American Go E-Journal

The Power Report: Ichiriki wins Tengen; Shibano defends Oza; Ke Jie wins Samsung Cup

Friday February 12, 2021

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Ichiriki wins Tengen

Ichiriki (r) beats Iyama

After failing in five challenges to Iyama Yuta for top-seven titles, Ichiriki Ryo finally prevailed in his sixth challenge, which was for the 46th Tengen title. He now has two top-seven titles to his name.

First of all, Ichiriki had to overcome the redoubtable resistance of Kono Rin 9-dan, whom he defeated in the play-off to decide the challenger. The game was played on September 4, and Ichiriki (W) won by resignation. The results in the title match are detailed below. Ichiriki made a lucky start by scoring a half-point win, but Iyama fought back to take two games in a row. At this point, it looked like the same old story, but Ichiriki has acquired some tenacity. He scored two successive wins and won his second top-seven title, to add to the Gosei he won earlier in the year from Hane Naoki. Iyama, with his major triple crown of the three top titles, is still indisputably the number one, but Ichiriki is competing for the number two position with Shibano Toramaru.

Game 1 (Oct. 8). Ichiriki (B) by half a point.
Game 2 (Oct. 20). Iyama (B) by resig.
Game 3 (Nov. 27). Iyama (W) by resig.
Game 4 (Dec. 7). Ichiriki (W) by resig.
Game 5 (Dec. 16). Ichiriki (B) by resig.

Shibano defends Oza title

The 68th title match pitted two of the new leaders of Japanese go against each other: the 22-year-old Kyo Kagen 8P and the 20-year-old Shibano Toramaru Oza. The latter’s play in the Oza title match showed that he had recovered from the shock of losing the Meijin title. He managed to fend off Kyo’s challenge while dropping just one game, though he did seal his victory with a half-pointer.

Game 1 (Oct. 23). Shibano (W) by resig.
Game 2 (Nov. 6). Shibano (B) by resig.
Game 3 (Nov. 17). Kyo (B) by 5.5 points.
Game 4 (Dec. 3). Shibano (B) by half a point.

Ke Jie wins Samsung Cup; Ichiriki carries the flag for Japan

Four players from Japan took part in the 25th Samsung Cup, which, like other international tournaments these days, was played on the net. Ichiriki Ryo 8P and Kyo Kagen 8P were seeded for Japan. Sada Atsushi 7P won a seat in the open section and Mimura Tomoyasu 9P in the senior section respectively of the Japanese qualifying tournament. Once again, Ichiriki led the way for Japan, reaching the quarterfinals with two wins (the first win was on time, but he was ahead). Fittingly, the final featured the top two ranked players in the world: Shin Jinseo, who is number one, and number two, Ke Jie. The latter won 2-0, but Shin was handicapped in the first game by a move that was made accidentally. The cord of his mouse touched the “touch panel” of his notebook computer and triggered a ridiculous move: Black’s move 21 on the 1-8 point. There was a technical problem in the 21st Nong Shim Cup (see the first installment of this report), which led to a replayed game, but Shin not appeal, something that the Samsung rules for this tournament did not allow for anyway. In the second game, Shin took the lead but fell victim to an upset in the endgame. Ke picked up his fourth victory in the Samsung Cup and his eighth international victory overall. First prize is worth 300,000,000 won (about $272,000).

Selected results:

(Round 1, Oct. 27). Ichiriki Ryo 8P (Japan) (W) beat Gu Jihao 9P (China) on time; Shi Yue 9P (China) (W) beat Sada Atsushi 7P (Japan) by resig.; Kang Jihoon 2P (Korea) (W) beat Kyo Kagen 8P (Japan) by 1.5 points; Choi Jaeyoung 5P (Korea) (W) beat Mimura Tomoyasu 9P by resig.;

Round 2 (Oct. 28). Ichiriki (W) beat Shin Minjun by resig.; Ke Jie 9P (China) (W) beat Cho Hanseung 9P (Korea) by resig.; Shin Jinseo 9P (Korea) (W) beat Lian Xiao 9P (China) on time.

Quarterfinals (Oct. 30). Xie Erhao 9P (China) (B) beat Ichiriki by resig.; Yang Dingxin 9P (China) (B) beat Li Weiqing 8P (China) by resig.; Ke (B) beat Li Xuanhao 8P (China) by resig.; Shin Jinseo 9P (Korea) (W) beat Shi Yue by resig.

Semifinals (Oct. 31). Shin (W) beat Xie by resig,; Ke (W) beat Yang by resig.

Game 1 (Nov. 2). Ke (W) by resig.
Game 2 (Nov. 3). Ke (B) by half a point.

Tomorrow: Sumire’s progress; Ida wins 5th Crown