American Go E-Journal

The Power Report (1 of 3): Kono to challenge for Kisei; Ida wins first Crown title; Iyama defends Oza title; Ichiriki wins Young Carp

Friday December 23, 2016

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2016.12.23_41Kisei challenger Kono Rin

Kono to challenge for Kisei: The second game of the play-off to decide the 41st Kisei challenger was held at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on November 14. Taking white, Kono Rin 9P (right) beat Cho U 9P by 1.5 points, so he will make his first challenge for the Kisei title.
Kono has won nine titles, but the Tengen is the only top-seven title he has held, though that was for three years in a row. This is only his second big-three challenge; he lost the 39th Meijin title match to Iyama 2-4 in 2014. He will turn 36 on January 7, just before the title match starts on January 14.

Ida wins first Crown title: The Crown (Okan) title is restricted to members of the Central Japan branch of the Nihon Ki-in in Nagoya. This year it was held on November 14. Playing black, Ida Atsushi 8P beat the defending title holder Hane Naoki by resig. Surprisingly, the 22-year-old Ida is the first player younger than Hane (40) to win the title. It is his third title: he has also won the Judan and the NHK cup. Hane’s winning run as Okan ended at five terms. First prize is 1,700,000 yen (about $14,500).

2016.12.23_64oza3 Iyama defendsIyama defends Oza title: The third game of the 64th Oza title match was held at the Saryo Soen, an entertainment complex, in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture on November 18. Yo Seiki (or Yu Zhengqi), the challenger, played well with black, but the severity of his attack was exceeded by the power of Iyama’s “shinogi” (rescuing a group). Yo resigned after 122 moves. Iyama (left) succeeded in defending his title with three successive wins, so he came through his first major test since his loss of the Meijin title. This maintained his sextuple crown and gave h2016.12.23_Ichiriki Young Carpim his 39th title, putting him in equal 6th place with Cho U.
Despite the 3-0 score, the series was far from one-sided. Iyama: “There were scenes in which both the first and second games became definite losses for me.”

Ichiriki wins Young Carp: The main tournament in the 11th Hiroshima Aluminum Cup Young Carp Tournament was held at the Central Japan Newspaper Building in Hiroshima on November 26 and 27. Ichiriki (right) was busy with his Tengen challenge, but he still had the energy to pick up this junior title. In the semifinals, Ichiriki beat Fujisawa Rina, Women’s Honinbo, and Motoki Katsuya 7P beat Oomote (pronounced oh-o-mo-te) Takuto. In the final, Ichiriki had white against Motoki and forced a resignation after 156 moves. First prize is 3,000,000 yen (about $25,600).

Tomorrow: Nyu to challenge for Women’s Kisei; Ke Jie wins Agon Kiriyama Cup play-off; 72nd Honinbo League; 42nd Meijin League; Women’s Meijin League

Categories: Japan,John Power Report