Monday, December 11, 2017

Keiji Tomita: He's a Shogi Champion



Keiji Tomita has been playing with since July 2011. In the amazing 6 1/2 years of playing with Tennis Los Angeles.com he's played an amazing 750 matches and earned an amazing 16 freebies for playing 20 or more matches in a season.  But that is just part of the story, definitely read below and hear about his Shogi exploits. Very amazing.

Which league are you a member of?

How long have you participated in your league?
Since July 2011, I think I haven’t skipped any season by now!

How did you first learn about it?
I met a guy at another tennis league, and he suggested this league, so I tried Tennis Los Angeles, and I liked it, then keep participating since then.

How often do you play?
I try to schedule at least 2-3 matches per week.

What do you like most about the league?
Flexibility!  I can play anytime, anywhere with anyone I like.  That's wonderful.

Tell us about your most memorable match(es)
This is a difficult question because I have so many memorable matches; I really mean it, so many.  I have played 742 matches at this moment in this league, and I would say most matches were great matches; I gave all I had to opponents.

Who are your favorite rivals in the league? Why?
I have many favorite rivals, and I feel I am very lucky to have so many good friends here, I had great time playing tennis with them, and I am looking forward to playing with them many more years.

How did you get started playing tennis?
My boss at work, who has a teaching experience when he was young, taught me first, since then I am addicted with tennis.

What level player are you? (NTRP rating)
4.0

What do you love about tennis?  
Workout, I am planning to play tennis rest of my life! 

Who are your favorite pro players? Why?
Kei Nishikori.  I am from Japan, and Kei is one of the biggest sport stars in Japan.  I respect him, and am proud of him.  I hope he will win a major title someday.  I tend to like small players such as Goffin, Dolgopolov, Ferrer, and so on, just because I am a tiny guy.

Tell us a little bit about yourself, for example: What do you do? Where did you grow up? What are your hobbies (besides tennis)?
 I was born and raised in Japan, and came to US to study at a University.  I am a US citizen now.  I teach guitar at a music school part-time, and also I work at a Japanese restaurant as a manager.

I want to share a great story just happened to me a few weeks ago.  My another passion besides tennis is Shogi, which is translated as a Japanese Chess. Shogi is pretty similar to Chess, but the biggest difference in Japanese chess from Western chess is that you can use a piece you took from opponent as your own force, so the more game goes further, you have more choices to make.  If I say simply, Shogi is more complicated than Chess.  

In April this year, I earned 2nd place at All US Shogi championship, and was picked to compete at International Shogi competition as a representative of the USA!  It was held at Japan at the end of October, and all my expenses were paid, such as air fare, hotel, meals.

I had several tough matches, but lucky enough to win the tournament!  I am an amateur World Shogi Champion!

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