- Kobayashi defends Tengen title
- Otake scores first win in 55th Honinbo league
- LG Cup World Championship Quarterfinals: Korea triumphs again
- Kobayashi within one win of defending Tengen title
- 55th Honinbo league: Ryu makes a good start
- Semifinalists in Kakusei tournament
- Japanese team wins 10th International Amateur Pair Go Championship
- Kobayashi starts Tengen title defence with a win
- Former Honinbo makes bad start in Honinbo league
- Hane and O Meien take remaining Meijin league places
- Japan wins Asian amateur team tournament
- Chinen takes the lead in the Women's Honinbo
- Cho Chikun makes a good start in Oza title match
- Cho Sonjin vs. Lee Chang-ho in Samsung Cup final
- Second round of Honinbo league starts
- Imamura Yoshiaki debuts in Meijin league
- Yamashita Keigo wins winners' section of Judan tournament
Kobayashi defends Tengen title
The third game of the 25th Tengen best-of-five title match was played at the Hotel Okura Fukuoka on November 18. Playing black, Kobayashi Koichi forced Kudo Norio to resignaiton after 139 moves and so defended his title with a 3-0 score. Unlike last year, when Kobayashi challenged Kudo for the title and was considered the overwhelming favourite, this year Kobayashi took nothing for granted. He played all-out and made sure that he maintained the pressure all the way through each game and scored convincing wins.
Kudo must be very disappointed with his failure to press the defending champion harder. The game ended at 5:17 pm. Kobayashi had one hour 56 minutes left of his time allowance of five hours and Kudo 43 minutes.
Otake scores first win in 55th Honinbo league
Two great veteran players, both born in May 1942, won places in the current Honinbo league: Rin Kaiho, reappearing after a two-year absence, and Otake Hideo, playing in his first Honinbo league for seven years. Rin has made a bad start, losing his first two games, but Otake, who also lost in the first round, has come good in the second. In a game played in Nagoya on November 18, Otake (black) defeated Hikosaka Naoto by resignation to level his score at 1-1. Hikosaka is also 1-1.
LG Cup World Championship Quarterfinals: Korea triumphs again
Korea has scored yet another triumph in the quarterfinals of the Korean-sponsored LG Cup World Championship, which were held at the Edmont Hotel in Tokyo on November 15, with three Korean players gaining semifinal places. Japan had done badly earlier in the tournament and had only one representative in the quarterfinals, so perhaps the results were a bigger shock for China, which saw three of its four players eliminated, including its top two, Chang Hao and Ma. Ma's half-point loss must have seemed like a nightmare, for he has lost a number of games to Lee by this margin. Once again the Koreans have shown that in international go they rule the roost. The results:
Yu Bin 9-dan (China) (white) beat O Rissei (Japan) by 3.5 points.
Lee Chang-ho 9-dan (Korea) (white) beat Ma Xiaochun 9-dan (China) by 0.5 point.
Yoo Chang-hyuk 9-dan (Korea) (white) beat Chang Hao 9-dan (China) by resignation.
Cho Hoon-hyun 9-dan (Korea) (black) beat Wang Lei (China) by resignation.
The semifinal pairings are Yu vs. Cho and Lee vs. Yoo, The games will be played in Seoul on February 10 next year.
Kobayashi within one win of defending Tengen title
The second game of the 25th Tengen title match was played at the Hotel Omoto in Asama Hot Spring, Matsumoto City, on November 11. Playing white, Kobayashi Koichi, the defending champion, defeated Kudo Norio 9-dan by 5ｽ points after 212 moves, so he needs just one more win to defend his title. As in the first game, Kobayashi managed to prevent Kudo from getting into his stride and he scored a convincing win.
The challenger is now faced with a kadoban in the third game, scheduled to be played at the Hotel Okura Fukuoka, Fukuoka City, on November 18.
55th Honinbo league: Ryu makes a good start
In the second game in the second round of the 55th Honinbo league, played at the Nihon Ki-in on November 11, Ryu Shikun, playing white, forced O Rissei to resignaiton after 176 moves. Ryu, who previously challenged for the title in 1996, has thus made a good start with two wins, while O Rissei is doing badly with two losses.
Semifinalists in Kakusei tournament
In a game played at the Nihon Ki-in on November 11, Hikosaka Naoto 9-dan (white) defeated Kataoka Satoshi 9-dan by 9ｽ points and so won a place in the semifinals. He is slated to play Kobayashi Satoru, and the other pairing is Kobayashi Koichi vs. O Rissei.
Japanese team wins 10th International Amateur Pair Go Championship
The International Amateur Pair Go Championship has celebrated the completion of its first decade by holding the biggest and most enjoyable Pair Go tournament so far. This year the tournament moved from its customary venue of the Edmont Hotel in Iidabashi, Tokyo, to the much larger Metropolitan Hotel at Ikebukuro to accommodate the large numbers of go fans who want to take part. As a special event to commemorate the 10th anniversary, a goodwill pair go match was held on November 12. Participants were the 64 players competing in the Main Tournament plus 36 other players. Players did not play with their regular partners but drew lots for partners. Among the participants were Korea's and the world's number one, Lee Chang-ho 9-dan, and China's number one, Chang Hao 9-dan, and two of Japan's top players, Kobayashi Satoru 9-dan and Ryu Shikun 7-dan, together with a number of Japanese women professionals, including Kobayashi Chizu, Hosaka Mayu, Nakazawa Ayako, Okada Yumiko, Osawa Narumi, and Kato Keiko. Some lucky amateurs drew these players as partners (professionals were not paired on the same team) and some unlucky ones were paired against them. Not really unlucky, though: how many amateurs get a chance to play Lee Chang-ho in an even game? This unique event was a lot of fun, judging by the smiling faces of the players. On the 13th, the first round of the main tournament was played. In a major and much-appreciated innovation, the Main Tournament has been changed to a Swiss system, so all the teams got to play in all five rounds of the Main Tournament. The remaining four rounds of the Main Tournament were played on the 14th, together with the three blocks of the Araki Cup pair go handicap tournament (a four-round Swiss). A total of 432 players in 216 teams participated in the Araki Cup, which surely makes it the largest-scale pair-go tournament ever. Despite the enormous numbers, the computer handling the pairings worked very efficiently and there were no delays in starting rounds. This year there were teams from 21 overseas countries and 11 teams representing different areas of Japan competing in the Main Tournament. Five countries were making their debut: Yugoslavia, Belgium, Chile, Malaysia, and Israel. The winner of the Main Tournament was the Kinki (central Honshu, including Osaka, Nara and Kyoto) area team of Goto Naoko and Taga Bungo, which scored 5-0. The decisive game came in the final round, in which they bested the only other undefeated team, Tanaka Yumiko and Komori Shoji, who represented Kyushu.
The top placings:
1. Goto/Taga (Kinki, Japan)
2. Tanaka/Komori (Kyushu, Japan)
3. Kim Se-young, Kang Shin-young (Korea)
4. Hiraoka Yuriko, Hiraoka Satoshi (Kanto Koshin-etsu, Japan)
5. Takanashi Shoko, Nagai Masayoshi (Tokai Hokuriku, Japan)
6. Shen Manrong, Du Weixin (China)
7. Nakayama Chihoko, Iizuka Atsushi (Chugoku, Japan)
8. Iwasaki Mutsumi, Iwasaki Yuichi (Kanto Koshin-etsu, Japan)
The tournament concluded with the usual lavish prizes at the party after the Awards Ceremony.
Kobayashi starts Tengen title defence with a win
Kobayashi Koichi has started the 25th Tengen best-of-five title match with a win and so made a promising start to his title defence. The first game was played at the Urakawa Yushun Village in Urakawa County, Hokkaido, on November 4. Playing black, Kobayashi forced the challenger, Kudo Norio 9-dan, to resignaiton after 243 moves. Of their time allowances of five hours each, Kobayashi had 19 minutes left and Kudo was down to the last minute of byo-yomi. In immediately becoming the challenger after losing to Kobayashi last year, Kudo has shown an unusual determination to recapture his title, but he has got off on the wrong foot. He will have to win the next game, scheduled to be played in Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture, on November 10, or he will be faced with a kadoban.
Former Honinbo makes bad start in Honinbo league
The second game in the second round of the 55th Honinbo league was played on November 4. Yamada Kimio 7-dan, who had black, defeated Rin Kaiho 9-dan by resignation and so evened his score in the league at 1-1. Rin, who has won the Honinbo title five times, has made a bad start to the league with two losses.
Hane and O Meien take remaining Meijin league places
The remaining two places in the 25th Meijin league were filled on November 4. O Meien made a comeback to the league after an absence of three years when he defeated Awaji Shuzo 9-dan in the final game in the third preliminary round. O will be playing in his fourth league. The other place was taken by a newcomer, Hane Naoki 7-dan, who defeated Sonoda Yuichi 9-dan of the Kansai Ki-in in the last game. Hane's father, Yasumasa 9-dan, played in three Meijin leagues in the early 80s: they are the first father and son to both win places in the league (no one has done it in the Honinbo league). These two players and Imamura Yoshiaki, another newcomer to the league who secured his place the previous week, will join (in order) Yoda Norimoto, Kobayashi Koichi, Ryu Shikun, O Rissei, Kato Masao, and Takemiya Masaki in the 25th league.
Japan wins Asian amateur team tournament
A new international amateur team tournament, the 1st Asia Baduk Championship, sponsored by the Korean Amateur Go Association with the support of the Korean Government Department of Culture and Tourism (the government provided 80% of the total budget), was held in Seoul from October 7 to 9. Originally six countries were invited to participate, but, for one reason or another, China, DPR China and Chinese Taipei dropped out, so the tournament was fought among five-player teams from Japan, Korea and Russia. The Russian team included two inseis at the Hanguk Kiwon, Alexander Dinerstein and Svetlana Chikchina, but it was unable to pick up a win in the tournament. The deciding match was the one between Japan and Korea, and this the Japanese won 3-2 to secure victory in the tournament. The Korean sponsors hope to expand the tournament next year by inviting other Asian countries to participate.
Chinen takes the lead in the Women's Honinbo
The third game in the 18th Women's Honinbo best-of-five title match was played on October 27 in Tokyo. The defending champion, Chinen Kaori, defeated the challenger, Kobayashi Izumi, by 10.5 points to take a 2-1 lead. She now needs just one more win to defend her title. The fourth game is scheduled for November 17.
Cho Chikun makes a good start in Oza title match
Cho Chikun is following up his triumph in the Meijin title by challenging for the 47th Oza title. The title holder is O Rissei, who has just become the Kisei challenger, so this title match is like a preliminary skirmish. The first game was held at the Four Seasons Chinzanso, a well-known restaurant with a spacious Japanese-style garden located in Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo. Playing black, Cho came out on top after a furious, large-scale centre struggle and won the game by 4.5 points. The next game is scheduled for November 18.
Cho Sonjin vs. Lee Chang-ho in Samsung Cup final
The final of the 4th Samsung Cup: The World Open Championship will be fought between Cho Sonjin Honinbo, representing Japan, and Lee Chang-ho of Korea. In the semifinals, played in Taejon, Korea, on October 28, Cho Sonjin, playing black, beat Hikosaka Naoto 9-dan (Japan) by resignation and Lee Chang-ho 9-dan (Korea), also playing black, beat Yamada Kimio 7-dan (Japan) by resignation. Cho Sonjin is playing with confidence after his triumph over Cho Chikun in the Honinbo title match. Even so, the favourite has to be Lee Chang-ho, who will be shooting for his third Samsung Cup in a row. The first game in the best-of-five final will be played at the end of November. Incidentally, the komi in this tournament is 6.5 points, the same as in the LG Cup. Apparently this is becoming the standard komi in Korea.
Second round of Honinbo league starts
The first game in the second round of the 55th Honinbo League was played at the Nihon Ki-in in Ichigaya, Tokyo, on October 28. Playing white, Cho Chikun defeated O Meien 9-dan by resignation. Since this is his second win, Cho, of course, takes the sole lead in the league. One can't help getting the impression that he is determined to get his title back from Cho Sonjin. It will be interesting to see if anyone can provide him with serious opposition in the league.
Imamura Yoshiaki debuts in Meijin league
The first of the three vacant places in the 25th Meijin league has been decided. In the playoff in the final preliminary round, Imamura Yoshiaki 8-dan of the Nagoya branch of the Nihon Ki-in defeated Kono Rin 5-dan (Imamura had white). Imamura was born on August 14, 1968, so he is now 31. This is the first notable success of his career (apart from taking first place in the top section of the Oteai in 1994).
Yamashita Keigo wins winners' section of Judan tournament
Yamashita Keigo 6-dan has not let himself be discouraged by his failure to become the Tengen challenger. In the final game of the winners' section of the 38th Judan tournament, he defeated Nakano Hironari 9-dan. Yamashita is now in the box seat, but there are some tough players left in the losers' section, including Cho Chikun, so becoming the challenger to Kobayashi Koichi Judan won't be easy. At least, however, Yamashita can take it easy for a couple of months until he sees who emerges as his opponent in the playoff between the winners' and losers' sections.