American Go E-Journal » Japan

The Power Report (Part 2): King of the New Stars; Japan’s 15th Nong Shim Cup Team; September Promotions

Wednesday September 25, 2013

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the American Go E-Journal

King of the New Stars: Yo Seiki (right), the first player in Japan to jump from 3-dan to 7-dan, was considered the favorite in the 38th King of the New Stars title match, but the first game of the best-of-three was taken by his opponent, Fujita Akihiko 3P (aged 21 to Yo’s 18). The game was played at the Nihon Ki-in in Ichigaya on September 17; taking white, Fujita won by resignation. The second game will be played on the 26th.

Japan’s 15th Nong Shim Cup Team: Japan’s Nong Shim Cup team was decided by a different system this year. As usual, the top players were seeded, but two places were filled through a qualifying tournament for younger players. The seeded players are Yuki Satoshi 9P, Cho U 9P, and Kono Rin 9P. Cho will be playing on the Japanese team for the first time since 2004, as a restriction that was imposed on players representing countries of which they are not citizens has been lifted. Cho is the only member of the Japanese team who has won an international title, whereas the Korean and Chinese teams each have four current or former world champions. In the qualifying tournament, eight players who have been chosen as members of the national team competed in two mini double-knockout tournaments. The winners were Anzai Nobuaki 6P (aged 28, at left) and Cho Chito 1P (aged 15). Anzai has some accomplishments already, notably reaching the final of this year’s Tengen tournament, but Cho was a dark horse who has been a professional for less than a year. Though not uncommon in Korea and China, this will be the first time a 15-year-old has played for Japan. Like Cho U, Cho Chito was born in Taiwan.

September Promotions: To 3-dan: Obuchi Kotaro (at right, son of Obuchi Norito 9P); Ms. Mannami Nao (both with 40 wins); To 4-dan: Suzuki Shinji (50 wins).

Categories: Japan
Share

The Power Report (Part 1): Cho is Oza Challenger; 38th Kisei: Yamashita Wins A League; Iyama Draws Even in Meijin

Monday September 23, 2013

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the American Go E-Journal

Cho is Oza Challenger: In the final to decide the challenger to Iyama Yuta for the 61st Oza title, held on September 12, Cho U 9P (B) defeated Yuki Satoshi 9P by 2.5 points. Last year Cho (right) missed out on qualifying for the Honorary Oza title when the challenger, Iyama Yuta, beat him 3-0. He now has a chance to take revenge. If he won back the title, it would be his eighth Oza title, so he could aim at securing the honorary title by winning it ten times in total. The title match will start on October 24.

38th Kisei: Yamashita Wins A League: Yamashita Keigo Meijin (left) won the A League of the 38th Kisei tournament before having to play his final game when Yamashiro Hiroshi 9P defeated Kiyonari Tetsuya 9P in the last fourth-round game on September 12. Taking black, Yamashiro Hiroshi won by 1.5 points. That put both players on 2-2 and so both are out of the running. In my previous report, I wrote that a number of players were still in the running in the A League, but I had forgotten that there is no play-off in a Kisei league. If Kiyonari had beaten Yamashiro and then won his fifth-round game while Yamashita lost his, then Kiyonari would have won the league; in any tie, Yamashita would take priority over other players because of his higher ranking. Yamashita will meet Murakawa Daisuke 7P in the play-off to decide the challenger to Iyama Yuta Kisei.

Iyama Draws Even in Meijin: The second game in the 38th Meijin title match was just as one-sided as the first, but this time it went in favor of challenger Iyama Yuta (right). On move 59, Yamashita Keigo Meijin made a misreading in a capturing race: he thought that he could get a one-approach-move ko, but it was actually a two-approach-move ko, that is, he would have had to play two extra moves before it became a real ko for him. There’s a big difference, and he was unable to recover from this setback. Black resigned after 162 moves. The third game will be played on September 25 and 26.
Tomorrow: King of the New Stars; Japan’s 15th Nong Shim Cup Team; September Promotions

Categories: Japan
Share

Women Creating Stir In Japanese Ryusei

Monday December 15, 2008

Two female players have created a bit of a stir in the popular Ryusei tournament, now underway. With two wins each, Suzuki Ayumi (left) 4P and Xie Yimin 4P have a good chance to advance to the second round in an event where women players rarely win more than one game. The Ryusei is a fast-play — 30 seconds per move plus 10 one-minute thinking periods — event that’s broadcast on TV and draws a large audience. The play begins with eight groups of twelve players each who play a win-and-continue round; the winner and the player who wins the most games in each group then join a sixteen player single elimination tournament. Women players are always included though it is rare for them to win more than one game and this year Suzuki Ayumi 4P has defeated two men in Block G, Kuwamoto Shinpei 6P and Furuya Masao 3P, while Xie Yimin 4P has defeated a fellow female player Kim Hyunjung 3P as well as Miyasaki Ryutaro 6P who is male. Xie next faces Ko Iso 7P and Suzuki’s next opponent is Sakai Hideyuki 7P. These two male opponents are better-known because they have good records in tournament play and will be a real challenge for Suzuki and Xie. Since it’s possible to make it into the final event by winning three games, both women have a chance to reach the next level. Last year Rin Kaiho 9P made it into the final event with only two wins; he outranked the two other two-game winners in his group. Kono Rin 9P won this event last year, and Cho U 9P the two years before that.

Categories: Go News,Japan
Share

CORRECTION

Monday December 15, 2008

“Kono Rin won the Tengen title from 2005 to 2007 — each year the other player was Yamashita Keigo, who played in the Tengen title match five years in a row — so Cho U was the challenger,” writes longtime go journalist John Power (Cho Holds Onto Tengen, Recaptures Oza 12/8 EJ). “Surprisingly, this year was the first time he had reached the title match. The EJ may have been looking forward a year, as the odds are that Cho will defend in 2009 if he maintains the great form he’s in now. Kono Rin also won the Ryusei tournament this year, so he still has two titles. This year was the first time that Kono won more than one title.”

Categories: Go News,Japan
Share

Cho U Makes It 2-0 In Tengen Title Match

Monday November 24, 2008

Cho U 9P took the second game of his challenge for the Tengen title held by Kono Rin 9P to make the score 2-0 in the best-of-five-game match. Kono, who has held this title for the last three years, defeating Yamashita Keigo 9P in the title match each year, will have a hard fight to make it four. Cho’s winning percentage so far this year is 79%, while Kono’s is 60%, so the odds favor Cho’s taking another of the top seven Japanese titles — he already holds the Meijin and Gosei.

Kobayashi Koichi Near The Top Again

Monday November 24, 2008

Kobayashi Koichi (left) 9P is one of the most popular pros of what is now the older generation in Japan. Though in his fifties, Kobayashi is still active, and won two titles as recently as 2004, though he rarely reaches the later sections of tournaments now. However, by defeating Shuto Shun 6P on Saturday November 22nd, he has reached the finals of the Daiwa Cup where he will face Kono Rin 9P and current Tengen. The Daiwa Cup is a fast-play event on the Internet and one of three events sponsored by the Daiwa Securities Company of Japan; the others are the Daiwa Ladies Cup, won back in September by Xie Yimin 3P, and the Daiwa Grand Champion Cup, won by Iyama Yuta 8P last July.

Cho One Game From Regaining Oza Title

Monday November 17, 2008

Cho U (left) 9P has taken the first two games of the best-of-five-game title match with Yamashita Keigo 9P for the Oza title. Yamashita has held this title for the last two years, having taken it from Cho in 2006. Cho had held it for three years before that. He currently holds four titles: MeijinGoseiAgon Cup, and NHK Cup. Cho is also challenging for the Tengen title against Kono Rin 9P, and leads 1-0 in that contest. You can watch the third game of the Oza title match live on IGS on November 30th starting at 6P EST. - Photo from the Hungarian Go Association website