Photo/IllutrationFemale professional go player Asami Ueno, right, plays against Daisuke Murakawa, the 10-dan title holder, at the Ryusei Tournament on Sept. 2. (Provided by Igo & Shogi Channel Inc.)

  • Photo/Illustraion

Trailblazer Asami Ueno is winning the battle of the sexes in the traditionally male-dominated world of go, becoming the first female player to reach the semifinals in a mixed-sex tournament.

Ueno, 17, a 2-dan professional, has won her first two matches over top male players in the Ryusei Tournament, hosted by Igo & Shogi Channel Inc., in which all players regardless of sex can participate.

She beat Shinji Takao, 42, a 9-dan and former Meijin title holder, in her first match. In the quarterfinals on the night of Sept. 2, she defeated Daisuke Murakawa, 28, the 10-dan title holder.

Her semifinal match will be shown live on TV on the night of Sept. 14.

“I can’t believe that I'm here and feel like I am in a dream," Ueno said. "The semifinal will be aired live, so I will do my best to try not to let the game finish early."

Ueno is a strong player in women's go competitions, having won two titles. In August, she earned the right to challenge for the women’s Honinbo title, after winning her first title in 2018.