ‘./configure –enable-minishogi”, but 1.5 will make this more straightforward).

The GNU Shogi distribution also contains the ’xshogi’ program, an X-Window graphical interface to gnushogi. XShogi was forked off GNU XBoard years ago, is far from today’s UI standards, and has barely been maintained recently, while XBoard has grown much and is able to play Shogi. In future versions, GNU Shogi will be able to use XBoard as a GUI and XShogi will be retired.

Since xshogi invokes gnushogi, most players will just type “xshogi” and start playing.

Disclaimer: I use the personal pronouns “him”, “his” etc. to refer to a shogi player regardless of gender. That’s easier than writing “his or her” all over the place. I don’t mean to infer that women don’t play shogi; in fact shogi is very popular in Japan among women as well as men.

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