Seattle 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 website. Photo and styling by Anne Thompson/Report by Brian Allen
American Go E-Journal » Japan
Saturday November 21, 2015
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
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.
Iyama 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.
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
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).
Women’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
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 takes 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.
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.
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 Chongqing, 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.
Monday November 2, 2015
Andy 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 Kansai 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) 1-2015-11-01. Photos of Liu and Ha courtesy of Kansai Kiin.
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 Sinntani 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.
Thursday October 29, 2015
The exchange match between Kansai Kiin young professionals and American and European reps takes place in Osaka, Japan, during the day Friday, late Thursday or the middle of the night Friday US time. Andy Liu’s (below, right) game will be at 10a Japanese time (9p Thursday East Coast US time), against Sinntani Yousuki 1p. Gansheng Shi (below, center and left) will play at 2p (1a Friday East Coast US time), against Yinaba Karinn 1p. The games should be broadcast on Pandanet.
- photos courtesy of Kansai Kiin
Tuesday October 27, 2015
American professional Andy Liu 1p has won his way into the final round of the Kansai Kiin’s 12th Sankei Cup pro preliminary in Osaka, Japan. Liu defeated Imayi Kazuhiro 6p by resignation in his first game and won against Takashima Yougo 1p by a half-point in the second round. He plays Ha Yonnyiru 6p on Monday, Nov. 2 at 2:30 p.m. Japanese time.
Fellow AGA pro Gansheng Shi lost in the first round to Mine Yasuhiro 3p, and the two EGF pros, Mateusz Surma 1p and Ali Jabarin 1p lost their matches as well. Shi and Liu will also play in an exchange match with young Kansai pros on Friday, Oct. 30, Liu at 10 a.m. Japanese time against Sinntani Yousuki 1p and Shi at 2 p.m. against Yinaba Karinn 1p. All matches will be broadcast on Pandanet. The EJ will update with photos and game records as soon as they are available.
- Andy Okun; 2014 photo of Liu by Phil Straus
Monday October 26, 2015
The recent 20th anniversary celebration at the Seattle Go Center attracted over 100 people, including two professionals from Japan, Hiroshi Yamashiro 9P, vice president of the Nihon Ki-in, and Yuma 6P, who is also known as Kuma-sensei in Seattle. The October 3 evening reception and concert featured a short speech from Consul General Masahiro Omura from the Seattle Japanese Consulate, who noted that Kaoru Iwamoto’s purchase of the Go Center building for use by the U.S. go community was a good symbol of the continuing reconciliation between Japan and the United States since WWII. Go Center Board President Lee Anne Bowie reported that the late Iwamoto-sensei’s vision to extend go internationally and promote mutual understanding and friendship through the game of go has been upheld at the Seattle Go Center. Harry van der Krogt, Manager at the European Go Cultural Center, another Iwamoto-funded center, extended his congratulations to the Seattle Go Center, and hoped for increased international cooperation to promote go in the future. Andy Okun, president of the AGA, noted that the Seattle Go Center has a strong base of volunteers.
While Mr. Yamashiro had to return to Japan the day after the party, Kuma-sensei gave lectures and played simultaneous games for the next four days at the Seattle Go Center. This was his second visit to Seattle. Sunday’s lecture consisted of reviews of games from the Saturday tournament (Seattle Go Center 2oth Anniversary Tournament Draws Big Crowd 10/20 EJ). His Monday lecture was for the “Double Digit Kyu Class,” which is usually taught by Nick Sibicky. Kuma-sensei explored the double low approach to the 4-4 stone, and did a very good job of keeping his explanations simple enough for kyu players. On Tuesday, he played simultaneous games with eight players while others watched, and then gave short lessons as each game finished. As usual on Tuesdays, there were more than 30 players visiting the center. On Wednesday, Kuma taught the “Single Digit Kyu Class”, with Andrew Jackson hosting. Kuma-sensei also had time to see more of Seattle, and to enjoy Northwest seafood. Photos: (top) Hiroshi Yamashiro 9P giving greetings from the Nihon Ki-in, (left) Fumi Tagata soprano, (right) Kuma-sensei playing simultaneous games. More photos here.
- Report/photos by Brian Allen