by John Power, EJ Japan Correspondent
Tuo Wins New Year’s Cup: The CCTV New Year’s Cup is a TV tournament held to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Last year it was upgraded to an international tournament, with a player each being invited from Japan and Korea. Last year it was won by Shi Yue 9P of China. Murakawa Daisuke 7P, who participated because the original invitee from Japan, Iyama Yuta, was too busy with the Kisei title match, took second place after scoring a win over Yi Sedol. Murakawa took part again this year. In the first round, he lost to Tuo Jiaxi 9P (right) of China by half a point. In this irregular knock-out tournament, Tuo advanced to the final, and Murakawa played Kim Jiseok 9P of Korea, who drew a bye in the first round. Kim won this game but lost to Tuo in the final. The prizes are 800,000, 400,000, and 200,000 yuan. Although he lost both games, Murakawa played well (his loss to Tuo was an upset late in the game), and a team in the Chinese B League made him an offer to play on their top board. Click here for Go Game Guru’s report, which includes game records.
Yamashita Catching Up In Kisei Title Match: The fifth game of the 39th Kisei title match was held at the Tokiwa Hotel in Kofu City, Yamanashi Prefecture, on February 25 and 26. Playing white, Yamashita won by resignation after 194 moves. This is his second wins after three losses, so he needs just one more win to even the score. The sixth game will be played on March 11 and 12. After both sides set up moyos, Yamashita made a shallow reduction of Black’s bottom moyo with White 16. Iyama made a sharp attack, so Yamashita plunged further into Black’s moyo. After White settled his group, the focus of the game became Black’s attempt to reduce White’s moyo. In the extensive fighting that followed, White broke into Black’s top right moyo and took the lead. Yamashita: ‘Last year I lost the match in the sixth game, so I hope to go further this year.’ Iyama: ‘I made lots of simple mistakes. I hope to play a little more solidly.’
Xie Wins First Game Of Women’s Meijin: The first game of the 27th Women’s Meijin best-of-five title match was held at the Osaka University of Commerce in Higashi (East) Osaka City on March 4. Xie Yimin made a good start in her quest for eight titles in a row; playing white, she beat Suzuki Ayumi 6P by resignation after 248 moves. The second game will be played on March 11.
Takao Makes Good Start In Judan Defense: The first game of the Mori Building 53rd Judan tournament title match, to give it its full name, was played at the same venue as the first Women’s Meijin game though on the following day. The defending champion Takao Shinji, playing white, beat Ida Atsushi 8P (left) by resignation after 198 moves. Takao seized the initiative and avoided letting Ida drag the game into the kind of confused fighting that is Ida’s forte. The second game will be played on March 26. This is the fifth year that the first games of the Women’s Meijin and Judan titles have been played in tandem
China Wins Nong Shim Cup: The third round of the Nong Shim Cup was held in Shanghai at the beginning of
this month. Lian Xiao, the fourth batter for China, finished off the opposition in the third game of this round, so Shi Yue of China didn’t have to play. At the start of the round, Iyama Yuta briefly raised Japan’s hopes with his second win, following his win at the end of the second round, but he fell to Kim Jiseok in his next game.
Results in this round:
Game 11 (March 3). Iyama Yuta 9P (Japan) (B) beat Mi Yuting 9P (China) by resig.
Game 12 (March 4). Kim Jiseok 9P (Korea) (B) beat Iyama by 4.5 points.
Game 13 (March 5). Lian Xiao 7P (China) (W) beat Kim by resig.
Tomorrow: Korea Makes Good Start In Women’s Tournament; Multiple Tie In Meijin League; Two Young Players Make NHK Cup Final; Promotions; Obituary: Okubo Ichigen