I have been a long time Shogi (Japanese Chess) player. The problem is too few worthy opponents. This may be due to the fact that playing Shogi for any length of time fosters frequent sacrifices, which totally ruins you for regular chess.
Shogi is played on a 9 x 9 square board and your pieces are pointing away from you. Your opponent’s pieces are pointing toward you. One major feature that distinguishes Shogi from Western Chess is that pieces that you capture become yours to play again anywhere unoccupied on the board. (pawns only drop onto your non-pawn lanes.) As a result, there are no draws in Shogi.
It took me about a month to recognize the Japanese characters reliably, without referring to the names and pictures. Once you study the characters, they are quite dissimilar from each other and have unique identification areas. While western chess emulates middle-ages warfare, Shogi is more a metaphor for aerial warfare a la World War 1 (and perhaps 2).
For the last few weeks, I’ve been swamped with extra curricular activities which has constrained my writing here. I hope to resume in May.