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The Power Report (3): Fujii Sota sets new record

Wednesday July 19, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal«Šû^‘΋ǂðU‚è•Ô‚é“¡ˆäŽl’i‚

Fujii Sota sets new record
In my report at the end of May, I took the liberty of writing about a shogi debutant who was making waves. First he set a record by becoming the youngest player, at 14 years two months, to qualify as a shogi professional. That earned him some attention in the media, but the attention became a media frenzy when he started playing games and didn’t lose. I wrote the previous report when he reached 19 successive wins, the seventh-best in shogi. On June 28, he matched the previous record of 28, set in 1987, then on June 29 he broke it, scoring his 29th win over the only other teenaged shogi professional, Masuda Yashiro 4P (aged 19), who won the King of the New Stars title last year. By this time, the media had become obsessed with Fujii. A hundred reporters turned up at the Shogi Hall to see the above-mentioned games start. Throughout the day (both games lasted over 11 hours), TV provided a stream of updates. The game was the lead-off item on news programs, even while it was still in progress and they switched to live coverage when it ended. The daytime “wide shows,” usually devoted to colorful crimes and scandals, hired shogi professionals to give commentaries. (Newspapers printed extras for both the 28th and 29th games. There were also two Net broadcasts, with a combined audience of 11 million.) It felt as if the whole nation shared the disappointment when Fujii finally suffered a loss in his 30th game.

è´ä?Å^ì°à‰élíiǙÇQÇVòAèüFujii’s success sparked a shogi boom, especially among young children, who flocked to join shogi classes. Go has never experienced coverage like this, and apparently it surpasses the media attention earned by Habu Yoshiharu’s Grand Slam on 1996 (as in go, a simultaneous grand slam has been achieved only once).

Fujii was born on July 19, 2002, so he turns 15 next month. The previous record for a debutant was 11 successive wins. Before Fujii go has the upper hand, with Hiroe Hiroyuki 9P winning his first 12 games in 1983 (he was 16). He is followed by Yoda Norimoto (aged 11) and Mizokami Tomochika 9P (aged 15), and Ida Atsushi 8P, all with 11 (they were all 1-dan, of course). By coincidence, Fujii’s new record of 29 successive wins is the same as the go record, set by Sakata Eio in 1963-64. The content is not the same, however. The average rank of Fujii’s opponents was 5.77 (by the way, the win over Habu Yoshiharu I mentioned in my previous report was not part of the streak; it may have been an unofficial game, but I can’t find it). Sakata’s opponents included the elite of the contemporary go world.

I’m not trying to carp about Fujii’s record. As a go player, I followed the Fujii saga with amazement and the purest envy. As far as I know, Iyama’s grand slam last year, garnered just a minute or two on the news.

Closing note: One program has a segment devoted to shogi terms that had passed into general speech and threw in a few go terms for good luck. Unfortunately, their diagram for “dame” (in the sense of worthless points) was completely wrong.

photo (top right): Fuji playing Kato Hifumi, at 77, the oldest active shogi player. First game of the winning streak. Kato retired around the time Fujii set his record. Out with the old, in with the new. He was the previous youngest shogi pro.

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The Power Report (2): Komatsu wins Samsung seat; Fujisawa wins Senko Cup; 42nd Kisei tournament; Yoda scores 1,100 wins

Tuesday July 18, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2017.07.18_Komatsu Hideki

Komatsu wins Samsung seat: The international preliminary tournament for the 22nd Samsung Cup was held in Korea from June 28 to July 3. Twenty-seven players from Japan took part in the various categories. The only successful player was Komatsu Hideki 9P (right), who scored five successive wins in the Senior division and gained a seat in the main tournament. He was also successful in the preliminary in 2012 and 2013. The main tournament begins on September 5. Seeded for Japan are Iyama Yuta and Yamashita Keigo.

2017.07.18_Rina wins SenkoFujisawa wins Senko Cup: The semifinals in the 2nd Senko Cup were played in Akekure (Dawn and Dusk), a high-class Japanese inn, on July 14. Xie Yimin (B) beat Nyu Eiko 1P by 4.5 points and Fujisawa Rina (W, left) beat Mukai Chiaki 5P by 3.5 points. The final was played on July 16 at the same venue. Taking white, Fujisawa Rina made a blunder, but she fought on and recovered and in the end won by 2.5 points. She won this title for the first time and now has four women’s titles. Overall, she has now won six titles and is still only 18 (her birthday is on September 18).

42nd Kisei tournament: The first game in the third round of the S League was played on July 6. Cho U 9P (W) beat Yamashita Keigo 9P by half a point. The other two games were played on July 13. Kono Rin 9P (B) beat So Yokoku 9P by resig. and Ichiriki Ryo 7P (W) beat Murakawa Daisuke 8P by resig. After three rounds, Ichiriki, as the only undefeated player, has the sole lead. Two players are on 2-1: (in order of rank) Kono and Cho U. Yamashita and Murakawa are on 1-2 and So is on 0-3. In a game in the A League, played on June 29, Yoda Yorimoto (W) beat Kyo Kagen by 2.5 points (see next item). Kyo still has the provisional lead on 5-1, but he has the lowest rank, that is, equal 7th in an eight-player league. Yoda and Takao Shinji Meijin are tied on 4-1 and, being more highly ranked, are threats to Kyo. Cho Chikun on 4-2 is also theoretically in the running for first place.

Yoda scores 1,100 wins: The above win against Kyo was Yoda’s 1,100th as a pro. He has 572 losses, two jigos, two no-results. He is the 12th Nihon Ki-in player to reach this landmark, and his winning percentage of 65 is the 6th best. At 51 years four months, he is the third youngest, and, at 37 years two months, the 4th quickest.

Promotion
To 8-dan: Kanagawa Masaki (150 wins, as of June 20)

Tomorrow: Fujii Sota sets new record

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The Power Report (1): Iyama makes good start in Gosei defence; Fujisawa Rins wins Aizu Central Hospital Cup; 42nd Meijin League

Monday July 17, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2017.07.17_42gosei1_4

Iyama makes good start in Gosei defence: The first game of the 42nd Gosei best-of-five title match was held at the Matsushima Ichi-no-bo, a mixed Japanese- and Western-style hotel in Matsushima Town in Miyagi Prefecture on June 22. It was one of the events celebrating the 120th anniversary of the founding of the Kahoku Shinpo, a Sendai newspaper belonging to the Newspaper Go Federation, a group of regional newspapers that sponsor the tournament. Taking white, Iyama Yuta (right) held the initiative for much of the game and forced the challenger Yamashita Keigo 9P to resign after 190 moves. This is a good start to Iyama’s attempt to win his sixth successive Gosei title.
The second game will be held on July 19. The gap of four weeks was obviously left to fit in some Honinbo games; by finishing off that title match with straight wins, Iyama earned himself some valuable rest time (each two-day game takes four days when travel time is included).

Fujisawa Rins wins Aizu Central Hospital Cup: Fujisawa Rina 3-dan won the third game of the 4th Aizu Central Hospital Women’s Hollyhock Cup title match to take the title for the second time. Winning it this year shows good timing, as the title has just switched to the challenger system. Fujisawa will meet a challenger in title match next year instead of starting out in the final knockout section of the tournament. The third game was held at the Nihon Ki-in headquarters in Tokyo on June 23. Xie Yimin drew black in the nigiri. Xie set up a large moyo, and when Fujisawa set out to reduce it, her invading group came under severe attack. This fight was so big that it decided the game. When Fujisawa cleverly made life for her group, Xie had to resign just 120 moves into the game. This match was a clash between the two players holding all the women’s titles. Xie held the Senko Cup, the Women’s Kisei, and this title, while Fujisawa held the Women’s Meijin and Honinbo titles. With this win, giving her three titles to Xie’s two, Fujisawa established herself as the top woman player.
Prize money for the women’ titles is: Senko Cup: 8,000,000 yen; Hollyhock Cup: 7,000,000; Women’s Honinbo: 5,500,000; Women’s Kisei: 5,000,000; Women’s Meijin: 3,500,000.

42nd Meijin League: In a game held on June 22, Cho U 9P (B) defeated Sakai Hideyuki 8P by 4.5 points. This took Cho’s score to 3-4; as he is ranked #4, his chances of retaining his league seat have improved. On July 10, Yamashita Keigo 9P (W) beat Ko Iso 8P by resig. and Yo Seiki 7P (B) beat Sakai Hideyuki 8P by resig. As he has a bye in the final rounds, Yamashita has finished his games; on 5-3 he is sure of retaining his place but has no chance of challenging. Yo has improved his score to 3-4, after starting with three losses; his last game is against Iyama Yuta – if he wins that, he has a chance of keeping his place. League leader is Iyama on 6-0, two wins clear of the field.
On July 6, Hane Naoki 9P (W) beat Kono Rin 9P by resignation. Hane is on 2-5, so this win may have come too late for him to retain his seat. Kono Rin is 3-4, so he has a better chance.

Tomorrow: Komatsu wins Samsung seat; Fujisawa wins Senko Cup; 42nd Kisei tournament; Yoda scores 1,100 wins

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Power Report: Iyama defends Honinbo title; 42nd Kisei S League; Yamashiro reaches 1,200 wins; Aizu Central Hospital final tied

Friday June 23, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2017.06.23_72honinbo4_2

Iyama defends Honinbo title: 
The fourth game of the 72nd Honinbo title match was played at the Sun Great Miyako culture hall in the town of Miyako, Fukuoka Prefecture on June 15 and 16. Taking white, Iyama Yuta (Honinbo Monyu) convincingly outplayed the challenger, Motoki Katsuya 8P, and secured a resignation after 204 moves. Iyama thus won the match 4-0 and defended his title. This is his sixth Honinbo title in a row. Iyama took the lead in the first fight of the game and fended off Motoki’s efforts to catch up. It was a disappointing series for Motoki, who still hasn’t picked up a win over Iyama in any tournament. After the game, Motoki commented; “I felt there was a gap between us. My task now is to try to narrow it as much as I can.” The commentator for the Mainichi Newspaper, Kobayashi Satoru 9P, commented: “This is the best Iyama has playd for several years.” You could say that Motoki was unlucky in running into Iyama in his title-match debut, but then it’s hard not to, with Iyama holding six of the seven big titles. One of the advantages of finishing off the series early for Iyama is that he’ll get extra rest time, though his next big game comes with less than a week’s break: his Gosei defence against Yamashiro Keigo starts on June 22.

42nd Kisei S League: Two games were played in the top Kisei league on June 15. Ichiriki Ryo 7P (B) beat Yamashita Keigo by resig,; Murakawa Daisuke 8P (B) beat So Yokoku 9P by resig. On 2-0, Ichiriki is the only undefeated player. Kono Rin 9P, Yamashita, Murakawa, and Cho U 9P are all on 1-1, and So Yokoku is on 0-2.

2017.06.23_Yamashiro vs FukuiYamashiro reaches 1,200 wins: Yet another player has reached the landmark of 1,200 wins. In a game in Preliminary B of the Ryusei tournament, played on June 12, Yamashiro Hiroshi 9P (formerly of the Nagoya branch of the Nihon Ki-in, but now affiliated with the Tokyo headquarters to make it easier to c2017.06.23_Xie wins game 2opy with his duties as vice president of the Nihon Ki-in) beat Fukui Masaaki 9P to score his 1,200th win. He has 616 losses and 7 jigos, for a winning percentage of 65.8. He is the eighth player to reach this landmark (four days after Yuki Satoshi); he is 58 years ten months, so it took him 45 years two months.

Aizu Central Hospital final tied: Two games in the best-of-three final of the 4th Aizu Central Hospital Women’s Hollyhock Cup were held in mid-June at the Konjakutei inn in Aizu Wakamatsu City. On June 16, Fujisawa Rina (B) won the first game by resignation, but in the second game, played two days later, Xie Yimin (right) fought back to win by 4.5 points. That makes a third game necessary; it will be played at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on June 23.

Correction
“Hunglong” in my previous report was a mistake for “Huanglong.” I believe that a fussy spell-checker is responsible, but I should have caught it.

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Power Report (2): AlphaGo plays itself; Iyama extends lead in Honinbo title match; Yuki wins 1,200 games; 42nd Kisei S League

Thursday June 15, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

AlphaGo plays itself: As already reported in the E-Journal, AlphaGo triumphed at the Future of Go Summit held in China from May 23 to 27. At the end of the summit, the Deep Mind company announced that they were putting up records of 50 games AlphaGo played with itself on their home page. Playing itself is how AlphaGo improves. Apparently it can finish a game in about three seconds, which means it could play about 30,000 games a day. However, the 50 games mentioned above were played more slowly. The development team mentioned that theoretically the current version is about three stones stronger than the version that played Lee Sedol.  This is a detail that it’s better not to 2017.06.15_72honinbo3_10dwell on. If interested, you can find the game records here; I looked at Game 1 while confirming the address. It doesn’t look like any game record I’ve seen before.

Iyama extends lead in Honinbo title match: The third game of the 72nd Honinbo title match was played at the Shotenzan Kankiin temple in Kumagaya City, Saitama 2017.06.15_72honinbo3_12Prefecture, on June 8 and 9. Fighting started early and spread all over the board. The defending champion, Iyama Yuta or Monyu Honinbo, played black and fought with his characteristic shrewdness, securing a resignation after move 137. The challenger, Motoki Katsuya 8P, faces his first kadoban in the fourth game, scheduled for 15 and 16.

Yuki wins 1,200 games: In a game in Preliuminary A of the 43rd Meijin tournament, played on June 8 at the Kansai Ki-in, Yuki Satoshi 9P beat Mine Yasuhiro 4P and became the youngest player to win 1,200 games. He is 45 years three months old, and his winning record is 1,200 wins, 506 losses, two jigo, which gives him an excellent winning record of 70%. Until now, the age record was 48 years seven months, set by Cho Chikun. Yuki became a professional in 1984; he has won 14 titles, including the Tengen and Judan titles once each and the NHK Cup five times. He is the seventh player to reach this landmark. Top is Cho Chikun with 1,503 wins.

42nd Kisei S League: In the first game of the second round, played on June 8, Cho U 9P (B) beat Kono Rin 9P by resig. Both players are now 1-1. Yamashita Keigo 9P and Ichiriki Ryo 7P have one win and Murakawa Daisuke 8P and So Yokoku 9P one loss. Cho and Kono were the players who met in the playoff to decide the challenger in the previous tournament. In the A League, which has seven rounds, the only undefeated player after the completion of Round 4 is Kyo Kagen 4P. On June 1, Kyo (W) beat Takao Shinji Meijin by resig.

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Power Report (1): Iyama makes LG Best Eight; Korea wins 7th Huanglongshi Cup; Iyama edges closer to winning Meijin League

Wednesday June 14, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

Iyama makes LG Best Eight: 
The first two rounds of the 22nd LG Cup were held in Korea on May 29 and 31. Three players from Japan took part and their results were as follows.2017.06.14_LG best 8
Round 1 (round of 32, May 29). Iyama Yuta 9P (W) beat Lee Yeongku 9P (Korea) by resig.; Ida Atsushi 8P (B) beat Choe Cheong 7P (Korea) by resig.; Kang Tongyun 9P (Korea) (W) beat Ichiriki Ryo 7P by resig.
Round 2 (May 31) Iyama (B) beat Zhou Ruiyang 9P (China) by resig.; Shin Jinseo 8p (Korea) beat Ida by resig.
Japan has only three seats in the round of 32 because of poor results in the past, which denied it more seeded places. Iyama has to miss some of the international tournaments because of scheduling clashes with domestic titles, but he is making an effort to make more international appearances. Reaching the quarterfinals is his best result for a while. Zhou Ruiyang was the runner-up in this title last year, so beating him is a good sign for Iyama.

Korea wins 7th Huanglongshi Cup: This is a women’s team tournament for five-player teams from China, Korea, and Japan. The format 2017.06.14_ Huanglong Korean teamis a progressive knock-out, like the Nong Shim Cup, that is, each player keeps playing till she loses a game. The first seven games were played from April 20 to 23. In the second game, played on April 20 (as of this term, two games are being played on most days), Japan picked up its only win when Nyu Eiko beat Zhou Hungyu of China. The other members of the team, Xie Yimin, Fujisawa Rina, O Keii, and Mukai Chiaki, failed to make a contribution. Korea won the tournament in the 13th game without needing to field their fifth player. They scored seven wins to five for China and one for Japan.

Iyama edges closer to winning Meijin League: An important game in the 42nd Meijin League was played recently. At this stage, only three players were still in the running to win the league: Iyama Yuta on 5-0 and Yamashita Keigo 9P and Murakawa Daisuke 8P, who were both on 4-2. On June 5, Iyama (B) beat Yamashita by resig. This improved Iyama’s score to 6-0 and put Yamashita, now 4-3, out of the running. Murakawa will play Iyama in July, but beating Iyama is not enough; he needs Yo Seiki 7P, Iyama’s opponent in the final round in August, to beat him as well while he has to beat Hane Naoki 9P in his final game to tie with Iyama.
Other recent results: (June 1) Ko Iso 8P (W) beat Hane Naoki by resig.; Murakawa Daisuke  (W) beat Kono Rin 9P by resig.

Tomorrow: AlphaGo plays itself; Iyama extends lead in Honinbo title match; Yuki wins 1,200 games; 42nd Kisei S League

Update: This post has been updated; the spelling of the Huanglongshi Cup has been corrected.

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The Power Report: Iyama extends lead in Honinbo title match

Monday May 29, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2017.05.29_Hon2 Iyama

Iyama extends lead in Honinbo title match: The second game of the 72nd Honinbo title match was held at the Kumagai Family Residence in Oda City, Shimane Prefecture, on May 23 and 24. This residence is a large house that belonged to a prominent merchant family in the Edo period; it has been listed as a World Heritage Site and is now a tourist attraction. In the go world, Oda is known as the birthplace of Honinbo Dosaku. Taking black, Iyama Yuta (Honinbo Monyu) won by resignation after 110 moves. As the low number of moves would indicate, this was a one-sided win for the titleholder. Actually the challenger, Motoki Katsuya, did not make major blunders, but Iyama was able to exploit small chinks in his armor to take a firm grip upon the game. This may be more worrying for the loser than losing through an easily identified mistake. Motoki has some work to do before the third game, scheduled for June 8 & 9.

Promotion2017.05.29_O Keii
To 3-dan: O Keii (40 wins, as of May 26). O is the daughter of former Kisei O Rissei. She is a member of the Central Japan (Nagoya) branch of the Nihon Ki-in.

Brilliant shogi newcomer: A brilliant new shogi star, Fujii Sota, has been gaining attention outside the shogi media and may be of interest to go fans. In shogi, you do not become a full-fledged professional until you earn promotion to 4-dan. Fujii qualified for 4-dan about five months ago at the age of 14, which set a new youth record. Since then, he has not lost a game and is now sitting on a winning streak of 19. That includes wins over some strong players, such as Habu 9P, who is the only player to achieve a simultaneous grand slam of the top seven shogi titles. Nineteen successive wins is already the seventh-best winning streak in shogi. There is no comparable achievement in go (of course, 1-dans are fully qualified professionals in go, so it would be hard for a go debutant to match Fujii). Shogi enjoys greater popularity in Japan than go, and Fujii’s success has created quite a stir in the media. Fifty members of the press turned up to report on the game that became his 19th win, on May 25. It was significant, because he qualified for the main section of the Ryuo tournament. Seven more wins in this tournament and he would become the challenger. Some observers have commented that in strength he is already one of the top ten.

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The Power Report (2): Kono starts well in Kisei S League; Yamashita becomes Gosei challenger; Murakawa wins Gratitude Cup; 4th Aizu Central Hospital tournament; Xie and Fujisawa reach final

Saturday May 27, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

Kono starts well in Kisei S League:
 Kono Rin 9P, the previous Kisei challenger, made a good start in the 42nd Kisei S League. In a game played on May 11, Kono (W) beat Murakawa Daisuke 8P by resignation. That completes the first round. Besides Kono, Yamashita Keigo and
Ichiriki Ryo started with wins and Murakawa Daisuke 8P, Cho U 9P, and So Yokoku 9P with losses.

Yamashita becomes Gosei challenger: The play-off to decide the challenger for the 42nd Gosei title was held at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on May 18. Taking black, Yamashita Keigo 9P beat Motoki Katsuya 8P by resignation after 139 moves. Yamashita will challenge Iyama Yuta for the title. Thanks to this win, he will have played in at least one top-seven title match every year for 15 years in a row. Recently younger players have become more prominent in Japan, but Yamashita is still close to his peak at the age of 38. Motoki failed to convert his best-of-seven versus Iyama into a best-of-12. The first Gosei game will be played on June 22.2017.05.27_8okage2_06

Murakawa wins Gratitude Cup: The Gratitude Cup (O-kage-hai) is a tournament for players 30 or under and is sponsored by the souvenir shops in the sightseeing town of Ise in Mie Prefecture. The 8th Cup was held on May 14 and 15, with 16 players who had won seats in the qualifying tournament taking part. The winner was Murakawa Daisuke 8P. Taking white, he beat Ri Ishu 7P by resignation in the final, winning this title for the first time; his prize was three million yen. This year six of the players were teenagers and ten were making their debut in the main tournament. The cup is undeniably a minor title, but such prominent young players as Ida Atsushi 8P and Motoki Katsuya 8P were eliminated in the qualifying tournament.

4th Aizu Central Hospital tournament; Xie and Fujisawa reach final: This is the tournament with the second-richest prize in women’s go in Japan: seven million yen. The final was also the only two-day game in women’s go. However, some changes have been made this year. The name has been changed to the Aizu Central Hospital Women’s Hollyhock Cup. The flower concerned is the city flower of the host city, Aizu Wakamatsu. Strictly speaking, the plant, tachi-aoi, which has purple flowers, is not the same as 2017.05.27_aizuthe Western hollyhock; its botanical name is Althaea rosea. The second change is that the final has been changed to a best-of-three, and these are one-day games. Also, it has switched to the challenger system, that is, the winner this year will defend her title next year.
The quarterfinals and semifinals of the main tournament were held at the Konjakutei inn in Aizu Higashiyama Hot Spring on the weekend of May 21 and 22. The eight qualifiers wear kimonos for the games (our photo is from the welcome party held on May 20). Results in the first round, already the quarterfinals, which started at 10 A.M. on the 21st, were as follows: Xie 6P(W) beat Mukai Chiaki 5P by resig.; Fujisawa Rina 3P (W) beat Mannami Nao 3P by half a point; Makihata Taeko 4P (B) beat O Keii 2P (I don’t know the margin); Nishiyama Shizuk
a 1P (W) beat Okuda Aya 3P by 2.5 points.
The semifinals were held on the Sunday, starting at noon. Xie (B) beat Makihata by resig.; Fujisawa (W) beat Nishiyama by resig. (The time allowance in these games was one hour per player; in the final it will be three hours).
The final is scheduled for June 16, 18, and, if needed, 23.

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The Power Report (1): Iyama makes good start in Honinbo defense; Korea wins 6th Tiantai Mt. team tournament; Iyama maintains Meijin League lead

Friday May 26, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

Iyama makes good start in Honinbo defense:
 Iyama Yuta, or Honinbo Monyu, to give him the title he assumed when he qualified as Honorary Honinbo last year, made a good start in the 72nd Honinjbo title match. The challenger is Motoki Katsuya 8P, who, at 21, is six years Iyama’s junior and is the third-youngest challenger ever. If he were to win, he would be the youngest tournament Honinbo.2017.05.26-Honinbo2dayfin03
The first game was played at the Gifu Grand Hotel in Gifu City. Iyama drew black in the nigiri and scored a convincing win, securing a resignation after 147 moves. There was an interesting fight early in the game in which Iyama sacrificed some stones in exchange for a ponnuki facing the centre (on the 6th line). A ponnuki is said to be worth 30 points. By my count, White’s profit was worth 20 points or so; the professionals following the game on the spot diverged in their evaluation, some of them considering the result equal, while others
thought that White’s profit was slightly superior. This was apparently Motoki’s own opinion. Soon after, Iyama started a large-scale fight with the support of his ponnuki in the background. Motoki went wrong with White 84. Ironically, this move looked like good style but actually gave Black the chance to strike at a vital point. A white group under attack managed to live, but Black took the lead. Iyama’s endgame was then flawless, so an early resignation was unavoidable. This was a tough title-match baptism for Motoki, but at least he had a chance to get used to the atmosphere of two-day games. The second game was scheduled to be played on May 23 & 24.

Korea wins 6th Tiantai Mt. team tournament: This is a team tournament for three-woman teams from China, Korea, Japan, and Chinese Taipei. The full name is the Tiantai Mt. Agricultural & Commercial Bank Cup World Women’s Team Tournament. The 6th Cup was held in Taizhou City, Zhejiang Province, in China on May 10 to 12. Results were as follows:
Round 1 (May 10) China 2 beat Japan 1; Korea 3 beat Chinese Taipei 0
Round 2 (May 11) Korea 3 beat Japan 0; China 3 beat Chinese Taipei 0
Round 3 (May 12) Japan 2 beat Chinese Taipei 1; Korea 2 beat China 1
Placings: 1st, Korea (individual score: 8 wins, 1 loss); 2nd, China (6-3); 3rd, Japan (3-6); 4th: Chinese Taipei (1-8)

Once again, Japan was beaten by Korea and China, but there were some encouraging signs. On the top board, Fujisawa Rina had a good game against Che Cheong 7P of Korea, but missed her opportunities to wrap up the game. In the end, she lost by 1.5 points. Xie Yimin hasn’t delivered for Japan in international go, but she won her games against Lu Jia 2P of China and Zhang Kaixing 5P of Chinese Taipei. The third member of the Japanese team was Nyu Eiko 1P, who beat Zhang Zhengping 3P of Chinese Taipei.

Iyama maintains Meijin League lead: The 42nd Meijin League is looking more and more like a one-horse race. On May 18, Iyama Yuta scored his fifth straight win and leads the field by two points. Players with just two losses are Yamashita Keigo 9P (4-2), Murakawa Daisuke
(3-2), and Kono Rin 9P (3-2). Iyama will play Yamashita in June and Murakawa in July.

Recent results:
(May 11) Sakai Hideyuki 8P (W) beat Ko Iso 8P by 4.5 points.
(May 18) Iyama Yuta (W) beat Cho U 9P by resig.

Tomorrow: Kono starts well in Kisei S League; Yamashita becomes Gosei challenger; Murakawa wins Gratitude Cup; 4th Aizu Central Hospital tournament; Xie and Fujisawa reach final

 

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The Power Report (3): Mi wins Japan-China Ryusei, DeepZenGo beats Fujisawa; Kisei S League starts; Iyama leads Meijin League

Thursday May 11, 2017

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2017.05.11 DeepZenGo v Rina

Mi wins Japan-China Ryusei, DeepZenGo beats Fujisawa: The 3rd Japan-China Ryusei play-off was held in the Belle Salle hall in front of Iidabashi Station in Tokyo on April 29. Mi Yuting 9P, the winner of the 3rd Chinese Ryusei title, took white against Ichiriki Ryo 7P, winner of the 25th Japanese Ryusei title, and forced a 2017.05.11 JC Ryuseiresignation after 175 moves. The game started at 4 p.m. and was telecast live on the Igo Shogi Channel (left)The play-off was preceded by an exhibition game between Fujisawa Rina, Women’s Honinbo, and the program DeepZenGo (right). Fujisawa had 30 minutes followed by 30 seconds per move plus 15 minutes to be used in one-minute units. The program had just 45 minutes. The game started at 1 p.m. Taking black, DeepZenGo won by resig. after 159 moves.

Kisei S League starts: The top league in the 42nd Kisei tournament, the S League, has finally got off to a start, some weeks behind the lower A, B, and C Leagues. The members, in order of ranking are: Kono Rin 9P, Yamashita Keigo 9P, Murakawa Daisuke 8P, Ichiriki Ryo 7P, Cho U 9P, and So Yokoku 9P. The first two games were played on April 27. Yamashita (W) beat So by resig., and Ichiriki (B) beat Cho by resig.

Iyama leads Meijin League: The first two games in the sixth round of the 42nd Meijin League were played recently, and the result is that the gap at the top has widened. On 4-0, Iyama Yuta was the only undefeated player in the league, and his nearest rival was Yamashita Keigo on 4-1. However, Yamashita suffered a loss to Hane Naoki on May 4, and is now two points behind Iyama, though the latter has played two fewer games. This was Hane’s first win in the league.
(April 24) Yo Seiki 7P (W) beat Hane Naoki 7P by resig.
(April 27) Murakawa Daisuke 8P (B) beat Sakai Hideyuki 8P by resig.
(May 4) Hane Naoki 9P (W) beat Yamashita Keigo 9P by resig.; Kono Rin 9P (B) beat Yo Seiki 7P by resig.

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Categories: Japan,John Power Report
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