- major title
- ８大タイトル（竜王・名人・叡王(えいおう)・王位 (Oi) ・王座・棋王・王将・棋聖 (Kisei) ）の一つ
- defeat ～
- best-of- ～ match
- emerge victorious
- (be) all smiles
- ～ consecutive
- surpass ～
- artificial intelligence (AI)
- play a gold piece
- square 54
- obtain ～
- ～を獲得する（写真説明の clinch ～ も同意）
- 【写真説明】news conference
- Kansai Shogi Hall
Seventh-dan shogi player Fujii Sota has become the youngest player to win a major title in the traditional Japanese board game, at age 17 years and 11 months, after defeating title-holder Watanabe Akira, 36, in the 91st Kisei title match in Osaka.
Fujii finished the best-of-five match with three wins to one loss, emerging victorious in the fourth game on July 16 in 110 moves, just three days before his 18th birthday. His win broke a record held for 30 years by ninth-dan player Yashiki Nobuyuki, now 48, who in 1990 won his first major title aged 18 years and 6 months.
After the match, Fujii said, "I'm in a position of responsibility now, so I want to work harder and aim to play great shogi."
The teen sensation was all smiles as he raised a card with a message celebrating his first major title win and received a bouquet from his master, eighth-dan player Sugimoto Masataka, 51. Sugimoto said, "I've believed this day would come since I first met Sota 10 years ago when he was in elementary school."
Fujii earlier became the youngest professional shogi player in history at age 14 years and 2 months, in October 2016. He also won a record 29 consecutive games from his professional debut, and climbed the ranks at record speed. His Kisei games marked his first challenge for a major title.
In his study of the game, Fujii has tried to surpass artificial intelligence (AI). He keeps an AI app on his phone, and constantly trains. But he doesn't just follow the moves suggested by AI, going by instinct in the end.
In his second Kisei title match game, Fujii played a gold piece to square 54 in a move AI wouldn't consider the best choice. But following that, he won the match. "Even though I study with software, in the end it's important to think for myself," he said.
Fujii is now challenging ninth-dan Kimura Kazuki, 47, for the Oi title. He won the first two games of the best-of-seven match, and if he wins two more, he will obtain his second major title and be promoted to eighth-dan.
[本文 - 359 words]