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Shogi superstar Fujii beats his mentor in tournament match

Sota Fujii, right, and Masataka Sugimoto are seen after their match in the Osho tournament qualifying round in Osaka's Fukushima Ward, on March 8, 2018. (Mainichi)

OSAKA -- Up-and-coming shogi prodigy Sota Fujii, 15, managed to beat his instructor in a tournament match held here on March 8.

Sixth-dan holder Fujii, the youngest professional shogi player, triumphed against seventh-dan Masataka Sugimoto, 49, in the second match of the Osho tournament qualifying round held at Kansai Shogi Hall, in Osaka's Fukushima Ward.

At one point, it looked as though the game would drag on with a repetition of moves, but the youngster broke the deadlock, winning the match in 111 moves.

"I'm Mr. Fujii's instructor, but I'm glad I was able to compete against him," Sugimoto said in a post-match interview, somewhat emotionally.

"I'm happy that I got to play an official game against Mr. Sugimoto, having been taught so much about shogi by him since my amateur days. It makes me feel determined that I should keep on going," Fujii said in response, while also apparently trying to hold back his emotions.

The pair then reflected cheerfully on the meaningful match between mentor and pupil.

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