Shogi Star Fujii Defends Eio Title

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Sota Fujii poses for photos at a press conference after he defended his Eio title in Miyako, Iwate Prefecture, on Sunday.

MIYAKO, Iwate (Jiji Press) — Professional shogi star Sota Fujii defended the title of Eio for the chess-like traditional Japanese board game on Sunday by defeating challenger Tatsuya Sugai, an eighth-dan player.

Fujii, 20, who holds six major titles also including Ryuo, Oi, Kio, Osho and Kisei, beat Sugai, 31, 3-1 in the best-of-five Eio title series. The fourth match was held in Miyako, Iwate Prefecture, on Sunday. Fujii won the Eio title series for the third straight time. The two major titles yet to be earned by Fujii are Meijin and Oza.

Challenging titleholder Akira Watanabe, 39, in the best-of-seven Meijin title series, Fujii has won three matches and lost one. The fifth match will take place in Takayama, Nagano Prefecture, on Wednesday and Thursday. With one more win, Fujii will become the second shogi player with seven major titles after Yoshiharu Habu, a 52-year-old ninth-dan player.