Shogi. It's typically called "Japanese chess". And like chess, it's a board game of strategy—and smarts. To get good, you must spend years playing and studying.
Polish college student Karolina Styczynska did that on the internet after reading a manga.
The 20 year-old Styczynska first discovered shogi about four years ago while reading a ninja manga Naruto. One of the characters was playing the ancient board game. Intrigued, she studied up on the game and began playing online and reaching the shogi rank of 4-dan.
Recently, she was invited to play a 3-dan pro, female player Sachiko Takamure. Styczynska defeated Takamure, making her the first foreign amatuer to beat a shogi pro.
During the tournament, Styczynska lost to Ryoko Chiba, a female 4-dan player and, thus, did not advance to the next round. Blame bad jutsu.
One of the great things about Japanese manga and anime is that they open up a new world. For Styczynska, it was shogi.
Read here for more about Naruto and shogi.
(Top photo: Shinya Murase | Asahi)