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History of Topics 2005

January February March April May June July August September October November December
  • Takao wins first game in Honinbo title match
  • Three-way tie for lead in Meijin league
  • Gosei challenger: Hane or Yuki
  • Tokimoto makes 9-dan
  • Korea wins 4th CSK Cup
  • Cho Chikun wins Judan title
  • Honda wins Kisei-league place
  • Japan and Korea make good starts in 4th CSK Cup
  • The Redmond report

17 May

Takao wins first game in Honinbo title match

  Takao Shinji 8-dan has made a brilliant debut in two-day go, winning the first game of the 60th Honinbo title match. Playing white, Takao defeated the titleholder, Cho U, by resignation, but only after a tense contest in which the lead changed hands a couple of times.
  The first game was played at the Temmangu Shrine in Dazaifu City on 9 and 10 May. Takao made the better start in the opening. However, Cho started a fierce fight when he plunged deep into Takao's moyo with his 43rd move. This invasion took everyone - his opponent and the pros following the game on the spot - by surprise, but Cho felt he had no choice, as he was behind. In the ensuing fight, which reached a pause with Black 89, Cho cleverly extricated his group while denying Takao the chance to set up a double attack. That gave him the lead.
  It was now Takao's turn to launch a do-or-die attack. It worked out as hoped and by 130 another upset had taken place. It took him another 100 moves to wrap up the win, however: Cho is known for his skill at creating complications in unfavourable positions and he did his best to stage another upset. More complicated fighting followed, but Takao managed to parry his attacks and hang on to his lead. Cho finally resigned after White 232.
  This is a very auspicious beginning to Takao's challenge: not only did he win his first two-day game, he also defeated Cho when the latter had black, something that has become recognized as being difficult to do. It looks like being a very interesting series.
  The second game will be played at the Bokoro hotel in Yurihama, Tottori Prefecture, where the second game of this year's Kisei title match was played, on 26 and 27 May.

Three-way tie for lead in Meijin league

  After leading all the way, Kobayashi Satoru 9-dan has slipped up in the sixth round of the 30th Meijin league. In a game played on 12 May, Kobayashi (W) lost to Yamada Kimio 8-dan by 5.5 points. On the same say, his two main rivals, Yamashita Keigo Tengen and Sakai Hideyuki 7-dan, both won their games, so they drew level with Kobayashi on 4-1 (they each had a bye in an earlier round, which is why they have played only five games).
  In the other two games, Yamashita (W) beat Yoda Norimoto Gosei by 1.5 points and Sakai (B) beat O Meien 9-dan by 3.5 points. The challenger is most likely to be one of the three players on 4-1, but, thanks to Yamada, the chances of Imamura Toshiya 9-dan, who is the only player with only two losses, have improved.

30th Meijin league (10 December 2004 to summer 2005)
Title-holder: Cho U
Rank Player/opponent YN KS IT YK OM YK CS OM SH Score
1 Yoda Norimoto - 0   0 1   1 1 0 3 - 3
2 Kobayashi Satoru 1 - 1 1   0 1     4 - 1
3 Imamura Toshiya   0 - 0   1     1 2 - 2
4 Yamashita Keigo 0 1 - 1     1   4 - 1
5 O Meien 0     0 - 1 1 1 0 3 - 3
6 Yamada Kimio   0   0 - 1   0 2 - 3
7 Cho Sonjin 0 0     0 0 - 0   0 - 5
7 Ogata Masaki 0     0 0   1 - 0 1 - 4
7 Sakai Hideyuki 1   0   1 1   1 - 4 - 1

Gosei challenger: Hane or Yuki

  The play-off to decide the challenger to Yoda Norimoto for the 30th Gosei title will feature a replay of this year's Kisei title match. Hane Naoki had already reached the final, and on 12 May Yuki Satoshi 9-dan (W) defeated Cho Chikun, 25th Honinbo, by resignation in the other semifinal.
  Yuki's recent results show that he has got over the disappointment of his Kisei loss-he was the only Japanese player to win all three of his games in the CSK Cup and he is doing well in other tournaments, besides the Gosei.
  The play-off will be held on 9 June.

Tokimoto makes 9-dan

  Tokimoto Hajime has become the first player to earn promotion to 9-dan under the new cumulative-wins promotion system at the Nihon Ki-in. The condition is winning 200 games as 8-dan, and it took Tokimoto 20 years.

10 May

Korea wins 4th CSK Cup

  Korea has scored its second victory in the CSK Cup, but this one came by a very narrow margin in what the most closely contested to date of these team tournaments. Three teams, Korea, Japan and China, scored two victories, and of these the first two both scored ten wins (out of a possible 15). According to the rules, the tie was broken by comparing the scores of the players on board one. Korea prevailed, as it won on the top board in each match (two wins by Yi Se-tol and one by Yi Ch'ang-ho), whereas Yamashita suffered his only loss when he was playing on the top board. Although this was a very disappointing result for Japan, it's not one to be ashamed of, especially compared to its bottom place last year.
  As the detailed results given below show, Japan made an excellent start, defeating last year's champion China 4-1, but then it lost by the same score to Korea in the second round. It made a comeback in the final round by shutting out Chinese Taipei, while China helped out by topping Korea. However, the two wins the home side picked up in this match were enough for it to scrape home.
  The Korean team won 20 million yen for its efforts. Japan had to be content with ten million yen. China, which won two matches and eight games, took the third prize of six million yen. The Chinese Taipei team, which failed to win a match despite its line-up of Nihon Ki-in stars, including the current Japanese number one Cho U, managed to win only two games; however, it still got a prize of four million yen.
  Next year the tournament will be held in Beppu in Kyushu and an increase in the prize money has been promised by the sponsor, the CSK corporation, which was very pleased with the success of the first tournament held outside its Okinawan home.

Full results:

Round One (1 May)
  Japan vs. China: 4-1
  Yoda Norimoto 9-dan (W) beat Gu Li 7-dan by resig.
  Yamashita Keigo 9-dan (B) beat Zhou Heyang 9-dan by resig.
  Hane Naoki 9-dan (W) beat Kong Jie 7-dan by 2.5 points.
  Yuki Satoshi 9-dan (B) beat Hu Yaoyu 7-dan by resig.
  Takao Shinji 8-dan (W) lost to Wang Lei 8-dan by 5.5.

Korea vs. Chinese Taipei: 4-1
  Yi Se-tol 9-dan (W) beat O Rissei 9-dan by resig.
  Yi Ch'ang-ho 9-dan (B) beat Rin Kaiho 9-dan by 2.5.
  Ch'oe Ch'eol-han 9-dan (W) beat O Meien 9-dan by 5.5.
  Pak Yeong-hun 9-dan (B) beat Zhou Junxun 9-dan by 1.5.
  Kim Seong-ryong 9-dan (W) lost to Cho U 9-dan by resig.

Round 2 (2 May)
  Korea vs. Japan: 4-1
  Yi Ch'ang-ho (B) beat Yamashita by 7.5.
  Yi Se-tol (W) beat Hane by resig.
  Pak (B) beat Takao by 3.5.
  Kim (W) lost to Yuki by resig.
  Ch'oe (B) beat Yoda by 4.5.

China vs. Chinese Taipei: 4-1
  Gu (W) beat Cho by resig.
  Zhou (B) beat O Rissei by 0.5.
  Kong (W) lost to Rin by resig.
  Hu (B) beat O Meien by resig.
  Wang (W) beat Zhou by resig.

Round 3 (3 May)
  Japan vs. Chinese Taipei: 5-0
  Yuki (B) beat Rin by 5.5.
  Hane (W) beat O Rissei by 1.5.
  Yoda (B) beat Cho by resig,
  Yamashita (W) beat O Meien by resig.
  Takao (B) beat Zhou by resig.

China vs. Korea: 3-2
  Gu (B) lost to Yi Se-tol by 2.5.
  Zhou (W) beat Yi Ch'ang-ho by resig.
  Hu (B) beat Kim by 2.5.
  Kong (W) beat Pak by resig.
  Wang (B) lost to Ch'oe by resig.

02 May

Cho Chikun wins Judan title

  Cho Chikun has won his 68th title, taking the Judan from O Rissei by a 3-2 margin. O missed out on his chance to become the first player to qualify for the Honorary Judan title by winning it five years in a row.
  The fifth game of the 43rd title match was held in the special (Western-style) playing room on the 7th floor of the Nihon Ki-in in Ichigaya, Tokyo, on 27 April. Playing black, Cho won by 5.5 points after 296 moves.
  This victory puts an end to an unusual blank in Cho's career of two years four months in which he didn't hold a title. By winning the Judan title for the fourth time, he further extends his record for most titles won.

Honda wins Kisei-league place

  The fourth and final vacancy in the upcoming 30th Kisei leagues has been taken by Honda Kunihisa 9-dan of the Kansai Ki-in. In the play-off, Honda (B) defeated Morita Michihiro 9-dan by resignation.

Japan and Korea make good starts in 4th CSK Cup

  The Okinawan-sponsored international team tournament the CSK Cup has moved to Seoul this year. So far, Korea, Japan and China have won this tournament once each, so it should be Taiwan's turn this year. However, it suffered a 1-4 loss to Korea in the first round, so its chances don't look good. Likewise, China's chances of repeating as champion, since it lost by the same margin to Japan.
  The tournament continues on 2 and 3 May. We will give full details of all rounds in our next report.

The Redmond report

  Michael Redmond 9-dan (B) defeated Ri Ishu 1-dan by resignation (Preliminary B, Tengen tournament).

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