by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal
Iyama regains sextuple crown: The third game of the 41st Tengen title match was held at the Munakata Yurix* in Munakata City, Fukuoka Prefecture on November 25. Taking black, Iyama Yuta (right) forced Takao Shinji (left, in white shirt) to resign after 147 moves. Iyama took a decisive lead in the first large fight of the game and wrapped it up by killing a large group. This win won back the title he lost to Takao on December 19 last year. He also once again held six of the top seven titles; this is his third sextuple crown. Overall, this is his 34th title, and his winning streak is now 24, which puts him in equal second place in modern tournament records with Rin Kaiho, Hon. Tengen. With his twelfth successive win in title matches, he also equals another record, one set by Sakata Eio. Iyama’s cumulative record in title matches is 100 wins to 49 losses, a winning percentage of 67.1%. Click here for Go Game Guru’s report, with game records and more photos.
* the Munakata Yurix is an elaborate complex of facilities including a large library, planetarium, various halls, and sporting facilities.
Surprise leader in Honinbo League: A surprising player has taken the sole lead after just two rounds in the 71st Honinbo League. The final game of the second round was played on November 26, and league newcomer Motoki Katsuya 7P (W) beat Yamashita Keigo 9P, the top-ranked player in the league, by 1.5 points. Motoki is the only player on 2-0.
Women’s Meijin League: In a game played on November 26, Chinen Kaori 5P picked up her first win. Playing white, she beat Kato Keiko 6P by resignation. Chinen was already doomed to lose her league place, but this win ensured that she had the company of Kato (both are on 1-4).
Judan semifinalists: In the Judan tournament, in which the focus of interest is Iyama’s attempt to go for a genuine grand slam, two more semifinalists have been decided. Imamura Toshiya 9P beat Ichiriki Ryo 7P and will face Iyama in one semifinal. Shida Tatsuya 7P beat Kobayashi Satoru 9P and will meet either Yo Seiki 7P or Takao Shinji 9P in the other semifinal.
Xie regains Women’s Honinbo title: After a gap of two terms, Xie Yimin has won back the Women’s Honinbo title. The fifth game of the 34th title match was played at the Nihon Ki-in on November 27. Taking white, Xie (right) won by resignation after 272 moves. Fujisawa Rina (left) had looked like defending her title when she won the first two games, but then Xie made a stubborn fightback to take the next three. As she also holds the Women’s Meijin and Women’s Kisei titles, Xie once again has a triple crown.
Retirement: Ogoshi Ichiro 8P retired as of November 30. Born in Oita Prefecture on November 7, 1954, Ogoshi became a disciple of Kitani Minoru and made pro 1-dan in 1976. He reached 8-dan in 1999. After retirement, he plans to devote himself to spreading go in Kushiro City, Hokkaido.