Nakamura Sumire

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Nakamura Sumire (仲邑 菫, born 2nd March 2009) is a Japanese girl prodigy who became 1 dan professional of the Nihon Kiin through the newly created "Elite Special Qualification by Recommendation" at the age of 10 in April 2019, setting a new record for youngest pro in Japan. 3 dan in October 2022.

According to the [ext] Rating list, 2024-01-02, Nakamura is the #4 ranked female player and #86 overall in Japan; #22 ranked female, #5 ranked female teenager, and #373 overall in the world. She has dropped a little since the [ext] Rating List of 2023-01-01 when she was #20 female in the world and #3 female in Japan.

Early life

Her given name Sumire is the Japanese word for the violet flower. In Japanese culture, the violet symbolizes modesty, simplicity, and faithfulness. Sumire's father is Nakamura Shin'ya 9 dan and her [ext] mother Miyuki is an amateur 6-dan Go instructor and the elder sister (by two years) of Tatsumi Akane 3 dan (both sisters née Ishii). Sumire became an insei of the Kansai Kiin in Japan and Yeongusaeng of the Hankuk Kiwon in Korea. When she was only 9 years old, just before she turned pro, she was invited to South Korea to play a game with her “idol”, the world's current #1 female player Choi Jeong. Choi outclassed her.[ext] Teen Go prodigy Nakamura to shift playing base to South Korea, KYODO NEWS, 16 Sep 2023

In an [ext] interview with her mother on 11 October 2019, Sumire agreed that she admired some of the best players from the "Three Kingdoms" Iyama Yuta, Ke Jie, and Park Jung Hwan, and liked the top female Japanese players the most, Fujisawa Rina, Ueno Asami, and Xie Yimin, because they were very kind to her.

On 12 January 2019, she served for one day as chief of the Konohana Police Station in Konohana Ward, Osaka. She spoke at a park to warn the elderly to beware of scams, and handed out flyers for more information. [ext] “Youngest professional Go player in history”, Nakamura Sumire , chief of staff for one day, Japan Television Broadcasting Network The police department made an anti-fraud poster featuring her in police chief uniform.[ext] Sumire Nakamura “Don't be fooled” … on the prefectural police poster, 30 March 2019

In August 2019, a few months after becoming a professional, Nakamura played a commemorative game against Fujisawa Rina, then the strongest female player in Japan. After their game, [ext] Fujisawa said, “Even though she's only 10 years old, she's able to see the entire Go board, such as her ability to concentrate and judge the situation. She's so competitive that she thinks there might be a (title match) in a few months, not just a few years.”

Fujisawa had taken a friendly and big-sisterly interest in Nakamura's career from a very young age. Fujisawa even [ext] joked on Twitter (29 Nov 2020), “When I was 10 years old, I played against Sumire-chan's mother in a women's amateur Go tournament. At that time, she was pregnant, and the child in her belly was Sumire-chan. 😳 The result was a complete defeat for me. It must be fate with Go. ☺️” Fujisawa also introduced Nakamura to the Detective Conan manga and they enjoyed chatting about it. Nakamura said, “Fujisawa Rina Sensei is very kind to me and has always been very good to me. She is also very good at Go and her character is very worthy of my respect. She is a teacher I admire very much.”[ext] The friendship between Fujisawa Rina and Nakamura Sumire (16 April 2022, in Chinese) Fujisawa has won the only official game she has played against Sumire’s father (2022-07-07).

Back in 2015, after Sumire had won a primary school tournament, [ext] Fujisawa tweeted: “The winner was Nakamura Sensei's daughter, Nakamura Sumire! It seems like she's not even 6 years old yet, but her Go skills and concentration were so amazing that I couldn't believe she was 5.6 years old (*^o^*) and she was so cute (lol) ♡”

Career successes

In 2020, Nakamura became the youngest player to win a first round in a major tournament, the Female Kisei. She, then 1-dan, beat Ueno Risa, also 1-dan, the next youngest female pro. Their combined ages was only 25, another record. Since then, Sumire and Risa have become fierce rivals over the board and very good friends off the board.

In 2021, Nakamura won the Kido Prize New Star, scoring 43–18 in the year. On March that year, she became the youngest 2-dan in history at 12 years 0 months. Fujisawa Rina tweeted her admiration on 22 May 2021?: “Sumire-chan's growth rate is amazing...I hear that behind the scenes, she is putting in tremendous effort, and 🙇‍♀️I have to learn from her. . However, she is usually an honest, kind, polite, and nice girl who ☺️always gives me sweets lol. Lately, meeting Sumire-chan has been a source of comfort for me. 👵”

In 2022, she became the youngest player to qualify to play in a final of a major title: the Female Meijin. On the way, she beat Xie Yimin, who had won and defended titles 27 times, and reigning Female Kisei Ueno Asami.[ext] Teen prodigy Nakamura becomes youngest women's Go title challenger, Mainichi, 2 April 2022. This broke the previous record of Fujisawa Rina, the defending Female Meijin, when she challenged for the Women's Honinbo title at 15 years and 11 months old in 2014. But Nakamura lost the final 0–2 to defending champion Fujisawa. Fujisawa was nevertheless very impressed that someone so young could play so well, and was grateful for the increased press coverage that Nakamura attracts.[ext] Koji Ode, Nakamura fails in her quest to become youngest go title holder, Asahi Shimbun

On 6 June 2022, Nakamura, 13 years and 3 months old, set a record the youngest player to record 100 victories in official professional go tournaments. This broke the record that had stood for 50 years, by Cho Chikun at 15 years and 11 months set in 1972.[ext] Koji Ode, 13-year-old go prodigy becomes youngest to tally 100 victories, Amasi Shimbun, 7 June 2022

Nakamura was also runner-up in the Female Strongest, losing to Nyu Eiko in the final. Nakamura had beaten her long-term mentor and friend Fujisawa Rina, who sportingly [ext] tweeted the next day (16 July 2022), “Thank you for today's Go Festival. I ☺️ lost to Sumire in the semi-finals of the Senko Cup, which was a disappointing result. Once again, I felt Sumire-san's strength and realized my own lack of ability.” (Fujisawa must have meant Saikyo Cup, i.e. [ext] Female Strongest), judging by the [ext] dates and scoretable, and the fact that she beat Nakamura in the [ext] Senko Cup that year.)

The same year, Nakamura won the unofficial Discovery Cup.

On 14 October 2022, Nakamura was promoted to 3-Dan at the age of 13 years and 7 months. This time, she didn't beat Cho Chikun's record of 13 years and 4 months. She remains the second-youngest 3-dan in history. She easily broke Xie Yimin's record for the youngest female 3-dan at 16 years and 4 months.

In the final of the Female Kisei qualifiers, she beat Fujisawa Rina by killing a massive group of 35 stones, and her killing stones also killed another group of 13 stones.[ext] Sumire Nakamura 3rd Dan vs Rina Fujisawa Women's Double Crown [Women's Kisei Finals, Challenger Match. This win earned her the right to play a match with the defending Female Kisei, Ueno Asami.

In February 2023, Nakamura won the quickplay Female Kisei at 13 years 11 months, beating Ueno Asami 2–1, becoming the youngest ever titleholder in Japan.

Nakamura lost the title in February 2024 by 1–2 to Ueno Asami's younger sister Ueno Risa. Risa had beaten her older sister in the final of the qualifying tournament. The Sumire v Risa match was the first time a major female title had been contested by two teenagers. Before this match, Risa had lost every official game to Sumire, and the first game in the match was another convincing win to Sumire.

Head-to-head scores against current female rivals

(at least two games)

(Based on [ext] Nakamura Sumire, Go Ratings and game list), as of 21 Feb 2024

Nakamura has won the only game she has played against strong professional female players Kim Chaeyeong 8p (#9 female in world, #4 female in South Korea) and Kim Hye-min 9p (#25 female in the world, #8 female player in Korea).

Planned transfer to South Korea

Later in 2023, Sumire applied to transfer to the Korea Baduk Association, a transfer that the Nihon Ki-in has consented to. She wants experience against the world's best—both the current #1 player in the world, Shin Jin-seo, and the strongest female,Choi Jeong, are from South Korea and play there. If the Korea Baduk Association accepts her application, she will probably move to South Korea around March 2024. Nakamura can speak Korean.[ext] Teen Go prodigy Nakamura to shift playing base to South Korea, KYODO NEWS, 16 Sep 2023



A pre-game [ext] YouTube link and post-game [ext] YouTube link interviews (both her and Oh Yujin before and after 2023 Korean Women Baduk Team's evaluational matches against invited players from Japan and China in September 2023).


Namamura Sumire

nakamura sumire early pro (Image credit: 0)
nakamura sumire early pro (Image credit:

nakamura sumire early pro2 (Image credit: 2)
nakamura sumire early pro2 (Image credit:

Nakamura Sumire in several early years with Fujisawa Rina (Image credit: Fujisawa Rina Twitter)
Nakamura Sumire in several early years with Fujisawa Rina.

nakamura sumire 2021 (Image credit: 5)
nakamura sumire 2021 (Image credit:

Good friends Ueno Risa and Nakamura Sumire 2023 (Image credit: Fujisawa Rina Twitter)
Good friends and fierce rivals Ueno Risa and Nakamura Sumire 2023 (Image credit: Fujisawa Rina Twitter)

Good friends Ueno Risa and Nakamura Sumire 2023 (Image credit: Fujisawa Rina Twitter)
Good friends and fierce rivals Ueno Risa and Nakamura Sumire 2023 (Image credit: Fujisawa Rina Twitter)

Five leading female Japanese go professionals, 2023 (Image credit: Fujisawa Rina Twitter)
Five leading female Japanese go professionals sharing a round table and light-hearted moment, 2023. From bottom left, clockwise: Ueno Asami, Nakamura Sumire, Fujisawa Rina, Nyu Eiko, and Ueno Risa (Image credit: Fujisawa Rina Twitter)

Five leading female Japanese go professionals lining up, 2023 (Image credit: Fujisawa Rina Twitter)
Five leading female Japanese go professionals lining up, 2023. From back to front of the line: Nyu Eiko, Nakamura Sumire, Ueno Risa, Fujisawa Rina, and Ueno Asami (Image credit: Fujisawa Rina Twitter)

Nakamura Sumire last edited by Jono64a on February 25, 2024 - 20:09
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