National

Fifteen-year-old Sota Fujii becomes top-performing professional shogi player of 2017

JIJI

Sota Fujii, the youngest professional shogi player at age 15, has secured top positions in all four performance categories for fiscal 2017, becoming the third player on record to mark the accomplishment.

Fujii, the fist junior high school student to become a sixth dan, led all other eligible players in terms of the number of games played, number of victories, winning rate and the number of successive wins, the Japan Shogi Association said Tuesday.

As of Tuesday, he had competed in a total of 70 matches, winning 59 and losing 11. As a result, his winning rate came to 84.3 percent.

Although Fujii may have three more games to play by the end of the fiscal year, he will end the year with the most games won, even if he loses all of them, the association said.

Fujii also produced a record 29-game winning streak after making his pro debut in December 2016.

Previously, ninth dan Kunio Naito, 78, and Yoshiharu Habu, 47, who now holds the Ryuo and Kisei titles, had topped all four categories, according to data available since fiscal 1967.

“I’m pleased with my game-by-game effort resulting in the achievement,” Fujii said. “I’ll keep trying to play shogi better.”

Habu said in a statement, “A player cannot top all the categories without performing stably throughout the year.” “I’m looking forward to seeing (Fujii) establish more records from now on,” he added.