- China wins 5th CSK Cup on tie-breaker
- Hiraoka wins WAGC
- China does well in 11th LG Cup
- Korea dominates Fujitsu Cup
- Honinbo title match tied
- Yoda has narrow lead in Meijin League
- 31st Kisei Leagues get under way
- Gosei challenger: Yamashita or Cho U
- The Redmond report
China wins 5th CSK Cup on tie-breaker
After moving from its home base of Okinawa to Seoul last year, the CSK Cup was held closer to home this year, the venue being the Kyushu hot spring resort of Beppu. Held from 1 to 3 May, the tournament ended in a tie between Korea and China, which both won two out of three matches and scored ten individual wins (out of a possible 15). China prevailed in the tie-break because its number one player, Gu Li, defeated the Korean number one, Yi Se-tol, in their game on the final day.
China became the second country, after Korea, to win this tournament twice. Japan took third place and Chinese Taipei fourth.
1st) China: 2-1, 10 wins
2nd) Korea: 2-1, 10 wins
3rd) Japan: 1-2, 6 wins
4th) Chinese Taipei, 0-3, 4 wins.
Hiraoka wins WAGC
Hiraoka Satoshi of Japan scored a dramatic come-from-behind victory in the 27th World Amateur Go Championship to win his second title after a gap of 11 years. Hiraoka had suffered a loss in his fourth-round game against Jo Tae-won of DPR Korea when he ran out of time in Canadian Overtime in a winning position. However, in the final round, he bested the 13-year-old Tang Weixing of China, the only undefeated player, and forced a four-way tie in which he prevailed with a one-point lead in SOS.
This year the tournament was held from 28 to 31 May with a record entry of 68 countries. The venue was the holiday resort of Huis Ten Bosch, which, located near Sasebo in Kyushu, is a faithful and very large-scale reproduction of a Dutch town.
The prizewinners are listed below:
1st) HIRAOKA Satoshi (Japan): 7-1
2nd) TANG Weixing (China): 7-1
3rd) JO Tae-won (DPR Korea): 7-1
4th) HONG Man-ki (Korea): 7-1
5th) CHAN Naisan (Hong Kong China): 6-2
6th) Joey HUNG (USA): 6-2
7th) Cristian POP (Romania): 6-2
8th) Ondrej SILT (Czechia): 6-2
9th) Christoph GERLACH (Germany): 6-2
10th) Yong Fei GE (Canada): 6-2.
Once again, all players with six wins secured a place. The Shizuo Asada Fighting Spirit Prize was awarded to Vesa Laatikainen of Finland, who topped the five-win group and just missed out on a prize. He defeated Chen Yu-ta of Chinese Taipei in the fifth round. The Governor of Nagasaki Prefecture's Prize went to Mladen Smud of Croatia, and the Mayor of Sasebo City's Prize went to Edgar Escobar Thompson of Panama.
China does well in 11th LG Cup
The first two rounds of the 11th LG Cup were held in Seoul on 15 and 17 May. China, which has been having an excellent year internationally, did well once again, securing four of the quarterfinal places. One went to Chinese Taipei and the other three to Korea. Japan had made a reasonable start, with three wins in the first round, but, in a repeat of the previous year's setback, its representatives were all eliminated in the second round.
Korea dominates Fujitsu Cup
The quarterfinals of the 19th Fujitsu Cup were held in Beijing on 3 June. The good form of Korea, which has monopolized victory for eight years in a row, continued and it has a good chance of taking first place again, as it has secured three of the semifinal places. The fourth place has gone to a Chinese player, Zhou Heyang, who will have to try to stem the Korean tide single-handedly.
Results of the quarterfinals
Ch'oe Ch'eol-han 9-dan (Korea) (W) defeated Yuki Satoshi 9-dan (Japan) by resig.
Zhou Heyang 9-dan (China) (B) defeated Pak Yeong-hun 9-dan (Korea) by ?.
Yi Se-tol 9-dan (Korea) (W) defeated Yi Ch'ang-ho 9-dan (Korea) by 4?.
Pak Cheong-sang 5-dan (Korea) (W) defeated Chang Hao 9-dan (China) by resig.
Semifinals (Nihon Ki-in, 1 July)
Ch'oe vs. Pak, Yi vs. Zhou.
Honinbo title match tied
At the age of 33, Yamada Kimio 9-dan is making his first challenge for a big-three title in the 61st Honinbo best-of-seven. He dropped the first game, but made a good comeback in the second to tie the series, so it is shaping up as an exciting match.
The opening game was played in Sapporo on 8 & 9 May. Taking white, Takao made a bad start on the first day, but he seized the initiative on the second day when Yamada overlooked a good move by Black. Making skilful use of his thickness to attack, Takao forced a resignation after 158 moves. The key fight in the game came in the morning of the second day, when Yamada was still a little sleepy, so he had a painful initiation into two-day go. In a one-day game, the crucial fight usually takes place in the evening. The game finished at 6:14 p.m.
The second game was played in Toba City, Mie Prefecture three weeks later, on 29 and 30 May. Yamada took revenge for his loss in the first game by killing a big group and forcing a resignation after 206 moves. The third game, scheduled for 7 and 8 June, might be crucial in deciding the direction of the match.
Game 1 (8, 9 May). Takao (W) by resignation.
Game 2 (29, 30 May). Yamada (W) by resignation.
Yoda has narrow lead in Meijin League
As of the end of May, Yoda Norimoto Gosei has a narrow lead in the 31st Meijin League.
He is on 4-2, but he is being closely pursued by three players on 3-2. They are Kobayashi Satoru 9-dan, Takao Shinji Honinbo, and Han Zenki 7-dan. At this point, the challenger looks likely to be one of these four.
Below are the results of games played since our last report.
||Kobayashi Satoru 9-dan (B) beat Yamashita Keigo Kisei by half a point.
Yoda Norimoto Gosei (B) beat Yamada Kimio 9-dan by half a point.
Imamura Toshiya 9-dan (W) beat Takao Shinji Honinbo by 6.5 points.
||Yamada Kimio 9-dan (W) beat Kobayashi Satoru 9-dan by resignation.
||Yoda Norimoto Gosei (B) beat Ko Iso 7-dan by resignation.
Han Zenki (W) beat Imamura Toshiya by resignation.
||Yamashita Keigo Kisei (B) beat Sakai Hideyuki 7-dan by resig.
||Yamashita Keigo (B) beat Ko Iso by 5.5 points.
Gosei challenger: Yamashita or Cho U
The challenger to Yoda Norimoto for the 31st Gosei title will be either Yamashita Keigo Kisei or Cho U Meijin. In the second semifinal, held on 11 May, Yamashita (W) defeated Cho Chikun Judan by resignation. In the play-off, scheduled for 8 June, Yamashita will meet Cho U Meijin, the winner of the other semifinal.
31st Kisei Leagues get under way
The 31st Kisei A and B Leagues started on the same day this year, with two games being played in the A League and one in the B League on 1 June.
In the A League, Komatsu Hideki 9-dan (B) defeated Yoda Norimoto Gosei by 2.5 points and Cho U Meijin (B) secured a resignation from Honda Kunihisa 9-dan. In the B League, Kato Atsushi 8-dan (W) defeated Kobayashi Satoru 9-dan by resignation.
Kobayashi Izumi resumes tournament play
After a five-and-a-half-month break for the birth of her first child, a daughter, Kosumi, Kobayashi Izumi resumed competitive play on 8 May. She scored a win in her return game, defeating Yoshida Mika 8-dan (W) by resignation in the 8th Strongest Woman Player tournament. Kobayashi is the current titleholder in this tournament, but it is not run by the challenger system.
To 9-dan: Imamura Yoshiaki (200 wins) (May)
To 7-dan: Tsujii Ryotaro (120 wins) (April); Ono Nobuyuki (120 wins) (May)
Kawamura Masamichi 7-dan of the Osaka branch of the Nihon Ki-in retired on 29 April.
The Redmond report
On 18 May, Michael Redmond 9-dan (W) defeated Honda Kunihisa 9-dan by resignation in the final preliminary of the 13th Agon Kiriyama Cup.
On 25 May, Michael lost a game in Preliminary A of the 32nd Meijin tournament to Sakai Takeshi 9-dan by 2.5 points.