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Japanese Life & Culture

14-Year-Old Shogi Prodigy Outplayed 62 Years Older Veteran

By December 27, 2016 at 12:21 am
Sota Fujii
Sota Fujii(Photo : Japan Shogi Association)

Shogi or chess is not exactly my favorite game and it wouldn't matter who won against whom, but this event is something worth reporting: a 14-year-old rookie shogiman beat another one-time prodigy 62 years senior to him in his first official game!

Sota Fujii is 14 years old, a second grader in junior high, from Seto, Aichi. He was promoted to 4-Dan in October at age 14 years and 2 months - the youngest ever in the history of Shogi. He turned a professional eligible for official games in the professional circuits.

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What makes this match so report-worthy is that the veteran player whoplayed Fujii happens to be Hifumi Kato, 9-Dan who, currently the eldest professiona shogiman, was himself once regarded a prodigy and had held the title of being the youngest professional till Fujii took that over this time. 

So it was a game between the youngest and the eldest professional shogimen.

The game started at 10:00, December 24, and progressed on with both exchanging offensive moves. Fujii's tactics soon proved effective to turn the ride in his favor, Kato resigned at move 110. Fujii thus marked his first professional with a brilliant win over his senior by 62 years.

Fujii 4-Dan commented in excitement:

"I thought it a great honor to be matched Master Kato in my first professional game and was determined to do my very best to play a game worthy for that honor.

"I'm so pleased to have won my memorable game. Much as I wish to challenge major titles, such as Ryuo and Meijin, but right now I should concentrate in polishing up my still poor skills."

Kato 9-Dan commented;

"He is very powerful in offensive. Frandky, he is extremely gifted as he demonstrated in the course of the game."

I say it again: it was a rare game of shogi between the extremes in age. (Nathan Shiga)

Source: NHK

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