Masters Challenge: A Demonstration Match Between Two Giants of Shogi Demonstration

Presented by JICC, Embassy of Japan

Shogi is a Japanese strategy game with the same lineage as chess, originating with the ancient Indian game of Chaturanga. Shogi is comparable to chess in its turn-based, piece-capturing gameplay, with different units having different movement capabilities. However, both the board and the movement rules are expanded compared to chess, and shogi contains additional dynamics that come into play as the game progresses.

Through this collaboration between the JICC and the Japan Shogi Association, two of the best shogi players in the world will demonstrate a match and give you, the audience, the opportunity to predict their next moves!

As part of this event, we have a cheat sheet that covers the rules and game play of shogi, great for beginners and those who want a refresher. Feel free to download it, print it, and use it during the event to help enhance your experience!

ABOUT THE PLAYERS

Sato Yasumitsu (9-dan; player)

Age: 51 Hometown: Kyoto Pupil of: Tanaka Kaishū 9-dan Professional since: 1987 Record (as a professional) as of 3/24/2021: 1,714 games played, 1,057 wins.

Between 1993 and 2011, Sato held numerous titles including the two most prestigious ones- Ryūō and Meijin. In 2006, he was awarded the Lifetime Kisei title after successfully wining and defending the title for 5 consecutive years since 2002. He held Kisei and Ōshō titles in 2002, and Kisei and Kiō titles in 2006. Between 1990 to 2016, Sato won 12 non-title tournaments.

Sato has received many awards, including the Medal with Purple Ribbon in 2017. He has been the Chairman of the Japan Shogi Association since 2017.

ABOUT THE PLAYERS

Moriuchi Toshiyuki (9-dan; player)

Age: 50 Hometown: Kanagawa Pupil of: Katsuura Osamu 9-dan Professional since: 1987 Record (as a professional) as of 3/24/2021: 1,519 games played, 931 wins.

Between 2002 and 2021, Moriuchi held numerous titles including holding Ryūō, Meijin, and Ōshō in the same year in 2004. He has the 18th Lifetime Meijin title for having held the Meijin title in 8 different years. Since 1987, Moriuchi has won 13 non-title tournaments.

Moriuchi has received many awards, including the Medal with Purple Ribbon in 2017. He held the position of Senior Managing Director of the Japan Shogi Association from 2015 to 2018.

ABOUT THE COMMENTATORS

Kōji Horiguchi (7-dan; commentary) Age: 59 Hometown: Tokyo Pupil of: Katō Hiroji 9-dan (deceased) Professional since: 1982 (retired: 2017) Record (as a professional): 989 games played, 452 wins.

Horiguchi won both the Waka Goma-sen (Young Colts tournament) in 1979 and the Waka Shishi-sen (Young Lions tournament) in 1984.

He was on the Japan Shogi Association’s Board of Directors from 1989 to 2001.

Karolina Styczyńska (Female Pro 1-dan; commentary) Age: 29 Hometown: Warsaw, Poland Pupil of: Katagami Daisuke 6-dan Professional since: 2017 Record (as a professional): 73 games played, 29 wins.

Styczyńska got her start in the European Championship, World Shogi Open Championship in 2009 and won the championship in 2014 as an amateur. She became the first ever non-Japanese professional shogi player in 2017.

Hana Wada (Female Pro 2-kyū; game record) Age: 19 Hometown: Saitama Pupil of: Fujiwara Yuki 5-dan Professional since: 2020 Record (as a professional): 12 games played, 4 wins.

In 2014 at the age of 12, Wada won the 46th Women’s Amateure Meijin-sen, and in 2018 at the age of 15 won the US Shogi Championship.

Photo & Video Policy

The Japan Information & Culture Center (JICC), Embassy of Japan reserves the right to use any photograph/video taken at any event sponsored by JICC, without the expressed written permission of those included within the photograph/video. JICC may use the photograph/video in publications or other media material produced, used or contracted by JICC including but not limited to: brochures, invitations, newspapers, magazines, television, social media, websites, etc. To ensure the privacy of individuals and children, images will not be identified using full names or personal identifying information without written approval from the photographed subject, parent or legal guardian. A person attending a JICC event who does not wish to have their image recorded for distribution should make their wishes known to the photographer/videographer, and/or the event organizers.