I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.
Hikaru plays against other Shodan, even though he's far stronger than they are, and we're repeatedly reminded that everyone has to start at this point and work their way up. In his free time, Hikaru analyzes his and Akira's games with Akira. Akira is now playing against higher ranked players, and Hikaru wishes he could too. Hikaru's first higher ranked opponent is(show spoiler)
This volume felt a bit scattered and lacking compared to some of the past ones. Even the short story volume worked better for me. The best parts were Hikaru buying himself a fan like Sai's (I was a little surprised that no one poked fun at him for what would have appeared to others like a sudden new affectation) and Hikaru and Akira arguing over Go. I could imagine them continuing to argue like that after having spent decades as friends and rivals.
(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)