American Go E-Journal

The Power Report: Fujisawa defends 40th Women’s Honinbo; Meijin title match tied; Iyama and Shibano win games in Chinese League

Thursday November 4, 2021

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Fujisawa Rina

Fujisawa defends 40th Women’s Honinbo
There was a fresh pairing in the 40th Women’s Honinbo best-of-five, with Hoshiai Shiho 3P making her title-match debut by challenging Fujisawa Rina. The two are close in age — the title-holder is 23 and the challenger 24 — and are good friends.
The first game was held at the Kashoen inn in Hanamaki City, Iwate Prefecture, on September 28. Taking white, Fujisawa won by half a point. In retrospect, this was the challenger’s best game of the match: she had the lead going into the endgame, but made an oversight.
The second game was played at the Tokyo headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in on October 8. Fujisawa (W) won by resignation after 181 moves.
The third game was played at the same venue on October 22. Fujisawa (W) won by resignation after 190 moves. Incidentally, Kobayashi Izumi 7P made her debut as referee with this game.
This is Fujisawa’s fifth Women’s Honinbo title. Actually she has played in the title match for eight years in a row, but this is the first time that she has successfully defended the title.

Meijin title match tied
The fourth game of the 46th Meijin title match was held in the Gora Kansuiro, a traditional Japanese inn in Hakone Town, Kanagawa Prefecture, on September 28 and 29. Taking black, Iyama Yuta played a masterly game and ended up capturing one of his opponent’s groups. Ichiriki Ryo resigned after Black 167. This evened the score in the best-of-seven at 2-2.
The fifth game was played at the Tokiwa Hotel in Kofu City, Yamanashi Prefecture on October 12 and 13. Playing black, Ichiriki forced a resignation after 189 moves. In the middle game, Iyama started a ko fight in which the burden on him was greater than on his opponent. In return for finishing off the ko, White let Black attack a large group. The group was big enough that it seemed to have a lot of aji, but Ichiriki played with great precision. Iyama managed to get a ko, but he ran out of ko threats and had to resign. As in this year’s Honinbo title match, Iyama was now faced with a kadoban.  The sixth game was played at the Atami Sekitei inn in Atami City, Shizuoka Prefecture on October 19 and 20. Go Weekly’s comment on the game was that Iyama’s reading was just a little superior to Ichiriki’s. White resigned after 159 moves.

46th Meijin; Ichiriki (l) vs Iyama

Iyama and Shibano win games in Chinese League
The morning after he won the fourth game of Meijin title match, that is, on September 30, Iyama Yuta had to hurry back to Tokyo, as he was playing a game at the Nihon Ki-in in the A division of the Chinese team tournament. Playing on the top board, Iyama (W) defeated Ding Hao 8P, ranked no. 4 in China, who represented a Guangzhou team. Shibano Toramaru played two games in the league.
On September 28, he lost to He Yuhan 6P, but the following day he beat Chen Yishun 4P (sorry, but I don’t know how to read the team names). Iyama’s record in this league is 2-0; Shibano’s is 1-2. (For details of Iyama’s first game in the league, see my report of August 16.)

Categories: Japan,Main Page