- Yoda takes 2-0 lead in Meijin title match
- Ishida extends lead in Kisei B league
- Inori to challenge for Women's Honinbo
- Shinjin-O title match starts
- Ryu to challenge for Tengen
- Amateurs in the Meijin tournament
- Kanazawa becomes WAGC representative
- Westerners at the Nihon Ki-in
- Awaji wins Kisei A league
- 5th Samsung Cup
- esterners at the Nihon Ki-in
- Kansai Ki-in celebrates 50th anniversary
- Most wins
- Yoda wins first game of Meijin title match
- 5th Samsung Cup
- Ing Cup Semifinal details
- Details of 1st Chinese Eastern Cup
- Kisei leagues
- Yoda reaches Judan semifinal
- Takao wins 9th Ryusei tournament
- New face wins Amateur Honinbo championship
- Westerners at the Nihon Ki-in
- Fujitsu Cup update
- Death of Koyama Shizuo
Yoda takes 2-0 lead in Meijin title match
Yoda Norimoto 9-dan has raced to an early lead in the 25th Meijin title match. In the second game, played on 20 and 21 September, Yoda, playing white, defeated the defending champion, Cho Chikun, forcing him to resignaiton after 236 moves. The game was played in Kita Kyushu City and ended at 6:53 p.m. on the second day.
Yoda now seems to have an excellent chance of winning his first big-three title. The third game will be played on 27 and 28 September.
Ishida extends lead in Kisei B league
A crucial game in the Kisei B league was played at the Nihon Ki-in on 21 September between the league leader and one of two players in second place. Playing black, Ishida Yoshio 9-dan defeated Cho U 6-dan by 2.5 points. That extended Ishida's perfect record to 4-0, while Cho fell back to 2-2 and so dropped out of the running.
The only player who can stop Ishida from winning the league is Cho Sonjin, who is on 2-1. To do so, he has to defeat both Ishida and Hikosaka Naoto. There would therefore seem to be more pressure on him than on Ishida, but Ishida is also in a tough position. If he were to lose to Cho and end in a 4-1 tie, Cho would win the league, as he is ranked higher.
Inori to challenge for Women's Honinbo
The play-off to decide the challenger to Chinen Kaori for the 19th Women's Honinbo title was held at the Kansai Ki-in on 13 September. Playing black, Inori Yoko 5-dan came from behind to defeat Yoshida Mika 7-dan of the Kansai Ki-in. The winning margin was 3.5 points.
Yoshida had built up an overwhelming lead during the fuseki and early middle game, but Inori fought on tenaciously and pulled off an upset win.
This will be Inori's first challenge for the Women's Honinbo title. The first game in the best-of-five title match will be played on the island of Miyakojima in Okinawa on 11 October.
Shinjin-O title match starts
The 25th Shinjin-O (king of the new stars) title match features a clash between the same two players as last year, Yamashita Keigo and Hane Naoki. However, these two players have grown considerably in stature since then, with Yamashita now a title holder and Hane having taking third place in the Meijin league.
The first game was played on 18 September, and Yamashita (white) won by resignation. The second game is scheduled for 27 September. Hane will have to win it if he is to avoid a repeat of last year's result, when he lost the title match 0-2.
Ryu to challenge for Tengen
The play-off to decide the challenger for the 26th Tengen title was held on 21 September at the Nihon Ki-in. Playing black, Ryu Shikun 7-dan defeated Cho Sonjin 9-dan by 5.5 points. Ryu will therefore challenge Kobayashi Koichi Tengen, against whom he has a career lead of 10 wins to 8 losses.
Ryu has done well in the Tengen title in the past: he held the title for three years in a row from 1994 to 1996. The first game of the title match will be played on 9 November.
Amateurs in the Meijin tournament
To commemorate the 40th year of the Amateur Best Ten tournament, the Asahi Newspaper invited the top five place-getters this year to play in the first preliminary round of the 27th Meijin tournament. This is only the second Japanese professional tournament to admit amateurs (the Agon Kiriyama Cup does so on a permanent basis).
Three of the amateur players made their debuts last week. The only player to score a win was Nakazono Seizo, who, holding black, defeated Kim En 2-dan by 1.5 points. Harada Minoru (B) lost by 4.5 points to Tsutsui Katsumi 4-dan and Ito Akio (B) lost to Chinen Kaori, also by 4.5 points
Kanazawa becomes WAGC representative
A new face will represent Japan in the 24th World Amateur Go Championship, to be held in Hyuga City in June next year. The final rounds of the tournament, in which the 55 winners of regional qualifying tournaments joined the eight seeded players, was held at the Nihon Ki-in from 16 to 18 September. The winner was Kanazawa Moriei, who has been one of the top amateur players for the last two decades. Incidentally, this year's WAGC winner, Sakai Hideyuki, sat out the tournament, as he will be too busy with his medical studies next year to play in the WAGC.
Westerners at the Nihon Ki-in
Western members of the Nihon Ki-in played two games last week, with mixed results. Playing in a preliminary round of the Gosei tournament, Michael Redmond 8-dan (B) lost to Kono Takashi 6-dan by resignation. The other game was in the Oteai, where Hans Pietsch 3-dan, playing white, defeated Nakamura Kuniko 1-dan by resignation.
There has been just one promotion recently in the Oteai. Sasaki Tsuyoshi won promotion to 4-dan.
Awaji wins Kisei A league
Two games were played in the A league of the 25th Kisei tournament on 14 September, including what turned out to be the decisive game of the league. Playing white, Awaji Shuzo 9-dan defeated Cho Chikun Meijin by half a point. That took Awaji to 4-0, keeping him in the undisputed lead, while Cho fell to 2-2, putting him out of the running.
In the other game, Ryu Shikun 7-dan (white) beat Imamura Toshiya 9-dan of the Kansai Ki-in by the same margin, half a point. That took Ryu to 3-1, so he is in second place.
Awaji has to play Yo Kagen (0-4) in his final game. However, one of the rules of the Kisei league is that there is no play-off in case of a tie: the higher-ranked player takes precedence. That means that Awaji, ranked number two after Cho Chikun, has already won the league regardless of the result of his final game, so he will proceed to the one-game play-off between the leagues.
In the other league, Ishida Yoshio has the lead with 3-0, but Cho Sonjin (2-1), who hasn't yet played Ishida, and Cho U (also on 2-1), are still in the running.
5th Samsung Cup
We have some results for the second round of the Samsung Cup, though we still haven't seen a full tournament table.
Yang Jae-ho 9-dan (Korea) (W) defeated Yokota Shigeaki 9-dan (Japan) by resignation, Yamada Kimio 8-dan (Japan) (B) defeated Park 1-dan (Korea), Cho Hun-hyun 9-dan (Korea) (W) defeated Ko Mosei 8-dan (Japan) by resignation.
Other results in the second round (full details not available): Seo bong-soo 9-dan (Korea) defeated Chang Hao 9-dan (China), Rui Naiwei 9-dan (Korea) defeated Lee Se-dol 3-dan (Korea), Kang 4-dan (Korea) defeated Choi Myung-hun 7-dan (Korea), Yoo Chang-hyuk 9-dan (Korea) defeated Kim 1-dan (Korea)
Westerners at the Nihon Ki-in
Western professionals played two games on 6 September last week in the Oteai. Hans Pietsch 3-dan (W) defeated Nakayama Kaoru 2-dan by resignation. Catalin Taranu 4-dan (W) lost to Inagaki Yo 3-dan by resignation.
To 6-dan: Shimojima Yohei
To 3-dan: Katsura Atsushi
Kansai Ki-in celebrates 50th anniversary
A large-scale party, attended by 550 guests, was held in Osaka on 1 September to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Kansai Ki-in and was attended by all its members, who now number 120. Symbolizing the recent spirit of friendship and cooperation, the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Nihon Ki-in, Imanaka Akio, attended the party and gave an address. Toshimitsu Matsuo, the Nihon Ki-in Chairman, had to attend the Honinbo Inauguration Party in Tokyo on the same day, but earlier, in July, he had made a visit to the Kansai Ki-in, the first-ever such visit since Hashimoto Utaro and other leading Kansai players split away from the Nihon Ki-in and declared their independence on 2 September 1950. The hostility between the two bodies has long been consigned to history, and now there is a high degree of cooperation between the Kansai Ki-in and the Osaka branch of the Nihon Ki-in (joint training sessions for insei, for example). On the occasion of his visit, Mr. Toshimitsu had pledged to cooperate further with the Kansai Ki-in in popularizing go and in raising the level of Japanese go in this age of internationalization.
The highlight of the party was a talk by Go Seigen, who reminisced about scenes from go history that he had shared with Hashimoto Utaro, a fellow disciple of Segoe Kensaku.
The leading game winners (over 4-dan), as of 7 September, are:
1. Yamashita Keigo 6-dan: 38-12
2. Hane Naoki 8-dan: 36-14
3. Takao Shinji 7-dan: 34-9
4. Cho U 6-dan: 30-6-1 jigo
5. Ryu Shikun 7-dan: 28-18
6. Kono Rin: 5-dan: 27-8
7. O Meien Honinbo: 26-13
8. Han Zenki 5-dan: 25-6
9. Yamada Kimio 8-dan: 24-9
10. Sakai Maki 7-dan: 23-6
Yamashiro Hiroshi 9-dan: 23-8
Yoda Norimoto 9-dan: 23-9
Yoda wins first game of Meijin title match
Yoda Norimoto has made a good start in his challenge for the 25th Meijin title. In the first game, held in Amsterdam on 6 and 7 September, Yoda, playing black, defeated Cho Chikun by resignation. In the late middle game, Cho seemed to have a slight edge (Ishida Yoshio predicted on TV that he would win by the komi; however, Kato Masao disagreed), but Yoda launched a bold attack and landed a punch. We will have to wait for published commentaries to find out the true state of affairs. Yoda, an optimist about positional judgement, probably believed he was always ahead.
Last year Yoda publicly proclaimed that he would take the Meijin title from Cho, but was able to win only one game in the title match. This year he was at first more circumspect, but at the party held in Amsterdam he vowed to win the first game and was as good as his word.
The second game will be played in Kita Kyushu City on 20 and 21 September.
5th Samsung Cup
The first two rounds in the main tournament of the 5th Samsung Cup were held in Korea last week. We do not have full details, but we can give the results of the Japanese representatives.
Round 1 (30 August). Yokota Shigeaki 9-dan (Kansai Ki-in) (W) beat Yang 5-dan (Korea) by resig, Lee Chang-ho (Korea) (B) beat Nakano Hironari 9-dan by resig., Zhou Heyang 8-dan (China) (B) beat Hikosaka Naoto 9-dan by 1.5 points, Ko Mosei 8-dan (Japan) (W) beat Lee 4-dan (Korea) by half a point, Yamada Kimio (W) beat Yan (?) 3-dan (Korea) by 2.5 points, Cho Hun-hyun 9-dan (Korea) (W) beat Kobayashi Satoru 9-dan (Japan) by resignation, Choi Myung-hun 7-dan (Korea) (B) beat Cho Chikun 9-dan by 1.5 points, Yoo Chang-hyuk 9-dan (Korea) (W) beat Ryu Shikun 7-dan by 10.5 points, Park 1-dan (Korea) (B) beat Cho Sonjin 9-dan by 2.5 points. (Apparently Park was one of three Korean 1-dans who qualified for the main tournament.)
We do not yet have full details for the second round, but we do know the outcome of the most interesting encounter, between Lee Chang-ho and Zhou Heyang of China, who scored a surprise win over Lee in this year's Fujitsu Cup. Lee was probably looking for revenge, but Zhou did it again, eliminating Lee from this Korean-sponsored tournament.
Ing Cup Semifinal details
Here are some supplementary details to add to our recent report on the Ing Cup. The actual results of the games in the semifinals were as follows:
Lee Chang-ho vs. Yu Bin
Game 1 (22 August). Lee (W) won by 4.5 points.
Game 2 (24 August). Lee (B) won by resignation.
Chang Hao vs. O Meien
Game 1 (22 August). Chang (B) won by resignation.
Game 2 (24 August). O (B) won by 2.5 points.
Game 3 (26 August). Chang (B) won by resignation.
Discussing the match on TV in Japan, O Meien was not downcast by his defeat; instead, he said that the match, played under such different conditions from Japanese title matches, was a lot of fun. He also said that the usually poker-faced Lee Chang-ho was showing the most fighting spirit he had ever seen in him. O believes that Lee is more determined than usual to win, as that would be a nice way to round off the 20th century for Korean go, with Korean players winning all four of the Ing Cups (Cho Hun-hyun the first, Seo Bong-soo the second, and Yoo Chang-hyuk the third).
Details of 1st Chinese Eastern Cup
Here are the promised details of the new women's world championship the Chinese Eastern Cup, sponsored by the airline company of that name. Unfortunately, many of the names are unfamiliar to us, so we can give only the surname in some cases. The tournament was played in Shanghai from 18 to 22 August.
Round 1. Svetlana Chikchina (Russia) beat Nancy Kim 1-dan (USA), Xu Ying 3-dan (China) beat Diana Koszegi (Hungary), Li Chunhua 4-dan (China) beat Lee (Korea), Hua Xueming 7-dan (China) beat Shinkai Hiroko 5-dan (Japan), Park (Korea) beat Ye Gui 5-dan (China), Zhang Xuan 8-dan (China) beat Zhang (Chinese Taipei), Kobayashi Izumi 4-dan (Japan) beat Ogawa Tomoko 6-dan (Japan), Rui Naiwei 9-dan (Korea) beat Feng Yun 9-dan (China).
Round 2. Xu beat Chikchina, Li beat Hua, Park beat Zhang, Rui beat Kobayashi.
Semifinals. Xu beat Li, Rui beat Park.
Final. Rui beat Xu 2-0.
As can be seen from the pairings, games between players from the same country in the early rounds are not avoided, which is unusual in an international tournament. The other distinctive feature of this tournament is the time limit: 70 minutes, with no byo-yomi. The tournament is broadcast on TV, so the time limit is set to ensure that the game will fit into the allotted time for the program.
Rui's first prize is 90,000 yuan (equivalent to 1,160,000 yen or a little over $11,000).
Two games were played on 7 September, one in each league. Neither of them affected the lead.
A league) Ishida Atsushi (W) defeated Yo Kagen by resignation.
B league) Cho Sonjin (W) defeated Hasegawa Sunao by 4.5 points.
Ishida's score is now 2-2; on 0-4, Yo Kagen has lost all hope of retaining his league place. In the other league, Cho Sonjin goes to 2-1, so he is now waiting for the league leader, Ishida Yoshio on 3-0, to stumble. Hasegawa is 0-3.
Yoda reaches Judan semifinal
Yoda Norimoto is the first player to reach the semifinal of the winners' section of the 39th Judan tournament. In a game played on 31 August, Yoda (B) defeated Hane Naoki by 1.5 points. The other side of this section is progressing slowly. Takemiya will play Rin Kaiho for the other semifinal place.
Takao wins 9th Ryusei tournament
Takao Shinji 7-dan has won his first unrestricted title. In the final of the 9th Ryusei tournament, he defeated Takagi Shoichi 9-dan by resignation (Takao had black).
New face wins Amateur Honinbo championship
A new face, Iwai Ryuichi, has won the 46th Amateur Honinbo tournament. Iwai defeated Samejima Ichiro by 4.5 points in the final. Iwai is the first native of Okayama Prefecture to win this title. The tournament was held at the Nihon Ki-in from 25 to 27 August.
Westerners at the Nihon Ki-in
Because of holidays (one taken by Go Weekly, the other by this writer), we are a little behind with this item. Relatively few games were played by the Western members of the Nihon Ki-in in August, but, anyway, here is an update.
Michael Redmond: (10 August) lost by 3.5 points to Mizogami Tomochika 6-dan (Tengen 2nd preliminary round).
Hans Pietsch: (23 August) lost to Mochizuki Kenichi 1-dan (Honinbo first preliminary round); (28 August) lost to Tsuruyama Atsushi 3-dan (B) by resignation (first preliminary round, Fujitsu Qualifying); (30 August) defeated Yoshida Yoichi 5-dan (W) (Oteai).
To 6-dan: Kim Sujun (born in Korea and a disciple of Cho Chikun)
To 2-dan: Rin Kanketsu (born in Taiwan)
Fujitsu Cup update
In our report on the play-off for 3rd place in the Fujitsu Cup, we didn't have the details of the game. Here they are. Playing white, Mok 5-dan of Korea beat Kobayashi Satoru 9-dan of Japan by half a point.
Death of Koyama Yasuo
Koyama Yasuo 9-dan, a member of the Kansai Ki-in, died of a lymphatic tumour on 5 September. He was 63 years old.
Born on 27 April 1937 in Okayama Prefecture, Koyama was a disciple of Sekiyama Riichi 9-dan. He became 1-dan in 1951 and reached 9-dan in 1971. He twice took first place in the Kansai Ki-in rating tournament and won the Kansai Ki-in Number One Position title in 1962. Besides being a go player, he was also a successful businessman.