February 20, 2017 7:57 pm JST

Polish woman becomes first foreign female pro shogi player in Japan

TOKYO (Kyodo) --A Polish woman has become the first foreign female professional player of the chess-like Japanese board game shogi after her victory in a match Monday boosted her ranking.

Karolina Styczynska, a 25-year-old native of Warsaw who is attending graduate school at Yamanashi Gakuin University, beat professional player Minami Sadamasu in a preliminary game of the 44th Women's Meijin (master) in Tokyo.

Styczynska came across shogi when she read a Japanese comic translated into Polish. She improved her skills on her own before participating in a 2012 official women's tournament in Japan, where she beat a professional player.

In 2013, she passed an examination to join a program to train professional female players.

There are different systems of professional qualification for men and women, who compete in separate tournaments.

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