Fujii Becomes Youngest Shogi Player with 6 Major Titles

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Shogi star Sota Fujii

NIKKO, TOCHIGI Pref. (Jiji Press) — Japanese professional shogi star Sota Fujii, 20, became the youngest holder of six major titles for the chess-like traditional Japanese board game Sunday.

Fujii, who had already earned the titles of Ryuo, Oi, Eio, Osho and Kisei, defeated 38-year-old titleholder Akira Watanabe 3-1 in the best-of-five Kio title series. The fourth match was held in Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture, eastern Japan, Sunday.

He is the second player to hold six of the eight major titles in professional shogi history after Yoshiharu Habu, 52, who achieved the milestone in 1994.

Fujii captured his sixth major title at the age of 20 years and eight months, rewriting the previous record of 24 years and two months held by Habu, now a ninth-dan player without a major title.

The two major titles yet to be earned by Fujii are Meijin and Oza. He will once again challenge titleholder Watanabe in the best-of-seven Meijin title series starting on April 5, aiming to become the youngest holder of seven major titles.