Sunday, November 30, 2008

Shogi Festival in Japan Club Kuala Lumpur! (Report)

Hey all,

Before I begin to talk about Shogi Festival, which was held in Japan Club Kuala Lumpur today, I would like to show the book that I have purchase via internet which has cost me roughly around RM 100.

It has 118 pages and I found it very useful for beginners because it teaches us the things we should be thinking while playing Shogi. Unless "Art of Shogi", it teaches you basic joseki (openings or fundamentals) but not too much about what we should be thinking. Therefore it is very good to have Habu's Words for Shogi players.

Alright, it's time for the report on Shogi Festival!
Report on Shogi Festival
Yesterday I was told that today Shogi Festival will be held in Japan Club Kuala Lumpur. One of the Japanese told me that it was starting around noon but I thought it was just a normal festival but it turns out that they were having tournaments!

A knockout tournament! I didn't knew they were having tournaments otherwise I would have join them! I shouldn't have went there at 2pm. And this is the first time in my life I've seen so many Japanese playing Shogi in Japan Club!

These are the giveaways and prizes. There are two types of categories. One is for adults and another is for children. Naoki has already finished his game so I have a game with him. Unfortunately I lost. =(   But I knew why I have lost. =)

After the tournament has ended, We were given by a small lecture on tsume Shogi by a 9-Dan pro Mr. Kenji Kobayashi. After the small talk a gift was given to the club leader as a small present...

This present actually has all the signatures of the Meijins! Do not look lightly on this prize. It is actually worth more than RM 3,000!!!

Two tables are set up and Mr. Kobayashi is going to play against 7 players at the same time, including me! He gave me two piece handicapped, Rook and Bishop. The game lasted for a long time and I lost. After all the games Mr. Kobayashi gave evalution on everyone about how well they played. Naoki has the strength of 2-Dan amateur while I have the strength of 3 kyu only. That explains why I have lost to Naoki earlier. Looks like my days of exams have really deteriorate my Shogi skills. =(   But I remember Naoki was playing against handicapped of Rook, Bishop and two Lances... Fortunately Mr. Kobayashi praised me that I have talent and might be a genius. I have never been so proud of myself in my life. =D

After that it's time to hand the prizes to the winners!

The winner of the adult category

2nd of the adults category

3rd of the adults category

Winner of the child category

2nd of the child category

Alot of things have been given away as presents and then it's group photo! I'm the one wearing the yellow shirt from the 2nd left...

With the Shogi activities over I have been invited over to a restaurant for free dinner! Talk about being lucky!

I was the only Malaysian there so I feel a little awkward because I couldn't speak Japanese nor fully understand it. But I'm very grateful that they're being friendly and tried to talk to me in English. =)
Speaking of which I've received a lot of presents from them! First off I've received an instant soup. =P And then...

Knewing that I play Shogi, they specially gave me this...

A book written by Mr. Kobayashi himself! It teaches you how to play Fourth File Rank Rook (Shinkenbisha). And lastly...

A calligraphy by Mr. Kobayashi! I really should have thank him for all these great stuffs!
It's been a long time I have enjoyed myself so much in Shogi events after AISEP. I'm glad that i have came to this festival just because I love Shogi alot. To everyone in Shogi Club in JCKL...

Now that I know I was 3 kyu, looks like getting 1-Dan by the end of this year will be realised soon! I'm going to work hard to achieve 1-Dan! And also I really hope I can participate more Shogi events in the future! Gambatte, Ryou! You can do it! For the sake your dream, work hard!

Ryou Takehito

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Shogi Full Time!

Hey all,

Today's 28th Nov so that means... exams are finally over!!! WOOHOOOOO!

With my semester ended I can finally play Shogi the whole day! Actually I'm playing Shogi at this moment and I'm taking a break right now to type this entry. I have been learning for Shogi for two straight hours so I still have 6 hours ago! It's great that I can learn Shogi full time, with at least 8 hours per day. Call me crazy, but that's how I love so much about Shogi!

On the night before my last exam, I couldn't sleep at all. Not that I was worried about my exams just because I have to take two different papers on the same day, the main reason is I was too excited about playing Shogi after exams! I found it a little scary that my obsession of Shogi is too strong but... I love this feeling! I did not force myself to learn 8 hours of Shogi. I was actually spending it just like my past-time/leisure! The sense of learning new strategies, discovering new ideas, playing against myself - it feels so great and refreshing!

Tomorrow is Saturday and I'm going to Japan Club Kuala Lumpur to play a few games of Shogi. It has been a very long time since I last visited JCKL. Hope my skills improve!

Alright everyone, I'm going to resume learning Shogi now. Take care everyone!

Ryou Takehito

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Interesting Video!

I found this interesting video as I was looking for "Gekka no Kishi", a story about Shogi, and thought I should share with everyone. Please have a good laugh. =)

If you can't read Chinese or understand Japanese, I have provided the translations below:
1: Who's the strongest player here?
2: Who?
3: Me. Any problem?
4: You're already playing. This is bad.
5: You're alone, right? I'll play with you.
6: Who are you?
7: Me or anyone else is the same, right?
8: Come on, hurry!
9: You don't have to hurry me. When the time comes the opponent will be here.
10: Then how about we have a match before he comes?
11: Let me tell you
12: I'm 3-dan. How about you?
13: 5-dan....... what?
14: But I stopped playing Shogi ever since middle school.
15: Now I probably should have jumped to 7-dan.
16: This is not even a jumping box!
17: It's alright!
18: Someone please go to the office and ask someone to come...... no need.
19: I will get rid of him.
20: Then... I'll go first.......okay!
21: P94? (Pawn in 94 square)
22: I'll say... do you even know how to play Shogi?....... Huh? What's wrong?
23: This move has no meaning at all!
24: You should study some joseki (Chess openings) first.
25: Sorry, but in my dictionary there's no such thing as 'joseki'.
26: What?
27: What's happened?
28: Don't cause any trouble, okay?
29: Please be quiet, okay?
30; What are you crying? So noisy.
31: You're still young.
32: There is still a long way to walk in your life.
33: I have never lose before!
34: I'm only playing with him a little.
35: V-Shape?
36: I had never lose since middle school.
37: I'm not playing Shogi anymore!
38: Not playing anymore!
39: You're not playing anymore?
40: I was actually thinking of making a heart shape...
41: Who are you? You're an outsider, right?

Monday, November 10, 2008

It's....It's finally here!!!

Hey all,

after waiting for another week, I woke up early at 9 a.m. to check my mailbox. It was not there. I have started to doubt that the online purchase might have been a failure so I went back into my house to take my morning bath and breakfast. At around 1 p.m., my mobile phone mysteriously rang. I was trying to get a hold of it but it stopped ringing before I could. Although the missed call was from a friend, I stupidly thought it as a sign that my book has arrive. So I went to check the mailbox again and there it was, Habu's Words!

After waiting for three weeks it has finally arrived!!! Words can't describe how happy I am to receive this book. I wished I could have taken a photo with the book but unfortunately my camera broke down. =(

Although I am happy that I've receive my copy of Habu's Words, but I can't use it now. WHY? This is because exams around the corner and I don't have time for Shogi! =( *Mumbles and curses at the college exams* Anyways my last day of exam is on 27th November so I'm really looking forward to study Shogi with Habu's Words on that day! =3

Ryou Takehito

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Third Great Anticipation in Life

Hey all,

I have receive the e-mail below...


Your order from WORD POWER BOOKS has been successful

The unique reference for this transaction is: ...........................

Dear Ryou Takehito

Thank you for your order. Your card was authorised successfully but NO money has been debited from your account. Your card will only be debited when WORD POWER BOOKS review the order and release the payment.

If Items in stock, posted within 24 hours. Otherwise expected despatch within 3 to 10 working days.

Please quote your order number ................... in all correspondence with either WORD POWER BOOKS or Protx.

Bullet Point Order total: 16.24 GBP

Bullet Point You bought: Word Power Books
Description Quantity Item Value Item Tax Item Total Line Total
Habu's Words (9780953108923) 1 12.50 0.00 12.50 12.5
Delivery --- --- --- --- 6.36

If you have any questions regarding your order, delivery details or items purchased, please contact WORD POWER BOOKS directly via details on their website WORD POWER BOOKS.

This payment was processed by Protx, a third-party payment service provider. If you have any questions regarding the online card payment system, contact protx at:

Please be aware that Protx has no involvement with the fulfilment of orders placed through this web site. If you have any issues regarding your order please contact WORD POWER BOOKS directly.


Try and guess what kind of book I have purchased a week ago! Almost everyday I would peep into my mailbox, hoping it has arrived. I hope I can receive it by the end of of this week. Anyways I can't wait for the book to arrive so I can study it throughout the night just like when I first gotten my "Art of Shogi"!

And also, this picture is a few months old but this is one of the Japanese man whom I can't defeat at all. He is just too strong!! (About 1-dan amateur, I think)

Ryou Takehito

PS: Can you find Shoshi-sensei's fan in the picture? =3

Friday, October 10, 2008


Hey all,

it's been more than a month. Actually I haven't played Shogi for almost a month. It's not that I have finally got bored of Shogi, it's just that my college assignments and test are too much that if I play Shogi it will lessen the amount of my time focusing in my studies and thus it will make my results worser.

I feel irritate that I can't spend more time on Shogi than my college studies. I hope I can focus more on Shogi again once this semester is over.

However I still do at least one tsume Shogi per day and read Shogi magazines whenever I'm having dinner.

Ryou Takehito

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Experiences and Flexibility

Hey all,

Yesterday I was asked by one of Malaysia's strongest Go player to play Shogi at his house. He was a chess fanatic, so it's no wonder why he would want to play a game of Shogi with me. We even made an agreement that I would come to his house almost everyday just to play a few games of Shogi. Knowing that he has more than 10 years of chess experiences, I decided to accept his suggestion of coming to his house during the weekdays. But why would I accept his suggestion eventhough he's just a beginner? The main reason is because the level of concentration and strategies that he has accumulated from his chess experiences has made him a formidable opponent that I can practise on.

I have been playing Shogi for a year only by spending more time on books and lesser time on games. Eventhough I have improve a lot just by studying, I will still be defeated by my opponent if the Shogi's joseki (or unknown territory) is different from what I have anticipated. Therefore the main purpose of me accepting his suggestion is to gain more experiences, and also to improve my flexibility of countering all sorts of strategies in the game. Not only that it will help me to develop my adaption if I were to play at different surroundings and against players.

Nevertheless playing Shogi almost everyday will surely improve my skills and concentration (or calmness) alot.

Ryou Takehito

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A shogi player's rant

"What? Shogi again?"

Everytime I read Shogi-related books or play a game of Shogi with my friend, my acquaintances or my friends would say the same words to me. But what they don't know is, everytime they said the very words it would make me feel depressed. Very depressed. Not only that, they would give me this weird look and make sarcasm remarks about it... or just ignore me. Maybe they're just youngsters, or they didn't understand my dream to become a professional Shogi player. Even if I did explain why I work so hard improving my Shogi skills, they would think I'm an idiot chasing after a stupid dream.

Hate to admit it but chess is an un-cool game after all. Not like basketball, badminton, bowling, bowling, swimming, Counter-Strike, Defense of the Ancients (DotA) and etc etc. As long as the activities involved with physical sports and video games, it is considered as a 'cool' thing. Shogi is not a physical sport nor a video game - it is a board game or most 'cool' youngsters would prefer to call it 'bored game'. I myself even do all these 'cool' things before I encounter Shogi. After I have gotten serious about Shogi, I spend most of my time with Shogi and rarely with these 'cool' activities. So why am I playing Shogi since it's un-cool? To be honest, I have no idea. I don't even know why I want to become a professional Shogi player in the first place. What I do know is that's what my heart desires and I want to follow it. Also I have a great passion in Shogi, which itself should have answered why I'm working so hard improving my Shogi skills.

In Malaysia, people are actually looking down on chess games - except chess-lovers. They think it's boring and a waste of time and most importantly 'un-cool'. It just pisses me off when people actually do give bad comments about it. If you're not fond of chess then please let me ask you back the same questions. Why are you playing tennis? It improves your physical strength and endurance? Why it's almost the same thing as Shogi! By playing Shogi we're actually improving our thinking abilities and concentration! What did you just say? By playing tennis it keeps you in shape? But playing Shogi helps us study well in studies! But did you know it's almost impossible to become a professional tennis (or any other sports) player even if you work hard on it? And when you grow old I'll doubt you will have the same strength/skills as you do when you're young. In Shogi, it is possible to become a professional if you work hard on it and your skills won't deterioate even when you grow old. Unless you are aiming to be an athlete, then I would have nothing to say against you.

Now to all the video gamers. Let me ask you something. How does a video game helps you in your life? Maple Story? DotA? Counter-Strike? Please tell me how. And I'm highly positive that you're not going to play the same game forever in your life. Video games are just something for you to waste away your leisure or boring times and does not benefit you in any ways. Well, except that you will get more friends/conversations since you're playing a temporary 'cool' game. Next time please think about the things you have done before commenting me about playing Shogi.

Enough questioning. But what I don't understand is why people think it's stupid every time I said I'm going to be a professional? It is something illegal? It is something stupid? It is something that is impossible to achieve? Or is it just because it is 'un-cool'? I actually have some people mocking at me just because I said it is my dream to become a professional. Shogi is a proper mind sport. Unless I said I'm going to be a yoyo professional or a 'Magic the Gathering' professional, then I would understand why people are laughing at me.

That's all for my rant. To all the chess-players in the world. Have you ever experience something similar like mine where people mock or tease you when you said you are going to become a professional chess player? Please share your thoughts and opinions with me.

Nevertheless I am going to continue chasing after my dream no matter what people said about Shogi.

Ryou Takehito

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Sacrifice

Hey all,

Yesterday was Saturday so the obvious thing I would do is go to Japan Club and play Shogi. I was a little tired and have a slight headache so I didn't play too well in Shogi. In fact it was too lousy that I feel very ashamed of myself. "This is not my usual performance," I said to myself. Then I realised the huge factor that have affected my skills. It was my concentration.

But that's not all. By playing against a Japanese guy in JC made me realise that my Shogi studies are not enough. So what should I do if I have to improve my Shogi skills?

I have decided not to play anymore TV games after completing the PS2 game ".Hack". I personally think that TV games help me reduce my concentration skills so I would not have the patience to focus a games if it last for a long time. Not only that it was a total waste of time. I should have sacrifice it to play Shogi in the first place (but I have reduce my gaming time ever since I started Shogi).

Therefore from this day onwards I will not play anymore TV games or PC games if I have to become a professional Shogi player. I do not want to think that I have played Shogi for a year and have no improvement. This is my new resolve.

Ryou Takehito

Monday, August 11, 2008

First official post of "Ryou's Shogi World"

Hey all,

I would like to say that too many Shogi-related things have happened ever since I started playing Shogi so I'm dedicating this blog only on Shogi, my adventures, my opinions about Shogi and how the people in Malaysia feels about Shogi. Also, I have imported all my shogi-related events from my other blog to here so Shogi players could read my past progress and adventures. Anyways expect me to talk more Shogi-related stuffs in the future!

Since I don't really have that much time I will talk about the Japanese Language Festival in University of Malaya.

Actually when I just got back from AISEP in Beijing, I was asked by Tsuda-san, the person in-charge of promoting Shogi in UM (University of Malaya) and also one of the members of Shogi Club in Japan Club (, to help him because:

1. I love Shogi; and
2. I'm the only non-Japanese who can play Shogi.

I always wanted to help out people if there's a way to promote Shogi so I agreed to help him out.

On 27th July at 8.00 a.m. we gathered ourselves at the Japan Club and at 8.30 a.m. we went to UM together. Many Japanese were enthusiastic about teaching Shogi to the locals and I was one of them too. ^.^

We reached UM ten minutes later and to my surprise there are a lot of people attending the fair!

The people in the picture above are actually learning how to dance in Japanese style! ^.^ We quickly set up the Shogi sets and since there is still not many people in UM so the Japanese asked me to play a few games first.

This is Naoki and he's only 11-years old! He told me that he learn Shogi from his father and he's very strong! If I'm not mistaken he's about 1 or 2 kyu. He can defeat most of the old Japanese men in Japan Club!

This is me playing against Naoki! ^.^v We played three games and I won two games! ^.^v Actually before this I couldn't beat Naoki at all! But I'm glad I have improve so much that I can win Naoki! Anyways we have a lot of fun!


After a small rest, I was asked to play against this oji-san...

This is actually my first meeting with him and he is VERY VERY STRONG! I think he's about 2 or 3-dan. We have three games too and I cannot defeat him at all!

Too bad I did not ask for his name. I would very much like him to teach me a few things about Shogi since he is very strong! By the way, did you notice Shoshi-sensei's fan on the table? ^.^

This is me playing Shogi very seriously. LOL. I always wonder why I put my head on my hand when I'm thinking.

A closer look on the game.

Anyways we have a lot of fun in UM. Some people actually find Shogi very hard to learn because it's hard to memorise the kanji on the Shogi pieces and they always forget how Gold (Kinsho) and Silver (Ginsho) moves.

Nevertheless I'm looking forward to help out again if there is another opportunity to promote Shogi!

Ryou Takehito

Friday, June 20, 2008

AISEP Photos - Part 2

It's 1.40 a.m. now and since I'm so bored and listening to Weiss kreuz songs at the same time (Weiss kreuz songs always keep me awake throughout the night because their songs are fantastic that I want to keep listening to it!).

Anyways here's the photo that I promise to show it to everyone when I got it from the other members of AISEP. All these photos are taken by Marie, a very kawaii girl. ^^v

1st Day
The scenery of Beijing...

Beijing's terrible traffic jam...

Nikko Hotel's room...

And then the photos of our first day presentation:


"Ehehehe. Everything is as I have planned!"

Shisho-Sensei of 7-Dan professional Shogi player!

"Am I suppose to sing like Aerosmith?"

"Can I talk about my love life instead of funny story?" <--- he actually said that!

"Am I suppose to speak into the mic?"

"Um.... what am I suppose to say again?"

Kazuma looks cool when he's serious. @_@

Photos of foods first...

The so-called "China Hamburger"

After all the munching it's group photo time!!!

Three good-looking guys. Yum Yum.

Paul managed to hook up two gals. Way to go, man!

Say Cheese no.1!

Say Cheese no.2!

Say Cheese no.3!

Say zzzzzzz <---tired

Shogi Night

SHOGI BANZAI! <----wait...they're actually playing Chinese Chess!?

They played Chinese Chess throughout the night and it's only one game! Truly a match between professionals! <--- not a joke.

Um... you're suppose to play Shogi right now???

2nd Day
On our second day of presentation we talked about our own country and cultures.

Close-up photos...


"Gender balance... what should we talk about?"

"I have a weird dream last night. And yes, you're in the dream too."


"Yes, we understand your problems."

Sleepy...sleepy....NO! MUST AWAKE! Sleepy...

Staff Meeting

"Yes, I'm a staff too. What are you looking at?"



Important meeting going on...


Olympic Stadium

The Park

The old man with the sunglasses, "think you can beat us, punk? We've been playing here everyday for years!"

Arrival of Habu and Chess Institute

Dinner Party

Habu's Q&A Session

Show me your cute smile, Habu-sensei!

A group photo of everyone.

3rd Day
Habu's Talk Session

Kawaii girls! ^.^'

"Can I have your number?"

Good work, everyone.

Japan Foundation and Presentation

Our bento lunch. It was tasty!

Um... you are suppose to be prepare a presentation, not playing Chinese Chess?

Taichi's Birthday!

"I felt like a celebrity."

Lovely couple. ^.^

Taichi's beloved chocolate cake. I love chocolate cake too! =/

A surprise cake given by the hotel! WOW!

A great man needs a great knife to cut his great birthday cake. That's what men should be!

Food, food, food and more FOOD!

Desert of the year. Best food EVER!


Cheer up, Kazuki. We know it's not your birthday.

Why is everyone taking photos of the ceiling!???

Congratulations on your engagement, both of you! CONGRATS!

Punishment Game during Dinner



Gift Exchanges

That's all for the photos.

Looking back at all these AISEP photos, I would like to say that I'm glad I've created such splendid memories during my stay in Beijing eventhough it's only three days. Words can't really describe my feelings as I look over all these photos again and again. They're really nice people, REALLY! It has really been fun hanging out with everyone! I really enjoy myself alot! I'm really looking forward to see them again in the coming future if there is ever a chance!

Less but not least...


oops, wrong photo. Let's try it again.


Ryou Takehito

PS: Thanks for all the photos, Marie!