800 Wins at 32 Years Old!?

2/25/2003 – It's chess all right, but Japanese chess, or shogi. The popular sport has its own icon, Yoshiharu Habu, whose games are regularly on TV in Japan. On Sunday Habu became, at 32, the youngest player ever to reach 800 career victories, breaking the record by six months. Kasparov has yet to reach that number in competitive play. More..

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Shogi Champ Reaches 800th Win

Yoshiharu Habu also plays chess very well, and we have covered his exploits in the western game here at ChessBase. Here is an interview with Habu by French (and half Japanese) Grandmaster Joel Lautier from May, 2002. A month later, Lautier gave a chess simul in Tokyo against Habu and two other top shogi players, scoring 2.5-0.5.

An older interview with Habu (July, 2000) is archived at the MSO website here. Showing that everyone had an opinion on the FIDE knock-out system for the world championship, Habu said, "I feel that the current FIDE world championship system is not appropriate for selecting the true champion. It's not interesting to see a tournament in which, in many games, one seeks a draw from the first move. Personally, I would like to see a strong tournament (an extended version of Linares, let's say), in which the top 10 players will play a double round robin."

Habu's 800th career win was big news and is covered today by the Japan Times. The record-breaking victory came in a two-round session that lasted a combined 16 hours. The MegaBase 2003 shows around 630 Kasparov wins against players rated at least 2400. More on shogi can be found at the Chess Variants website.


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