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.”