American Go E-Journal » Japan

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.


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


More Pro Go on the AGA Youtube Channel: Park Younghoon 9P vs Ke Jie 9P, with Myungwan Kim 9P commenting, 11/23 at 6pm PST

Sunday November 22, 2015

Catch more top professional games with live English commentary on the AGA’s Youtube Channel Monday, November 23. Myungwan Kim 9P will comment the semifinals of the MLily Cup, between Park Younghoon 9P (#3 in Korea) and Ke Jie 9P (#1 in China). The MLily Cup is one of the major international tournaments, with a grand prize of over a quarter million dollars US. They’re playing a best-of-three series, with the first game already in the books — a win for Ke Jie — and Game #2 will be broadcast LIVE this Monday at 7pm PST (10p EST). As a bonus, Myungwan Kim will also review game #1 during the player’s lunch break.

Categories: China,Japan,Main Page

Gala Pair Go Tournament Planned for Seattle

Saturday November 21, 2015

2015-Pair-go-Facebook-post-finalSeattle Go Center members are looking forward to the 3rd Annual Pair Go Tournament, set for Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015.  The fun dress-up event features prizes from Japan and fancy cake.   Last year’s tournament had 12 pairs participating.  Tournament details are posted on the Seattle Go Center websitePhoto and styling by Anne Thompson/Report by Brian Allen


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.

Categories: Japan,John Power Report

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

Categories: Japan,John Power Report

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.


Categories: Japan,John Power Report

Ichiriki Ryo Wins First Three Games at 17th Nongshim Cup

Tuesday November 3, 2015

Ichiriki Ryo 7p, the first player from team Japan, won three games in the first round of the 17th Nongshim Cup, played October 20-23 in 2015.11.03_Ichiriki-Ryo-Nongshim-CupChongqing, China. Ichiriki Ryo defeated Baek Chanhee 1p, Fan Yunruo 4p and Min Sangyoun 4p consecutively, an impressive performance and hopeful news for team Japan. Even though Ichiriki (right) lost to Wu Guangya 6p in the fourth game, he’s already done very well for Japan. Ichiriki was also the first player to step up to the plate at the 16th Nongshim Cup in 2014, where he defeated Byun Sangil 4p and lost to Tuo Jiaxi 9p. Over the last decade or so, Team Japan sometimes struggled in the Nongshim Cup. However, they’re off to an excellent start this year, due to Ichiriki’s excellent performance.
- Go Game Guru; click here for their complete report

Categories: China,Japan

Liu Wins Last Game in Sankei Prelim

Monday November 2, 2015

2015.11.02_liu-final-match-2-300x168Andy Liu 1p defeated Ha Yoniru 6p by 2.5 points Monday afternoon in Osaka in the third and final round of the professional preliminary of the 2015.11.02_liu-final-match-300x168Kansai Kiin’s 12th Sankei Cup (see below for game record).  Liu defeated Imayi Kazuhiro 6p by resignation in his first game and won against Takashima Yougo 1p by a half point in his second game.  The EJ will provide details about the main tournament as soon as possible.  Fellow AGA pro Gansheng Shi 1p of Canada lost in his first round, as did two European Go Federation pros, Mateusz Surma 1p and Ali Jabarin 1p. Liu and Shi also played an exchange match with young Kansai Kiin pros, with Liu winning his game against Shintani Yousuki 1p, for an overall 4-0 record for this trip. “I am overjoyed at Andy’s wins and very proud of both our players for their gallant representation of the US and Canadian go communities in Japan,” said AGA President Andy Okun.  All the games were broadcast on Pandanet.   liu (b) v ha (w) 1-2015-11-01Photos of Liu and Ha courtesy of Kansai Kiin.


Andy Liu 1p Wins Exchange Match, Plays in Sankei Cup Game Sunday Night

Saturday October 31, 2015

Andy Liu 1p and Gansheng Shi 1p played in an exchange match with Kansai Kiin pros on Friday in Osaka, with Liu (top right) winning his match against 2015.10.31_Sankei Cup-collageSinntani Yousuki 1p (top left) and Shi (bottom left) losing to Yinaba Karinn 1p (bottom right).

Liu, who won two initial rounds of the 12th Sankei Cup pro preliminary, will play a final preliminary round on Monday at 2:30 p.m. Japanese time, or 12:30 a.m. Monday Eastern time (9:30 p.m. Sunday night Pacific time).

According to the Kansai Kiin, Ha Yoniru 6p and Arakaki Shiyun 9p will play each other Monday morning and the winner of that match will play Monday afternoon against Liu. The matches will be broadcast on Pandanet; the E-Journal will provide information about the Sankei Cup main tournament when available. See below for game records.
- photos courtesy of Kansai Kiin.

Gansheng Shi (b) vs Mine Yasuhiro (w)
Imai Kazuhiro (b) vs Andy Liu (w)
Andy Liu (b) vs Shintani Yousuke (w)
Inaba Karin (b) vs Gansheng Shi (w)
Takashima Yougo (b) vs Andy Liu (w)

Categories: Japan