During the Cold War, the Soviet Union had complete dominance over the United States when it came to chess.

But that only lasted until the 1972 World Championship – Bobby Fischer became America’s first world champion and ushered in an unprecedented chess boom in the United States.

It all started with a dollar chess set that six-year-old Fischer received from his older sister. He started attending a chess club in his hometown of New York, then became the youngest United States champion at the age of 14, cementing his status as a child prodigy.

Sumire Nakamura, then 11 years old

Asian rivalry in the game of go

For a long time, Japan lagged behind China and South Korea in what was its trade: the game of Go.

One of the reasons for the success of China and South Korea was thought to be their educational system, which provided special training for gifted children.

This has led Japan to establish its own system which gives children the opportunity to turn professional without having to go through the usual selection process.

Three years ago, 2 dan Sumire Nakamura, now 13, became the first professional player under the special selection system. His subsequent success raised high hopes for another Go prodigy: Reo Fujita.

Fujita, a 9-year-old third-grader from Osaka, is set to become the youngest professional Go player in history.

Brilliant Children of Go and Shogi

Unlike Nakamura, whose father is also a professional Go player, Fujita was a stranger to the game.

In fact, he had been obsessed with Othello. It was only by chance that, unable to find courses that taught Othello, he joined a Go club and fell in love with the game.

Fischer had been dubbed “a Mozart of the chess world” by Yoshiharu Habu, a 9-dan Shogi player and chess master. Musical prodigy Wolfgang Mozart began composing music at the age of five and was famous for his many eccentricities. Similarly, Fischer mysteriously disappeared after refusing to defend his championship title and also caused controversy with his anti-American statements.

Hopefully child prodigy Fujita will focus on the Go board and not let anything stand between him and the World Championship title.

Meanwhile, in the world of shogi, 5-crown title holder Kana Satomi is currently playing the best-of-five test match for pro status, which if successful will make her the first professional player in the world. history shogi.

Engaging North Korea: New Perspectives in Diplomacy to Help Solve the Kidnapping Problem

Go and Shogi fans will be holding their breath for the next few days.


(Read the report in Japanese on this link.)

Author: The Sankei Shimbun