American Go E-Journal

The Power Report: Best performers of 2020

Sunday February 21, 2021

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

This reports focuses on the players with the best performances in various categories last year.

Most wins
Because of a multiple tie for 9th place, the top ten is actually the top eleven. Some other results of interest have been added. Note that three women players make the top eleven. The increase in tournaments for women gives them more playing opportunities and more prize money. It could be argued that this is a golden age for professional women’s go in Japan.
1. Ichiriki Ryo Tengen: 53-13
2. Iyama Yuta Kisei: 38-14
3. Kyo Kagen 8P: 36-23
4. Fujisawa Rina, Women’s Honinbo: 35-15; Shibano Toramaru Oza: 35-21 
6. Ueno Asami, Senko Cup-holder: 34-23 
7. Onishi Ryuhei 7P: 32-15
8. Yamashita Keigo 9P: 30-20
9. Seki Kotaro 3P: 29-8; Mutsuura Yuta 7P: 29-13; Nyu Eiko 3P: 29-16
15. Xie Yimin 6P: 26-19
17. Kono Rin 9P: 25-22
19. Mukai Chiaki 5P: 24-13
22. Suzuki Ayumi, Women’s Kisei: 23-14
27. Nakamura Sumire 1P: 21-17 (7th among women players)

Most consecutive wins
1. Chotoku Tesshi 3P: 14
2. Ichiriki: 11
3. Mutsuura: 10
4. Iyama, Ichiriki, Kyo Kagen, Kanazawa Hideo 8P, Motoki Katsuya 8P: 9

Best winning percentage (over a minimum of 24 games)
1. Ichiriki: 80.3
2. Seki: 78.38
3. Kanazawa: 76
4. Anzai Nobuaki 7P: 73.68 (28-10)
5. Hirata Tomoya 7P: 73.53 (25-9)
6. Iyama: 73.08
7. Onishi: 72.73
8. Mizokami Tomochika 9P, Takei Takashi 7P: 72.41 (both 21-8)
10. Ida Atsushi 8P: 71.05 (27-11)

Prize-money promotions 
The following players from 1- to 6-dan earned promotions based on prize money earned during the year. The top two from 1-dan to 5-dan are promoted a rank, but only one 6-dan is promoted. Players who earned promotions by other means during the year, that is, by cumulative wins or challenging for a title or winning a seat in a league, are excluded, so the players below are the “top” among the rest. Promotions are dated to January 1.
To 7-dan: Numadate Sakiya
To 6-dan: Koike Yoshihiro, Yanagisawa Satoshi
To 5-dan: Hirose Yuichi, Otake Yu
To 4-dan: Cho Zuiketsu, Ueno Asami
To 3-dan: Muramoto Wataru, Chotoku Tesshi
To 2-dan: Terada Shuta, Fukuoka Kotaro 

Most prize money won
For the 10th year in a row, Iyama topped the list of prize-money winners and once again reached the enviable bench mark of 100,000,000 yen (approx. $961,000 at $1 = 104 yen). Actually, the first time he came first was the only time he fell short of this mark, but, with 91,000,000, not very short. The most he has made is 172,000,000 in 2015 and the least is 106,000,000 (these figures are rounded off). Just for the record, only three other players have reached seven figures: Kobayashi Koichi (three times), Cho Chikun (four times), and Cho U (four times). Note the figures below include tournament prize money and game fees but not other income, such as for doing public commentaries or lectures, appearance money, teaching, book royalties, etc. 
1. Iyama Yuta: 128,519,441
2. Ichiriki Ryo: 48,609,332
3. Shibano Toramaru: 47,412,860
4. Fujisawa Rina: 27,410,030
5. Kono Rin: 26,927,300
6. Yamashita Keigo: 20,993,400
7. Kyo Kagen: 20,962,681
8. Ueno Asami: 17,545,862
9. Cho U: 11,969,400
10. Hane Naoki: 11,722,000

54th Kido Prizes  
The magazine Kido is defunct, but its prizes live on and were announced on February 10. They are open only to Nihon Ki-in players. This time they were dominated by Ichiriki Ryo, who won five of the seven prizes he was eligible for.
Most outstanding player: Iyama Yuta Kisei, Meijin & Honinbo.
Outstanding player: Ichiriki Ryo Tengen & Gosei
New star: Seki Kotaro, King of the New Stars
Women’s prize: Fujisawa Rina, Young Carp titleholder, Women’s Honinbo, Women’s Meijin, Women’s Hollyhock Cup holder, Hakata Kamachi Cup holder
International Prize: Ichiriki
Most wins: Ichiriki (53)
Best winning percentage: Ichiriki (80.3%)
Most consecutive wins: Chotoku Tesshi
Most games played: Ichiriki (66)

Kansai Ki-in prizes
The following prizes were announced on January 29. They were dominated by Yo Seiki, who matched Ichiriki in number of prizes won
Most outstanding player: Yo Seiki 8P (aged 25)
Most Wins: Yo (43)
Best winning percentage: Yo (86%)
Risen Prize (fighting spirit): Sada Atsushi 7P
Dogen Prize (special merit): Seto Taiki 8P
New star: Okawa Takuya 2P (aged 19)
Most successive wins: Yo (22)
Yamano Prize (for popularizing go): Tobita Saki 2P
Nagai Prize (outstanding player under 30): Nishi Takenobu 5P
Yoshida Prize (most wins against Nihon Ki-in players): Yo (24)
Taniguchi Prize (to encourage players under 26): Abe Yoshiki 3P (aged 24)

Kansai Ki-in prize-money promotions
The Kansai Ki-in has a more limited system than the Nihon Ki-in: the top three prize-money earners from 1- to 4-dan go up a rank on January 1. In order of earnings they are:
1. Hong Akiyoshi: to 4-dan
2. Nishi Takenobu: to 5-dan
3. Taniguchi Toru: to 5-dan