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Fujii Sota Becomes Youngest Double Crown and 8-dan in History

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Published at: 2020-08-20 08:45

Original site:https://www.shogi.or.jp/news/2020/08/post_1941.html?utm_source=rss

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The fourth game of the 61st Oi Tournament seven-game match, where 18-year-old Fujii Souta is challenging 47-year-old Kimura Kazuki Oi, was held at Ohori Koen Nogakudo in Fukuoka, Fukuoka prefecture on August 19 and 20. Fujii beat Kimura and gained the Oi title. As a result, Fujii met the promotion criteria of “winning a title twice” to become 8-dan. Aged 18 years old and one month, Fujii became the youngest player in shogi history to become 8-dan, breaking the record of Kato Hifumi’s 18 years old and three months for the first time in 62 years. Fujii also became the youngest to become a double crown winner, breaking the record of Habu Yoshiharu’s 21 years old and 11 months for the first time in 28 years.

Youngest records to win a double crown
Ranking Name Date of Birth Date of winning
the second title
Age of winning
the second title
Name of the
second title
Title held
at the time
1 Fujii Sota July 19, 2002 August 20, 2020 18 years old and 1 month The 61st Oi Kisei
2 Habu Yoshiharu September 27, 1970 September 22, 1992 21 years old and 11 months The 40th Ouza Kio
3 Nakahara Makoto
(Retired)
September 2, 1947 January 12, 1971 23 years old and 4 months The 17th Kisei 10-dan
4 Minami Yoshikazu June 8, 1963 March 25, 1988 24 years old and 9 months The 37th Osho Kisei
5 Tanigawa Koji April 6, 1962 April 5, 1988 25 years old and 11 months The 13th Kio Oi

*The records of youngest players to hold two titles at the same time.

Youngest records to become 8-dan
Ranking Name Date of birth Date of becoming 8-dan Age Promotion criteria
1 Fujii Sota July 19, 2002 August 20, 2020 18 years old and 1 month Winning a title twice
2 Kato Hifumi
(Retired)
January 1, 1940 April 1, 1958 18 years old and 3 months Being promoted to A class in the Meijin tournament
3 Tanigawa Koji April 6, 1962 April 1, 1982 19 years old and 11 months Being promoted to A class in the Meijin tournament
4 Watanabe Akira April 23, 1984 November 17, 2005 21 years old and 6 months Winning a Ryuo title
5 Habu Yoshiharu September 27, 1970 April 1, 1993 22 years old and 6 months Being promoted to A class in the Meijin tournament

Reference Record
Name Date of birth Date of becoming 8-dan Age Promotion criteria
Kimura Yoshio February 21, 1905 April 13, 1926 21 years old and 1 month Promotion criteria met

*The record of the 14th lifetime Meijin Kimura Yoshio is shown as a reference record, since it was set in the Taisho era under the different criteria.
**The promotion criteria of “winning two titles” to become 8-dan was set on June 1, 2018.

Congratulatory Comments

Sato Yasumitsu, Chairman of Japan Shogi Association
佐藤康光 I would like to congratulate Fujii’s winning the Oi title. Becoming the youngest double crown winner and 8-dan in shogi history is truly remarkable. I hope he will continue to strive for excellence and aim even higher.
Kato Hifumi, 9-dan
加藤一二三I would like to congratulate Fujii from the bottom of my heart for his great achievement of becoming a double crown winner and 8-dan at the youngest age. No matter how much the AI-based study will flourish, I hope Fujii will pursue excitement on the board and enliven the shogi world with his artistic moves, which can only be discovered by human's pursuit and aspiration. 
Habu Yoshiharu, 9-dan
羽生善治Holding multiple titles in one's teens is surely an unprecedented, incredible record. However, by looking at his great games that he has shown us recently, I also feel there is no wonder for his achievement. I’m looking forward to his future success as a front-runner in the evolution of shogi.

Sugimoto Masataka, 8-dan and Fujii’s master
杉本昌隆I feel so happy about Fujii Kisei’s gaining the Oi title, and also becoming 8-dan at the youngest age. I am astonished every time he goes beyond our expectation and anticipation. Even though he has now become a multiple crown holder, he’s still on his way. I hope he will aim even higher and go as far as he can.
Translated by Ayako Ishimoto