American Go E-Journal » Japan

2016 Nihon Ki-in Go Camp Set for August 23-September 1

Tuesday March 22, 2016

The Nihon Ki-in Go Camp 2016 will be held for 10 days from August 23 through September 1 at the Nihon Ki-in.2016.03.21_nhk-summer camp

“The Summer Go Camp will be held for overseas go players who want to improve their go level and to experience Japan’s rich go culture and to make friends with the participants from around the world!” say organizers. The Go Camp 2016 will provide participants with unique and content, including playing in Japan’s most popular amateur tournament, teaching games and special commentaries by legendary players, plus visit and watch the first game of the Meijin Title Match at the Four Seasons in Tokyo.

Other features: Go Seigen’s secret story and his “best game* will be introduced by a professional who is very familiar with Go Seigen. Participants will enjoy goodwill matches with Japanese University students. Special sightseeing programs in/around Tokyo will be also available.

Register before June 30 and the program fee will be 29,800 JPY (45,000 JPY) after that. For inquiry or registration:
email overseasdept@nihonkiin.or.jp

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First Japan Go Congress Planned for July 15-18

Monday March 21, 2016

Reminder that the first Japan Go Congress will be held July 15 through 18 in Takarazuka, Japan, and organised by the Kansai Ki-in. In addition to a main2016.01.17_Japan Go Congresstournament, the Congress — at which 200-300 participants are expected — will offer a variety of side events such as lectures, teaching games with professionals, and other traditional Japanese games. Famous for its Grand Theater, Takarazuka is also known as the “city of opera.” Situated northwest of Osaka, it is outside of typical urban tension, but still easily accessible. Available accommodations include Daikin Dormitory, the Takarazuka Inn Hotel and the Takarazuka Hotel; click here for details. “The Kansai Ki-in warmly welcomes players from abroad,” reports their Go Congress Team.

Just before the Japan Go Congress, the 4th Osaka Go Camp — also organized by the Kansai Ki-in — will be held from June 26 to July 14. Last year there were more than 70 participants at the camp, where “You can train with professionals in a cozy environment and do sight-seeing,” report organizers.

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The Power Report: Iyama’s new record for prize money & other go stats

Friday March 11, 2016

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Iyama’s new record for prize money: Iyama Yuta has set a new record for most prize money won, which is not surprising, considering he won six of the top seven titles last year, as well as the Agon Kiriyama Cup. This is the fifth year in a row he has topped the list and the fourth year in a row his total was over 100 million yen. The top ten at the Nihon Ki-in are given below.
1. Iyama Yuta: 172,124,104 yen (about $1,565,000)
2. Yamashita Keigo 9P: 42,127,900
3. Takao Shinji 9P: 31,807,992
4. Ida Atsushi Judan: 22,491,700
5. Xie Yimin, Women’s Honinbo: 21,098,245
6. Kono Rin 9P: 16,998,300
7. Kyo Kagen 3P: 15,647,697
8. Cho U 9P: 15,596,200
9. Ichiriki Ryo 7P: 15,117,497
10. Hane Naoki 9P: 13,398,000

Most wins (Nihon Ki-in)
1. Iyama Yuta, Kyo Kagen: 41-10
3. Shibano Toramaru 2P: 39-9; Ichiriki Ryo 7P: 39-19
5. Yamashita Keigo 9P: 38-22
6. Motoki Katsuya 7P: 34-12
7. Ogata Masaki 9P: 33-13; Kono Rin 9P: 33-15-1 no result; Son Makoto 4P: 33-16
10. Mutsuura Yuta 2P: 32-13; Ida Atsushi Judan: 32-22

Top woman players were:
14. Fujisawa Rina 3P: 28-23
20. Suzuki Ayumi 6P: 26-22
24. O Keii, Aizu Cup-holder: 24-14

Best winning percentage
1. Shibano Toramaru 2P: 81.25% (39-9)
2. Iyama Yuta, Kyo Kagen: 80.39%
4. Motoki Katsuya: 73.91%
5. Ogata Masaki 9P: 71.74% (33-13)
6. Cho Riyu 9P (30-12), Uchida Shuhei 7P (25-10): 71.43%
8. Mutsuura Yuta 2P: 71.11% (32-13)
9. Akiyama Jiro 9P, Terayama Rei 4P: 71.05% (27-11)

Most successive wins
1. Iyama Yuta: 24
2. Shibano Toramaru: 16
3. Ida Atsushi: 13
4. Uchida Shuhei 7P: 12
5. Shida Tatsuya 7P: 11
6. Awaji Shuzo 9P, Shida Tatsuya, Hirata Tomoya 7P: 10

Kansai Ki-in
Most wins
1. Yo Seiki 7P: 47
2. Yuki Satoshi 9P: 40

Best winning percentage
1. Furuya Yutaka 8P: 80%
2. Imamura Toshiya 9P: 78.95%
3. Hon Seisen 2P: 77.78%
4. U Bai 1P: 76.67%%

Most successive wins
1. Yun Chun-ho 3P: 16
2. Sakai Hideyuki 8P, U Bai 1P: 12
4. Yo Seiki: 11

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The Power Report: Okura Prizes for Pair Go founders; 49th Kido Prizes; Xie makes good start in Women’s Meijin defence; Kono wins first game in Meijin League; International tournaments

Thursday March 10, 2016

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal2016.02.07_pair-go-founders

Okura Prizes for Pair Go founders: The Okura Prizes are awarded to persons, amateur or professional, from Japan or overseas, who have contributed to spreading go. The winners of the 45th Okura Prizes were announced on January 19. The six prize winners included Ando Takeo 7P and the founders of Pair Go, Taki Hisao and Hiroko (right, with Thomas Hsiang)

49th Kido Prizes: Though the magazine Kido is defunct, the Kido Prizes for the outstanding Nihon Ki-in players of the previous year are still awarded. The 49th Prizes were announced in the February 22 issue of Go Weekly. They went as follows: Most Outstanding Player: Iyama Yuta, Sextuple Crown; Outstanding Player: Ida Atsushi Judan; New Face: Kyo Kagen, King of the New Stars; Women’s Prize: Xie Yimin; International Prize: Ichiriki Ryo 7P; Most Wins: Iyama Yuta & Kyo Kagen (41 wins); Best Winning Percentage: Shibano Toramaru 2P (81.25%, 39 wins, 9 losses); Most Successive Wins: Iyama Yuta (24); Most Games Played: Yamashita Keigo (60).

Xie makes good start in Women’s Meijin defence: The first game of the 28th Women’s Meijin title match was held in the Arisu-kan, a building in the grounds of Heian Women’s University in Kyoto on February 28. Taking black, Xie beat Aoki Kikuyo 8P by resignation.

Meijin League: Kono wins first game
The third round of the 41st Meijin League was completed on February 25 when Kono Rin 9P (W) defeated league newcomer Uchida Shuhei 7P by resignation. Kono had a bye in the first round and lost in the second, so this is his first win.

International tournaments
4th CCTV New Year’s Cup: This tournament is organized by the CCTV station in Beijing to celebrate the Chinese New Year. This year it was held from February 9 to 11, with one player each from China, Korea, and Japan taking part. China was represented by Ko Jie, who tops the Chinese ranking system by a comfortable margin, Korea by Lee Se-dol, who is the top player so far of the 21st century, and Japan by Ichiriki Ryo 7P, who was invited in recognition of his win in the 1st Globis Cup and his three successive wins in the second round of the current Nong Shim Cup. The format is the same as the NHK Cup (30 seconds per move plus ten minutes’ thinking time to be used in one-minute units). After drawing lots, Lee was seeded into the second round. In the opening game Ko Jie (B) beat Ichiriki by resig. In the second round, Lee (B) beat Ichiriki by resig. In the final, Ko beat Lee (I don’t have details).
2016 Four Cities New Stars Tournament: This team tournament for young players (age limit 25) was held at the Korean Kiwon in Seoul from February 19 to 21. Presumably the cities were Seoul, Beijing, Tokyo, and Taipei, but the report in Go Weekly lists countries rather than cities. The teams are made up of eight players, including two female players, so it’s quite a large-scale tournament. The result was that Korea and China tied for first with two wins and one draw each, but China took precedence thanks to its higher number of individual wins (19 to Korea’s 16). With one win (ten individual wins), Japan came third, and Chinese Taipei came fourth with no wins (three individual wins). The best performance for Japan was posted by Kyo Kagen 3P, who won his three games.
Tomorrow: Iyama’s new record for prize money & other go stats

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The Power Report: Xie defends Women’s Kisei; Ishii Kunio wins 1,000th game

Wednesday March 9, 2016

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Xie defends Women’s Kisei: The challenger for the 19th DoCoMo Cup Women’s Kisei title was Yoshihara Yukari 6P, 2016.03.09_Xie wins WomMeijinwho held this title for three years in a row before losing it to Xie in 2010. The opening game of the title match was held at the Hotel Sun Life Garden in Hiratsuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture on January 21. It was a very exciting contest, with the lead switching back and forth, but Xie (right) managed to pull ahead by half a point in the endgame. The second game was held at the Ryusei Studio in the basement of the Nihon Ki-in in Ichigaya, Tokyo on February 1. It was another close game, but Xie, playing black, won by 2.5 points. Xie thus defended the Women’s Kisei title with straight wins and maintained her triple crown. She has now held this title for four years in a row and six times overall and has extended her tally of titles to 22.

Ishii Kunio wins 1,000th game: Ishii Kunio 9P, best known these days as the teacher of Iyama Yuta, has won his thousandth game. He reached the landmark with a win over Yamashiro Hiroshi 9P in the preliminary round of the Masters Cup. His record is 1,000 wins, 603 losses, 1 jigo. He is the 18th player at the Nihon Ki-in to win a thousand games and, at 74 years three months, is the oldest; he is in his 59th year as a pro. He is also the first such member of the Kansai branch of the Nihon Ki-in. He commented that while he regrets not having won a title, in a way he is proud of the fact that he is the first such player to reach this mark.
When asked which was his most memorable game, Ishii answered in detail. ‘I guess my win over Lee Chang-ho [in the 2001 Fujitsu Cup]. Besides that, I have strong memories of my win on white with no komi in the rating tournament over Ishida Yoshio 7P when he held the Honinbo title. Ishida was probably not psyched up for the game. The game when I beat Fujisawa Shuko to win a place in the Honinbo League; the game when I beat Rin Kaiho in the main section of the Judan tournament when he was Meijin. Sakata Eio Sensei stood and watched the whole game. When it was over, he said: “I’m astonished, really astonished. What was your name?” This is still a vivid memory. They are not counted among the thousand, but I also have vivid memories of the best-of-three match with Nie Weiping in the Japan-China go Exchange when I played as a substitute for Kobayashi Koichi and won 2-1.’ Ishii also mentioned that his only form of study is looking at Iyama’s games.

Promotions
To 9-dan: Nakane Naoyuki (200 wins) (as of Feb. 19)
To 6-dan: Takemiya Yoko (as of Feb. 16), Kanai Tenpei (as of Feb. 23) (90 wins)
To 5-dan: Ando Kazushige (as of Feb. 5), Inagaki Yo (as of Feb. 19) (70 wins)
To 3-dan: Tsuneishi Takashi (40 wins, as of Feb. 5)

Promotions based on prize money
The annual promotions based on prize-money earnings for the previous year were announced in the February 8 issue of Go Weekly. They are listed below.
To 7-dan: Ms. Suzuki Ayumi
To 6-dan: Muramatsu Hiroki, Suzuki Shinji
To 5-dan: Yanagisawa Satoshi, Fujita Akihiko
To 4-dan: Ito Masashi, Numadate Sakiya
To 3-dan: Yo Chito, Koyama Kuya
To 2-dan: Sotoyanagi Sebun, Cho Zuiketsu
Tomorrow: Okura Prizes for Pair Go founders; 49th Kido Prizes; Xie makes good start in Women’s Meijin defence; Kono wins first game in Meijin League; International tournaments

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Ke Jie defeats Lee Sedol to win Nongshim Cup for China

Sunday March 6, 2016

Ke Jie 9p defeated Lee Sedol 9p in the final game of the 17th Nongshim Cup on March 5, enabling Team China to take the Cup back home for 2016.03.06_Ke-Jie-trophy-Nongshim-Cupanother year. While Korea has dominated this event, winning it 11 times, China now has five wins; Japan has won it only once. The Nongshim Cup is a team event between China, Japan and Korea, sponsored by the Korean instant noodles company. Lee Sedol had scored three consecutive wins, beating Gu Li, Lian Xiao and Iyama Yuta. The match against Ke Jie was Lee’s fourth in as many days and though some worried that he’d be tired going into the final round, others said it was a great opportunity for Lee because of his form’s sweeping upturn. Although Ke Jie was the last man standing for China, his head-to-head record against Lee was 7-2 and he demonstrated a superior sense of balance in the Nongshim final, resolving a tense middle game with a trade and employing his excellent endgame technique to close out the win.
- adapted from a longer report on Go Game Guru, which includes more details, game commentaries and more photos.

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Myungwan Kim 9P to Comment Live on Nongshim Cup Starting March 1

Friday February 26, 2016

Myungwan Kim 9P will be providing live commentary in the Nongshim Cup starting Tuesday, March 1st.  The game will begin at 10p PST (1a 3/2 EST) and commentary on the AGA’s YouTube channel will begin at 10:30p PST 1:30a 3/2 EST, UTC-8).  2016.02.26_Nongshim10BracketsThe Nongshim Cup is a win-and-continue team match between Japan, China, and Korea.  On Feb 29th, Gu Li — on a 3-game winning streak after beating Choi Cheolhon, Kono Rin, and Park Jungwhan — will face Japan’s next player, Murakawa Daisuke.  Lee Sedol will face the winner of that match up, and the AGA will continue to broadcast games as long as Lee keeps winning; the remaining games are scheduled for March 2nd, 3rd, and 4th.
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The Power Report: Lead shared in Honinbo League; Women’s Meijin League concludes

Thursday February 25, 2016

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Lead shared in Honinbo League: The first game in the fourth round of the 71st Honinbo League was played on January 7, with Ichiriki Ryo 7P (B) beating Yamashita Keigo 9P by 4.5 points. On January 14, Yo Seiki 7P (W) beat Motoki Katsuya 7P by resig. This was Motoki’s first loss, so he now shared the lead with Yo; both were on 3-1. On January 21, Kono Rin 9P (B) beat Ida Atsushi 9P by resig. On January 28, Takao Shinji 9P (B) beat Cho U by resig., so he joined Yo and Motoki in the lead. On February 4, Cho U 9P picked up his first win, beating Ichiriki Ryo 7P by resig. with white. On the same day, Motoki Katsuya 7P (B) beat Ida Atsushi Judan by resig. On February 11, Takao (B) beat Yamashita by 7.5 points. On February 18, Kono (W)beat Yo by 1.5 points. That game completed the fifth round. At present, Takao and Motoki, both on 4-1, share the lead.

Women’s Meijin League concludes: The final round of the 28th Women’s Meijin League was held on January 7. Aoki Kikuyo 8P had already won the league in the fifth round, but she won her final game as well to finish with a perfect score. Results: Aoki (W) beat Fujisawa Rina 3P by resig.; Okuda Aya 3P (B) beat Kato Keiko 6P by resig.; Suzuki Ayumi 6P (B) beat Mannami Nao 3P by 2.5 points. The title match with Xie Yimin will start in March.

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The Power Report: Iyama to challenge for Judan; Meijin League

Wednesday February 24, 2016

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Iyama to challenge for Judan: The new tournament year at the Nihon Ki-in got off to a start on January 7. Most of the interest focussed 2016.02.24_54jyudan_2on the semifinals of the 54th Judan tournament. The Judan is the only top-seven title Iyama Yuta doesn’t hold; if he becomes the challenger, he has a chance of achieving a simultaneous grand slam. In his semifinal, Iyama (B) beat Imamura Toshiya 9P by resignation. His opponent in the play-off to decide the challenger to Ida Atsushi will be Yo Seiki (Yu Zhenqi) 7P of the Kansai Ki-in, who won the other semifinal. Yo’s opponent, Shida Tatsuya 7P (B), forfeited the game because of an illegal move; he recaptured a ko immediately, without making a ko threat. (To be precise, Yo’s ko threat was a ko capture in a position that was a double ko; Shida, who was in his last minute of byo-yomi, should have captured the other ko.) Last year Yo lost the play-off to decide the Oza challenger to Iyama, so he was seeking revenge when the play-off (right) was held at the Kansai headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in on January 21. Yo (W) took the lead when he cleverly settled a weak group, but winning the first fight is not enough to beat Iyama. The latter subjected Yo to so much pressure that eventually he slipped up in the endgame, letting Iyama stage an upset. Yo resigned after 277 moves. The title match with Ida Atsushi Judan starts on March 8.

Meijin League: The first game of the second round of the 41st Meijin League was played on January 7. Ko Iso 8P (B) beat Hane Naoki 9P by resignation. At this point, Ko, on 2-0, took the provisional lead. On January 11, Takao Shinji 9P (B) beat Kono Rin 9P by resig. and joined Ko in the provisional lead. On January 21, Cho U 9P (B) beat Uchida Shuhei 7P by half a point and Murakawa Daisuke 8P (W) beat Hirata Tomoya 7P by resig. On February 4, Takao (B) beat Hane Naoki by resig. On February 11, Cho U (W) beat Ko Iso by resig. Cho and Takao, both on 3-0, share the lead, but Murakawa, who had a bye in the third round, is also undefeated. Cho’s good results in this league are a stark contrast to his bad performance in the Honinbo League.
Tomorrow: Lead shared in Honinbo League; Women’s Meijin League concludes

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The Power Report: Iyama Sweeps Yamashita 4-0 in Kisei, Stretches Title Match Streak to 16-0

Tuesday February 23, 2016

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

The first game of the 40th Kisei title match was held at the Konjakutei inn in Higashiyama Hot Spring in the city of Aizu-wakamatsu in 2016.02.23_kisei40_3_shukyoku_iyama_2Fukushima Prefecture on January 14 and 15. Defending champion Iyama Yuta (aged 26) drew white in the nigiri to decide the colors. The challenger Yamashita Keigo 9-dan (37) made a positive start, playing aggressively in the opening. The game was decided by a ko fight in which Yamashita sacrificed a group in order to win a ko started after White invaded a black position. Iyama (right) took the lead in this exchange and hung on for a win, rebuffing some do-or-die attacks by Black. Yamashita resigned after 202 moves. In retrospect, the game was a convincing win for Iyama.

The second game was played at the Bokoro inn in the town of Yurihama in Tottori Prefecture on January 28 and 29. Yamashita (W) played cleverly in the early middle game and took the lead. However, he missed a chance to decide the game and then began playing erratically, letting Iyama upset his lead. Iyama later played a thin move that let Yamashita narrow the gap, but the latter slipped up in the endgame. After 273 moves, Iyama won by 2.5 points. Considering his good play in the first part of the game, this was a painful loss for Yamashita.

The third game was also played in Tottori Prefecture after a break of only two days. It’s quite unusual to schedule two two-day games so close together in the same prefecture. The venue was the Kasuitei inn in Kaike Hot Spring in Yonago City. The game started with difficult fighting in the top right corner in which Iyama took the lead. Yamashita attacked fiercely in the middle game, but Iyama fought back strongly and kept his lead. Yamashita resigned after move 200. Like the first game, this was a good win for Iyama.

2016.02.23_kisei4_syukyokuThe fourth game was played at the Hokkaido Hotel in Obihiro City, Hokkaido on February 17 and 18. Playing black, Iyama controlled the flow of the game and took the lead in the middle-game fighting. Yamashita didn’t seem to make any really bad moves, but his attacks were skilfully parried by Iyama. The latter maintained a comfortable lead, so Yamashita resigned after 189 moves. Last year, after losing the first three games, Yamashita was able to fight back and win the next three before losing the seventh game. However, Iyama seems to be in even better form this year and, apart from the second game, dominated the series. After having his winning streak broken at 24 late last year, he has started another, winning seven games in a row. He has also won 16 games in a row in title matches, starting with the third game of the Gosei title match and continuing with the Meijin, Tengen, and Oza matches. This is his fourth Kisei title in a row and his 36th title overall. He is now in seventh place in the all-time list of title winners.

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