Photo/Illutration Shogi sensation Sota Fujii speaks at a news conference in Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture, on March 19 after clinching the Kio title to become the youngest player ever to hold six major professional titles. (Ikuro Aiba)

Shogi wunderkind Sota Fujii entered the record books again on March 19, becoming only the second player in the board game's history to hold six major titles and the youngest to accomplish the feat. 

Fujii, 20, took the Kio title by defeating defending champion Akira Watanabe, 38, in the best-of-five series.

He won the fourth game played in Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture, in 132 moves to take the match by a 3-1 margin. 

Fujii, who had already earned the honorific titles of Ryuo, Oi, Eio, Osho and Kisei, is now the youngest-ever player to hold six of the eight prestigious titles at the age of 20 years and eight months.

He is the second player to do so in history after Yoshiharu Habu, 52, who achieved the milestone in December 1994 at the age of 24 years and two months.

Fujii broke Habu’s record, which had stood for 29 years, by three years and six months.

“I think I need to work even harder so that I can play shogi that suits my position,” Fujii said after the match.

The two major titles he has yet to win are Meijin and Oza.

Fujii is scheduled to face Watanabe, who still holds the Meijin title, again on April 5 in the best-of-seven matches for his title.

Fujii also has his sights set on competing in the best-of-five Oza championship series this autumn. His goal is to achieve the unprecedented feat of winning all eight major shogi titles.

Fujii became a professional player at the age of 14 in 2016, the youngest ever to join the professional ranks.

He also was the youngest ever when he won his first major title, Kisei, at age 17 in 2020. Fujii is undefeated in the 13 title matches he's played in his remarkable career. 

He also earned his first victory in the NHK Cup TV Shogi Tournament, whose final match was broadcast on March 19, becoming the first player in history to achieve the milestone of winning all four major championships other than matches awarding honorific titles.