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12月16日号 将棋 羽生棋士、史上初の永世7冠達成

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qualify
資格を得る・持つ(後出qualificationは資格)
lifetime ... titles
永世7冠のこと(将棋の全七大タイトル戦で「永世称号」(lifetime title)の資格を得ること。各タイトルを規定回数獲得すると、引退後に永世称号を名乗る資格を得る。後出 honor はここでは称号)
earn
獲得する
Ryuo tournament
竜王戦(竜王戦決勝トーナメントの勝者はタイトルをかけて竜王と七番勝負をする)
defeat ~
~を降す
tournament tally
(ここでは七番勝負の)対戦成績
claim the crown
(ここでは竜王の)タイトルを獲得する
take the upper hand
(ここでは)仕掛ける
hold onto an advantage
優位を維持する
endgame
終盤
approval
(ここでは)納得
firmly determened attitude
(ここでは)不退転の決意
advancing years
寄る年波
destination
目標
accumulation
積み重ね(後出 accumulate は動詞)
accomplishment
実績
limitless spirit of exploration
あくなき探求心
late ~
故~
have ~ under one's belt
~を達成する
all-time
歴代最高の
gain on ~
~に追いつく
look set to ~
~するようである
make a mark on history
歴史に名を刻む
【写真説明】reflect on ~
~を振り返る

Shogi Superstar   

Shogi master Habu Yoshiharu became the first person to qualify as a lifetime holder of all seven of the shogi's major titles by earning a lifetime Ryuo qualification with his seventh Ryuo tournament victory on Dec. 5.

Habu, 47, defeated 33-year-old Ryuo title holder Watanabe Akira in the fifth game of the Ryuo tournament in Ibusuki, Kagoshima Prefecture, to raise his tournament tally to 4-1 and claim the crown. A player qualifies as a lifetime Ryuo holder upon winning the title seven times. Those who qualify for lifetime titles are officially awarded the honor upon their retirement.

In the Dec. 5 game, Habu took the upper hand in the middle game, and held onto the advantage. During the endgame, he repeatedly nodded to himself as if in silent approval of his own reading of the game. Watanabe finally said, "I've lost."

"I felt this might be my last chance," Habu said at the news conference after the game, adding that he had a firmly determined attitude going into the tournament, though at the same time he was aware of his advancing years and declining physical strength.

When in 1996 Habu became the first person to hold seven titles at the same time, "I was 25, and I'd been playing professionally for only 10 years," he said. "It's now been more than 30 years (since I went pro), and I feel deeply that I have finally arrived at my destination through the gradual accumulation of accomplishments."

After going pro at the age of 15 in 1985, Habu won his first title at the Ryuo tournament in 1989. Since then, he has accumulated titles with a limitless spirit of exploration as well as psychological strength. Only three other shogi masters have ever achieved multiple lifetime titles: the late Oyama Yasuharu and retired player Nakahara Makoto, with five titles respectively, as well as Watanabe with two.

In 2018, Habu will aim to have his 100th tournament title under his belt. He is also just 42 pro career match wins behind the all-time record of 1,433, held by Oyama. Even as Habu senses many young shogi players gaining on him, he looks set to make an even deeper mark on shogi history.

[本文 - 368 words]

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