A nine-year-old Japanese girl is set to become the youngest professional player of the Asian board game "Go."
The Japan Go Association, or Nihon Ki-in, officially decided at a board meeting on Saturday to induct Sumire Nakamura from the city of Osaka as a professional under a special quota for gifted young amateurs.
The quota was created to nurture players who can rival champions in China and South Korea, where the game is also popular.
Nakamura will be 10 when she turns professional in April. That will make her the youngest-ever professional player, setting a new record for the first time in nine years.
Nakamura began playing Go at the age of three. Since age seven, she has been tutored by professionals in South Korea.
She earned her recommendation for induction into the association based on her record at amateur competitions.
Go master Yuta Iyama and five other Go professionals judged Nakamura's skills, unanimously agreeing to bring her into the fold last month.
The public school fourth-grader said she is happy to become a pro, and that she wants to be a world-class player in the future.