Fujii Gets 3rd Highest Shogi Rank at Youngest Age

Society Culture

Osaka, May 18 (Jiji Press)--Breaking yet another record, Sota Fujii, the youngest professional shogi player now, rose to the third highest rank in the Japanese board game at the youngest age ever on Friday, by winning a qualifying match for the Ryuo tournament in the western city of Osaka.

Fujii was promoted to the rank of seventh "dan" at the age of 15 years and nine months, compared with the previous record of 17 years and three months, set 61 years ago by Hifumi Kato, 78, who retired last year.

On Friday, Fujii beat Kohei Funae, 31, a sixth-dan player, in the semifinal of the fifth Ryuo qualifying group, grabbing a ticket to join the fourth group.

He thus cleared the requirement for seventh dan of advancing to a higher qualifying group for two years in a row after being promoted to sixth dan.

"I didn't think I could climb the rank system at such a fast pace," Fujii told a press conference after the match. "I'm happy to see the promotion as a result of doing my best in every match so far."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press