9-yr-old Fujita to become youngest pro Go player

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Reo Fujita poses for a photo during a press conference in Osaka City on Wednesday.

OSAKA (Jiji Press) — Reo Fujita, a 9-year-old Japanese elementary school third-grade boy, will become the youngest professional “go” player on Sept. 1, an association for the traditional board game said Wednesday.

Fujita passed an exam to turn professional. He will become a pro go player when he is 9 years and 4 months old, rewriting the current youngest-age record of 10 years old set by second-dan player Sumire Nakamura.

“I’ll do my best. I’m very happy,” Fujita said bashfully at a press conference in Osaka. He said he wants to play against Yuta Iyama, a pro go player holding four titles.

Fujita, who lives in the city of Osaka, became immersed in a reversi app when he was around 4 years old, according to the association.

His father looked for a reversi class to take the son to, but since there was none, he instead took the son to a go salon near his workplace, which triggered the boy to play go, according to the association.

The boy became a first-dan amateur at age 5, and he often won against pro players after becoming a school second-grader, according to the association.

“I had an impression that Fujita played go in an adultlike, well-balanced style,” said eight-dan player Taiki Seto, 38, who played against Fujita in the exam game.