American Go E-Journal » John Power Report

The Power Report (2): Pair Go tournament for professional couples; Iyama tops most-wins list; Huang wins Chinese Agon Kiriyama

Wednesday November 25, 2015

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal2015.11.24_Married couples final

Pair Go tournament for professional couples: The second Professional Married Couples Pair Go Tournament was held at the Nihon Ki-in on Sunday, November 22. If you write the date 11/22 and take the first syllable of the numbers in Japanese, you get the word “ii fufu,” which means “a good married couple,” so this is an apposite date for this tournament. Last year, eight pairs took part; that increased to 13 this year, but the same pairs reached the final (right): Suzuki Ayumi 6P and her husband Rin Kanketsu 7P and the Mimuras, Kaori 3P and Tomoyasu 9P (at left). The latter took their revenge for their loss last year, playing white and securing a resignation after 206 moves. First prize is one million yen and second 400,000.

Iyama tops most-wins list: Thanks to his winning streak, Iyama Yuta has worked his way to top place in the most-wins list. After his Oza win, his record for the year is 39-9. That’s a winning percentage of 81%, which is astonishing considering the level of his opponents. The top players are given below.
1. Iyama Yuta Kisei: 39-9
2. Kyo Kagen 3P: 38-9; Ichiriki Ryo 7P: 38-16
4. Shibano Toramaru 2P: 36-5
5. Yamashita Keigo 9P: 35-20
6. Ida Atsushi Judan: 32-18
7. Motoki Katsuya 7P: 29-10; Ogata Masaki 9P: 29-12; Kono Rin 9P: 29-12-1 no contest; Tsuruta Kazushi 3P: 29-12; Mutsuura Yuta 2P: 29-13
12. 25th Honinbo Chikun, Son Makoto 3P: 28-14
14. Akiyama Jiro 9P: 27-9; Cho Riyu 8P: 27-10
16. Koyama Kuya 2P: 25-12; Ko Iso 8P: 25-17; Fujisawa Rina: 25-21

Huang wins Chinese Agon Kiriyama: The final of 17th Agon Kiriyama Cup, a sister tournament to the Japanese title, was held in the City of Taiyuan. Taking white, the 18-year-old Huang Yunsong 4P beat Chen Yaoye 9P by resignation. Huang, who won the 2nd Globis Cup U-20 in May, will meet Iyama Yuta in the Japanese-Chinese playoff on December 25.

Share
Categories: Japan,John Power Report
Share

The Power Report (1): Women’s Meijin League; Honinbo League; Iyama wins Oza, regains quintuple crown; Terayama repeats in Young Carp

Tuesday November 24, 2015

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal2015.11.24_womens-meijin

Women’s Meijin League: Two important games were played in the 28th Women’s Meijin League last week. On November 16, Fujisawa Rina, Women’s Honinbo, (W) beat Mannami Nao 3P by 6.5 points. Fujisawa had to win this game to keep alive her chances of becoming the challenger. She goes to 3-1, in equal second place with Okuda Aya 3P. Mannami drops to 2-2, so all she can aim at is keeping her place. The tough thing for Fujisawa and Okuda is that they are ranked equal 5th in the league. The leader is Aoki Kikuyo 8P, who is ranked second. In my previous report, I mentioned that Aoki just had to win two of her remaining three games to become the challenger, as she would take precedence in a tie. She played the first of those three games on November 19. Taking black, she beat Suzuki Ayumi 6P by 1.5 points. That 2015.11.24_honinbo-leagueimproves her score to 4-0 and improves her odds to 1 in 2, as she now just has to win one game out of two. Her remaining opponents are Mannami and Fujisawa. The above game was Aoki’s seventh win in a row.

Honinbo League: One game in the 71st Honinbo League was played on November 19. Kono Rin 9P (W) beat Cho U 9P by resignation. Kono improves his score to 1-1 and Cho is 0-2. Cho’s decision to return home to Taiwan is not paying off yet.

Iyama wins Oza, regains quintuple crown: The third game of the 63rd Oza title match was held at the Hotel Okura Kobe in Kobe City,2015.11.24_Oza 3 Iyama Hyogo Prefecture on November 19. In dominating form, Iyama Yuta (black, at left) pounced on a misreading by the titleholder, Murakawa Daisuke (right), and seized the initiative. Iyama’s flawless play then denied Murakawa any chance to get back into the game and he was forced to resign after just 135 moves. Murakawa was unable to match the precision of Iyama’s reading; after a reign of just one year, he surrendered the title he took from Iyama last year. With this win, Iyama regains his quintuple crown after a gap of 11 months. This is his third Oza title and his 33rd title overall. It is also his 23rd successive win. Go journalists are starting to refer to the record set by Sakata Eio, 23rd 2015.11.24_Young carp final, Terayama (left)Honinbo, in 1963 and 1964 of 29 successive wins. What the two streaks have in common is that many of the wins were in title matches or tournament finals, so the defeated opponents were mainly top players.

Teranishi repeats in Young Carp: The semifinals and final of the 10th Hiroshima Aluminium Cup Young Carp Tournament, open to Nihon Ki-in players under 31 and under 8-dan, were held at the Central Japan Newspaper Building in Hiroshima on November 22. In the semifinals, Shida Tatsuya 7P (B) beat Yo Seiki 7P and Teranishi Rei 4P (B) beat last year’s winner Motoki Katsuya 7P; the margin in both games was 2.5 points. In the final, Teranishi (B) forced Shida to resign after 159 moves. Teranishi (at left) also won the 5th cup. First prize is three million yen.
Tomorrow: Pair Go tournament for professional couples; Iyama tops most-wins list; Huang wins Chinese Agon Kiriyama

Share
Categories: Japan,John Power Report
Share

The Power Report (2): Iyama still on track; Iyama wins second straight in Oza and Tengen; Honinbo League: Round Two starts; Japan eliminated from LG Cup

Thursday November 19, 2015

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal2015.11.18_63oza2 Yuki joins in game review. Iyama left

Iyama still on track: Iyama Yuta has become the first player to reach the semifinals of the 54th Judan tournament, so he is still on track to secure an unprecedented septuple crown, though of course he still has some distance to go. In the first of the quarterfinals, played on November 5, Iyama (B) defeated Yuki Satoshi 9P by resignation. His semifinal opponent will be the winner of a game between Ichiriki Ryo 7P and Imamura Toshiya 9P. The pairings in the other quarterfinals are Yo Seiki 7P vs. Takao Shinji Tengen and Kobayashi Satoru 9P vs. Shida Tatsuya 7P.

2015.11.18_Iyama wins Oza 2Iyama wins second straight in Oza and Tengen: The second game of the 63rd Oza title match was played at the Yakage-ya inn in the town of Yakage in Okayama Prefecture on November 12. Iyama (white) won by resignation after 164 moves, so he is within one win of regaining the title he lost to Murakawa Daisuke last year. In the middle game, Iyama (left) commented that his play may have been a little unreasonable. However, Murakawa failed to play severely enough to punish him for it. The third game will be played on November 19. The above game was on a Thursday, the usual day for professional play. The following Monday, November 16, Iyama won the second game of the 41st Tengen title match, thus extending his career-best winning streak to 22. Taking white, Iyama beat Takao Shinji Tengen by half a point after 254 moves. Takao had taken the lead in the middle game, but played badly in the latter part of the game, letting Iyama pull off an upset. The third game is scheduled for November 25. photo: Yuki joins in game review; Iyama at left

Honinbo League: Round Two starts: Two games in the 71st Honinbo League were played on November 12. In a game between title-holders, Takao Shinji Tengen (W) beat Ida Atsushi Judan by resignation. In the other game, Ichiriki Ryo 7P (W) beat Yo Seiki 7P by resignation. The large-avalanche joseki appeard in the top left corner and the small-avalanche joseki in the top right corner. All four players are now on 1-1.

Japan eliminated from LG Cup: The quarterfinals of the 20th LG Cup were held in Korea on November 16. Japan’s last remaining representative, Yo Seiki 7P, was forced to resign in his game with Pak Yeong-hun 9P of Korea. Other results: Kang Tong-yun 9P (Korea) (W) beat Ke Jie 9P (China) by resignation; Tuo Jiaxi 9P (China) (B) beat Weon Seong-jin 9P (Korea) by resignation; Shi Yue 9P (China) beat Kim Ji-seok 9P (Korea) by 1.5 points.

Share
Categories: Japan,John Power Report
Share

The Power Report (1): New members of the Meijin League; Women’s Honinbo: Xie fights back; Yamashita becomes Kisei challenger; Yamashita’s 900th win

Wednesday November 18, 2015

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal2015.11.18_40th Kisei challenger

New members of the Meijin League: Two of the three vacant places in the 41st Meijin League were decided on October 29. Uchida Shuhei 7P (B) beat Kanazawa Makoto 7P by 3.5 points, so the latter failed to regain his place. Uchida will make his second appearance after an absence of three years. Hirata Tomoya 4P (W) beat So Yokoku 9P, also by 3.5 points. The 21-year-old Hirata won his first league place and secured an automatic promotion to 7-dan (as of the following day). So Yokoku was also a member of the previous league. The final vacant seat was decided on November 5. In a clash between Nagoya players, Hane Naoki 9P (W) beat Ida Atsushi Judan by resignation. Hane also immediately regained his league place. At 39 years three months, he will be the oldest member of the league (Takao is two months younger).

2015.11.18_34fhoninbo4 XieWomen’s Honinbo: Xie fights back: The third game of the Women’s Honinbo title match was held at the Nihon Ki-in headquarters in Ichigaya, Tokyo on October 30. Taking black Xie Yimin (left), Women’s Meijin, defeated the titleholder Fujisawa Rin by resignation. The middle game featured a large exchange that may be the highlight of the series so far. After that, the lead switched back and forth, but Fujisawa made a misjudgment in the endgame, letting Xie take a small lead. The fourth game was played at the same venue on November 11. Playing white, Xie evened the score, forcing a resignation after 214 moves. Actually, the position seemed to be favorable for Fujisawa after a middle-game trade, but she suffered from a hallucination later in the game that let Xie pull off an upset. As a six-time winner of this title, Xie now seems to have the momentum, so Fujisawa will have to pull out all the stops in the deciding game, scheduled for November 27, if she is to defend her title.

Yamashita becomes Kisei challenger: The first game of the play-off to decide the challenger for the 40th Kisei title was held at the Nihon Ki-in in Ichigaya on Monday, November 9. Taking white, Yamashita (right) forced Murakawa to resign after 176 moves. This gives him his third successive crack at Iyama’s Kisei title. Understandably, considering his numerous recent defeats by Iyama, Yamashita said he was going to ignore the past and just focus on the new match. He also commented that the only way to beat Iyama was to eliminate all errors in his own play.

Yamashita’s 900th win: The above win was Yamashita’s 900th as a professional. He has lost 407 games, had one jigo and one no-result. At 37 years, two months, he is the youngest player to reach this landmark (second is Takao Shinji at 38 years one month); he is also the quickest, having taken 22 years seven months (again Takao is second, at 23 years eight months). In the category of winning percentage, however, Takao, on exactly 70% to Yamashita’s 68.9%, keeps top place. Just for reference, Cho Chikun, at 1470, has the most wins.

Tomorrow: Iyama still on track; Iyama wins second straight in Oza and Tengen; Honinbo League: Round Two starts; Japan eliminated from LG Cup

Share
Categories: Japan,John Power Report
Share

The Power Report: Over-40 Lightning Go Tournament; Honinbo League; Murakawa reaches Kisei play-off; Women’s Meijin League; Obituary: Hiroe Katsuhiko

Thursday November 12, 2015

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Over-40 Lightning Go Tournament: The term “haya-go” is usually translated as “rapid go,” and a haya-go in the NHK format actually 2015.11.12_O Rissei Haya-gotakes around 90 minutes. In the Over-40 Lightning Go Tournament, which is open to veteran Nihon Ki-in players, the term “lightning” is justified, as the time allowance is ten seconds per move (plus three minutes’ thinking time). This is actually the second term of this unofficial tournament, but I think I missed the first last year. In the original, the name reads “OVER40 Haya-go Tonamento-sen,” but, if the report in Go Weekly is correct, this should be “40 or over.” First, 56 players competed in four preliminary blocks, held on October 27. These were won by O Meien 9P, Nakaonoda Tomomi 9P, Oya Koichi 9P, and O Rissei 9P; they qualified for the main tournament, held on November 7. Cho Sonjin, the winner of the first tournament, lost to Nakaonoda in the final of his block. In the semifinals, held on the morning of November 7, the time expanded to 30 seconds per move plus ten minutes’ thinking time, that is, the NHK format. O Meien beat Oya and O Rissei beat Nakaonoda. In the final, held in the afternoon of the same day, Rissei (W) beat Meien by resignation (photo). First prize is 500,000 yen.
Honinbo League: Good starts for Ida and Motoki: As a former challenger, Ida Atsushi Judan probably feels he has a lot to prove in the Honinbo League, especially against a junior player. In his opening game in the 71st league, played on October 29, Ida (B) defeated Ichiriki Ryo 7P by resignation. In his debut game, the 20-year-old Motoki Katsuya, a newly minted 7-dan by virtue of winning his league place, beat veteran player Cho U 9P, also by resignation. Motoki had white. This completes the opening round of the league.

Murakawa reaches Kisei play-off: Yamada Kimio 9P’s charge through the knock-out section of the Kisei tournament was halted when he ran into Murakawa Daisuke Oza, second-place winner in the S League, on October 29. Taking black, Murakawa won by 2.5 points. That meant that for the third year in a row, the play-off to decide the challenger would pit Murakawa against Yamashita. The big difference is that previously, as the winners of the old A and B Leagues, they met on even terms. This time Yamashita starts the play-off with a one-win advantage, so the only way Murakawa can become the challenger is by winning two in a row. (This play-off is referred to by Go Weekly as “an irregular best-of-three,” the fact that there can never be three games played justifying the adjective.)

Women’s Meijin League: Fujisawa suffers setback: The fourth round of the 28th Women’s Meijin League was completed on November 2 when Okuda Aya 3P (W) defeated Fujisawa Rina by resignation. This was Fujisawa’s first loss, putting her on 2-1, so she dropped into a tie for third place with Mannami Nao 3P. The sole lead is held by Aoki Kikuyo 8P, on 3-0, and Okuda is second. Thanks to her number-two ranking, Aoki just has to win two of her remaining three games to win the league. See chart at left for standings.2015.11.12_Womens Meijin league chart


Obituary: Hiroe Katsuhiko
Hiroe Katsuhiko died of an eating disorder on October 27 at the age of 75. Born in Gifu Prefecture, Hiroe was a disciple of Sakai Toshio 8P. He qualified as 1-dan in 1960 at the Nagoya branch of the Nihon Ki-in and reached 7-dan in 1981. He was promoted to 8-dan when he retired in 2006. Hiroe Hiroyuki 9P is his son.

 

Share
Categories: Japan,John Power Report
Share

The Power Report (2): Fujisawa Rina makes good start in title defense; Women’s Meijin League; Iyama wins Agon Kiriyama title

Tuesday October 13, 2015

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal2014.10.13_WomHon1 Rina right

Fujisawa Rina makes good start in title defense: The first game of the 34th Women’s Honinbo title match was held at the Kashoen inn in Hanamaki City, Iwate Prefecture on October 8. It matches the 17-year-old titleholder Fujisawa Rina (right) against Xie Yimin, who held this title for six years in a row. This is the first title match between the two, and it gives us some insight into what the next five years will look like. If Xie can win, the age of Xie, who now holds two titles, may continue. If Fujisawa wins, she may displace Xie from the top position. At the party on the eve of the game, Fujisawa commented that playing a match with Xie had been one of her goals. Perhaps she didn’t expect to play her first match with her as the defending champion. Xie, who will be 26 on November 16, commented that this was her first match with a younger player. Taking white, Fujisawa beat Xie by 2.5 points after 290 moves. The game was decided by a ko fight in the endgame. The second game will be played on October 18.

Women’s Meijin League: In a game played on October 8, Suzuki Ayumi 6P (W) beat Chinen Kaori 4P by resig. As the previous challenger, Suzuki is the number one-ranked player in the league, but this is her first win after two losses. Chinen has already suffered four losses, so she 2015.10.13_22agon_finalis teetering on the edge of demotion. Joint leaders are Fujisawa Rina and Aoki Kikuyo 8P on 2-0.

Promotion: 
To 2-dan: Shibano Toramaru (aged 16) (30 wins; promoted as of Oct. 9)

Iyama wins Agon Kiriyama title: The final of the 22nd Agon Kiriyama Cup was held at the Kyoto headquarters of the Agon sect in Kyoto on October 10. Iyama Yuta (left), playing black, beat Kyo Kagen 3P by resig. after 187 moves. This is the fourth time Iyama has won this title, which matches Cho U’s record. The play-off between the Japanese and Chinese titleholders will be held in China on December 25.

Share
Categories: Japan,John Power Report
Share

The Power Report: Aoki makes good start in Women’s Meijin; Awaji scores 1000th win; Yuki wins 24th Ryusei; Grand slams update

Monday September 28, 2015

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

Aoki makes good start in Women’s Meijin League: The last game of the third round of the 28th Women’s Meijin League was played on September 24. Taking black, Aoki Kikuyo 8P beat Chinen Kaori 4P by resig. Aoki is now 2-0 (she had a bye in the second round), so she shares the provisional lead with Fujisawa Rina, also on 2-0 (she has a bye in this round).

Awaji scores 1000th win: A win in Preliminary B of the 64th Oza tournament on September 24 was Awaji Shuzo 9P’s 1000th official win.2015.09.28_Awaji Shuzo Awaji (right) is the 17th player at the Nihon Ki-in to reach this landmark. His record is 592 losses, 3 jigo, and 1 no-result, a winning percentage of 62.6. Awaji was born on August 13, 1948 in Tokyo. He became a disciple of Ito Tomoe 7P, made 1-dan in 1968 and reached 9-dan in 1984. He also graduated from the College of Law (note that this is not the same as a law school in the US) of Aoyama Gakuin University. He has won four minor titles, but challenged unsuccessfully for the Gosei, Tengen, Honinbo and Meijin titles.

Yuki wins 24th Ryusei tournament: Yuki Satoshi 9P won the 24th Ryusei tournament by default. On the day of the final, Cho Chikun’s wife fell critically ill (she died the following day), so he was unable to play. The result was just revealed in this week’s Go Weekly because the organizers took a while to make their decision. Nonetheless, this counts as a title for Yuki and is his 13th (he is now 21st on the all-time list).

Grand slams update: With the theoretical revival of Iyama’s chance of achieving a simultaneous grand slam of the top seven titles, Go Weekly published some statistics. Three players have scored a cumulative grand slam: Cho Chikun, Cho U, and Iyama Yuta. Three players have won six of the top seven: the late Kato Masao (missing the Kisei), Rin Kaiho (missing the Kisei), and Yamashita Keigo (missing the Judan despite three challenges). Next is Kobayashi Koichi with five (missing the Honinbo and the Oza). They are followed by three players who have won four: Otake Hideo, Takao Shinji, and Hane Naoki. Note that this list refers only to current titles. Sakata Eio won seven titles in 1961 and 1964 (in the latter year the only open title he missed out on was the Judan). The final stage of the 54th Judan tournament starts on October 1. Both Iyama and Yamashita have made the final 20.

Share
Categories: Japan,John Power Report
Share

Iyama wins third straight Meijin game, threatening to sweep Takao

Sunday September 27, 2015

The third game of the 40th Meijin title match was held at the Tokiwa Hotel in Kofu City, Yamanashi Prefecture on September 24 and 25. Playing2015.09.27_Iyama wins game 3 white, Iyama Yuta Meijin beat Takao Shinji Tengen by resignation after 148 moves. Iyama now needs just 2015.09.27_Meijin-Game 3one more win to defend his title. Eighty moves were played on the first day, and Takao commented: “I spoiled it on the first day.” Actually, however, according to Go Weekly, he did not play any moves that could clearly be labeled as dubious. Rather, as Takao indicated after the game, he had regrets about some of his moves, as in retrospect he didn’t feel that they were the best attacking moves. Thanks to his skill at settling weak groups, Iyama seems to have gained a slight edge. On the second day, Iyama drew further ahead. In the end, Takao had to play unreasonably, and Iyama wrapped up the game by attacking and bringing down a large group. The fourth game will be played on October 5 and 6. The pressure on Takao has increased; he will want to avoid a repeat of his 0-4 loss to Iyama in the 35th Meijin title match. This, by the way, is Iyama’s 13th successive win. He is now fourth on the list of most games won. He probably has more games left this year than most of his rivals, so he should move up a place or two.
- John Power

Share
Categories: Japan,John Power Report
Share

The Power Report (2): Kyo Kagen wins two junior titles; Women’s Meijin League; Iyama ekes out narrow win in Meijin

Tuesday September 22, 2015

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

Kyo Kagen wins two junior titles: Kyo Kagen 3-dan (right) is continuing his impressive form and has won two titles in the last week. On 2015.09.21_Kyo wins King of New StarsSeptember 13, the semifinals and final of the 2nd Yucho Cup Youth Championship/Nakano Koji Memorial 2015.09.21_King of New Stars Game 2were held at the Nihon Ki-in. In the semifinals, which started at noon, Kyo (W) beat Yo Seiki 7P by resig. and Motoki Katsuya 7P (W) beat Son Makoto 3P, also by resig. The final started at 3 o’clock, and Kyo (B) beat Motoki by resig. after 143 moves. This is an unofficial title sponsored by the post office bank (Yucho) for players under 21 and under 8-dan. Kyo also won the 10th term of the Nakano Cup, the predecessor of this tournament. These games were sandwiched in-between the first and second games of the 40th King of the New Stars title match. In the first game, played on September 11, Kyo (B) beat Hirata Tomoya 4P by resig. after 175 moves. In the second game (September 16, above left), Kyo (W) won by resig. after 194 moves, so he took the title with straight wins. This is his first official title. He turns 18 on the 24th.
2015.09.21_womens-meijin-league-chart
Women’s Meijin League: One game in the 28th Women’s Meijin League was played on September 10. Fujisawa Rina Women’s Honinbo (W) beat Chinen Kaori 4P by 7.5 points. On 2-0, Fujisawa shared the lead with Mannami Nao 3P. This game completed the second round. On September 17, Okuda Aya 3P (W) defeated Mannami Nao by resig. and Kato Keiko 6P (B) defeated Suzuki Ayumi 6P by 3.5 points. Mannami is now 2-1, along with Okuda. If Fujisawa Rina wins her third-round game, she will have the sole lead.

2015.09.21_A painful half-point lossIyama ekes out narrow win in Meijin: The second game of the 40th Meijin title match was played at the Hotel Oncri (written “onkuri” in Japanese) in the hot spring resort of Furuyu in Saga City, Kyushu on September 17 and 18. After very complicated fighting in the first 150 moves, the challenger, Takao Shinji 9P, took the lead around move 170, but he slipped up at least twice in the endgame, letting Iyama Yuta Meijin catch up and then stage an upset. Iyama, who had black, won by half a point (right). Losing a game like this is very painful and puts the challenger under a lot of pressure. Incidentally, this win was Iyama’s twelfth in a row. Another statistic: this win by the player with black stopped a winning streak of seven by White in games between these two players. Overall, Iyama now leads Takao 25-13, and White has won 23 of these games. The third game will be played on September 24 and 25.

Share
Categories: Japan,John Power Report
Share

The Power Report (1): Iyama to challenge for two more titles; Kisei Leagues

Monday September 21, 2015

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

Iyama to challenge for two more titles: At present, Iyama (right) has four titles — Kisei, Meijin, Honinbo, and Gosei – but he is making a 2015.09.21_Two in a row for Iyamadetermined effort to retrieve the glory days of his sextuple crown. All he has to do is to win back the two titles he lost towards the end of last year. His campaign is running smoothly and last week he won the play-offs to decide the Oza and Tengen challengers.

2015.09.21_Iyama (L) beat Yo Seiki in Oza play-offFirst of all, the final of the 63rd Oza tournament was held at the Kansai headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in in Osaka on Monday, September 7. Iyama (B) beat Yo Seiki 7P of the Kansai Ki-in by resignation after 157 moves (left). This earned him a rematch with Murakawa Daisuke Oza, also of the Kansai Ki-in, who took the title from him last year. Murakawa showed tenacity in recovering from a 1-2 deficit to win two games in a row. Yo Seiki has been securing excellent results recently, regaining his Honinbo League seat immediately after dropping out and reaching the best eight in an international tournament, the LG Cup, but if you want to take a title in Japan, virtually the only way to do so is by defeating Iyama Yuta. Interviewed after the game, Iyama commented: “Since losing in the Oza match last year, the desire to return to the same stage has been one of the major factors motivating me. I hope to make a better showing than last year.” 

Later in the same week, on Thursday, September 10, the play-off to decide the Tengen challenger was held at the same venue (games are 2015.09.21_Iyama (L) beat Yuki Satoshi in Tengen play-offusually played on the home ground of the higher-ranked player).  Taking white, Iyama forced Yuki Satoshi 9P (Kansai Ki-in) to resign after 228 moves (left). Yuki was also strongly motivated for this game, as he had won the title in 2010, but lost it to Iyama the following year. He actually got off to a slightly superior start, but slipped up in the early middle game (right)Iyama now has a big opportunity to regain his sextuple crown, but he is looking further ahead than that. After the Tengen game, he commented: “I’m 2015.09.21_last move in Tengen play-offhappy that the link to my goal of winning seven crowns has not been cut.” To keep this possibility open, Iyama has to make sure he keeps winning in the Judan tournament while fighting three title matches. The Oza title match starts on October 20 and the Tengen three days later.

Kisei Leagues: The final game in the S League of the 40th Kisei tournament was played at the Nihon Ki-in on September 10.  Playing white, Takao Shinji Tengen beat Kobayashi Satoru 9P by resig. The place in the league are: 1. Yamashita Keigo (4-1); 2. Murakawa Daisuke Oza (3-2); 3. Yoda Norimoto 9P (3-2); 4. Takao (2-3); 5. Yamashiro Hiroshi 9P (2-3); 6. Kobayashi (1-4). The top four players keep their seats, but actually Takao is not yet assured of staying in 4th place. If the winner of the B or C League were to 2015.09.21_40th-kisei-leagues-chartbecome the challenger, Takao would be bounced out. At that point, Yamashita would remain in the league, but the loser of the title match would take the number one seat in the S League, so Takao would also drop to the A League. This is yet another permutation in the complicated tournament system the Yomiuri Newspaper came up with.

Previously we reported that Kono Rin 9P had won the A League in the sixth round. In his last game, Kono (B) beat 25th Honinbo Chikun by 8.5 points, so he finished the league undefeated on 7-0. The game was played on September 10. On September 17, the play-off between the winners of the B1 and B2 Leagues was held. Yamada Kimio 9P (B2 winner) (W) beat Awaji Shuzo 9P by 8.5 points. Yamada thus earned a place in the tournament to decide the challenger. He is guaranteed a place in the A League next year. From the B1 League, Awaji (first on 5-2) and Ryu Shikun 9P (second on 4-3 — thanks to being ranked number one, he pipped the other three players [out of eight] who also finished on 4-3) will be promoted to the A League. They will be joined by So Yokoku 9P, who was second in the B League. Second place in the A League was also decided on September 17 when Ichiriki Ryo 7P (B) beat Cho Riyu 8P by resig. Ichiriki earns a place in the S League.
Tomorrow: Kyo Kagen wins two junior titles; Women’s Meijin League; Iyama ekes out narrow win in Meijin

Share
Categories: Japan,John Power Report
Share