American Go E-Journal » 2022 » June

The Power Report: June news updates

Wednesday June 22, 2022

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Photos (l-r): 1st Hoban Fujisawa Rina; 1st Hoban Wu Yiming; 9Globis Fukuoka 2nd; 9Globis Wang the winner; 9th Hollyhock Uenl (left) beats Okuda; 27LG Shibano best 8; 77honinbo2 Ichiriki Iyama rugby jerseys; 77honinbo2 playing room view of ground; 77honinbo3 Iyama; 77honinbo4 Iyama (left) Cho Chikun Ichiriki; 77honinbo4 Kyushu Nat Museum; Meijin-Kisei Leagues.

Iyama sets new record in Honinbo title

After Ichiriki Ryo’s success in taking the top title from Iyama Yuta in this year’s Kisei title match, most fans probably installed him as the favorite in the 77th Honinbo title match, but that’s not how things worked out. Iyama took a full measure of revenge on his closest rival.

As described in my report of May 21, Iyama took the first game through tenacious play in the late middle game and endgame. This pattern continued in the other games of the best-of-seven.

The second game was played in the Special Room at the Kumagaya Rugby Ground in Kumagaya City, Saitama Prefecture, on May 24 and 25. The room is on the fourth floor of the stadium and offers a view of the playing field. Presumably the venue was chosen by Kumagaya City, which was a supporting sponsor for this game. (Recently, it seems to have become usual for the cities etc. where games are staged to become supporting sponsors just for that game. This gains them publicity and presumably relieves the financial burden on the main sponsors of the tournament.) Kumagaya is a mecca for Japanese rugby fans, and some games in the 2019 Rugy World Cup, which Japan hosted, were played there. The players got into the spirit of things by posing in rugby jerseys holding on to footballs, though they switched back to the regulations suits to play the game.

As indicated above, Ichiriki made another good start, but Iyama (white) refused to give up. He played aggressively, complicating the position and eliciting an error from Ichiriki. Once he had upset his lead, Iyama played solidly, giving Ichiriki no chance to get back into the game.

The third game was played at the Fujii residence in Yamada Hot Spring in Nagano Prefecture on June 1 and 2. Once again, Ichiriki (W) took the lead in the opening and early middle game, but Iyama fought very strongly in the latter part of the game (meaning, in this case, from about move 121 on). He sacrificed a group in a way that surprised the professionals following the game on the spot, but that was part of a far-seeing whole-board strategy. Under pressure, Ichiriki played some sub-optimal moves that let Iyama dominate the game. Not only did he upset Ichiriki’s lead, he gradually increased his own lead. When Ichiriki resigned, after Black 259, he was ten points or more behind on the board. If you have access to a game record, check out Black 179, an unlikely-looking tesuji that Ichiriki didn’t see. It enabled Iyama to maximize his territory in a corner fight.

The fourth game was played at the Kyushu National Museum in Dazaifu City, Kyushu, on June 11 and 12. This turned out to be the most spectacular game of the series. Early in the game, there was a spectacular trade, in which Ichiriki (black) sacrificed a group in exchange for capturing some white stones. However, the result was a little advantageous for Iyama. Ichiriki subsequently played some dubious moves, letting Iyama expand his lead. Ichiriki resigned after 196 moves.

   The referee for this game was Cho Chikun, so he had a close-up view as Iyama broke his record by scoring his 11th successive victory in a top-seven title. It was also Iyama 68th title (55 of them top-seven titles), so he is drawing closer and closer to Cho’s record of 75 (42).

Iyama’s comment: “After the new year started, there was a difficult period for me when I couldn’t get good results. Things were tough for me, so I’m happy I got a good result this time. . . . As a go fan watching Cho win ten in a row, I never dreamed I could challenge his record. It’s a great honor.”

Cho’s comment: “It felt good when we were lined up together on ten-in-a-row, but now that he’s gone past me, I feel bad. Now it’s happened, I want him to win about 20 in a row. He defended with straight wins, but in this series Ichiriki’s content was better. He should be able to keep competing with confidence.”

There was no quote from Ichiriki in the newspaper. First prize is 28,000,000 yen (about $208,955, at $1=¥134). Below is a list of the top successive-title records.

11: Iyama Honinbo (2012~22)

10: Cho Chikun Honinbo (1989~98)

9: Iyama Kisei (2013~21)

9: Takagawa Kaku Honinbo (1952~60) 

8: Kobayashi Koichi Kisei (1986~93)

8: Kato Masao Oza (1982~8

Ueno to challenge for Hollyhock Cup

The semifinals and final of the 9th Aizu Central Hospital Women’s Hollyhock Cup were held at the Konjakutei inn in Aizu Wakamatsu City, Fukushima Prefecture, on May 21 and 22. In the semifinals (May 21), Ueno Asami (B) beat Kibe Natsuki 2-dan by resignation, and Oku Aya 4-dan (W) beat Suzuki Ayumi 7-dan, also by resignation. The next day, Ueno (B) beat Okuda by resignation and earned the right to challenge Fujisawa Rina for the title. Fujisawa has held this title for five years in a row and six times overall. Ueno made two unsuccessful challenges, for the 6th and 8th Cup; she lost 0-2 each time, so she will be looking for revenge.

Wu of China dominates 1st Hoban Cup

The Hoban Cup Seoul Newspaper Women’s Baduk Championship 2022 is a new international tournament run along the same lines as the Nong Shim Cup, with the difference that it is split into just two rounds, not three. The first round was dominated by the 15-year-old Wu Yiming 3-dan of China, who won five games in a row. According to Chinese rules for international tournaments, this earned her a promotion to 4-dan. The second round is scheduled for October.

Game 1 (May 22). Wu Yiming 3-dan (China) (W) beat Nakamura Sumire 2-dan (Japan) by resig.

Game 2 (May 23). Wu (W) (B) beat Lee Suljoo 1-dan (Korea) by resig.

Game 3 (May 24). Wu (B) beat Suzuki Ayumi 7-dan (Japan) by 11.5 points.

Game 4 (May 25). Wu (B) beat Heo Seohyun 3-dan (Korea) by resig.

Game 5 (May 26). Wu (B) beat Xie Yimin 7-dan (Japan) by resig.

Game 6 (May 27). Kim Jaeyeong 7-dan (Korea) (W) beat Wu 4-dan by resig.

Game 7 (May 28). Fujisawa Rina 5-dan (Japan) (B) beat Kim by resig.

LG Cup: Shibano makes best eight

The opening rounds of the 27th LG Cup, an international tournament sponsored by the LG Corporation in Korea, were held on the net from May 30 to June 1. Twenty-four players took part, with 16 starting out in the first round and eight being seeded into the second round. As the host country, Korea had 13 players; China had seven, Japan three, and Chinese Taipei one. The Japanese participants were Shibano Toramaru and Yo Seiki, who were seeded, and Sada Atsushi, who won the Japanese qualifying tournament. Shibano, who was seeded into the second round, was the only Japanese player to make the best eight.

The time allowance is three hours, followed by 40-second byo-yomi x 5. Results follow (for most of the games, I don’t have full details).

(Round 1, May 29). Shin Minjun 9-dan (Korea) beat Shi Yue 9-dan (China); Zhao Chenyu beat Park Geunho 6-dan (Korea); Yo Seiki (Yu Zhengqi) 8-dan (Japan) (B) beat Park Hamin 9-dan (Korea) by resig.; Kim Jiseok 9-dan (Korea) beat Gu Jihao 9-dan (China); Park Jinseol 6-dan (Korea) (B) beat Sada Atsushi 7-dan (Japan) by resig.

(Round 1, May 30) Wang Yuanjun 9-dan (Ch. Taipei) beat Weon Seongjin 9-dan (Korea); Kang Dongyun 9-dan (Korea) beat Cho Hanseung 9-dan (Korea); Kim Myeonghoon 9-dan (Korea) beat Seol Hyunjun 7-dan (Korea).

Round 2 (31 May). Mi Yuting 9-dan (China) beat Cho; Shin Jinseo 9-dan (Korea) (B) beat Yo by resig.); Ke Jie 9-dan (China) beat Shin Minjun; Ding Hao 9-dan (China) beat Kim; Yang Dingxin 9-dan (China) beat Park. 

(Round 2, June 1). Shibano Toramaru 9-dan (Japan) (W) beat Wang by resig.; Kang beat Park Junghwan 9-dan (Korea); Kim beat Byun Sangil 9-dan (Korea).

Semifinal (Nov. 24) pairings: Ke v. Kang, Mi v. Shin Jinseo, Ding vs. Kim, Shibano v. Yang.

Globis Cup

The 9th Globis Cup was held in the same week at the LG Cup, so suddenly there was a lot of activity in international go. Unfortunately, this tournament, too, had to be held on the net. Founded in 2014, it is a tournament for players under 20. It is sponsored by the Globis Graduate School of Business. The tournament is run by the NHK format: 30 seconds per move, with ten minutes of thinking time to be used in one-minute units. First prize is 1,500,000 yen; second prize is 250,000 yen, and third prize is 100,000 yen. The tournament system is complicated: the 16 participants are split up in four mini-knockout tournaments, with the top four proceeding to the main tournament. However, there is also a losers’ tournament in which four more players earn seats in the main tournament. Thanks to this second chance, Kevin Yang of North American, who is listed as amateur 7-dan, won a seat in the main tournament. The above games were all played on June 4. Results in the main tournament, held on June 5, follow.

(Quarterfinals) Zhou Hongyu 6-dan (China) beat Lai Junfu (Ch.Taipei); Fukuoka Kotaro 3-dan (Japan) beat Kevin Yang; Wang Xinghao 7-dan (China) beat Tsuji Shigehito 3-dan (Japan); Tu Xiaoyu 7-dan (China) beat Lee Yeon 4-dan (Korea).

(Semifinals) Fukuoka beat Zhou; Wang beat Tu.

(Final) Wang (W) beat Fukuoka by resig.

(Play-off for 3rd place) Tu beat Zhou.

Wang Xinghao also won this tournament last year, beating Tu Xiaoyu in the final. 

Fujisawa fails to reach best four in Tengen

  Fujisawa Rina’s excellent run in the 48th Tengen tournament finally came to an end on June 2. Playing white, she lost by resignation to Otake Yu 6-dan. If she had won, she would have been the first woman to make the best four in a top-seven title. Actually, Fujisawa took the lead in the opening, but Otake was able to pull off an upset.

Shibano leads in 47th Meijin League

Shibano Toramaru, former Meijin, holds the sole lead on 4-1, followed by Ichiriki Ryo Kisei and Shida Tatsuya 8-dan on 4-2 and Kyo Kagen Judan on 3-2. Recent results follow.

(May 19) Ichiriki Ryo Kisei (W) beat Motoki Katsuya 9-dan by resig.

(June 2) Yamashita Keigo 9-dan (W) beat Hane Naoki 9-dan by resig.

(June 9) Shida Tatsuya 8-dan (B) beat Yo Seiki 8-dan by 1.5 points

Kisei S League

Two games in the second round have been played so far. On June 2 Murakawa Daisuke 9-dan (W) beat Kyo Kagen Judan by resignation, and on June 6 Shibano (B) beat Takao Shinji 9-dan by resig. On 2-0, Shibano Toramaru is the only undefeated player. 

Sumire reaches 100 wins

Scoring one’s 100th win is not usually considered a significant landmark, but things are different if the player concerned is only 13 years old. The Yomiuri reported on June 7 that Nakamura Sumire 2-dan had recorded her 100th win in a game played at the Nihon Ki-in on the previous day. Taking white, she beat Kato Keiko 6-dan by resignation in the second round of the main section of the 41st Women’s Honinbo tournament. At 13 years three months, she set yet another youth record. The previous record of 15 years 11 months was set by Cho Chikun, Honorary Meijin. At a press conference after the game, Sumire commented: “I’m not very aware of my number of wins. It was like: really?” When a reporter commented that she had done it in three years two months as a pro, she smiled. “I don’t really know, but that seems fast.” To become the challenger, she needs three more wins. Sumire has played only two games since my last report, one of them the game reported here. For the other, see the report on the Hoban Cup above.

Most wins (as of June 10)

The latest Go Weekly gave only the top two places, so positions 3 to 10 are my best guess. There are five women in the top ten.

1. Ueno Asami: 27-5

2. Ichiriki Ryo Kisei: 26-10

3. Nyu Eiko 4-dan: 20-10

4. Koike Yoshihiro 7-dan: 19-4; Ida Atsushi 8-dan: 19-6; Nakamura Sumire 2-dan: 19-10

7. Fujisawa Rina, Women’s Honinbo: 18-7

8. Kyo Kagen Judan: 17-6

9. Suzuki Ayumi 7-dan: 16-14

10. Ikemoto Ryota 2-dan: 15-6 

Most successive wins

10: Hikosaka Naoto 9-dan

6: Yo Kaei 8-dan, Ueno Risa 1-dan (younger sister of Ueno Asami)

5: So Yokoku 9-dan, Hirata Tomoya 7-dan, Mitani Tetsuya 8-dan, Hirata Tomoya 7-dan, Hirose Yuichi 6-dan, Sakai Takashi 2-dan, Kawahara Yu 1-dan

Recently ended streaks

13: Koike Yoshihiro 

6: Fujisawa Rina

5: O Rissei 9-dan, Son Makoto 7-dan, Nishioka Masao, Fujisawa Rina, Konishi Yoshiakira 1-dan, Yamashita Keigo 9-dan, Shibano Toramaru 9-dan


There was some funny arithmetic in my article on Ishida Yoshio’s government decoration (ejournal, May 23). Total games played by Ishida should have read 1870. His record, updated to June 7, is: 1146 wins, 725 losses, 1 no-result, total 1872 games. Thanks to Peter St. John for pointing out my mistake.

NOTE: John Power sent in these reports on June 13 but publication was delayed due to EJ Managing Editor being on travel; our apologies for the delay.  


NAGF Pro Qualification Tournament begins this Sunday

Wednesday June 22, 2022

The 2022 Pro Qualification Tournament, organized by the North American Go Federation (NAGF) will be held next week, from June 26 to July 1 at the National Go Center in Washington, DC.

The top two players from this tournament will be certified by the NAGF as professional 1 dan. Also, the NAGF offers prize money of $2,000 USD for the winner and $1,000 USD for second-place player.

The preliminary round is a round-robin competition in two divisions, where the top two players from each division advance to the semi-final round. The first semi-final round is a single match. The first final round, the losers bracket, and the second final round are best-of-three matches.

Selected games of the pro qualification tournament will be live-broadcast on KGS without commentary. Area go players interested in being on the EJ’s recording team can sign up here.

The list of players and the tournament rules are posted here.


New York Go League forming

Tuesday June 21, 2022

Howard Wong is starting a NY Go League, open to all players with stable go ranks in the AGA, CGA, EGF, or an online rank at a credible server. The league will be a round robin tournament, spanning two months, and is set to begin on June 25th with a registration deadline of June 22nd; register here.

All online games can be played in either OGS or KGS, on 19×19 boards with AGA rules (7.5 komi) with color being chosen randomly by the server. All games must also be played with time control settings of 20 minutes main time and 5 periods of 30 second byo-yomi. All matches will have zero handicaps. Player color will be decided by the computer. 

Games may also be played in person if both players agree, a timer  must be used and the game must be recorded.


Yuelun Yang 4D wins SFGC’s Shinji Dote tourney

Tuesday June 21, 2022

The San Francisco Go Club hosted a three-round go tournament on Saturday June 18, in remembrance of the late Shinji Dote, who played an integral role in the longtime success of go in the San Francisco Bay area. Thirty players competed for honors with division winners taking home cash prizes.

In Division 1, first place went to Yuelun Yang 4D, with Christopher Kim 5D and James Lou 4D coming in second and third, respectively. Division 2 was won by Isaiah Bird 2D and in second place was Qilu Chen 2D and third place went to Jonathan Ketner 1D. Then, for Division 3 Benjamin Lo 8K came in first place with Andrew Shi 11K in second and Brianna Forster 16K in third. 

The San Francisco Go Club will be hosting its next tournament on Saturday July 23rd (register here). 

Matthew Barcus, SFGC Vice President


Burning Board Go Festival blazes with passion for the game

Tuesday June 21, 2022

report by Bob Bacon*

The Burning Board Go Festival was held June 13-19 at Umstead State Park in Raleigh, North Carolina. The event featured a 6-round tournament from June 16-18, as well as numerous instructive workshops, simultaneous games and lectures by Ying Shen 2P and Yuan Zhou. The 50 attendees had the option to stay onsite in primitive cabins or commute, and about half braved the elements. While participants faced two days with unusually high temperatures for June, the sweltering heat was mitigated by the majestic canopy of sheltering trees and the cooling waters of an adjacent lake open for swimming. Attendees came not only from the surrounding cities but also from as far away as the Canary Islands, Texas, Michigan, Virginia, Massachusetts, New York and several from the Baduk House teaching residency program in Ohio. The festival finished with a splendid outdoor picnic and the burning of a ceremonial go board created for the occasion by Tom Bitonti. The Triangle Go Group hopes to make the festival an annual event.

The tournament was smoothly and professionally directed by Devin Fraze, and all rounds began very close to the designated times. We had 39 players, almost all of them playing all 6 rounds. The winner of the Open Section was Chen Yuan, who was on fire, winning all six of his games for the only perfect record of the tournament. Second place went to Derek Zhou, burning brightly as well. Third place in this highly competitive section was awarded to Micah Feldman.

Section A was captured by fiery Daniel Lambert, followed by Boris Bernadsky in second and Xiaoping Wu in third.

Section B witnessed another blazing performance by Javier Gonzalex winning 5 of his games and rising like smoke to the top of this pack. Peter Armenia secured second place, with Bart Jacob winning third.

Section C was somehow won by Bob Bacon although an investigation into this outcome will likely begin soon. Second place was seized by red-hot Ursa Woodring, and Matthew Gregoire battled his way to third.

Russell Herman’s games were smoking hot in Section D and he won first place, followed closely by smoldering Mei Cai in second and Paul Mendola in third.

We also recognized David Shao, the youngest player attending, with a trophy, as well as the participant winning the most self-paired rated games, Micah Feldman.

Lunch was provided by the hosts Triangle Go Group during the tournament, as well as trophies and $800 in prize money.

Thank you to all the wonderful enthusiastic go players and non-players who made this event a success! Photos will be published on the Triangle Go Club Facebook page and website in the near future.

*who is solely responsible for any flame-related puns contained herein, except for the headline, which was inspired by Bob’s heated prose.


AGHS-JIGS Challenger Series

Monday June 13, 2022

“The first Challenger Series is live!” says AGHS Co-President Sophia Wang. “Our North American youth representatives on Team AGHS began their face-off with Team JIGS (a European Go school) this past weekend. Two rounds will be played every weekend between AGHS and JIGS team members. AGHS representatives were selected among the winners of this year’s AGHS tournaments, including Youth League, Girls Who Play Go, and School Team Tournament. The current score is 1-1, with AGHS team member Theo Tuschl taking down the 7th seeded JIGS player but falling to the 6th seeded JIGS player.”

Games are live broadcasted with commentary from JIGS professionals.
Tune in at the link below on Saturdays and Sundays at 7am PT / 10am ET

Team AGHS Roster:
1. Alex Fan-Cui 2D
2. Stephanie Tan 2D
3. Al Tang 1D
4. Steve Zhang 1D
5. Liya Luk 2K
6. Ryan Huang 2K
7. Theodor Tuschl 3K


Four Go Congress rooms now available

Monday June 13, 2022

The US Go Congress in Estes Park now has four East Side lodge rooms available. Onsite lodging sold out several weeks ago, but offsite registration has remained open. Organizers have filled all the rooms for people on the waiting list, and are pleased to offer a few extra. If you want a room act fast, they will likely sell out quickly again. A revised Covid plan is coming out shortly for the congress, and all attendees will receive an update by email in the next few days. For more information, and to register, visit


AGA selects Gurujeet Khalsa as new president

Tuesday June 7, 2022

In a May 29 vote, the AGA’s Board of Directors selected Gurujeet Khalsa to be president of the American Go Association, succeeding Andy Okun. Board members Lisa Scott (Chair) and Devin Fraze were also considered for the position. “It is humbling to follow in the footsteps of Andy Okun and his leadership over the past 10 years,” said Khalsa. “I’m grateful for the trust the Board has put in me and will strive to provide even better service to our chapters and members as we promote the game in the US and internationally.” Khalsa served on the Board from 2012 to 2018, including five years as Chair. One of his key achievements on the Board was his initiative for Chapter Rewards, a system for chapters to receive cash awards to be used in go promotion when members join/renew in their chapter or play in AGA rated games. He led the team that established the National Go Center (NGC) in Washington, DC in 2016 with a grant from the Iwamoto North America Foundation and has served since then as NGC Executive Director. The NGC team hosted the 2018 U.S. Go Congress in Williamsburg, VA. At the NGC he’s directed seven annual AGA-rated tournaments, which recently resumed after Covid interruption with a 58-player Cherry Blossom event. He’s also served as TD for the Maryland Open since 2013. Khalsa will assume his new duties as AGA president for a two-year term beginning on September 1.


Inaugural Connecticut State Go Championship results

Monday June 6, 2022

Twenty-nine players from New England and New York gathered in East Windsor, CT on May 21 to compete for several titles at the inaugural Connecticut State Go Championship.

Boyang Kang went 4-0 to win the Connecticut Open.
Matt Pruner won the Connecticut State Champion title. (This title was open to Connecticut residents).
Samantha Soo won the self-paired 9×9 tournament, and Micah Feldman won the 13×13 title.

The event was a “full house” held at the Battle Standard Tabletop Gaming venue in East Windsor CT, and was a huge success thanks in no small part to the unwavering dedication and hard work by the Central Connecticut Go Club volunteers. Mike Scudder, club president, was instrumental in making the event a success. Mike Spaner was the tournament director (with the helpful mentoring of Trevor Morris).

photos: Boyang Kang, CT Open Champ; Matt Pruner, 2022 Connecticut Champion; Samantha Soo, 9×9 Champion; Micah Feldman, 13×13 Champion; Central Connecticut Go Club members playing


Go featured at Asian Culture Festival in Madison Heights, MI

Monday June 6, 2022

In honor of AAPI (Asian and Pacific Islander) Heritage Month, celebrated in May, over 200 participants from Michigan came to the 2022 Asian Culture Festival in Madison Heights, MI.

Albert Tang (2d) and Della Tang (6k) introduced the go games to the audience, including Michigan State Rep. Padma Kuppa, who came to learn how to play go and is very interested in promoting it in K-12 schools. Players of various ranks played games at the event and children showed interest in AGA and AGHS go programs. Read more here.
– Al Tang