Elite player tapped as new ‘shogi’ body chief after defamation scandal

Kyodo

The promotional body of the chess-like Japanese board game shogi said Monday it has named a 47-year-old elite player as its new chief in the wake of a scandal that saw a top-ranked player falsely accused of cheating.

Yasumitsu Sato will serve the remaining term through June of former head Koji Tanigawa, 54, who stepped down to take responsibility over the defamation of Hiroyuki Miura, a 42-year-old ninth-dan (the highest rank) player.

The association suspended Miura on Oct. 12, in connection with the allegation that he had used shogi software on his smartphone for assistance during official matches.

But Miura was cleared through an investigation by a third-party panel, which said in late December it found no evidence of such cheating.

Tanigawa, who quit on Jan. 18, admitted there had been “a flaw” in dealing with the suspicion and apologized to Miura.

Sato, a ninth-dan player from Kyoto Prefecture, became a professional shogi player in 1987 and has won 13 major titles.