Welcome to the home of:


 A program for Win 3.x , Win 95/98 or later (but not Win 64-bit!)


Shogi Variants Version 1.55a

Now available as a Linux port maintained by H.G. Muller

Click here to download the original Windows program
Click here to download the original source code

To see "What was new last time the program was updated" click here

Screen shots One , Two , Three , Four

About the program:

Shogi Variants is a free Windows program to play 'Shogi' (the Japanese member of the chess family of games) or one of 16 other ancient and modern Shogi variants. The variants range from one of the smallest playable chess variants, Micro-Shogi, with a 4x5 square board and 10 pieces, to the world's largest chess game, the gargantuan Tai (Grand) Shogi with a 25x25 square board and 354 pieces! The ancient games comprise some of the most innovative and ambitious variations ever attempted on the chess theme and in some of the enlarged versions, introduce a menagerie of what must be the most powerful and bizarre pieces ever seen in a board game.

The program is for games between 2 human players or for play against a computer opponent, and includes full on-line rules, displaying of all legal moves, protection and threats, and the other features you would expect in a program of this type. Version 1.55a has a computer player for all supported variants except Tenjiku Shogi.

Development of the program ceased in May 1998.

  System Requirements:

First the good news: Shogi Variants requires only a 486 PC with 8 megs of ram, SVGA graphics and 4 megs of hard drive space.

Now the bad: It will unfortunately not run on newer Windows 64-bit systems.

H.G. Muller's 'C' port of Shogi Variants and Linux executable are, however, available here!


The Shogi Variants program is mainly based on the rules leaflets published by the late Mr. George Hodges.

Without George Hodges efforts in bringing these wonderful Japanese chess games to the West, this program would not have been possible.

George Hodges' rule leaflets and sets for 'Shogi' and some of its variants can still be obtained from Angela Hodges, PO Box 77, Bromley, Kent, UK.

  The Variants:

The following variants are included in Version 1.55a:





4 x 5



5 x 5


Judkin's Shogi 

6 x 6


Whale Shogi 

6 x 6


Tori (Bird) Shogi

7 x 7


Yari Shogi 

7 x 9


Heian (Early) Shogi 

9 x 8


Modern Shogi

9 x 9


Sho (Little) Shogi

9 x 9


Wa Shogi  (2 variants)

11 x 11


Chu (Middle) Shogi

12 x 12


Heian Dai (Early Great) Shogi 

13 x 13


Dai (Great ) Shogi

15 x 15


Tenjiku (Exotic) Shogi

16 x 16


Dai-Dai (Great Great) Shogi

17 x 17


Maka-Dai-Dai (Ultra Great Great) Shogi

19 x 19


Tai (Grand) Shogi

25 x 25


  Shogi Variant Rules:

Hans Bodlaender has included rules descriptions and graphics from the Shogi Variant program in his excellent Chess Variant Pages.  Pages with graphics from my program have been included for the following variants:

Heian Shogi

Tori Shogi

Sho Shogi

Judkin's Shogi

The Chess Variant pages also have rules for many other variants of shogi.


  Links to Other Shogi Variant Resources:

 Pieter Stouten's Shogi.Net is an excellent resource on all things Shogi-related. I recommend it as a starting point to anyone who wants to learn more about the game. Shogi.Net is also the gateway to the Shogi-L discussion list and the Chu Shogi ladder.

Eduard Werner mhas a list of links to Shogi Variant software (hosted by Shogi.Net).

Chess programmer H.G. Muller has some excellent and strong Shogi variant playing engines for Winboard.

There are many Shogi Variant rules and lots of other interesting information at Roger Hare's Shogi pages.

If you are interested in keeping up with the latest news in the world of Shogi Variants you should visit the 81-Square-Universe forums.


 Other Great Abstract Board Game Links:


Visit Zillions of Games

Zillions-of-Games is a dream come true for an abstract game enthusiast like myself.  It is a commercial generic game engine for Windows that is capable of playing almost any abstract board game. As well as the powerful game engine, the Zillions package comes with 292 games (!) ready to play, and there are hundreds more available from the Zillions web pages or other sites on the net.

I've even written a few games for Zillions myself:


Chu Shogi

Micro & Kyoto Shogi

Nana Shogi  (with Robert Price)

Cannon Shogi

Cannon Chess


To play these programs you need to own a copy of the Zillions of Games package.


E-mail:  Steve Evans 

 Page last updated 3 September 2014