Japanese 'Go' player Nakamura Sumire to transfer base to South Korea

Fourteen-year-old Japanese "Go" player Nakamura Sumire intends to shift her base of professional activity to South Korea next year. The country is known for yielding a number of talented players of the traditional board game.

The Nihon Ki-in, Japan's association of "Go," says Nakamura has applied to South Korea's association to play in the country as a visiting player starting next year.

Nakamura turned professional at the age of 10, becoming the youngest player to ever do so at that time. She won the Women's Kisei title in February at the age of 13 years and 11 months to become the youngest holder of a major female title in Japan.

The move comes after the Japanese association last month decided to recommend her to play in South Korea as a visiting "Go" player.

If approved, she will start competing in South Korea in March and will no longer be able to take part in title games in Japan.

Officials say this is the first time a Japanese player belonging to the Nihon Ki-in will move their base to a foreign country.

Kobayashi Satoru, the head of the Japanese association, said the organization supports the hopes of players to improve their skills in a more competitive environment.

He said some people may be disappointed at the news, but he believes Nakamura's transfer to South Korea will be welcomed by fans in both countries.