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The Power Report: Fujisawa evens score in 31st Women’s Meijin; Fujisawa & Ichiriki win Pair Go; Hane takes sole lead in 74th Honinbo League; Kono leads 44th Meijin League; Promotions & retirements

Thursday March 21, 2019

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal2019.03.21_womens meijin 2

Fujisawa evens score in 31st Women’s Meijin
In recent years, the first game of the Women’s Meijin title match has been linked with the first Judan game, being held at the same venue, the Osaka University of Commerce, on the following day. This year it featured yet another title-match clash, the eighth, between Fujisawa Rina, holder of three women’s titles, and Xie Yimin 6P, who has had no title to her name since she lost the Women’s Honinbo to Fujisawa last December. She has memories of this title, as she held it for nine years in a row, so she will be hoping to make a comeback. Fujisawa actually had the better start, but Xie caught up by living inside White’s sphere of influence, then took the lead by reducing White’s main territory. Fujisawa resigned after 241 moves.
The second game was played in the Arisu Pavilion on the campus of Heian Jogakuin University (also known as St. Agnes’ University) on March 14. Fujisawa (black) beat Xie by resignation after 189 moves. Xie took the initiative in the opening, but Fujisawa made a successful attack in the middle game and drew level with her. At the end, Xie slipped up in time trouble, so Fujisawa took a big lead. Up to this loss, Xie had won nine games in a row. The third game will be played at the Nihon Ki-in on March 22.

Fujisawa & Ichiriki win Pair Go
The final of the Professional Pair Go Championship 2019 was held at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on March 3. Taking white, the pair of Fujisawa Rina and Ichiriki Ryo beat Osawa Narumi and Kyo Kagen by resignation.

Hane takes sole lead in 74th Honinbo League2019.03.21_Honinbo League
This is one of the closest leagues in memory, with six players still in contention after five rounds; after three games in the sixth round, that number has been reduced by only one. These days, according to a new rule, only the top two players in a multiple tie qualify for the play-off, but in an earlier decade there was a five-man play-off, so it was like a mini-tournament in its own right.
With two wins since our last report, Hane Naoki 9P has improved his score to 5-1, giving him the sole lead. If he can beat Yamashita Keigo in the final round in April, he will be the challenger. Still in the running if he slips up are Shibano Toramaru 7P and Ichiriki Ryo, both on 4-2, and Yamashita and Kono Rin 9P, both on 3-2. One of these four players, though, will lose his place in the league, joining Ko Iso and Anzai Nobuaki. Actually, at this point Hane is the only player immune from demotion. For the first time, all of the games in the final round will be held on the same day, April 5, at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo with a public commentary being held from 6 to 9 p.m. (to be extended if necessary).
Recent games:
(Feb. 11) Kono Rin 9P (B) beat Yo Seiki 7P by resig. This was Yo’s second loss, so he fell behind Shibano and Kono (both on 3-1 at this point).
(Feb. 21) Hane Naoki (B) beat Ko Iso 8P by resig.; Yamashita Keigo 9P (W) beat Shibano Toramaru 7P by 3.5 points.
(March 7) Ko Iso 8P (B) beat Anzai Nobuaki 7P by 3.5 points.
(March 14) Hane (B) beat Ichiriki Ryo 8P by resig.; Shibano Toramaru (B) beat Yo Seiki 8P by resig.

Kono leads 44th Meijin League2019.03.21_Meijin League
After three and a half rounds, Kono Rin, on 4-0, is the only undefeated player, so he has a theoretical chance of playing in two best-of-sevens this year. His March 14 win detailed below is also his 13thwin in a streak that began last December. The Go Weekly report on the league went off topic in an interesting aside. The reporter wrote that if you were to publish a new book on josekis, the star point would probably take over half the space, as recently star-point variations have evolved a lot and become remarkably complicated. A novel variation appeared in the Kono v. Murakawa game.
Recent results:
(Feb. 21) Kono Rin 9P (B) beat Suzuki Shinji 7P by resig.; Mutsuura Yuta 7P (W) beat Murakawa Daisuke by resig. At this point, Kono, on 3-0, was the sole undefeated player.
(March 7) Shibano Toramaru 7P (W) beat Son Makoto 7P by resig.
(March 14) Kono Rin (W) beat Murakawa Daisuke 8P by 2.5 points.

Promotions  
To 9-dan: Komatsu Fujio (200 wins, as of Feb. 26)
To 8-dan: Sano Takatsugu (150 wins, as of March 5)
To 2-dan: Kuwabara Shun (30 wins, as of March 15)

Retirements
Kusunoki Teruko 7P will retire as of March 31. Born on September 3, 1939, she became 1-dan in 1956 and reached 7-dan in 1984. She won the Women’s Honinbo three years in a row and five times overall and the Women’s Kakusei two years in a row. She is one of the three Honda sisters; her oldest sister, Sugiuchi Kazuko 8P, is still active at the age of 92. The second sister, Honda Sachiko 7P, aged 88, retired in 2000.
Yoshida Harumi 1P will also retire at the end of this month. Born on November 28, 1957, she became a disciple of Iwamoto Kaoru 9P and became a professional in 1981.

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Transatlantic Pro Team match updates; AGA Watch Party pizza offer

Thursday March 21, 2019

The Transatlantic Professional Go Team Championship’s players for both the AGA and EGF teams have been announced. Ilya Shikshin 3P is the highest-ranked player on the EGF team, while the AGA team has Ryan Li 1P, who has become a star by defeating a top Chinese pro — Chen Yaoye 9P — in the 3rd MLiliy Cup.

As it did during the AlphaGo – Lee Sedol match, the AGA is offering reimbursement for food and non-alcoholic drinks for organized watch parties for the first round of the Transatlantic Match, which will be live-broadcast on April 7 at 2 PM EDT. A chapter must be current on dues and the expenses must be reasonable for the expected turnout. Send a few pictures of the party and a paragraph description along with a copy of receipt to journal@usgo.org. “We are also encouraging social media sharing of your stories,” says AGA president Andy Okun. Use #transatlanticgo and/or #teamAGA (or #teamEGF) for your stories.

 

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Park Junghwan tops World Go Championship; videos posted

Wednesday March 20, 2019

Park Junghwan has topped the World Go Championships for the third year; videos have been posted online  and include commentaries by Michael Redmond 9P. 2019.03.20 World championship-redmondThe 3-day tournament March 18-20 featured Iyama Yuta 9p and Cho U 9p from Japan, Park Jeong Hwan 9p, Shin Jinseo 9p from Korea, Ke Jie 9p of China and qualifiers Jiang Weijie 9p (China), Liao Yuanhe (China) and Yoo Changhyuk 9p (Korea). The event was sponsored by the Hankyu Corporation, Sumitomo Mitsui Card Co., Ltd., NTT DOCOMO, Inc. and IGO&SHOGI CHANNEL INC.

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The Power Report: Ueno & Xie join C League; Iyama defends Kisei title; Yu repeats in Senko Cup; Iyama makes good start in Judan

Wednesday March 20, 2019

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Ueno & Xie join C League
The Kisei qualifying tournament had a big day on February 14, with seven play-offs for seats in the C League, which is a five-round Swiss System. Places in the other leagues are decided by promotions and demotions within the leagues, but 16 players drop out of the 32-player C League, giving a lot of chances to the participants in the massive “First Tournament,” as the qualifying tournament is called.
Two woman players were vying for a place on the above date, with mixed results. Fuijisawa Rina lost to Hirose Yuichi 3P, but Ueno Asami beat Hashimoto Yujiro 9P. She will be the second woman, after Suzuki Ayumi 7P, to make the C League. (By the way, this was her seventh win in a streak that started last year.)
On February 21, Xie Yimin 6P (W) beat Otake Hideo 9P by resig. and also gained a seat in the C League.

Iyama defends Kisei title 2019.03.20_43kisei7 Iyama defends
Iyama Yuta defended the 43rdKisei title but not before being given a scare by the tenacious challenger Yamashita Keigo. After four games, Iyama had a 3-1 lead, so the match seemed as good as over. But Yamashita had other ideas.
The fifth game was held at the Tokiwa Hotel in Kofu City, Yamanashi Prefecture, on February 27 and 28. The game was a kadoban for the challenger, so he was under a lot of pressure. Playing white, Iyama sacrificed a small group in return for outside thickness, and Yamashita seemed dissatisfied with his opening, judging by the fact that he declined to 2019.03.20_43kisei6 Yamashitamake what looked like an advisable reinforcing move and instead played aggressively in an attempt to counteract White’s thickness. However, Iyama made an overplay in the ensuing center fight, so Yamashita was able to pull off an upset. He won by 6.5 points. With his Judan title defense due to start soon, Iyama, must have been disappointed to let slip this chance to reduce the burden on himself.
The sixth game was held at the Kagetsuen inn in the town of Hakone in Kanagawa Prefecture on March 7 and 8. This was the second kadoban for Yamashita. Starting in the opening, he played an aggressive, attacking game with white and turned the game into one large confused fight. Iyama is at home in this kind of game, so Yamashita was unable to turn it in his favor. However, right at the end he was able to put a large black group into ko and pull off an upset. White won by 6.5 points after 250 moves. Iyama will regret not being able to hang on to the lead, but the mutual aggression made this a very entertaining game.
Yamashita had finally drawn level with Iyama; usually the player catching up has better momentum, so there seemed to be a good chance of Iyama’s being dethroned. The final game of the series was played at Ryugon, a Japanese inn in the city of Minami (south) Uonuma in Niigata Prefecture on March 14 and 15. Yamashita drew black in the nigiri. This was yet another fierce fighting game, with Yamashita making an all-out attempt to capture a large white group. However, he made a mistake in timing, losing two points by failing to make a forcing move. After this slip, he began playing erratically, so Iyama was able to seize the initiative. In the end, he won by 6.5 points, the same margin as in the sixth game.
This is the seventh year in a row that Iyama has won the Kisei title. One more defense and he will match Kobayashi Koichi’s record of eight in a row. He has maintained his quintuple crown. It is his 55thtitle and his 45thtop-seven title, the latter extending his record.

Yu repeats in Senko Cup2019.03.20_Senko Tsukuda Choi Yu Hei
The Senko Cup World Go Strongest Woman Player Tournament 2019, to translate the name literally, was held at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo from February 22 to 24. It is the only international professional women’s tournament sponsored by a Japanese company. The inaugural tournament was held last year and was won by Yu Zhiying 6P of China. She again demonstrated overwhelming strength and repeated as champion. This year she defeated Choi Jeong 9P of Korea in the final. First prize is 10 million yen (just under $90,000). Full results are given below.
Round 1 (Feb. 22). Yu (China) (B) beat Mannami Nao 4P (Japan) by resig.; Tsukuda Akiko 5P (Japan) (W) beat Nataliya Kovaleva 5D (Russia) by resig.; Choi (W) beat Nyu Eiko 2P (Japan) by resig.; Hei Jiajia 7P (Chinese Taipei) (W) beat Ueno Asami 2P (Japan) by resig.
Semifinals (Feb. 23). Yu (B) beat Tsukuda by resig.; Choi (W) beat Hei by 2.5 points.
2019.03.20_Judan1 Murakawa IyamaFinal (Feb. 24). Yu (B) beat Choi by 3.5 points. Play-off for 3rd place: Hei (W) beat Tsukuda by resig.

Iyama makes good start in Judan
The 57th Judan best-of-five title match got off to a start on March 5. It was played on the campus of the Osaka University of Commerce. The challenger, Murakawa Daisuke 8P, was playing in his fifth top-seven title match, his opponent in each case being Iyama Yuta. So far, he had succeeded just once, winning the Oza title from him in 2014, but losing it back to him the following year. As he put it last year before his unsuccessful challenge for the Judan title, Iyama is “an extremely large barrier that you can’t avoid.”
Iyama Yuta played positively and took the initiative. Murakawa launched a fierce attack late in the game, but Iyama countered forcefully in rescuing a group under attack and prevented an upset. The second game will be played on March 29. Murakawa has now lost 13 games in a row to Iyama, all in title matches.

Tomorrow: Fujisawa evens score in 31st Women’s Meijin; Fujisawa & Ichiriki win Pair Go; Hane takes sole lead in 74th Honinbo League; Kono leads 44th Meijin League; Promotions & retirements

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Pair Go/Paella Night this Friday at National Go Center

Wednesday March 20, 2019

The National Go Center’s first Pair Go/Paella Friday social last month “was a big hit so we are having it again this month,” 2019.03.20 ngc-paella2019.03.20 ngc-paella2reports the NGC’s Gurujeet Khalsa. The fun, social evening features mixed Pair Go “and a special meal prepared by world-famous chef — and E-Journal editor — Chris Garlock.” This month there will be both vegan and meat paella options; click here to register. “Come with a partner or come yourself and you will be matched with partners as available.” 

Note that the starting time is a bit earlier — 6:30 — to finish before the last Metro. When registering indicate whether you will be having paella ($5 – collected at the door) or just playing Pair Go. If you already have a partner be sure to register them as well.

Address any questions about Pair Go or the event to Haskell Small: haskell@haskellsmall.com or call 202-352-5529.

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The Power Report: The amazing career of 9-year-old Nakamura Sumire

Tuesday March 19, 2019

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal2019.03.19_Sumire with parents

Back on January 5, this journal carried a report about Nakamura Sumire, who had been granted 1-dan rank at the Nihon Ki-in at the age of nine. When she makes her pro debut in April, she will be exactly ten years old, making her the youngest professional ever in Japan. She gained her 1-dan diploma under a new system in which the Nihon Ki-in can award professional status to promising young players without making them wait to gain the rank through insei competition. The aim, presumably, is to accelerate their development by exposing them at a younger age to professional competition. No one at the Nihon Ki-in has commented on the obvious risk of a premature promotion: the player may be discouraged and suffer a setback if he or she is not equal to the challenge.

During the press conference, Kobayashi also expressed his gratitude to the Kansai Ki-in for all the assistance they had given to Sumire and for letting the Nihon Ki-in “poach” her.

Here are a few more details about her career so far. Nakamura was born into a go family: her father is Shinya 9P and her mother, Miyuki, is a strong amateur who is also a go teacher. Early on, Sumire showed an interest in go, so her mother taught her the game when she was three. She immediately started playing in children’s tournaments. When she lost, she asked her mother how she could win and, on her advice, started studying go two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon. In 2015, aged exactly 6, she won a tournament for preschoolers, the 4th Watanabe Kazuyo Kids Cup. At this time, she was already amateur 4-dan. She then started playing in all-Japan tournaments for children and for female players, with good results. However, when she was seven, she started studying go more seriously, so she mainly stopped appearing in amateur tournaments. One exception was in July last year when she played in a tournament organized by Pandanet, the Ladies Tournament, and won it, including a win over a player who had twice won the All-Japan Women’s Amateur Championship. When she was eight, she became an insei at the Kansai Ki-in. She also underwent training in Korea last year from May to December, entering the famous go school of Han Jongjin and becoming a trainee (“kenkuyuusei,” = insei) at the Korean Kiwon. (Apparently she first visited Korea when she was seven, though I don’t have details. Reading between the lines, it may be that her father has more confidence in Korean professional training than in Japanese.) The number of trainees is limited to 108, so you have to win a place through a qualifying tournament. She quickly learned Korean and would interpret for her parents. Apparently she won a children’s tournament in Korea, but, again, I don’t have details.

In the Nihon Ki-in’s press conference, Kobayashi Satoru 9P, who is Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, described the new system for discovering youthful talent. It is called the Young Stars Special Promotion System for Recommended Players and in principle applies to elementary-school children. Kobayashi: “We made this system, modeled on a Korean system, to solve the problem of Japan’s having fallen behind in world go.” The decision to found it was formally made on December 8. Soon after Sumire became the first candidate. The decisive factor in the decision to award her 1-dan status was her good performance in a test game with Cho U Meijin played on December 13. Taking black and receiving a reverse komi of six points, she secured a jigo (draw). This game was published in the February 11 issue of Go Weekly. According to the commentator, Ichiriki Ryo, she had a lead in the middle game, but lost points in the endgame. This performance is quite close to 1-dan level. Every year Go Weekly organizes games between the players who are about to debut as new professionals; the handicap is black, with no komi, and the results are mixed.

Actually, Nakamura may find things easier playing low-ranked professionals when her career starts in April because she has been put through the wringer in a number of tough teaching/demonstration games. Below is an update on these plus a report on a “temporary” police force promotion.

On January 6, the day after the Nihon Ki-in held a press conference to announce her debut, Sumire played a “public commemorative game” with Iyama Yuta at a go festival in Higashi (East) Osaka City. This was a reward for winning the elementary schoolchildren’s tournament at this festival the previous year. The press conference the day before had attracted a lot of attention, being widely reported on TV, so there was a major media presence at the festival. Taking black with no komi, Sumire played positively and took the lead, but fell behind after an overplay in the middle game. However, the game was 2019.03.19_Police Chief for a daysuspended after move 170 as the time allotted for it had expired. (It’s quite common for special games like this not to be played to a conclusion.) Iyama had played her at the same festival a year earlier; he commented that he was astonished by her improvement in the interval and added that she was stronger than he was at nine.

On January 12, Sumire acted as Chief of Konohana Police Station for a Day. Konohana is the area in Osaka City where her elementary school is located. Police stations in Japan often ask celebrities to act as a kind of honorary police chief for a day as a publicity measure. Sumire wore a down-sized policewoman’s uniform and a sash with the words Konohana Police Chief on it and attended an “investiture” ceremony and an event designed to raise awareness of swindling, a very common crime these days. She was of course the youngest person ever to act this role in Konohana; it’s unlikely there have been many younger “police chiefs” in Japan. This request by the police reflects the great public interest Sumire’s promotion has attracted. (A Net search for Nakamura Sumire, Konohana Police Chief for a Day or just for her name will locate lots of photos.)

Later in January, Sumire visited Seoul with her family, one reason being for her and her family to express their gratitude to people there who had helped with her training, especially Han Jongjin, who runs one of the top go schools. About 50 members of the Japanese and Korean media attended a press conference held on the 22nd. The next day she played a commemorative game with Choi Jeong 9P, the world’s number one or number two woman player. The game was played in a TV studio in the basement of the Korean Kiwon. Sumire was outplayed by Choi and resigned after 180 moves. In a commentary in Go World,Motoki Katsuya 8P commented that Sumire seemed to be quite familiar with the latest patterns played in international tournaments. In the middle game, Sumire got into trouble with over-aggressive play.

Sumire is quite popular in Korea. A week after the above game, she visited Korea again at the invitation of the go channel K Baduk to play another commemorative game, this time with the “emperor” of Korean go, Cho Hunhyun. The game was played on January 30 and telecast on February 3. Playing black with no komi, Sumire lost this game too.

Finally, as part of its regular series pitting debutant pros against senior players, Go Weekly arranged for Sumire to play a game with Hei Jiajia 7P (formerly known as Joanne Missingham) of Taiwan. Hei visited Japan for the Senko Cup (see our report tomorrow). This game was played at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on February 20, with Sumire taking black with no komi. According to Fujisawa Rina, who did a commentary for Go Weekly, Sumire was ahead in the middle game but made an overplay that let Hei stage an upset. Sumire resigned after 228 moves. Kobayashi Satoru commented that in content this was the best of the series of games for Sumire. He predicted that she would be appearing in women’s title matches in three years’ time, but Fujisawa Rina amended that to “one or two years’ time.”

Study time: According to her family, Sumire studies go six hours a day during the school year and nine hours a day in the holidays. When asked what was her favorite TV program in a press conference, her parents answered that there was no TV in their home.

Media attention: Recently shogi has been attracting a lot of attention in the media thanks to the exploits of Fujii Sota, who has been rewriting the record book, including starting his career with 29 successive wins. (I wrote a couple of reports on him for the E-Journal, the later one being in the July 19, 2017 issue.) Sumire has been attracting similar interest, with all the above games and the one-day police chief event being widely reported on prime-time TV. Japanese TV loves to show celebrities shedding tears, and they made a lot of a reputation Sumire had for crying when she lost. However, perhaps she’s matured, because she didn’t cry after any of the losses detailed above. Someone in her family said that because she respected these players, she didn’t get upset when she lost.

It’s now only a couple of weeks until she makes her professional debut. Even non-go players will be following her career with keen interest.

Tomorrow: Ueno & Xie join C League; Iyama defends Kisei title; Yu repeats in Senko Cup; Iyama makes good start in Judan

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The Power Report: Another Ueno makes pro; Yang wins LG Cup; China’s overwhelming win in Nong Shim Cup

Monday March 18, 2019

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Another Ueno makes pro
Following older sister Asami’s successful defense of her Women’s Kisei title, related in my previous report, there was more good news for the Ueno family when younger sister Risa qualified as professional 1-dan. Risa took first place in the 2019 women’s tournament for qualification as a professional with a score of 7-1. The tournament concluded on February 8. She will be 12 years nine months old when she starts her career on April 1, which makes her the fourth youngest ever at the Nihon Ki-in. She will make her debut along with the ten-year-old Nakamura Sumire. Her success has also attracted a lot of attention and a press conference was held on the 15th. Like her elder sister (who is 17), she is a disciple of Fujisawa Kazunari 8P, so Fujisawa Rina could reproach her father for creating yet another rival.
Thanks to the example of her older sister Asami, Risa learnt go at the age of four and became an insei in the second year of elementary school. Asked if she respected her older sister, she answered: “M’m, I guess so . . . We’d probably quarrel, so we almost never play with each other.”
There are various routes to professional shodan, with Nakamura Sumire’s path being the newest one (see article below), and two other female players also qualified as 1-dan. They are both from the Central Japan or Nagoya branch of the Nihon Ki-in and both were recommended for promotion by the insei instructor. Takao Mari (aged 17) and Hane Ayaka (aged 16) both scored 9-3 in a league for the top four inseis. Takao actually took first place because of her higher ranking. Hane is the third daughter of Hane Naoki 9P and Shigeko 1P. Her style is aggressive, in contrast to her father, and, like Fujisawa Rina, she is a third-generation professional.

Yang wins LG Cup2019.03.18_Yang Dingxin
The best-of-three final of the 23rd LG Cup was an all-Chinese affair, with Shi Yue 9P (aged 28) playing Yang Dingxin 7P (aged 20; at right). Game One (Feb. 11) was won by Shi (B) by resig., but Yang bounced back, winning Game Two (Feb. 13) by resig. and Game Three, for which he had white, also by resig. First prize is 2019.03.18_NongShim Iyama L Park300,000,000 won (a little over $264,000).

China’s overwhelming win in Nong Shim Cup
The third and final stage of the 20th Nong Shim Spicy Noodles Cup was held in Seoul, but it was over very quickly. In Game 10, played on Feb. 18, Park Junghwan 9P, the last player for Korea, beat Iyama Yuta 9P, the last player for Japan. Park had black and won by resig. The next day, however, China’s second player, Dang Yifei 9P, (B) beat Park by 1.5 points, giving China an overwhelming victory. Scores were: China 8-1; Korea 2-5; Japan 1-5. First prize is 500,000,000 won (nearly $441,000).

Tomorrow: The amazing career of 9-year-old Nakamura Sumire

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The Power Report: Kido Prize winners announced; Top prize-money winners in 2018; Iyama wins 56th Shusai Prize, Ishida wins Okura Prize

Sunday March 17, 2019

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Kido Prize winners announced
The 52nd Kido Prizes will be awarded at a ceremony scheduled for March 26. They are awarded to the top Nihon Ki-in performers of 2018 in various categories and are named after the predecessor of the magazine “Monthly Go World.” They were selected by a committee of go journalists on February 5.
Most outstanding player: Iyama Yuta, quintuple crown. Iyama has now won this prize for seven years in a row.
Outstanding players: Cho U (won the Meijin title), Kyo Kagen (won the Gosei title)
New Star: Ueno Asami (won a women’s title in her second year as a pro)
Women’s Prize: Fujisawa Rina (won three women’s titles)
International prize: Shibano Toramaru (for beating Ke Jie in the Japan-China Ryusei play-off)
Most wins: Shibano Toramaru (46-23)
Best winning percentage: Fujita Akihiko (83.67%)
Most successive wins: Koike Yoshihiro (19)
Most games played: Shibano Toramaru (69)

Top prize-money winners in 2018
As usual, Iyama was far ahead of anyone else. His income dropped by ¥13,000,000 from last year owing to his loss of two titles from his septuple crown, but it’s considered a major achievement to top one hundred million yen. There’s a big drop to the next player in the list, but Ichiriki is doing well when you consider he’s also a university student. This year only one woman player made the top ten compared to two last year.
1. Iyama Yuta: ¥146,960,000 (about $1.3 million) (top for the eighth year in a row, clearing one hundred million yen for the seventh year in a row)
2. Ichiriki Ryo 8P: ¥51,617,199 (2nd for second year in a row)
3. Cho U: ¥41,519,000
4. Yamashita Keigo: ¥32,838,813
5. Shibano Toramaru: ¥22,266,400
6. Fujisawa Rina: ¥21,897,900
7. Kyo Kagen: ¥20,288,300
8. Kono Rin: ¥18,696,277
9. Hane Naoki: ¥12,746,400
10. Motoki Katsuya: ¥12,485,000

Iyama wins 56th Shusai Prize, Ishida wins Okura Prize
Both these prizes were decided on February 12. The Shusai Prize is awarded to a player with outstanding results in the previous year and who has a promising future. For the seventh year in a row, it went to Iyama Yuta, which is a new record.
The 48th Okura Kishichiro Prizes were awarded to three amateur players who have played a prominent role in spreading go and to Ishida Yoshio, otherwise known as 24th Honinbo Shuho.

Tomorrow: Another Ueno makes pro; Yang wins LG Cup; China’s overwhelming win in Nong Shim Cup

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AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo; Game 29: It’s personal for Michael

Sunday March 17, 2019

This game features AlphaGo’s version of the double karari against a starpoint. “That’s one I like and have been using in my own 2019.03.09 AG-AG 29 thumbnailgames, so it’s sort of personal for me,” says Michael Redmond 9p in the latest vi2019.03.09 AG-AG 29 thumbnail-redmond-garlockdeo with the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock. “Then black makes a big moyo and we’ll see how AlphaGo deals with that.”

These videos are made possible by the support of the American Go Association; please consider joining today!

Video produced by Michael Wanek & Andrew Jackson.

[link]

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Janice Kim to have brain tumor removed

Friday March 15, 2019

Janice Kim was scheduled to undergo surgery Friday to remove “a tennis-ball sized brain tumor in my frontal lobe,” she reported recently2019.03.14 Janice Kim and kids on Facebook. “Will probably be off Facebook for a long time, but I should be okay,” she said. The popular go professional and teacher is a co-author, with Jeong Soo-hyun 9 dan, of the Learn To Play Go Series and she’s been a columnist for the U.S. Shonen Jump and the American Go E-Journal. She also ventured into the poker world, placing 4th in the World Poker Tour Ladies Championship in 2008.

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