15-Year-Old Japanese Professional Go Player Nakamura Debuts in S. Korea; Loses Match But Promises to Move Forward

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Sumire Nakamura plays against Lee Changseok in Gyeonggi Province’s Seongnam in South Korea on Sunday.

SEOUL — Fifteen-year-old professional Go player Sumire Nakamura played her first official game in South Korea on Sunday. She lost to ninth-dan player Lee Changseok, 27, in a game held in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province. However, the third-dan Go player, speaking in Korean after the match, said that she wants to continue doing her best.

Nakamura became the then youngest-ever professional Go player in Japan in 2019 when she was 10 years old. Last year, she became the youngest winner of the Women’s Kisei title at the age of 13 years and 11 months.

She officially transferred to the Korea Baduk Association, South Korea’s Go association, on Saturday. Nakamura, who trained in South Korea when she was younger, cited opportunities to compete at a higher level as the reason for her move to the country.

On Sunday, Nakamura fought an uphill battle from the start of the game. She launched a counterattack in the middle of the match but failed to keep up with Lee.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported the match on Sunday with the headline, “Japan’s ‘Go prodigy’ Sumire falls short in South Korea debut.”

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Sumire Nakamura speaks during an interview in Gyeonggi Province’s Seongnam in South Korea on Sunday.