For real time play against human opponents, the best sites are Shogi Club 24, where the standard of play is high, and Play OK. A recent newcomer is 81-dojo,and shogi is also playable on the main yahoo.com site. Another good site is iggamecentre.
To play against the current computer shogi champion for free, you will first need to download and install the free program called shogidokoro,(right click the shogidokoro link, then click 'save target as' or 'save link as' depending on your browser to download the shogidokoro software, the downloaded zipped file should be 1.41mb, if not, use internet explorer which is more reliable)(see my previous blog entry),then also download GPSshogi (the current 2009 champion).
Double click the' setup_gpsshogi_20090526' file to run, then on shogidokoro click game, then Engine manager, then add, then my computer, then double click the main drive you have which should normally be' C:', then double click ' program files', and there find the folder called' gpsshogi'.If your computer's RAM is under 4GB, then double click single,(otherwise smp) then double click gpsusi.This should add the engine to your list for you to play against, or get it to play against other engines.
Now you can play shogi without being online or even installing any shogi software!, all you have to do is play against hamshogi online first, then follow the instructions contained in my previous blog entry, in paragraphs 1 and 5.
Then when you're playing press F11 to play full screen.
Hamshogi is an online flash game where you can play shogi against a hamster!
This webpage will explain how to play a game against the hamster.
For a quick game full screen, click here
Kifu for windows and kifubase is the best shogi game record management software there is,though as it's in Japanese it's difficult to decipher, though there is a webpage that refers to Kakinoki shogi VII , that can be used to explain how to use this software too, as it's very similar.Click here to view. Incidentally,there is a sample version of Kakinoki Shogi VIII,that can be used to view your saved games in a pleasanter interface, and even in the sample edition will analyse a game position if you key in Ctrl+H. An advantage that kifu for windows has over shogidokoro is that it will let you create branches to input into the kifu file to help in your analysis of a game,for example from the hint analysis that Kakinoki shogi VIII will provide you with. Another free program that as well as providing good AI on many different levels to play against,will also analyse a game position is K-Shogi.It also has a tsume solver, as does Kakinoki VIII in the sample edition. For K-shogi , just go to the 7th tab from the left, and click the first link down for game analysis, and second link down for tsume solver. You will need to learn kifu(shogi game score in japanese format) from a great site called shogi-shack to understand the analysis.To play a game against K-Shogi, it's the second tab from the left, and first link down.The default setting is human v human so just alter either sente or gote to the required level to play against it.K-shogi has been strong in the computer shogi championship, that's why I'm mentioning it in detail, and also it's free.
To optimise the functionality of these Japanese programs, on your computer go to:start,control panel,regional and language options(in classic view menu),then format everything there to japanese,otherwise you may find the programs don't work properly.Just remember to reset them back again to your default language, so that other programs you have like for instance Excel don't have the date format etc. affected.(I'm using windows 7 operating system at the moment and could only install kakinoki shogi VIII after changing the system locale to Japanese.After double clicking k801 demo,this should extract another folder, then simply double click the set up application icon within the extracted folder which should be 59kb.)
If you play a game on yahoo japan, you can have the kifu e-mailed to you, then copy and paste it from the e-mail into Kifu for Windows to save and replay.
first of all you will need to download and install adobe shockwave player , then also the latest java release for windows Then you will need to download a program called kif2swf which if you download the latest java version first should download as an executable jar file. After installing these programs, run kif2swf, then open a game you've saved as a .kif file and convert it to a shockwave flash object. Then all you need to do is right click the converted file, and open it with Internet explorer, and you should be able to view your game full screen. incidentally if you want to save a game that you might come across for instance on takodori's site that's displayed as a shockwave flash object, just follow the insructions in this webpage