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Shogi association to set up investigative team to look into cheating allegations

Hiroyuki Miura

The Japan Shogi Association (JSA) announced on Oct. 21 it will set up an investigative team as early as next week to look into allegations that ninth-dan player Hiroyuki Miura used software during a match, at a briefing held in Tokyo for its members.

Some 140 players gathered for the briefing in Tokyo's Sendagaya, the first one held since allegations surfaced that 42-year-old Miura may have cheated by using shogi software. The players in attendance included Meijin Amahiko Sato, Osho Masataka Goda, Oi Yoshiharu Habu and ninth-dan Toshiyuki Moriuchi. The briefing, closed to the public, was connected with the Kansai shogi hall in Osaka via teleconference.

JSA chairman Koji Tanigawa and other executives explained that the investigative team, which is to be lawyer-led, will examine computers submitted by Miura. They also said that videos including that of a championship match between Miura and his opponent at the Ryuo tournament will be analyzed.

The executives also asked for players' cooperation in immediately enacting new rules that players cannot bring electronic devices into the match room or leave the room during a match. These rules were originally to be enacted from Dec. 14.

According to the association, there were opinions from players that the allegations should be thoroughly investigated to put to rest the suspicions of cheating, and that shogi players should not be fighting amongst themselves.

Miura, who has been forbidden from participating in any more matches this year, denies cheating and sent out a second statement of protest through his lawyer, saying, "I sincerely hope for an end to this unjust punishment as soon as possible." He indicated he would submit four computers and a smartphone to an investigate company to have them analyzed, to show that he is innocent.

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