Photo/IllutrationKeisuke Fukuchi, 11, celebrates Oct. 12 after becoming the youngest winner of the World Othello Championship held in Prague. (Captured by YouTube)

  • Photo/Illustraion

An 11-year-old Japanese boy making his first appearance at the World Othello Championship walked away with the crown, becoming the youngest winner ever.

Keisuke Fukuchi, a fifth-grader from Yokohama, competed Oct. 9-12 in the Czech capital of Prague.

He broke the record for youngest title holder set 36 years ago, according to the Japan Othello Association in Tokyo.

Fukuchi defeated fellow Japanese Yusuke Takanashi, the favorite to win, in the semifinal, and went on to beat Thailand's Piyanat Aunchulee in the final. In the best-of-three final, Fukuchi won and drew the first two matches, and then clinched the last match with a 34-30 score.

The competition was broadcast live on YouTube.

Told he was now the world champion, Fukuchi responded, “Thank you” and bowed twice.

When asked who he wanted to share his victory with, Fukuchi grinned shyly, and said, “I want to tell the world.”

Toshiyuki Igarashi, 62, an executive board member of the Japan Othello Association, said Fukuchi was already a known entity in the board game world when he started elementary school.

“I didn’t expect him to become world champion, though. This is all due to his hard work," Igarashi said. "This will be a record that will never be broken."

The championship has been held annually since 1977. This year, about 90 people from 30 or so countries and regions participated.