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What's the difference between Shogi 5x6 and Shogi 5x6 plus?
Shogi 5x6 was developed in Japan by the Japanese Shogi Association. It is called Goro-Goro-Shogi. It was designed as an entry game to shogi and to promote shogi.
It was not much known neither in Japan nor in the rest of the world.
In Germany I discovered it around 1999 (in Shogi Sekai) and called it “General-Shogi”, because I did not know the real name. We experiemented with the initial rules and with other setups in the Shogi-Clubs in Göttingen and Munich.
I thought it is a great game to introduce shogi and to learn certain techniques.
We used Goro-Goro-Shogi extensively for promotion in Germany. That way Madoka Kitao learned Goro-Goro-Shogi at the games fair in Essen. She liked it so much that she “reimported” it to Japan. She also saw the variation “shogi 5x6 plus” there.
In this variation each player gets a knight and a lance in hand initially. We usually also give an additional pawn in hand for each player. Mrs Kitao might have missed that.
When I sell shogi-material at shogi-online.de I usually add one laminated paper board to each order. It has the 5x6 board on one side and the rules for the variations we developed in Germany on the back.
I guess I should also publish it online.