American Go E-Journal

The Power Report: Title-award ceremony for Fujisawa Rina; Ke Jie wins Chinese New Year’s tournament; 41st Kisei title match tied

Monday February 27, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2017.02.27_Fujisawa Rina

Title-award ceremony for Fujisawa Rina: On January 27, the 18-year-old Fujisawa Rina attended the ceremony for the conferral of the 35th Women’s Honinbo title, held at the Daiichi Hotel Tokyo. Our photo shows her dressed in a furisode kimono receiving a commemorative cup. Her senior Shuko disciple Takao Shinji Meijin gave a congratulatory address, and the ceremony was attended by many young players.

Ke Jie wins Chinese New Year’s tournament: The CCTV New Year’s Cup is a special tournament organized by China’s top TV channel to celebrate the Chinese New Year. The top players from China, Korea, and Japan are invited to compete for a prize of 800,000 yuan (about $116,000). Now in its fifth year, it started out as a domestic tournament but was upgraded to an international one the following year. This year it was held in Beijing from January 29 to 31. The tournament is an irregular knock-out. The players draw lots to see who plays in the first game. The third player plays the loser of that game; the winner then meets the winner of the first game in the final. To win this tournament, you have to win two games; the player drawn into the second game is the only one who, if he loses, doesn’t get another chance. The time allowance follows the NHK format (30 seconds per move, plus ten minutes of thinking time to be used in one-minute units). The tournament is 2017.02.27_41kisei3 Iyama's upsettelevised live on CCTV’s public sports channel and usually attracts an audience of 1%-plus. That may not sound like much, but it translates into ten million viewers. This year Iyama Yuta of Japan and Ke Jie of China met in the first game; taking black, Iyama won by resignation after 233 moves. In game two, Ke beat Pak Junghwan of Korea (I don’t have the details). In the final, Ke took revenge on Iyama, playing white and securing a resignation after exactly 200 moves. Iyama commented: “I was about four points ahead on the board, so I made an all-out attack, then resigned.”  This is Ke’s second successive victory.

41st Kisei title match tied: This year’s Kisei title match is proving to be a hard-fought one and it is now down to a best-of-three. The third game was played at the Yamaya Inn in Kawagoe City, Saitama Prefecture, on February 8 and 9. Kono Rin, the challenger, built a lead on the first day taking white and played thickly on the second day in an attempt to wrap up the game. However, Iyama Yuta Kisei fought on with remarkable tenacity and eventually pulled off an upset win by 1.5 points. This gave him a 2-1 lead. In a title match, you have to win your “good” games; often a failure like this could be very costly.  The fourth game was played at the Gyokushoen Inn in Izu City, Shizuoka Prefecture, on February 15 and 16. This time Kono returned the “favor,” staging an upset after Iyama had taken the lead. Iyama (white) resigned after 179 moves. The fifth game will be played on March 1 and 2.
Tomorrow: Xie defends Women’s Kisei; 42nd Meijin League; 72nd Honinbo League

Categories: Japan,John Power Report