American Go E-Journal

The Power Report: Korea wins Go Legends National Competition; Ing Cup

Saturday February 27, 2021

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Legends Yoda (l) & Kobayashi (r)

Korea wins Go Legends National Competition
This is a special event that was held in January in conjunction with the 22nd Nong Shim Cup. It pitted teams with two former stars from Korea, China, and Japan against each other, with the games, which were not official, being held on the net. It was won by Korea with 6-2; China came second with 5-3; and Japan came third with 1-7. Prizes from 1st to 3rd were: 50,000,000 won (about $45,000, at $1 = 1100 won), 25 million won, and 15,000,000 won. Note that I didn’t have access to all the details of the games.

Round 1
(Jan. 15) China vs. Korea; Cho Hun-hyun 9P (Korea) (B) beat Chang Hao 9P by resig.; Lee Changho 9P (Korea) (B) beat Nie Weiping by 15.5.
(Jan. 16) Japan vs. China; Nie (China) (B) beat Yoda Norimoto 9P by 4.5; Chang beat Kobayashi Koichi.
(Jan. 17) Japan vs. Korea; Lee Changho 9P (Korea) (B) beat Kobayashi by 8.5; Cho beat Yoda.

Round 2
(Jan. 22) Japan vs. Korea; Cho beat Kobayashi; Yoda (B) beat Lee by 1.5.
(Jan. 23) Japan vs. China; Nie (W) beat Kobayashi by 4.5; Chang (W) beat Yoda by resig.
(Jan. 24) Korea vs. China: 1-1

Ing semi-finalist Ichiriki

Ing Cup
Japanese go fans were encouraged by the outstanding performance last year of Ichiriki Ryo in international tournaments, especially his three successive wins in the 9th Ing Cup, which took him to the semifinals. However, managing your time skillfully is part of the challenge when playing in this tournament, and here he got into trouble, leading to a 0-2 loss to Xie Ke 9P of China. The time allowance is three hours per player, with no byo-yomi. However, you can buy extra time twice, at the rate of 20 minutes for two stones. Ichiriki was doing well in both games but had to buy extra time twice in the first game and once in the second game. He commented: “I’m still not strong enough at converting a lead into a win. Things didn’t go the way I wanted, including my management of my time.”

In the other semifinal, Shin Jinseo 9P of Korea, currently the world’s top-rated player, beat Zhao Chenyu 8P of China 2-0. Dates for the final, also best-of-three, have not yet been decided.

Incidentally, the Nihon Ki-in does not recognize Ing Cup games as official games, because of differences in the rules, such as buying time with stones instead of having byo-yomi. Also, the Ing Rules recognize suicide moves, which can be used as ko threats. Ironically, this rule was not applied this time, as the games were played on the net and the software couldn’t be modified in time.

Semifinals (best-of-three)
Game 1 (Jan. 10). Xie Ke (W) beat Ichiriki by resig.; Shin Jinseo (B) beat Zhao Chenyu by resig.
Game 2 (Jan. 12). Xie (B) beat Ichiriki by 3; Shin (W) beat Zhao by one point.

Next: Chunlan Cup; Ueno wins Women’s Kisei