- New professionals for 1999
- Newcomers lead Honinbo league
- O Rissei on verge of taking Oza title
- Kobayashi Koichi to appear in Kisei title match after five-year gap
- Nakano defends Okan title
- Cho defends Meijin title
- Kobayashi ties the Tengen title match
- Cho one win away from defending Meijin title
- Kudo wins first game in Tengen title match
New professionals for 1999
The qualifying examination for new professional go players for 1999 was recently completed and the following six players qualified. They will make their debuts in April next year. (The photo shows Koda Akiko, on the left, and Fu Kobai playing in the Women's Special Qualifying Examination.)
Tsuruyama Atsushi (age 17): 1st in Tokyo
Kato Keiko (age 20): 2nd in Tokyo
Mitsunaga Junzo (age 24): 3rd in Tokyo
Kato Yuki (age 15): 1st in Kansai, Central Japan
Koda Akiko (age 22):1st in Women's Special Exam
Fu Kobai (age 23): 2nd in Women's Special Exam.
Kato Keiko is also a woman, so half the new professionals next year will be women.
Mitsunaga Junzo is a former university champion.
Newcomers lead Honinbo league
Every year half of the eight players of the Honinbo league change, and this year three of the newcomers are the early leaders. Ishida Akira 9-dan, Cho Sonjin 9-dan and Ryu Shikun 7-dan have all started with two wins. The two players who tied for first in the previous league have started badly, O Rissei scoring 1-2 and O Meien 0-2. However, a 5-2 score was good enough to win the league last time, so no one can be ruled out of contention yet.
O Rissei on verge of taking Oza title
With his second successive win, O Rissei is on the verge of regaining the Oza title that he lost two years ago. The second game of the 46th Oza title match was held in Kobe City on November 16. Playing white, O won by resignation after 210 moves and so needs just one more win to defeat the reigning title holder, Yamada Kimio.
Of their time allowances of five hours each, O had one hour five minutes left and Yamada one minute. The third game is scheduled for December 3.
Kobayashi Koichi to appear in Kisei title match after five-year gap
Kobayashi Koichi 9-dan has won the right to challenge the player who ended his eight-year reign in the Kisei title five years ago. In the playoff to decide the challenger, Kobayashi defeated the 1998 Kisei challenger, Yoda Norimoto Gosei, two straight (the second game was played on November 19) and so earned the right to challenge Cho Chikun Kisei. The best-of-seven title match will start in January 1999.
Nakano defends Okan title
The Crown title is a title open to members of the Central Japan (Nagoya) branch of the Nihon Ki-in. Last year Nakano Hironari 9-dan won this title for the first time. This year the challenger was Yamashiro Hiroshi 9-dan, who had held it for four years in a row before losing it to Nakano. This year's title game was held on November 18 and Nakano, playing white, forced Yamashiro to resignaiton after 176 moves.
Cho defends Meijin title
In the seventh game of the 23rd Meijin title match, the defending champion, Cho Chikun, defeated the challenger, O Rissei 9-dan, by 1 1/2 points. The game was held at the Atami Sekitei, in Atami City, Shizuoka Prefecture, on November 11 & 12, and Cho held black.
This win gave Cho a lead of four wins to O's two, with one game ending in no result, so Cho won this title for the third year in a row and the eighth time overall (equalling Kobayashi Koichi's record). Of their time allowances of eight hours each, Cho had one minute left and O one hour nine minutes.
Cho has now won the Triple Crown of go - the big three titles of Kisei, Meijin, and Honinbo - for three years in a row. For O, it was his second failure against Cho in a row in a big title match.
Kobayashi ties the Tengen title match
After a bad start, Kobayashi Koichi has drawn level in the 24th Tengen title match. The second game was played in Nagoya on November 12; playing white, Kobayashi defeated the title holder, Kudo Norio 9-dan, forcing him to resignaiton after 226 moves, so the match is now tied at 1-all.
Both players had only one minute left of their time allowances of five hours each. The third game is scheduled for December 3.
Japan wins WWAGC
The 7th Yokohama Sotetsu Cup World Women's Amateur Go Championship ended in a tie, with three players on 5-1 in this six-round Swiss. However, Yamashita Chifumi of Japan won first place thanks to a one-point lead in SOS.
The tournament was held at the Sotetsu Culture Hall in Yokohama from November 6-8, with 22 players from around the world competing.The other two players on 5-1 were Jo Sae Byol of DPR Korea, who took second place, and Kim Se Young of Korea, who came third. The other place-getters were:
4th: Zhang Yan Qi (China), 4-2
5th: Gan Siyi (Singapore), 4-2
6th: Marie-Claire Chaine (France), 4-2
7th: Susanne Saalmann (Germany), 4-2
8th: Joanne Phipps (USA), 4-2
A nice point about this year's tournament was that no one scored zero points.
Cho one win away from defending Meijin title
The sixth game of the 23rd Meijin title match was held in at the Ryuseki Inn in Ito City, Shizuoka Prefecture, on November 4 & 5. Playing black, Cho Chikun beat the challenger, O Rissei, by 3 1/2 points. This gives Cho a lead of three wins to two for O (there was one game with no result), so he needs just one more win for his third Meijin title in a row and his eighth overall.
Of their time allowances of eight hours each, Cho had one minute left and O one hour three minutes.
The seventh game will be played on November 11 & 12.
Kudo wins first game in Tengen title match
The 24th Tengen best-of-five title match (sponsored by the Three Newspaper Companies Federation) has got off to a start. Challenging the title holder, Kudo Norio, is Kobayashi Koichi, making his eighth appearance in a Tengen title match.
The first game was played at the Wakkanai ANA Hotel in Wakkanai in Hokkaido on November 5.
Playing White, Kudo Tengen won by 1 1/2 points. The next game will be played on November 12.