After stumbling across a haunted go board, Hikaru Shindo discovers that the spirit of a master player named Fujiwara-no-Sai has taken up residence in his consciousness. Sai awakens in Hikaru an untapped genius for the game, and soon the schoolboy is chasing his own dream--defeating the famed go prodigy Akira Toya!
Go players under the age of 18 in Japan, Korea and China are getting ready to qualify for the Hokuto Cup. Hikaru and Akira are both in contention for the Japanese team, but the preliminaries prove to be tough going. Stung by a reality check, Hikaru focuses like never before. But will it be enough to meet the challenge of the unconventional yet formidable go of Kiyoharu Yashiro of the Kansai Go Association?