Polish Woman Becomes First Foreign Professional Shogi Player

Category : Lifestyle/Entertainment

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. qualify / ˈkwɒl əˌfaɪ / (v) – to pass or meet standards

    She qualifies for the position because of her experience.

  2. distinct / dɪˈstɪŋkt / (adj) – different than others

    The identical twins looked alike, but they have distinct voices.

  3. make headlines / meɪk ˈhɛdˌlaɪns / (idiom) – to be on the news

    The students made headlines because of their invention.

  4. pursue / pərˈsu / (v) – to try to do something

    She pursued her hobby even if everyone was against it.

  5. frustration / frʌˈstreɪ ʃən / (n) – feeling of annoyance caused by not achieving something

    She almost gave up out of frustration.


Read the text below.

Karolina Styczynska [STEH-chen-skah], a 25-year-old Polish woman, was recently declared as the first foreign professional shogi player.

In her most recent win during the 44th Women’s Meijin tournament, Styczynska beat a higher-ranking shogi player. This victory came with her promotion to the 2-kyu rank, qualifying her to become a professional.

Shogi, often called Japanese chess, has a distinct set of rules different from Western chess. Styczynska explained that shogi allows players to use captured pieces and that it has a dynamic final stage. These features are what she finds most interesting about the game.

At 16 years old, Styczynska learned about shogi through the popular comics Naruto. She narrated that she studied how to play the game through the Internet. Eventually, she met a professional shogi player online who first invited her to Japan in 2011.

During an official shogi tournament in 2012, Styczynska made headlines by beating a professional player. Since then, she pursued her dream of becoming a professional shogi player. In 2013, she moved to Japan and joined the Japan Shogi Association.

Styczynska said that she trained for three hours a day and spent her weekends at the Japan Shogi Association. That time was difficult for her since she is also a graduate student. She even mentioned that she used to cry out of frustration, thinking that her goals were impossible to reach.

Even after winning the tournament, Styczynska said that she will continue training to achieve the next professional rank. She also intends to promote shogi worldwide.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Like Styczynska, would you also be willing to go abroad to pursue a hobby? Why or why not?
• What game do you find most interesting? Describe the game.

Discussion B

• What are the advantages of playing games on computers?
• Do you think all board games should be made available on the Internet? Why or why not?

Category : Lifestyle/Entertainment