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12-yr-old girl to become 3rd youngest ever female pro Go player

Risa Ueno, an elementary school sixth-grader, is seen at a press conference on Feb. 15, 2019, at the Nihon Ki-in (Japan Go Association) headquarters in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward. Ueno will be the third-youngest female Go player to go pro when she makes her debut on April 1 this year. (Mainichi/Hiroshi Maruyama)

TOKYO -- Twelve-year-old Go player Risa Ueno will make her pro debut on April 1 after winning a special Nihon Ki-in (Japan Go Association) recruitment tournament here -- making her the third youngest ever to become female professional Go player.

"I want to win Japanese female titles and hope to do great job at world matches in the future," the primary school sixth-grader told reporters at a Feb. 15 news conference at the association's headquarters in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward. She won the professional promotion after besting the competition at the special tournament for budding female Go players on Feb. 9.

Ueno will be 12 years and 9 months old as of a day she will turn pro -- the third youngest female player to make the move, behind Sumire Nakamura and Rina Fujisawa. Nakamura will be the youngest female pro ever as of her April 1 debut, when she will be 10 years old. Fujisawa, now aged 20 and holder of the female Honinbo title, turned pro at age 11 years and six months in 2010.

Risa is the sister of Asami Ueno, 17, who holds the female Kisei title.

(Japanese original by Satoshi Mogami, Cultural News Department)

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