A Polish woman has become the first foreign female professional shogi (Japanese chess) player after pulling off a big win in a tournament on Monday, fulfilling her dream of turning pro.

Karolina Styczynska, a 25-year-old native of Warsaw and graduate student at Yamanashi Gakuin University, beat professional player Minami Sadamasu in a preliminary game of the 44th Women's Meijin (master) in Tokyo.

"Yesterday's game was very important, which is why I had spent every day preparing for it," Styczynska told The Japan Times on Tuesday, a day after she attained the status following four years of effort.