- Kisei Tournament Individual Dan Championships
- 1st and 2nd round of the 12th Fujitsu Cup
- Ryu stays in contention in the Meijin league
- Kobayashi takes Judan title with straight wins
- Cho Sonjin to challenge for the Honinbo title
- Yoda and O Rissei share lead in the Meijin league
- Hikosaka and Cho to meet in playoff to decide Honinbo challenger
Kisei Tournament Individual Dan Championships
Many of the individual dan championships of the 24th Kisei tournament have already been decided.In the final of the 7-dan championship, played on April 22, Yamada Kimio, playing white, defeated Hane Naoki by 1.5 points and so earned the right to participate in the second stage of the Kisei, the tournament to decide the top player. Hane earned the right to play in the progressive knockout tournament that precedes the tournament to decide the top player tournament. In the 9-dan championship, two players have already won their games in the quarterfinals. They are Ota Seido and Kiyonari Tetsuya, who will join Yamada Kimio in the tournament to decide the top player.
1st and 2nd round of the 12th Fujitsu Cup
The 1st and 2nd round of the 12th World Go Championship: The Fujitsu Cup was played at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo. Sixteen players start out in the first round, and the winners join the eight seeded players in the second round (three are personal seeds * the 1st to 3rd place-getters last year * and the other five are country seeds).
The results in the first round:
Lee Sung-jae 5-dan (Korea)beat Catalin Taranu 3-dan (Europe)
Chou Chunhsun 9-dan (Chinese Taipei) beat Fernando Aguilar, amateur 6-dan (South America)
Kobayashi Satoru 9-dan (Japan) beat Ahn Choyoung 5-dan (Korea)
Jimmy Cha 4-dan (North America) beat Ishii Shinzo 9-dan (Japan)
Kato Masao 9-dan (Japan) beat Zheng Hong 9-dan (China)
Kudo Norio 9-dan (Japan) beat Seo Bong-soo 9-dan (Korea)
Wang Lei 7-dan (China) beat Muk Jin-seuk 4-dan (Korea)
Goto Shungo 9-dan (Japan) beat Yu Bin 9-dan (China)
The results in the second round:
Lee Sung-jae beat Chang Hao 8-dan (China)
Qiu Jun 4-dan (China) beat Chou Chunhsun
Kobayashi Satoru beat Cho Hoonhyun 9-dan (Korea)
Ishida Yoshio 9-dan (Japan) beat Jimmy Cha
Kato Masao beat Lee Changho 9-dan (Korea)
Ma Xiaochun 9-dan (China) beat Kudo Norio
Cho Chikun 9-dan (Japan) beat Wang Lei
Yoo Changhyuk 9-dan (Korea) beat Goto Shungo
The pairings of the third round:
Lee Sung-jae ― Kobayashi Satoru
Qiu Jun ― Cho Chikun
Ishida Yoshio ― Yoo Changhyuk
Kato Masao ― Ma Xiaochun
Ryu stays in contention in the Meijin league
Last week just one game was played in the 24th Meijin league. Ryu Shikun 7-dan defeated Sakai Maki 7-dan and so kept himself in contention. His score is now 4-1, so he has to hope for the joint leaders, Yoda Norimoto and O Rissei, both on 4-0, to slip up in the second half of the league. Ryu has already played Yoda but has till to meet O.
Sakai Maki, who earned promotion to 7-dan on April 2, is now completely out of the running with 1-4 and will be fighting to retain his place in the league.
Kobayashi takes Judan title with straight wins
The third game of the 37th Judan title match was held at the Kuroyon Royal Hotel in Omachi City, Nagano Prefecture, on April 8. Kobayashi Koichi, the challenger, had made a good start by winning th first two games, so Hikosaka Naoto, the title holder, was already faced with a kadoban. However, he was unable to get back into the match. Playing white, Kobayashi forced Hikosaka to resignaiton after 172 moves. The game ended at 8:33 pm. Kobayashi thus took the match 3-0 and won his first Judan title for 13 years.
This is his fourth Judan title overall. Hikosaka's reign as a title holder ended after just one year. Of their time allowances of five hours each, Kobayashi had 13 minutes left and Hikosaka 14.
Cho Sonjin to challenge for the Honinbo title
In the playoff to decide the challenger for the 54th Honinbo title, held at the Nagoya branch of the Nihon Ki-in on April 5, Cho Sonjin 9-dan, playing black, earned the right to challenge Cho Chikun for the Honinbo title by forcing Hikosaka Naoto Judan to resignaiton. This will be Cho Sonjin's first challenge for a title.
Cho Sonjin was born on 18 April 1970 in Korea. He is a disciple of Ando Takeo 6-dan. This will be the second Honinbo title match played between two Nihon Ki-in players born in Korea.
The first game of the title match will be played in Takigawa City, Hokkaido, on May 12 & 13.
In the playoffs to decide who would keep the fourth place in the league, Ryu Shikun 7-dan beat Ishida Akira 9-dan on April 5, but lost to Yamada Kimio 7-dan on April 8, so Yamada remains in the league. This result, with two players, Ryu and Ishida, dropping out who up until the final round were in contention for the challengership, shows just how tough the Honinbo league is. Players retaining their places: Cho Sonjin, Hikosaka, O rissei, and Yamada.
Yoda and O Rissei share lead in the Meijin league
Three Meijin-league games have been played recently. On March 29, Ryu Shikun 7-dan defeated Kobayashi Koichi 9-dan. On March 31, Yoda Norimoto Gosei defeated Kato Masao 9-dan. On April 8, O Rissei Oza defeated Takemiya Masaki 9-dan. The result is that O Rissei and Yoda share the lead on 4-0, followed by Ryu on 3-1. Kato Masao is next with 2-3. Four players are now on 1-3: Takemiya, Kobayashi Satoru 9-dan, Mimura Tomoyasu 8-dan, and Sakai Maki 7-dan (promoted on April 2). Kobayashi Koichi is on 1-2.
Hikosaka and Cho to meet in playoff to decide Honinbo challenger
All four games in the final round of the 54th Honinbo league were played on April 1. Four players went into this round tied on 4-2 and, moreover, these four were matched against each other. In Nagoya Hikosaka Naoto Judan defeated Ishida Akira 9-dan and in Tokyo Cho sonjin 9-dan defeated Ryu Shikun 7-dan. Hikosaka (aged 37) and Cho (aged 28) both ended with 5-2 and therefore will meet in the playoff, scheduled for April 5, to decide the challenger to Cho Chikun (aged 42). Whoever wins, it will be his first challenge for a big-three title.
In the other two games, both played in Tokyo, O rissei 9-dan kept his place in the league by defeating O Meien 9-dan and scoring 4-3. Yamada Kimio 7-dan also ended up with 4-3 by defeating Kobayashi Satoru 9-dan.
Both O meien and Kobayashi ended up with 1-6, so they drop out of the league. O Rissei keeps his place by virtue of his superior ranking (number one because of winning the previous league). The remaining place will be decided by a playoff among Ryu, Ishida and Yamada.