Tuesday, February 23, 2010

More About Fujisawa Rina

The February edition of English Nihon Kiin's report included an article about Fujisawa Rina. Here is what written in the English Nihon Kiin's website:

Fujisawa Rina, granddaughter of the legendary Fujisawa Shuko and daughter of Fujisawa Kazunari 8-dan, has set a new record for the youngest professional in Japan. On 6 February, Rina, who is in fifth form at elementary school, qualified as a professional 1-dan at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo. When she officially begins her career, on 1 April, she will be just 11 years six months old. This lowers Cho Chikun's overall record by three months and the women's record by nearly three years (it was set by current women's champion Xie Yimin when she was 14 years four months old)..
Rina took first place in an all-play-all league in which nine players competed for a single slot for a new woman professional. This was actually the third time she had competed in the qualifying tournament.
Rina learnt go at the age of 6 and made up her mind to become a professional when she was in first grade. Her ambition was to make it while she was still in elementary school. Every day after class her mother would take her to a go club in Shinjuku, where she would play until nine o'clock. Dinner was a lunchbox her mother prepared.
Her efforts paid off. In March last year, she took fourth place in the all-Japan women's amateur championship and became an insei in April. She had become a disciple of her late grandfather, who died in May last year, but did not have many opportunities to receive direct instruction. She is proud of her grandfather but says her style is different, favouring territory rather than thickness. Her ambition is to become known in her own right, not just as `Shuko's granddaughter'.
Rina will have to take days off school to play her tournament games. Her earnings from game fees will dwarf her schoolmates' pocket money.

Let see whether she will be one of the elite female player (or even an elite player?) or not.