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Kunio Yonenaga

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Kunio Yonenaga
Native name米長 邦雄
Born(1943-06-10)June 10, 1943
HometownMasuho, Yamanashi
DiedDecember 18, 2012(2012-12-18) (aged 69)
Achieved professional statusApril 1, 1963(1963-04-01) (aged 19)
Badge Number92
RetiredDecember 17, 2003(2003-12-17) (aged 56)[1]
TeacherYūji Sasei [ja] (Honorary 9-dan)
Lifetime titlesLifetime Kisei
Major titles won19
Tournaments won16
Career record1103–800 (.580)[2]
Notable students
JSA profile page

Kunio Yonenaga (米長 邦雄, Yonenaga Kunio, June 10, 1943[3] - December 18, 2012[3][4]) was a Japanese professional shogi player[3] and president of Japan Shogi Association[5] (May, 2005 - December 18, 2012[4][6]). He received an honorary title Lifetime Kisei due to his remarkable results in the Kisei title tournament.[3] He is a former Meijin and 10-dan.[citation needed]



Yonenaga was born in Masuho, Yamanashi in 1943.[3] He became a disciple of shogi professional Yūji Sase and moved to Tokyo to live with his teacher to become a professional.

Yonenaga became a professional in 1963, and was promoted to 9 dan in 1979.[3]

Yonenaga was regarded as one of the best shogi players through the 1970s and 1980s. He won Kisei, his first titleholder championship in 1973 and dominated four of the seven shogi titles in 1984. He was awarded as Best Shogi Player of the Year thrice (1978, 1983 and 1984), though he had not won a Meijin title, then regarded the supreme tournament, for decades. He finally won Meijin in 1993 when he was 49 (the oldest on record), but he was defeated by Yoshiharu Habu the next year. Yonenaga retired in 2003.[3]

He was also an education board member for Tokyo.[7]

In 2008 Yonenaga announced he had suffered cancer since 2008 spring.[8] He reported his cancer diagnosis on his website occasionally which later turned into a book Cancer Note (published in 2009).

Yonenaga was one of early shogi professionals who played with computer shogi publicly. In 2012 when was retired, he played a game with bonkras [ja], a computer shogi software, and lost. Yonenaga authored his last book I lost about this game.

Yonenaga died on December 18, 2012 from prostate cancer at a hospital in Tokyo.

Titles and other championships

Title Years Held
Meijin 1993
10 dan 1984–1985
Kisei 1973, 1980, 1983–1985
Oi 1979
Kioh 1979, 1981—1984
Osho 1983–1984, 1990
Title Years Held
NHK Cup 1979
Nihon Series 1980, 1984, 1986




  1. ^ "Yonenaga Kunio Eisei Kisei, Intai" 米長邦雄永世棋聖, 引退 [Lifetime Kisei Kunio Yonenaga retires] (in Japanese). Japan Shogi Association. December 2003. Archived from the original on August 7, 2007. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  2. ^ "Yonenaga Kunio Eisei Kisei (Kishi Bangō Hachijūgo)" 米長邦雄 永世棋聖 (棋士番号85) [Kunio Yonenaga Lifetime Kisei (Badge No. 85)] (in Japanese). Japan Shogi Association. Archived from the original on May 31, 2006. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g 棋士紹介-物故棋士一覧 [List of Deceased Shogi Players] (in Japanese). Japan Shogi Association. Archived from the original on 2014-09-23. Retrieved 2013-04-01.
  4. ^ a b 将棋の米長邦雄さん 死去 [Shogi player Kunio Yonenaga dies] (in Japanese). NHK. Archived from the original on 2012-12-20. Retrieved 2012-12-17.
  5. ^ RIKEN and Fujitsu host symposium on ‘shogi intuition’ (Japanese chess) research
  6. ^ "組織概要[創立・沿革]" [About Us]. Archived from the original on 2014-10-06.
  7. ^ Tokyo's Flag Law: Proud Patriotism, or Indoctrination?
  8. ^ "癌ノート" [Cancer Note]. Archived from the original on 2012-12-27. Retrieved 2013-04-01.