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History of Topics 2009

January February March April May June July August September October November December
  • Kang Tong-yun wins Fujitsu Cup
  • Kono wins 2nd Japan-Taiwan Young Stars
  • Hane defends Honinbo title
  • Cho defends Gosei title
  • Iyama wins 34th Meijin League
  • Kisei leagues
  • Kono reaches 35th Tengen final
  • 57th Oza tournament
  • Judan tournament
  • Aoki vs. Ishii in Women's Honinbo play-off
  • Promotion
  • The Michael Redmond report
  • Most wins
  • Awaji Shuzo scores 900 wins

23 July

International news

Kang Tong-yun wins Fujitsu Cup

  Another young Korean star has won his first international title. The 20-year-old Kang Tong-yun followed up his success in taking the individual Gold Medal in the World Mind Sports Games last October by defeating his fellow countryman Yi Ch'ang-ho in the final of the 22nd Fujitsu Cup. After the semifinals, the restoration of Korean supremacy in this tournament was already guaranteed - apart from Gu Li's win last year, Korea has won the cup every year since 1998. The player who did more than anyone else to put Korea at the top of the tree in international go, the 33-year-old Yi Ch'ang-ho, will be a little disappointed, however, as it is his third second place in a row. It is also his third second place in an international tournament this year.

Semifinal (4 July, Tokyo)

  Yi Ch'ang-ho 9-dan (Korea) (B) defeated Chang Hao 9-dan (China) by 4 1/2.
  Kang Tong-yun 9-dan (Korea) (W) d. Pak Yeong-hun 9-dan (Korea) by resig.

Final (6 July, Tokyo)
  Kang (W) d. Yi by 2 1/2.
  Play-off for 3rd place (6 July, Tokyo)
  Pak (B) d. Chang by resig.

Kono wins 2nd Japan-Taiwan Young Stars

  This is an unofficial tournament organized by the Haifeng Qiyuan, a Taiwanese go club which presumably has a connection with Rin Kaiho ('Haifeng ' is the Chinese pronunciation of Kaiho). The aim is to provide international experience for young Taiwanese professionals. In practice, five of the eight Nihon Ki-in players taking part have been of mainland Chinese or Taiwanese origin both this time and in the inaugural tournament. The format is a four-round knock-out and it was held on 20 and 21 June.
  In the first tournament, So Yokoku (born in Guangzhou, China) of the Nihon Ki-in defeated Iyama Yuta in the final. In the second, Chen Shiyuan 8-dan, a top Taiwanese player, reached the final, but he lost to Kono Rin 9-dan.

International Tournaments

Hane defends Honinbo title

  After Hane Naoki Honinbo took a 3-1 lead in the 64th Honinbo title match, Takao Shinji 9-dan, the previous holder of this title, resisted strongly with his back to the wall and saved his first kadoban (a game that could lose a series) in the fifth game. However, Hane bounced back to take the sixth game and defend his title.
  The fourth game was played at the Todaya inn, Toba City, Mie Prefecture on 18 and 19 June.
  Takao, playing white, seemed to have the lead in the middle game, but Hane made a tenacious counterattack and secured a win by 6.5 points. That gave Hane a 3-1 lead and put him within sight of his first Honinbo defence. Takao's challenge was in trouble.
  The fifth game was held at the Nakaya Annexe Fudokaku in Shirabu Hot Spring, Yonezawa City, Yamagata Prefecture on 29 and 30 June. Hane played dubiously in settling a group in the middle game, which let Takao seize the initiative. Hane made a counterattack, but Takao played strongly and settled the issue. Hane resigned after 167 moves, and Takao had survived his first kadoban.
  The sixth game was held at the Gyokeikan hotel in Choshi City, Chiba Prefecture on 15 and 16 July. Playing black, Hane fell a little behind in the opening, but he fought strongly in the decisive battle. Later, he took advantage of a slack move by Takao, and took the lead in the endgame. The game ended after 276 moves, and Hane won by 5.5 points. This win gave him the match and completed his first defence of the title he won from Takao last year.
  First prize is 32 million yen.

Full results: Game 1 (13, 14 May). Hane (W) by 2.5 points.
Game 2 (27, 28 May). Takao (W) by resig.
Game 3 (10, 11 June). Hane (W) by resig.
Game 4 (18, 19 June). Hane (B) by 6.5 points.
Game 5 (29, 30 June). Takao (B) by resig.
Game 6 (15, 16 July). Hane (B) by 5.5 points.

Cho defends Gosei title

  Except for two big title matches, the Kisei and Honinbo, the Japanese go world at present revolves around one person, Cho U, and the big question is whether he can maintain his position as a quintuple titleholder (perhaps fortunately for the holders of the two titles mentioned above, he was not involved in the title matches). The first two tests for Cho are the 34th Gosei title match and the upcoming Meijin title match, in which Iyama Yuta will make another attempt to storm his citadel.Cho has already passed the first test.
  Once the 34th Gosei best-of-five, Cho seemed to be in top form. The first game was held in the Yugen room, the top playing room, at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo, on 26 June. Playing black, Cho developed rapidly in typical style, took the lead and wrapped up the game after 143 moves.
  The second game was held at the Culture Hall Forte in the town of Nonoichi in Ishikawa Prefecture on 10 July. This time, Yuki took the lead in the opening, but Cho made a successful counterattack featuring a ko and staged an upset. He then quashed Yuki's attempt to stage a second upset. The game concluded after 242 moves with Cho winning by 13.5 points.
  The third game, played at the Nagaoka Grand Hotel in Nagaoka City, Niigata Prefecture, on 21 July, was much closer, but Cho with black is very hard to beat. He edged Yuki by 1.5 points to win his 29th title.

Game 1 (26 June). Cho (B) by resig.
Game 2 (10 July). Cho (W) by 13.5 points.
Game 3 (21 July). Cho (B) by 1.5 points.

Iyama wins 34th Meijin League

  Iyama Yuta 8-dan gets a chance to have another crack at Cho U's Meijin title. On 2 July, he remained undefeated by beating Kobayashi Satoru 9-dan; although there's still a round to play, his closest rivals already have two losses, so no one can catch him.
  The title match begins on 3 September.

Recent results:
(2 July)   Iyama Yuta 8-dan (B) beat Kobayashi Satoru 9-dan by resignation.
  Sakai Hideyuki 7-dan (W) beat Cho Riyu 7-dan by resignation.
(9 July)   25h Honinbo Chikun (W) beat O Meien 9-dan by resignation.

Kisei leagues

  Only 11 games have been played so far in the two leagues, so it's too early to make any predictions. Cho U is leading the B League after the top-ranked Iyama Yuta stumbled in the first round. Recent results are given below.

A League (25 June) Takao Shinji 9-dan (W) beat Ri Ishu 7-dan by resignation.
(2 July) Yoda Norimoto 9-dan (B) beat Ri Ishu 7-dan by resignation.
B League (2 July) Cho U Meijin (B) beat 25th Honinbo Chikun by resignation.
Akiyama Jiro 8-dan (W) beat Miyazawa Goro 9-dan by 2.5 points.
(A League) (9 July) Kiyonari Tetsuya 9-dan (W) beat Takao Shinji 9-dan by half a point.
(B League) (9 July) Iyama Yuta 8-dan (B) beat Kono Rin 9-dan by resignation.

Kono reaches 35th Tengen final

  The first of the semifinals in this year's Tengen tournament was held on 2 July. Kono Rin demonstrated the strength of his attachment to this title by defeating Kim Shujun 8-dan (W) by 16.5 points.
  The undecided semifinal place went to Yamashita Keigo Kisei, who defeated Yukawa Mitsuhisa 9-dan (W) by resignation on 25 June. The winner of the game between Yamashita and Takao Shinji will meet Kono Rin in the final.

DATE: mm/dd
The 35th Tengen Challenger's Tournament
Player 1st 2nd Q-Final S-Final Final
Su Yaoguo Anzai
Anzai Nobuaki
Imamura Toshiya
Yamashita Keigo Yamashita
Yuki Satoshi
Hikosaka Naoto Hikosaka
Yamada Kimio
Yukawa Mitsuhisa Yukawa
Takemiya Masaki
Kobayashi Satoru Kobayashi
Nakano Yasuhiro
Huang Yih Tzuu Kurahashi
Kurahashi Masayuki
Takao Shinji Takao
Ogaki Yusaku
Wang Ming Wan Wang
Cho Chi Hun
Ishii Shinzo Kono
Kono Rin
Akiyama Jiro Ogata
Ogata Masaki
Lin Tzu Yuan Nakamura
Nakamura Shinya
Yanagisawa Satoshi Kiyonari
Kiyonari Tetsuya
Kuwabara Yoko Wang
Wang Li Chen
Iyama Yuta Hane
Hane Naoki
Koto Keiko Kim
Kim Soo Joon
Nakane Naoyuki Nakane
Otake Hideo Otake
Tsuruyama Atsushi

57th Oza tournament

  The final four have been decided, and the pairings are Kono Rin vs. Yamada Kimio and Yoda Norimoto vs. Yamamori Tadanao 5-dan.

Judan tournament

  Akiyama Jiro 8-dan is the first player to reach the semifinals of the Winners' Section of the 48th Judan tournament. In a quarterfinal game played on 16 July, Akiyama (W) beat Shuto Shun 6-dan by resignation.

Aoki vs. Ishii in Women's Honinbo play-off

  The first player to reach the final of the 28th Women's Honinbo was Ishii Akane 1-dan of the Kansai Ki-in, who seems to be enjoying the best form of her short career of just over two years. Playing white, she beat Kobayashi Izumi 6-dan in a semifinal held on 18 June. Ishii became a professional in 2007 at the age of 24.
  She is joined in the play-off to decide the challenger to Xie Yimin by the veteran Aoki Kikuyo 8-dan, who beat Mukai Kaori 2-dan (W) in the second semifinal, held on 25 June.


To 2-dan: Teryama Reiji (30 wins)

The Michael Redmond report

(18 June)   Redmond (W) beat Anzai Nobuaki 6-dan by resignation.
  (Preliminary C, 58th Oza tournament)
(25 June)   Redmond (B) beat Tokimoto Hajime 9-dan by resignation.
  (Preliminary B, 36th Tengen tournament)
(9 July)   Redmond (W) beat Kanda Ei 9-dan by resignation.
  (Preliminary B, 58th Oza tournament)
(16 July)   Xie Yimin Women's Honinbo (W) beat Redmond by 3.5 points.
  (Preliminary B, 35th Kisei Tournament)

Most wins

  At just a couple of weeks past the halfway point for the year, the most winning player in Japan is, as usual, Iyama Yuta 8-dan. A list of the top 12 is given below

1. Iyama Yuta 8-dan: 26 wins 10 losses
2. Kono Rin 9-dan: 21-9
3. Cho U Meijin: 20-6; Takao Shnji 9-dan: 20-18
5. Shuto Shun 6-dan: 18-4; Ri Ishu 7-dan: 18-5; Shida Tatsuya 2-dan: 18-6; Yamashita Keigo Kisei, So Yokoku 8-dan: 18-10
10. Hane Yasumasa 9-dan: 16-6; O Rissei 9-dan: 16-7: Yoda Norimoto 9-dan: 16-11

  Cho U is sitting on an unbroken winning streak of 13. Mimura Tomoyasu 9-dan had a 15-game streak that stopped on 25 June.

Awaji Shuzo scores 900 wins

  On 9 July, Awaji Shuzo 9-dan scored his 900th win as a professional. He is the 17th player at the Nihon Ki-in to reach this landmark. He had 528 losses and 3 jigos for a winning percentage of 62.9.

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