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The Power Report: Summer Round-up From Japan (Part 1): Iyama Defends Gosei Title, Maintains Quintuple Crown; Yuki Reaches Third Round Of Mlily International Tournament

Monday August 26, 2013

I spent the summer traveling overseas (that is, away from Japan, where I live), so in a 3-part series this week I will catch up on go events in Japan and international events in which Japanese players took part. Some of these may have been reported on previously in the E-Journal so these reports will provide additional information of interest.
- John Power

Iyama Defends Gosei Title, Maintains Quintuple Crown: In the 38th Gosei title match, Kono Rin 9P made an excellent start, winning the first two games, but defending champion Iyama Yuta Kisei (right) fought back to defend his title with three straight wins. The third game was played at the Kansai Headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in in Osaka on July 26. Taking white, Iyama picked up his first win of the series, edging Kono by 1.5 points. This win could have been predicted, as Iyama has never lost a title match (this was his 14th) with straight losses. This was a fairly quiet game in which Iyama exploited a small slip by Kono in the middle game, then played steadily to keep his lead. The fourth game was played at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on August 9. Taking black, Iyama secured a resignation after 189 moves. Iyama took the lead in territory, then wrapped up the game by living inside Kono’s moyo. For the deciding game, played on August 23, the title went back to Iyama’s home ground, the Kansai Headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in. Kono won the nigiri and so took black. In some very difficult fighting that started in the middle game, Iyama took a small lead and once again carefully nursed it to the end of the game. The final margin was 2.5 points. This is Iyama’s first defence of the Gosei title and his 19th title overall.

Yuki Reaches Third Round Of Mlily International Tournament: Three Japanese started out in the first round of China’s new international tournament, the 1st Mlily Cup, but only one made it to the third round. That was Yuki Satoshi of the Kansai Ki-in, who frequently represents Japan in international tournaments, despite his “advanced” age, by international standards, of 41. I have reported on this tournament previously, but there are some added details below. Note that I give only a selection of the results in the first two rounds.
Round 1 (Chinese Qiyuan, Beijing, July 9; China 41 players, Korea 18, Japan 3, Chinese Taipei 2): Yuki Satoshi 9P (Japan) (W) defeated Cheong Seung-hyun amateur (Korea) by resig; An Dongxu 4P (China) (B) d. Yamashita Keigo 9P (Japan) by 2.5 points; Li Qinsheng 2P (China) (W) d. Piao Wenyao 9D (China) by resig; Lei Zhenkun 1P (China) (W) d. Yi Ch’ang-ho 9P (Korea) by resig; Peng Quan 7P (China) (B) d. Pak Cheong-hwan 9P (Korea) by resig; Hu Yaoyu 8P (China) (B) d. Murakawa Daisuke 7P (Japan) by resig; Yi Se-tol 9P (Korea) (W) d. Chang Hao 9P (China) by resig; Na Hyeon 3P (Korea) (W) d. Shi Yue 9P (China) by 2.5 points; Mi Yuting 4P (China) (B) d. Kang Tongyun 9P (Korea) by resig; Ch’oe Ch’eol-han 9P (Korea) (W) d. (Ms.) Song Ronghui 5P (China) by resig. (China 25 wins, Korea 6, Japan 1)
Round 2 (Chinese Qiyuan, Beijing, July 11): Yuki (W) d. Li Qincheng 2-dan (China) by resig; Mi Yuting (W) d. Yi Se-tol by resig; Kong Jie 9P (China) (B) d. Chen Yaoye 9P (China) by resig; Cho Han-seung 9P (Korea) (B) d. Qiu Jun 9P (China) by resig; Gu Li 9P (China) (W) d. Na Hyeon by resig. (China 13 wins, Korea 2, Japan 1)
Round 3 (August 9, Shanghai): Wang Xi (B; at left in photo above) d. Yuki (at right in photo)by resig; Dang Yifei 4P (China) (B) d. Tang Weixing 3P (China) by resig; Zhou Ruiyang 9P (China) (W) d. Guo Jianchao 5P (China) by resig; Wu Guangya 6P (China) (B) d. Hu Yaofeng 5P (China) by half a point; Lian Xiao 4P (China) (B) d. Ch’oe Ch’eol-han 9P (Korea) by 1.5 points; Gu Li (W) d. Hu Yaoyu by resig; Wang Lei 8P (China) (B) d. Cho Han-seung by 1.5 points; Mi (B) d. Kong Jie by half a point. (China won all eight games.)
Quarterfinals (August 11, Shanghai; I don’t have winning margins): Gu (W) d. Wang Lei; Zhou (B) d. Lian; Wang Xi (B) d. Wu; Mi (W) d. Dang.
In the semifinals, to be played in September, Gu plays Zhou and Wang plays Mi.
- photos courtesy Go Game Guru

Categories: Japan,John Power Report

China Dominates First MLily Cup

Wednesday August 14, 2013

Cho Hanseung 1st MLily CupAlthough the MLily Cup final won’t be played until later this year it’s already clear that a Chinese player will be champion. That’s because China claimed all eight quarterfinal places at the first MLily Cup on August 9. Only two Korean players, Choi Cheolhan 9p  and Cho Hanseung 9p, (left) and one Japanese player, Yuki Satoshi 9p, made it into the final 16, and all fell to Chinese challengers.

Morale is especially low in Korea as the same circumstances occurred at the 18th LG Cup when Lee Sedol 9p was defeated by Tuo Jiaxi 3p in the second round. In the MLily Cup, Lee was defeated in the second round by seventeen-year-old Mi Yuting 4p. While sharp, young up-and-comers like Mi are one reason China has been slicing up the competition lately, “speculation in Korea is that the ever increasing prevalence of lightning games…is making it harder for their players to compete in these (relatively slower) international matches.”

Among the MLily Cup’s final eight are the formidable Gu Li 9p and Zhou Ruiyang 9p. Considered one of the top players in the world, Gu’s unique style (described as “romantic” by Go Game Guru) makes him especially elusive while Zhou has consistently been one of China’s top players since 2005. In the August 11 quarterfinals, Mi Yuting defeated Dang Yifei, Zhou Ruiyang defeated Lian Xiao, Gu Li defeated Wang Lei and Wang Xi defeated Wu Guangyya. Gu Li will play Zhou Ruiyang and Wang Xi will play Mi Yuting in the semifinals in September 2013. The semifinals will be best of three matches and the final will be best of five. The exact date for the final hasn’t been decided yet.

- Annalia Linnan, based on a longer article on Go Game Guru which includes photos and game records; photo courtesy of Go Game Guru


The Power Report: Kobayashi Satoru Wins His First Igo Masters Cup; Yuki Reaches Third Round of Mlily Championship

Sunday July 21, 2013

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

Kobayashi Satoru Wins His First Igo Masters Cup:
The final of the 3rd Igo Masters Cup, which is open to players 50 years and older who have won a top-seven title or who are doing well in the prize-money rankings, featured a clash between former Kisei Kobayashi Satoru 9P and Ishii Kunio 9P, who was hoping to win his first official title. These days Ishii is best known as the nurturer of the extraordinary talent of Iyama Yuta. Kobayashi, taking black, won by 1.5 points.

Yuki Reaches Third Round of Mlily Championship: The Mlily World Weiqi Open Championship is yet another Chinese-sponsored international tournament. We reported earlier on the results in the first round (Mlily Cup Preliminaries 5/25/2013 EJ). Yuki Satoshi 9P was the only Japanese representative to survive that round. He also did well in the second round, defeating Li 1-dan of China. In the round of 16, Yuki will be matched against Wang Xi 9-dan of China. We don’t have full details, but the second round was yet another triumph for China, which won 13 games to two wins for Korea and one for Japan. Among the 13 Chinese players going on to the next round are such prominent players as Gu Li, Kong Jie, Hu Yaoyu, and Zhou Ruiyang. The two Korean players are Ch’oe Ch’eol-han and Cho Han-sung. Yi Se-tol was eliminated in this round. There are rumors of a best-of-ten match between Yi and Gu Li, but, if true, the timing is not good for Yi, as he seems to have passed his peak.

Categories: Japan,John Power Report

Mlily Cup Preliminaries

Saturday May 25, 2013

The preliminary rounds for the first Mlily Cup concluded May 24th, in Beijing, China.  The cup is organized by the International Go Federation (IGF) and the China Qiyuan, and sponsored by Hengkang Jiaju Technology Company.  The cup is held every other year, thus supplementing the other IGF-organized biannual tournament: the Bailing Cup. With a top prize of RMB 1.8 M (about USD 280K), Mlily ranks near the top of all international titles.  Just as in Bailing, the Mlily Cup takes on an “open” format:  All professionals may enter in the preliminary rounds; as may all amateurs after winning online selection tournaments.   Ryan Li won the selection tournament from North America, and was the US amateur representative.  Jujo (Zhujiu) Jiang 9P entered as an American pro; while Rui Naiwei 9P entered as a Chinese pro.  All three lost in the first round.  The popular Joanne Missingham 6P(Hei Jia-jia) entered as a Taiwanese pro, and won her section of 11 players, to move on to the main tournament.  - Report by Thomas Hsiang. Photo from the Mlily website: Zhang Xuan 8p (l) has been one of the top female players in China. She is married to Chang Hao 9P.  Joanne Missingham 6P (r) is leading a new generation of strong young female players; she is representing Taiwian.

Categories: World

Correction: Mlily Healthcare is the Sponsor

Tuesday May 21, 2013

The E-J mistakenly reported that the Mlily Cup was possibly sponsored by the Mlily Hotel, in yesterday’s Power Report.  In fact, The Mlily Cup World Open Tournament is sponsored by Healthcare Co., Ltd.  Thanks to Ke Lu for pointing out the error.
Categories: World

More Pro Go on the AGA Youtube Channel: Park Younghoon 9P vs Ke Jie 9P, with Myungwan Kim 9P commenting, 11/23 at 6pm PST

Sunday November 22, 2015

Catch more top professional games with live English commentary on the AGA’s Youtube Channel Monday, November 23. Myungwan Kim 9P will comment the semifinals of the MLily Cup, between Park Younghoon 9P (#3 in Korea) and Ke Jie 9P (#1 in China). The MLily Cup is one of the major international tournaments, with a grand prize of over a quarter million dollars US. They’re playing a best-of-three series, with the first game already in the books — a win for Ke Jie — and Game #2 will be broadcast LIVE this Monday at 7pm PST (10p EST). As a bonus, Myungwan Kim will also review game #1 during the player’s lunch break.

Categories: China,Japan

The Power Report (II): China wins 4th Mt. Tiantai Nongshang Bank Cup; Yo Seiki wins Okage Cup; Hane senior wins 1,200 games

Tuesday June 9, 2015

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

China wins 4th Mt. Tiantai Nongshang Bank Cup: The 4th Mt. Tiantai Nongshang Bank Cup World Women’s Team Championship was held in Taizhou City, Zhejiang Province in China from May 8 to 10. Three-player teams from China, Korea, Japan, and Chinese Taipei competed. The teams finished in the order just given. Representing Japan were Fujisawa Rina 2P, Xie Yimin 6P, and Kaneko Maki 1P. Results are given below.
(Round 1) China beat Japan 3-1; Korea beat Chinese Taipei 3-0. (Round 2) Japan beat Chinese Taipei 3-0; China beat Korea 2-1. (Round 3) Korea beat Japan 3-0; China beat Chinese Taipei 3-0. So Yokoku 9P accompanied the Japanese team as coach. A conversation he had with the top board for China, Yu Zhiying 5P, gives an idea of what goes into becoming a top player. As a member of the national team, Yu studies at the Chinese Qiyuan from 9 to 5, Monday to Friday. At night, she plays Net games, with her norm being 3.5 games a night. Even on days when she has official games, she still completes her norm. She said she plays about 1,700 games a year. So commented that Fujisawa and Xie are also studying hard. In an interview with the Chinese press, Fujisawa said that she studies eight to ten hours a day, at least six days a week. The other members of the Chinese team were Song Rongrui 5P and Rui Naiwei 9P. The Korean players were Choe Cheong 5P, Kim Hye-min 7P, and Pak Ji-yon 3P. Choe inflicted the sole loss suffered by China, defeating Yu on the top board. As of May, Choe was the top-ranked woman player in the world (#193 on the geocities site).

Yo Seiki wins Okage Cup: The O-kage (gratitude) Cup is sponsored by a group of tourism-related shops in the street leading to Ise Shrine. It is open to players 30 and under and so far has been won by Cho Riyu (2010), Anzai Nobuaki (2011 and 2012), and Ichiriki Ryo (2013 and 2014). This year, the main tournament (for the best 16) was held in Ise City on May 14 And 15. In the final, Yo Seiki 7P of the Kansai Ki-in (W) beat Ichiriki by resignation.

Hane senior wins 1,200 games: On May 21, Hane Yasumasa 9P became the sixth player at the Nihon Ki-in to reach the landmark of 1,200 wins. It took him 57 years one month (he will turn 71 on June 25). With 641 losses and 5 jigos, his winning percentage is 65.2. He won the Oza title in 1990. He is the father of Hane Naoki.

Tomorrow: 2nd Mlily Cup; O Meien wins 1,000 games; Aizu Central Hospital Cup

Categories: Japan,John Power Report

Lee Sedol Wins Historic Jubango Against Gu Li

Sunday September 28, 2014

The most anticipated go event in decades concluded on September 28, when Lee Sedol 9p (right) defeated Gu Li 9p in their historic jubango, winning 2014.09.28_MLily-Gu-Lee-Jubango-Game-8-t-300x300the eighth game by 2.5 points. The 350-move game was the longest in the series, and took place in Gu Li’s hometown, Chongqing, China. With this victory, Lee Sedol took the lion’s share of the 5,000,000 RMB prize money (more than $800,000 USD), and cemented his place in go history. The final score for the series was 6-2 in Lee’s favor, although this statistic belies how tightly fought several of the games were.

As with the previous seven games, Go Game Guru will release a detailed commentary soon; in the meantime, you can find all the commentaries and videos from the match on GGG’s jubango page and click here to see An Younggil 8p’s preliminary comments on Game 8. Once completed, all eight commentaries will form the basis of a book about the match.
- based on reporting by Go Game Guru

Categories: Korea,World

8th — And Possibly Final — Game in Lee Sedol vs Gu Li Jubango Tonight

Saturday September 27, 2014

Live coverage of the eighth round in the MLily Gu vs Lee Jubango starts Saturday night at 9pm PST (midnight Sunday morning EST). It takes2014.09.27_Gu-Li-Lee-Sedol-Jubango place in Gu’s hometown, Chongqing, and with the score currently at 5-2 in Lee’s favor this game is a kadoban for Gu and might be the last of the match. Commentators on Baduk TV  will replay and analyze the game from the beginning and Go Game Guru’s An Younggil 8p will translate and discuss the game with Baduk TV Live viewers. Access to the game costs $2.70 with a Baduk TV Day Pass. If you plan to watch the game from the very start, remember to subtract three hours from the times given above. Baduk TV starts the coverage three hours later because the games go for so long.
- Go Game Guru

Categories: Korea,World,Youth

Lee Sedol 9p One Win From Victory in Jubango against Gu Li 9p

Sunday August 31, 2014

Lee Sedol 9pLee Sedol 9p (left) secured a solid lead against Gu Li 9p after winning Game 7 in their ten-game match on August 31 in Tibet’s capital Lhasa, widening his lead to 5-2 and putting him just one game away from winning outright. Gu’s back is against the wall now and must win the next three games just to draw the jubango. As has happened in most games throughout the match, Gu was ahead in the opening and established what seemed like a sure win. At 130, though, Lee (playing black) cut off Gu’s center group and killed white’s dragon on the right side (see below for game). Gu could not recover and now faces a kadoban, or potentially match-deciding game, next month (September 28) in his hometown of Chongqing. For more information on Game 7 or other games in the MLily Gu vs Lee Jubango including photos and game analysis by An Younggil 8p, please visit Go Game Guru.
–Annalia Linnan, based on a longer article by Go Game Guru; photo and game record courtesy of Go Game Guru