That’s not a spokemodel holding the prize check.

In March, Japan’s Nihon Ki-in organization, which oversees professional and amateur Go competitions, held the inaugural Senko Cup, and international tournament for female Go players. Among those in attendance were a Taiwanese seventh dan-ranked player who goes by the anglicized name Joanne Missingham, who dazzled spectators for multiple reasons.

First and foremost was her talented play. While she didn’t walk away with the championship, Missingham’s performance was strong enough to secure second place, which came with a prize of three million yen (US$28,000).

Then there’s the fact that Missingham is just 23 years old and already a force to be reckoned with in a game where most enthusiasts are decades older than her.

And finally, it’s hard not to notice that Missingham is remarkably beautiful, particularly since Go doesn’t ordinarily have a glamorous or fashionable image.

Missingham was born in Australia, but her family moved to Taiwan when she was 4. It was there that she began playing Go, and she kept up the hobby even after moving again to the U.S. at the age of 11. When Missingham was 15, she did her first stint studying the game in Beijing, and in the years since she’s competed in multiple international competitions.

Photogenic as she may be, Missingham is undeniably more than just a pretty face. Even when she was still in her teens, she was already an accomplished public speaker, as shown in the 2012 video below (with selectable English subtitles) where she gives her own TED Talk.

Though she’s achieved fame and success from playing essentially a board game, Missingham doesn’t lead a sedentary lifestyle. Aside from Go, her hobbies and talents include swimming, yoga, snowboarding, and playing the piano and pipa (a traditional Chinese stringed instrument).

She also appears to have an active social life, and hasn’t let the pressures of competing at Go’s highest levels prevent her from having some silly fun when the opportunity presents itself.

And best of all, Missingham still being in her early 20s means she’s still got a long Go career ahead of her.

Related: Joanne Missingham Facebook, Instagram
Sources: Seed Music, Focus Taiwan
Featured image: Instagram/jiajia94526
[ Read in Japanese ]