American Go E-Journal

The Power Report: Tengen title match tied; Fujisawa makes good start in Women’s Honinbo; 47th Kisei tournament; Nong Shim Cup

Monday October 24, 2022

By John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal

Tengen title match tied

Left: Ida at the Tengen; top right: Fan Tingyu at the Nongshim; bottom right: Women’s Honinbo: Rina, Xie & Ueno reviewing game

The 49th Tengen best-of-five got off to a start on October 3, with the 20-year-old titleholder Seki Kotaro meeting the challenge of Ida Atsushi 9-dan, aged 28. Ida’s main claim to fame is that he challenged (unsuccessfully) for the Honinbo title in 2014; the previous year he won the 53rd Judan title and the 62nd NHK Cup. He won the latter at the age of 20 years 11 months, a youth record he still maintains. However, this is his first title match for six years.

The first game was played at the Ise Kaguraba Resort in Ise City, Mie Prefecture. Ida, who had white, played his first move on the centre point or “tengen.” He continued positively, sacrificing a group on the side so he would wall off one side of the center. Ida achieved his aim of starting large-scale fighting in the center, but at a crucial point he played a purely territorial move instead of continuing the fight and this may have cost him the game. Black was able to maintain his territorial lead. Ida resigned after Black 199.

The second game was played at the Keio Plaza Hotel Sapporo on October 18. Ida (B) won by 1.5 points. The third game will be played on November 14. 

Fujisawa makes good start in Women’s Honinbo

The 41st Women’s Honinbo title match, a best-of-five, features the most common pairing in women’s go in Japan: Fujisawa Rina vs. Ueno Asami. The 24-year-old Fujisawa and 20-year-old Ueno (21 on October 26) have met in nine title matches; Fujisawa has enjoyed more success so far, having won six of these. Overall, Fujisawa has won 21 titles to Ueno’s nine, but her longer career accounts for some of that. This is the ninth year in a row she has played in this title match.

The first game was played at the Kashoen, a traditional Japanese inn, in Hanamaki Hot Spring, Iwate Prefecture, on October 4. Fujisawa drew black in the nigiri and won by resignation after 253 moves. The second game will be played on October 23.

47th Kisei tournament

First of all, Shibano Toramaru 9-dan finished off the S League with a perfect record. The last remaining game in the 47th Kisei S League was played on September 26. Shibano (B) beat Yo Seiki 8-dan by resignation to end on 5-0. The two Kansai Ki-in players, Yo Seiki and Murakawa Daisuke, drop down to the A League.

The final irregular knock-out to decide the Kisei challenger is now under way. Results follow. 

(Oct. 6). Otake Yu 7-dan (C League winner) (B) beat Suzuki Shinji 7-dan (B League winner) by 1.5 points.

(Oct. 13) Yamashita Keigo 9-dan (winner of A League) (W) beat Otake by half a point.

Nong Shim Cup

China has made the best start in Round 1 of the 24th Nong Shim Spicy Noodles Cup. Only four games are played in the opening round and Fan Tingyu of China has won three of them. Actually, the surprise was to see him lose in the 4th game, as he has twice won seven games in a row in this tournament.

Game 1 (Oct. 11). Fan Tingyu 9-dan (China) (W) beat Ichiriki Ryo 9-dan (Japan) by resig.

Game 2 (Oct. 12). Fan (W) beat Shin Minjun 9-dan (Korea) by resig.

Game 3 (Oct. 13). Fan (B) beat Kyo Kagen (Xu Jiayuan) 9-dan (Japan) by resig.

Game 4 (Oct. 14). Kang Dongyun 9-dan (Korea) (W) beat Fan by resig.

The second round will start on November 25.

Tomorrow: New Honinbo League starts; Ueno doing well in 1st Hoban Cup; Sumire promoted to 3-dan; Sumire’s progress