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Fujii Sota 7-dan becomes youngest to win major title!

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Published at: 2020-07-16 10:30

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 The 4th game of 91st Hulic Cup Kisei Championship 5-Games Title Match was held today, Thursday, July 16, at the Kansai Shogi Kaikan in Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture. Fujii Souta 7-dan (17 years old) defeated Watanabe Akira Kisei and won the Kisei title with 3 wins and 1 loss. He became the youngest professional shogi player to win a title at age 17 years and 11 months, a record for the first time in 30 years.

Top 10 youngest title winners
No. Name Birthdate Date of winning Age at winning Name of a title
1 Fujii Souta 19 Jul 2002 16 Jul 2020 17 years 11 months The 91st
Hulic's Cup
Kisei Championship
2 Yashiki Nobuyuki 18 Jan 1972 1 Aug 1990 18 years 6 months The 56th Kisei Championship
3 Habu Yoshiharu 27 Sep 1970 27 Dec 1989 19 years 3 months The 2nd Ryuo Tournament
4 Watanabe Akira 23 Apr 1984 28 Dec 2004 20 years 8 months The 17th Ryuo Tournament
5 Nakahara Makoto
2 Sep 1947 19 Jul 1968 20 years 10 months The 12th Kisei Championship
6 Tanigawa Koji 6 Apr 1962 15 Jun 1983 21 years 2 months The 41st  Meijin-sen Tournament
7 Goda Masataka 17 Mar 1971 9 Sep 1992 21 years 5 months The 33rd Ōi Tournament
8 Miura Hiroyuki 13 Feb 1974 30 Jul 1996 22 years 5 months The 67h Kisei Championship
9 Tsukada Yasuaki 16 Nov 1964 21 Oct 1987 22 years 11 months The 35th Ōza Tournament
10 Nakamura Osamu 7 Nov 1962 14 March 1986 23 years 4 months The 35th Ōsho Tournament

※The Kisei Championships are held twice a year until the 65th games.

《Reference》Oldest first title winner
Name Bithdate Date of winning Age at winning Name of a title
Kimura Kazuki 23 Jun 1973 26 Sep 2019 46 years 3 months The 60th Ōi Tournament

Comments from officials

【Comment from Sato Yasumitsu(the president of the Japan Shogi Association)】
佐藤康光 Congratulations on your first winning of a major title. It was a brilliant victory. As the new Kisei title holder, Fujii Sota, has already completed a lot of great achievements, so that I think this marvelous record will not be easily broken. We wish your continued success.
【Comment from Habu Yoshiharu 9-dan】  
羽生善治 Having been very impressed with his recent successes, I thought that it was just a matter of time for him to win a major title. The performance in the game was brilliant and led people to remember even for the years to come. I hope that he will continue to play an active role as one of pioneers who opens up a new path for the shogi world in the future.
【Comment from Yashiki Nobuyuki 9-dan】
屋敷伸之 Congratulations to Fujii Sota, the new Kisei title holder, on winning a major title.
Although everyone, especially shogi fans throughout Japan, held their breath to see who would win, it was great to see you competed with aplomb and got a great result. The other title tournaments to participate in will be scheduled in succession, so I expect you to create a great shogi games culture and history.

【Comment from Sugimoto Masataka 8-dan】 
杉本昌隆I am glad your winning of the Kisei and becoming its title holder.
I was sure that this day would come when I first met you as a boy in elementary school 10 years ago.
With your title winning, one of my goal and the dream of my master, Itaya Susumu 9-dan, has been fulfilled.
Please cherish the title you brought back to Tokai region and try to keep it forever.
Hoping that you will never forget the happiness of being able to play shogi as one of professional players and your feeling of gratitude towards people having supported you. I hope I will grow up to be a great player. Let me express our hope for your growth with great achievements in your future.
Translated by Miki Suemasa