関 航太郎 Seki Kōtarō
(1st character Tr. 關, Sm. 关)
also spelt Koutarou
Nihon Ki-in professional, Tengen titleholder
Student of Fujisawa Kazunari
3p 2020-01-09 (2019 prize earnings)
4p 2021-07-28 (50 wins as of July 27)
7p 2021-09-10 (for challenging for the Tengen)
8p 2021-12-07 (for winning it)
9p 2022-12-16 (for successfully defending it)
Seki first came to attention in 2020, when he won the 45th Shinjin O (U-20, U-7p) and was awarded the New Star Prize of the 54th Kido Prizegiving.
He is the current Tengen titleholder. He defeated experienced incumbent and former Gosei Ichiriki Ryo 3-1 in the 47th Tengen match, in late (5 October -- 12 December) 2021. This was his first open title, and the match was his first big title challenge. Seki won it again in 2022 earning promotion to 9p.
He is the first person to win their first big seven title since Ichiriki in 2020, and previously Shibano Toramaru in 2019, and the first born in the 21st century. (An honourable mention on that topic is deserved to Ueno Asami (also b. 2001) who won her first title (the Women's Kisei) in 2018). Seki was the fastest player ever to take a major title, taking four years and eight months from professional qualification. He took the record from Shibano, who took five years and a month.
According to John Power, while analyzing a game of Seki’s a year <before his Tengen victory>, Cho Chikun commented that he was convinced he would soon win a title. Instead of just playing the move everyone would play, Seki looked “for something better and this is the difference between title-winners and ordinary players.”
This section is for tracking how Seki is doing in tournaments.
- quarterfinalist in the 29th (2022) Agon Cup, lost to Iyama Yuta
- on the Japanese team for the 2023 Asian Games
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