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The Power Report: E-Journal to cover Globis Cup

Monday May 4, 2015

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

Ejournal to cover Globis Cup: The Nihon Ki-in has invited the E-Journal to cover the 2nd Globis Cup, so I will be presenting detailed reports this week on this new international tournament for young players. Below is a preview.

2015.05.04_globis-cup-logo_imgThe Globis Cup was founded last year. The official name is the Globis Cup World Igo U-20. It is organized by the Nihon Ki-in and the main sponsor is the Globis Corporation, with Otsuka Pharmaceuticals and Kitami Hakka Tsusho Inc. act2015.05.04_globising as supporting sponsors. Globis is a venture-capital company that also provides educational services in business and management. The venue of the tournament is a university run by the company, the Graduate School of Management, Globis University. The co-sponsor Kitami Hakka Tsusho specializes in peppermint products of various kinds (food, cosmetics, etc.). It is based in the city of Kitami in northeastern Hokkaido. Details of the first tournament were given in my report in mid-May last year. To recap, it was a triumph for Japan, with Ichiriki Ryo 7P beating Kyo Kagen 2P, a Taiwanese member of the Nihon Ki-in, in the final. The top prizes are 3 million yen (nearly $30,000), 500,000 yen, and 200,000 yen. Participants this year have to be under 20 as of January 1, 2015. As the host country, Japan has six of the sixteen places.

Participants are listed below:
Japan: Ichiriki Ryo 7P (seeded), Yo Seiki 7P, Motoki Katsuya 3P, Fujimura Yosuke 2P, Sada Atsushi 2P, and Koyama Kuya 2P.
China: Yang Dingxin 3P, Guang Yunsong 3P, and Li Qincheng 2P.
Korea: Na Hyeon 6P, Yi Dong-hyun 5P, and Shin Jin-so 3P.
Chinese Taipei: Lin Junyan 6P
Europe: Pavol Lisy 1P
USA: Lionel Zhang 7D
Thailand: Krit Jamkachornkiat 7D

The tournament starts with a reception on May 7th, and is then played at the rate of two games a day from Friday to Sunday (May 8th to 10th). The format is NHK-style (30 seconds per move plus ten minutes thinking time, to be used in one-minute units; on TV this usually results in a 90-minute game). It’s a knock-out tournament, but the opening round is double elimination: the players are split into four groups; two wins take you to the next round, two losses see you
eliminated. In the early rounds, players from the same country won’t be paired against each other.

Players to watch: The favorites for Japan are Ichiriki and Yo, but the overall favorite is probably Na Hyeon, who has already been a presence in international tournaments for a couple of years.

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The Power Report: Otake awarded decoration; Yamashita reaches Gosei final

Sunday May 3, 2015

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2015.05.03_Order-Rising-Sun

Otake awarded decoration: The go world has been honored with the award of a decoration in the spring honors list to Otake Hideo 9P. The decoration is the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon. (that’s the Wikipedia translation; the Japanese name is just five characters and reads kyokujitsu-chuu-jushou.) Otake is the 23rd go player to be honored (it’s actually his second decoration). His award, which is the sixth-highest, is the same one given to Takagawa Shukaku, Go Seigen, and Fujisawa Shuko. Besides winning 48 titles, including four Meijin titles and the Fujitsu Cup, Otake served as chairman of the board of directors of the  Nihon Ki-in from December 2008 to June 2012. He is now a counselor to the Nihon Ki-in.

2015.05.03_yamashitaYamashita reaches Gosei final: Although his recent Kisei challenge faltered at the final hurdle, Yamashita (left) is making his presence felt on the tournament scene this year. In the semifinal of the 40th Gosei tournament, held on April 30, Yamashita (W) beat Murakawa Daisuke Oza by resignation. His opponent in the play-off to decide the challenger to Iyama Yuta will be the winner of the semifinal between Kono Rin 9P and Shida Tatsuya 7P. If Yamashita becomes the challenger the start of the match might overlap his Honinbo title match with Iyama.

Correction: I jumped to a wrong conclusion about Iyama Yuta in the Judan article in my previous report. He never held the record for fastest to win a top-seven title. Before Ida’s six years, the record was held by Ryu Shikun 9P, who won the Tengen title after six years eight months as a pro.  Yamashita is third, winning the Gosei after seven years four months, and Iyama (seven years six months) is fourth. Rounding out the top five is Ishida Yoshio, who won the Honinbo title after eight years two months.

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The Power Report: Ida wins Judan title; Meijin League; Kisei leagues

Sunday April 26, 2015

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2015.04.26_Ida-Atsushi-53rd-Judan-Final-300x338

Ida wins Judan title: The final game of the 53rd Judan title match was held at the Nihon Ki-in in Ichigaya, Tokyo, on April 22. The challenger, Ida Atsushi 8P, had taken the lead in the match by winning the second and third games, but Takao Shinji 9P, the title-holder, evened the score in the fourth game. The nigiri to decide the colors was held again, and Ida drew black. The lead in the game switched back and forth, with both players having winning chances. Late in the game, a large group of Black’s came under attack, but instead of just making two eyes Ida countered by setting up a capturing race that he won. Takao resigned after 217 moves. This gave Ida the match by a 3-2 margin.This is Ida’s first title. At 21 years one month, he is the youngest player to win the Judan title and the third-youngest player to win a top-seven title. Ida became a professional in April of 2009, so it has taken him exactly six years to win his first title. This is a new record (it used to be held by Iyama Yuta, but he took seven a half years to win his first top-seven title). photo courtesy Go Game Guru; click here for the Game Guru report, which includes game records.

Meijin League: One game from the Meijin League was played last week. Takao Shinji 9P (B) beat Hane Naoki 9P by resignation. Takao improved his score to 3-1, drawing even with Kono Rin 9P and Yamashita Keigo 9P. The provisional leader in the league is Ko Iso 8P on 4-1.

Kisei leagues: The Kisei A and B Leagues have started this month. As I reported in early November last year, there has been a large-scale reorganization of this tournament. The Kisei tournament has always been the most complicated tournament since its founding, but apparently the sponsor, the Yomiuri Newspaper, was not satisfied. The biggest change was instituting five separate leagues instead of just
 one. The top players from a large-scale knock-out tournament (with about 400 participants, including four amateurs) move up into the C League (32 players), above which are two B Leagues, the A League, and the S League (so the leagues are in four stages). The winners of the leagues meet in an irregular knock-out tournament, the winner of which meets the winner of the S League in a play-off. The latter is given a one-win advantage in this play-off, so he has to win only one game, whereas his opponent has to win two games to become the challenger. The six-player S League is at the peak of the tournament pyramid, so I plan to report just on its results. The members, in order, are Yamashita Keigo 9P, Murakawa Daisuke Oza, Takao Shinji Tengen, Yoda Norimoto 9P, Yamashiro Hiroshi 9P, and Kobayashi Satoru 9P.

Correction: The phrase “same whole-board decision” in the Nihon Ki-in rule quoted in my previous report is a typo for “same whole-board position.”

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The Power Report: Takao evens score in Judan; Meijin League; More details on quadruple ko

Sunday April 19, 2015

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2015.04.19_judan

Takao evens score in Judan: The fourth game of the 53rd Judan title match was played at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on April 15. Playing black, Takao Shinji Judan forced a resignation after 167 moves and drew level with the challenger, Ida Atsushi 8P. Ida made a dubious move in the opening (move 46), creating a weak group and letting Takao take the lead. He kept up the pressure and shut Ida out of the game. The deciding game will be played at the same venue on April 22.

Meijin League: One game was played in the 40th Meijin League on April 16. Yamashita Keigo 9P (B) beat Kanazawa Makoto 7P by 10.5 points. Yamashita improved his score to 3-1, just behind Ko Iso 8P on 4-1. On 1-4, Kanazawa is in bottom place and his chances of keeping his seat don’t look good.

More details on quadruple ko: This week’s Go Weekly printed an interview with Kono Rin about his quadruple ko the previous week (see my last report). Some interesting points came up. First of all, Go Weekly states that a quadruple ko comes up once every eight thousand games. Despite this, Kono has featured in two of the 11 recorded cases in Japan and also in a case of triple ko, a record matched only by Cho Chikun (three triple kos). According to Kono, he deliberately set up these kos as the only way to avoid losing the games concerned. In his game against Mitani Tetsuya, Kono set up the second of the double kos in an attempt to make Mitani add a reinforcement; compared to the regular endgame sequence, that would have cost Mitani two thirds of a point. Both Kono and Mitani thought that they were fighting over whether Mitani (black) ended up seven or six points ahead on the board (komi is six and a half). That’s why neither gave way and they agreed to make the game a “no result.” It became clear later, however, that both players had been miscounting the score by one point. Mitani could have given way, as he would still have won the game by half a point. That shows how important counting is. (By the way, Mitani lost the replay on the 13th.) Kono also realized that he (and probably many other professionals) didn’t have an accurate knowledge of the rules. When the quadruple ko started, the players had someone call the referee (probably only one referee was on duty for all the games being played that day). They thought that the referee had to make the decision to declare the game a no-result, but Article 12 of the Japanese rules states: “When the same whole-board decision is repeated during a game, if the players agree, the game ends without result.” In other words, the referee’s job is to oversee the process and confirm the agreement. Kono also commented that he mistakenly thought that the game automatically became a no-result if the same whole-board position was repeated, but the only reference to whole-board repetition is the rule quoted above. He said that he and Mitani could have kept capturing and recapturing the kos all night without infringing the rules. The rule just gives the players the option of agreeing to a no-result to avoid this futility. The reporter interviewing Kono, Sekine Shingo, surmises that go players have perhaps got the go rule mixed up with the shogi rule. In shogi, the rule apparently is that a game is replayed if the same whole-board position occurs four times. The Japanese rules are only one and a half pages long (though there’s a longer commentary), so it’s surprising that players are not completely familiar with them. One reason may be that the average professional would have to play for a dozen lifetimes to experience a no-result.

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The Power Report: Ida takes lead in Judan; Ko Iso leads Meijin League; Quadruple ko; LG Challengers Cup

Monday April 13, 2015

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2015.04.13_Judan-Shinji Takao

Ida takes lead in Judan: The second game of the 53rd Judan title match was held at the Kuroyon Royal Hotel in the city of Omachi in Nagano Prefecture on April 9. Omachi has become closely linked with the Judan tournament: this is the 22nd year in a row that a game from the title match game has been staged here. Omachi is a gateway to the Northern Alps and it has sought to establish itself as “the Alps go village.” Four years ago, Ida Atsushi was the game recorder for the Judan game held here and now he was playing in the title match, challenging Takao Shinji (right). 
        The game started with fierce fighting, and the first notable move was a move by Ida, playing black, that defied a go proverb by letting the opponent drive a wedge through some neighbouring stones (the proverb is, “don’t let yourself be split into two”). Despite this, Ida got off to a reasonable start. In the middle-game fighting, Ida took a small lead and managed to hold on to it to the end. He won by 2.5 points after 277 moves. After making a bad start in the title match, he has won two games in a row and now needs just one more win to  take the title.

Ko Iso leads Meijin League: Two games were played in the 40th Meijin League last week. On April 6, Ko Iso 8P (B) beat Murakawa Daisuke by 3.5 points. On April 9, So Yokoku 9P (B) Cho U 9P by half a point. There are four players with only one loss in the league, but Ko holds the provisional lead by virtue of having completed five rounds. His score is 4-1; the other players are Rin Kono 9P on 3-1 and Yamashita 2015.04.13_Kono-RinKeigo 9P and Takao Shinji 9P, both on 2-1.

Quadruple ko: A game between Kono Rin 9P (left) and Mitani Tetsuya 7P (black) played in the main section of the Gosei tournament on April 6 was declared no-contest (by agreement between the players) because of a quadruple ko. There were two double kos in Black’s position, one in the top right, the other in the bottom left. So long as these kos continued, the game could not end, but it was so close that Black could not afford to add a stone inside his territory to finish off either ko.
        This was the 24th no-contest in an official tournament at the Nihon Ki-in. Eleven of them were from quadruple kos, ten from triple kos, and one from a quintuple ko. The other two were from “chosei” or “eternal (or long) life” (an example is given on page 185 of The Go Players Almanac). Chosei is a hypothetical position that first occurred in a professional game in 1993 and then again in 2009. According to Wikipedia, it also appeared in a Korean game in 2013. Incidentally,  a chosei is embedded in the floor of the concourse of Ichigaya Station (the closest station to the Nihon Ki-in), just before the ticket gates.

LG Challengers Cup: To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the LG Cup, an international tournament for players 18 and under was held at the Korean Kiwon (Ki-in) in Seoul on April 10 and 11. At stake was a seat in the main LG tournament, which starts on June 8. There were eight players from Korea, including inseis, and four each from Japan and China. Representing Japan were Ichiriki Ryo 7P, Kyo Kagen 3P, Fujisawa Rina 2P, and Mutsuura Yuta 1P. Three of these players were eliminated in the first round, but Kyo Kagen made it to the second day; he lost to the eventual winner of the tournament, Byan Sang-il 3P of Korea, in the semifinals.

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The Power Report: Iyama wins Tournament of Champions; Iyama wins 500th game; Yamashita becomes Honinbo challenger

Monday April 6, 2015

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

Iyama wins second Tournament of Champions: 
This is a tournament for all the title-winners of the previous year, plus one player 2015.04.06_Iyama-Yutaselected by the votes of fans. The winner is awarded the Prime Minister’s Cup and the Minister of Education’s Prize (actually a shield). The format is the same as the NHK Cup, that is, ten minutes per player plus ten minutes of thinking time to be used in one-minute units. The first two rounds are played on the Net, and the semifinals and final are played in person at the Nihon Ki-in. The final is a public game, being played on stage before an audience with a commentary being given simultaneously on stage. (In the tournament list given in Go Weekly, this is only tournament with no cash prize mentioned. Perhaps the players play just for the glory.)

This year, the first two rounds were played on January 26. Listing the results will serve as a review of 2014 tournament go. In the first round, Ichiriki Ryo, King of the News Stars and winner of the Globis Cup and O-kage (Gratitude) Cup, beat Yo Seiki, winner of the Yucho (the post office bank) Cup;  Motoki Katsuya, winner of the Hiroshima Aluminium Cup, beat Fujisawa Rina, Women’s Honinbo and winner of the Aizu Central Hospital Cup; Takao Shinji, Tengen & Judan, beat Ida Atsushi, selected by fan vote; Yuki Satoshi, NHK Cup-winner and Kansai Ki-in Number One, beat Xie Yimin, Women’s Meijin and Kisei; Kono Rin Ryusei beat Hane Naoki Okan; Murakawa Daisuke Oza beat Cho Chikun, winner of Masters Cup; Iyama Yuta, Kisei, Meijin, Honinbo, Gosei, winner of Agon Kiriyama Cup and the first term of this tournament, was seeded into the semifinals.

In the second round, Motoki beat Ichiriki, Takao beat Yuki, and Kono beat Murakawa. The semifinals and final were held at the Nihon Ki-in in Ichigaya on March 29. The semifinals were played in the morning; Iyama (W) beat Kono by resig. and Takao (W) beat Motoki by resig. Actually Iyama started badly in the middle-game fighting against Kono, leading Kobayashi to predict an imminent resignation, but Iyama managed to pull off an upset. The afternoon final fittingly matched the two most successful players in top-seven titles last year: quadruple title-holder Iyama vs. dual title-holder Takao. Iyama drew black in the nigiri and killed a large white group, forcing Takao to resign after 157 moves. The commentary on the same stage was given by Kobayashi Satoru 9P and Yoshihara Yukari 6P (earlier they covered the morning games as well). There’s an art to giving commentaries in the presence of the players (who can’t see the demonstration board, of course). Usually the commentators avoid mentioning black or white and instead hold up a black or white stone to show the audience which side they are talking about. However, Iyama joked later that he owed his win to occasionally catching Kobayashi’s comments.

Iyama wins 500th game: A win over Murakawa Daisuke Oza in Round 1 of the Tengen tournament on April 2 was Iyama Yuta’s 500th official win as a professional. He has lost 191 games, so his winning percentage is 72.4%. He is the 100th player to win 500 games and, at 25 years ten months, the third youngest; his winning percentage is the 11th highest. (The youngest player to reach this landmark is Cho U at 25 years five months and the best winning percentage was 76.3, posted by Yamashita Keigo.)

Yamashita becomes Honinbo challenger: Three players were in the running as the 70th Honinbo League entered its final round, held 2015.04.06_Yamashita-honinbo_leagueon April 2: Yamashita Keigo (at right), Cho U and Ida Atsushi. However, only Yamashita could win the league outright. Last year he slipped up at the end, losing to Ida Atsushi and letting him force a play-off, which Ida won. This year Yamashita made no mistake: he beat Cho U and topped the league with a score of 6-1. Ida also lost his final game, so Yamashita ended two points clear of the field. Yamashita lost the Honinbo title to Iyama Yuta in 2012, so this will give him a chance to take revenge. The title match will start on May 13. It will be the sixth best-of-seven between these two players; so far, Yamashita has won only one. So far this year, his record is an excellent 12 wins to four losses; since he has just lost a best-of-seven match, the Kisei, that means he hasn’t lost a game to anyone besides Iyama.

Results in the final round:
Yamashita Keigo 9P (B) beat Cho U 9P by resig.
Yo Seiki 7P (W) beat Ida Atsushi 8P by resig.
Kono Rin 9P (B) beat Ryu Shikun 9P by resig.
Mimura 9P (W) beat Takao Shinji 9P by resig.

Placings in the league: 1st: Yamashita, 6-1; 2nd: Ida, 4-3; 3rd: Cho U, 4-3; 4th: Kono Rin, 4-3
Losing their places are: Yo (4-3), Mimura (3-4), Takao (2-5), and Ryu (1-6). Yo can count himself a little unlucky: he won his final game, but to keep his place he needed Kono to lose, as there’s no play-off for fourth place (Kono was rated higher).

 

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Nihon Ki-in Summer Camp Offers Discount & Special Programs

Saturday March 28, 2015

Students under the age of 25 who register for the Nihon Ki-in Summer Go Camp before May 31 will get 10% off the program fee. The intensive2015.03.28_NHK-camp-group training program for non-Japanese go players who want to raise their level and improve their go skills will receive “excellent lectures and workshops every day by highly-selected and richly-experienced professionals of the Nihon Ki-in.” The camp runs August 21 through September 3 at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo. In includes a special training program on August 27 at ‘Sugi no yado’ where the legendary Fujisawa Shuko hosted his famous ‘Shuko training camp’ each year with promising young professionals.

The Power Report: Ida surrenders lead in Honinbo league to Yamashita; Ida wins NHK Cup; Meijin League; Go lessons in train station; Iyama defends Kisei title; 57-year gap in women’s game; Retirements

Wednesday March 25, 2015

by John Power, EJ Japan Correspondent2015.03.25_Ida-Atsushi

Ida surrenders lead in Honinbo league to Yamashita: Ida Atsushi 8P (right) held the sole lead after the first four rounds in the 70th Honinbo League and seemed to be headed for a rematch with Iyama Yuta Honinbo. However, he has stumbled badly in the latter part of the league, with successive losses. As reported previously, he lost his fifth-round game with Kono Rin 9P in February. In his sixth-round game with Takao Shinji Tengen, played on March 12, Ida (W) lost by resignation. This follows on his loss to Takao in the first game of the Judan title match. Takao already had no chance of retaining his league place, so, as the Japanese idiom has it, Ida was “kicked by a dead horse.” Go Weekly conjectured that Takao perhaps wanted to make sure Ida didn’t get into the habit of winning against him. On 4-1, Yamashita Keigo finds himself in similar position to last year, that is, in the sole lead after five rounds, with the difference that he has already got his game with Ida out of the way. Ida is on 4-2 and his remaining game is against Yo Seiki 7P. Yamashita has two games left and will play Ryu Shikun 9P and Cho U 9P. Cho and Kono are both on 3-2 and also have a chance of winning the league outright or ending in a tie for first.

Ida wins NHK Cup: Although he lost two important games in the Honinbo League and the first Judan game, not everything went wrong for Ida Atsushi recently. In the final of the 62nd NHK Cup, telecast on March 15, Ida beat Ichiriki Ryo 7P and set a new record for the youngest player to win this title. Ida is 20 and he beat the 17-year-old Ichiriki. The game was a fiercely fought one, but Ida, playing black,
 forced Ichiriki to resign after 257 moves. This is Ida’s first win in an official tournament.

2015.03.25_kono-rinMeijin League: Two games were played in the 40th Meijin League on March 12. Kono Rin 9P (W, left) beat Hane Naoki 9P by resignation and Murakawa Daisuke Oza (B) beat So Yokoku 9P by resignation.  Kono and Murakawa both go to 3-1 and share the provisional lead. Another game was played on March 19. Ko Iso 8P (B) beat Kanazawa Makoto 7P by 8.5 points. Ko joins Kono and Murakawa on 3-1. They are followed by two players on 2-1: Yamashita Keigo and Takao Shinji.

Go lessons in train station: The headline is a little misleading, but that’s how Go Weekly reported it. To celebrate the 120th anniversary of the opening of the Japan Railway station at Ichigaya (the closest station to the Nihon Ki-in), go lectures and teaching games by professionals were staged in an Italian restaurant on the second floor of the building over the station on March 6 and 7. Around 30 people attended the introductory lectures given by Mizuma Toshifumi 7P. About the same number of people played teaching games with five professionals. Not only were these events free of charge, there were also complimentary drinks and snacks.

Iyama defends Kisei title: Iyama Yuta (right) emerged from one of the worst slumps of his career just in time for the 7th game of the 39th Kisei 2015.03.25_iyama-yutatitle match. After Iyama started the match with three wins, Yamashita fought back. Last year, the Kisei title match between these two followed the same pattern, but Yamashita ran out of steam in the sixth game, letting Iyama clinch his title defence. This year, Yamashita won three games in a row and his momentum seemed to be unstoppable. There were bad omens for Iyama. At the end of last year, he took a 2-1 lead in both the Oza and Tengen title matches, but went on to lost both by 2-3. Now he had missed three chances to defend his Kisei title. In short, he had missed seven chances to clinch a title win. Also, in the past there have been nine best-of-sevens in which one player won the first three games and the other the next three and in six cases the player making the comeback has won the seventh. It’s unlikely that players pay as much attention to statistics like these as go journalists or fans, but Iyama was certainly looking vulnerable. The game was played at the Ryugon inn in Minami Uonuma City in Niigata Prefecture on March 19 and 20. Being the seventh game, the nigiri to decide the colors was held again, and Iyama drew black. It may sound like a contradiction, but he played calmly but aggressively. Yamashita also fought hard, so the game became a very complicated one, with strategic sacrifices being made by both sides. The turning point seems to have come when Iyama played a move that looked like bad style but that cut off some white stones and made them heavy. They became a burden on Yamashita, and thereafter Iyama held the initiative. Despite attempts to complicate the game by white, he held on to the lead and won by 5.5 points after 216 moves. This is Iyama’s third Kisei title in a row and his 28th title overall. He also retains his quadruple crown. Having turned the corner with this win, he will probably face his Honinbo and Meijin defences with renewed confidence. The Age of Iyama continues!
2015.03.25_ Sugiuchi Kazuko
57-year gap in women’s game: Sugiuchi Kazuko 8P (left) is 88 years old but still an active player (as is her husband Masao, who is six years older). In the final of Preliminary A in the Women’s Honinbo tournament, Sugiuchi (B) beat Nagashima Kozue 2P, who is aged 31, by 2.5 points, so she won a place in the main tournament for the first time in 15 years. Sugiuchi won the predecessor of this tournament, the Women’s Championship, four times in a row (from 1953 to 1956). I don’t know what the record age gap is (it’s probably held by her husband), but it would be nice to see a game between Sugiuchi Kazuko and the 16-year-old Fujisawa Rina.

Retirements: Two players are retiring as of March 31. They are Su Kaiseki 7P and Sato Machiko 2P. Both will be promoted by one rank. Su was born in Shanghai on September 22, 1948 and qualified as a pro at the Nihon Ki-in in 1968. He reached 7-dan in 2000. Sato was born on January 20, 1949. She became a disciple of Kitani Minoru, qualified as a pro in 1972 and was promoted to 2-dan in 1981. She is the wife of Sato Masaharu 9P.

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University of Tokyo Wins Friendship Match with UCLA

Monday March 23, 2015

Players from the University of Tokyo edged out players from UCLA in an online friendship match on Saturday, February 14. The University of Tokyo team defeated the UCLA team with a 3-2 record. Players from both teams are active members of their university go clubs. On the top board, Chaohao Pan, the UCLA team captain, yielded to Kentaro Tsutsumi after he lost a 2015.03.23_univ-tokyo-logostring of key stones when trying to capture Tsutsumi’s invading white dragon. On the second board,2015.03.23_ucla-logo Norman Tsai from UCLA lost to Hikaru Ishikawa in a game that was peaceful and balanced until the eightieth move, when Ishikawa fatally punished an overplay by Tsai. Leo Zhang scored UCLA’s first victory with a win on the fifth board against Takaya Matsuura, whose mistake in the early endgame cost him the life of a huge group. The game on the fourth board was also decided by an endgame error, but in this case it cost UCLA’s Chenyi Zhu the game against Keito Tabuchi. UCLA’s other win came from Izuki Matsuba, the only club member from Japan, who defeated his compatriot Shuhei Nakajima with a solid lead throughout the game. “It is a great experience to play with the Japanese players,” said Chenyi Zhu. “They are strong, but I am confident that the victory will belong to us the next time.“

The Power Report: Yamashita Draws Level in Kisei, Forcing Decisive Game 7; Xie Defends Women’s Meijin Title

Saturday March 14, 2015

by John Power, EJ Japan Correspondent2015.03.14_yamashita-39kisei

Yamashita Draws Level in Kisei, Forcing Decisive Game 7: The sixth game of the 39th Kisei title match was held at the Gyokushoen Arai inn in Izu City, Shizuoka Prefecture, on March 11 and 12. Taking black, Yamashita Keigo 9P (right) defeated Iyama Yuta 9P by resignation after 189 moves. Yamashita has now won three games in a row, so the title match goes down to the wire. The final game will be played on March 19 and 20.

Xie Defends Women’s Meijin Title: The second game of the 27th Women’s Meijin title match was played at Heian Jogaku University, a private women’s university in Kyoto also known as St. Agnes’ University, on 11 March. Xie Yimin, playing black, forced Suzuki Ayumi 6P to resign after 177 moves and so won this title for the eighth year in a row.

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