Sugiuchi Masao

    Keywords: People

Sugiuchi Masao (杉内 雅男, 20 October 1920 – 21 November 2017) was a Nihon Ki-in professional Go player who reached 9-dan in 1959.

Sugiuchi was called Go no Kami-sama (literally the 'God of Go') for his ultra-serious attitude. He was married to Sugiuchi Kazuko (née Honda), who is also a professional go player (8-dan), for 63 years from 1954 until his death in 2017.

He won the the Tokyo Shinbun Cup in 1962 and the Hayago Meijin in 1959. He unsuccessfully challenged Takagawa Kaku for the Honinbo title in 1954 and 1958, and Kobayashi Koichi for the Tengen in 1976.

He and his wife attended the seventh U.S. Go Congress in Rochester, NY, in 1991.

In early 2015 he was still active and playing in the Gosei premilinaries. His opponent in the game was Tsuneishi Takashi 2p, more than 70 years his junior. According to this link ([ext] his record for 2014, at age 94 was 5 wins and 6 losses.

On March 10, 2016 he played 15-year old Ohnishi Ryuhei? 1p, 80 years his junior, in the Oza preliminaries as reported on the Nihon Kiin's website ([ext]

He set records for both the oldest professional Go player to play a game and to win a game. These records stood until his widow Sugiuchi Kazuko passed them in 2023. Sugiuchi Masao's last win was against Rin Kaiho 9p on 23 April 2015 when he was 94 years and 6 months old (Rin was only 72 years and 11 months old). His last game was a loss to 47-year-old female 6p Koyama Terumi on 2 November 2017, when he was 97 years and 13 days old, only 19 days before he died.

He passed away from pneumonia in hospital on 21 November 2017, with a lifetime record of 883-677-12-2.



Sugiuchi Masao and Kazuko in their younger days (Image credit: Reddit)

Sugiuchi Masao last edited by Jono64a on April 25, 2024 - 19:37
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