Sumire Nakamura may still be in elementary school, but soon she will turn pro. In April, she will become Japan’s youngest professional go player, the Japan Go Association said on Jan. 5.
The current record for the youngest pro player is held by Rina Fujisawa. She went pro in 2009 at the age of 11 years and 6 months. Last year, Fujisawa won the Women’s Honinbo competition.
Sumire is 9, but when she goes pro on April 1, she will be 10. She will enter the ranks as a shodan, go’s lowest professional rank.
Go runs in Sumire’s family. Her father, 45-year-old Shinya Nakamura, is a ninth-degree professional player. Sumire started playing the board game at 3.
The Tokyo-born girl has been active in the go world. She took part in the national tournament for boys and girls when she was in second grade.
“I’m happy when I win (a go match). I want to have a title while still in junior high school,” Sumire said on Jan. 5. (Kyodo)