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The Power Report: Fujisawa wins Senko Cup; The 79-year age gap; New Honinbo league members; Three-way tie in international tournament; Shin Jinseo wins Chunlan Cup

Thursday September 23, 2021

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Fujisawa wins Senko Cup
The final rounds of the 6th Senko Cup were held in the Guest Pavilion Akekure (Dawn and Dusk) at the Crefeel Koto hotel in East Omi City, Shiga Prefecture, on September 10 and 12. This tournament is a little unusual in that the previous winner does not defend the title but starts out again in the main tournament. The winner of the 5th Cup was Ueno Asami; she reached the final, so the result was the same as if she were defending the title. She was joined in the final by her main rival, Fujisawa Rina. The latter prevailed in the final, so she won this title for the third time. First prize is 8,000,000 yen (just under $73,000 at $1 = 109.62 yen), which makes this the most lucrative domestic female title. Second prize of 4,000,000 yen is also quite generous. Fujisawa now holds five of the six women’s titles, the other four being the Women’s Honinbo, the Women’s Meijin, the Women’s Hollyhock, and the Hakata Kamachi Cup. The lone hold-out is the Women’s Kisei, held by Ueno. Fujisawa also holds the Young Carp title. This is her 19th title; she is rapidly catching up with XieYimin (27 titles).

Results:
Semifinals (Sept. 10). Ueno Asami (B) beat Xie Yimin 7P by resig.; Fujisawa (B) beat Suzuki Ayumi 7P by resig.
Final (Sept. 12). Fujisawa (W) beat Ueno by resig.

The 79-year age gap
On September 9, Sugiuchi Kazuko 8P, at 94 the oldest active go player, was paired against Fukuoka Kotaro 2P, at 15 one of the youngest professionals at the Nihon Ki-in. The gap between the two was 79 years. Taking black, Fukuoka won by resignation. After the game, he commented: “Sugiuchi Sensei’s posture and movements were very natural and struck me as beautiful. I’m glad I had a chance to play her.’ The biggest gap ever in a professional game was 80 years, set when her husband, the late Sugiuchi Masao, then 95, played Onishi Ryuhei 1P, then 15.

New Honinbo league members
The four vacant seats in the 77th Honinbo League have been decided, and two have gone to Kansai Ki-in players. On August 26, Sada Atsushi 7P (KK) (W) beat Koyama Kuya 4P by 2.5 points. Sada makes a comeback to the league immediately after dropping out of the previous league.
On September 2, Yo Seiki 8P (KK) (W) beat Ko Iso 9P by resig. and won a seat for the sixth time after a gap of two terms. On the same day, Motoki Katsuya 8P (W) beat Koike Yoshihiro 6P by resig. This will be his fourth appearance in the league; he won the 72nd league.
In the game for the last open seat, played on September 9, Tsuruyama Atsushi 8P (B) beat Anzai Nobuaki 7P by resig. Tsuruyama also made an immediate come back to the league. He commented that he was happy to make his second league; one appearance could be dismissed as a fluke, but not two.

Three-way tie in international tournament
The 2021 6th Hulu Island Weiqi Cultural Festival China-Japan-Korea Tournament was held from September 12‾14 on the net. It is a team tournament, with three-player teams from China, Japan, and Korea competing. It features former top players, though one member of the Japanese team might object to the first adjective. Each team won one match and lost one and each scored three individual wins, so the result was a three-way tie for first. Chinese rules were used, and the time allowance was one hour plus one minute x 5. Prizes were 300,000 yuan (about $18,450 at one yuan = 15.3 cents), 200,000, and 100,000. Results follow:

Round One) Korea 2-China 1
Yoo Chang-hyeok 9P (B) lost to Yu Bin 9P by half a point.
Lee Chang-ho 9P (B) beat Chang Hao 9P by resig.
Cho Hun-hyeon 9P (B) beat Nie Weiping 9P by resig.

Round Two) China 2-Japan 1
Nie Weiping 9P (W) lost to Kobayashi Koichi 9P by resig.
Yu Bin (B) beat Kobayashi Satoru 9P by resig.
Chang Hao 9P (W) beat Takao Shinji 9P by half a point.

Round Three) Japan 2-Korea 1
Kobayashi Koichi (W) beat Cho Hun-hyeon by 4.5 points.
Kobayashi Satoru (B) beat Yoo Chang-hyeok by resig.
Takao Shinji 9P (B) lost to Lee Chang-ho by 2.5 points

Shin Jinseo wins Chunlan Cup
Shin Jin-seo 9P of Korea, the world’s top-rated player, beat Tang Weixing 9P of China 2-0 in the best-of three final of the 13th Chunlan Cup (the tournament started in July last year). In the first game, played on the net on Sept. 13, Shin (W) upset his opponent’s lead and won by half a point. The second game was played on Sept. 15; taking black, Shin won by resig. after 173 moves. First prize is $150,000.
Shin was born on March 17, 2000, and this is his fourth international title (see below for the other three). The other three are given below. Shin has a reputation for surpassing AI, which has earned him an interesting nickname: “shinko chino,” which means “Shin-built intelligence.” That is a pun on the term “jinko chino,” which means “artificial intelligence.”
Shin’s other titles: 4th Globis Cup (2017); 31st TV Asia (2019); 24th LG Cup (2020, this tournament began in 2019).

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The Power Report: Hoshiai’s first challenge; Ichiriki takes lead in Meijin; Ichiriki wins Kisei S League

Wednesday September 22, 2021

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Hoshiai Shiho 3P

Hoshiai to make first challenge
The play-off to decide the challenger to Fujisawa Rina for the 40th Women’s Honinbo was held at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on August 23. Taking black, Hoshiai Shiho 3P (right) beat Koyama Terumi 6P by resignation. She will make her first challenge for a title. She may be a new name for some readers, but actually she is one of the best-known women players in Japan, as she has been serving as the MC of NHK’s TV tournament telecast on Sundays. Hoshiai turned 24 on September 4. The title match begins on September 28. Her opponent, Koyama Terumi, deserves praise for reaching the play-off. In an era of domination by young stars, the 51-year-old Koyama revived memories of her younger days when she won the Women’s Meijin title four times (1996‾98, 2005).

Shiki-sai Ichiriki or Four Seasonal Colors Ichiriki

Ichiriki takes lead in Meijin title match
This year’s 46th Meijin title match features what is undoubtedly the strongest pairing in current tournament go in Japan. Iyama held the top three titles and has continued to lord it over the go world despite entering his 30s. The challenger, Ichiriki Ryo, has been the in-form player in recent months and has looked the most likely to dethrone Iyama. However, although he has won 14 titles, he has not yet won one of the big three, unlike his closest rival, Shibano Toramaru. This match is his chance to rectify that.
The first game of the match was held at its customary venue of the Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo in Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo, on August 26 and 27. Iyama drew white in the nigiri. Both players played aggressively, so the game featured fierce fighting throughout, making this a spectacular start to the title match. However, Ichiriki’s strategy at an important point in the middle game was a little dubious, so Iyama took the lead. Ichiriki made an all-out attempt to capture a large group, but White cut off a black group and won the capturing race with a brilliant combination, one that he apparently worked out 25 moves in advance. Ichiriki resigned after move 212.
The second game was played at the Shiki-sai Ichiriki or Four Seasonal Colors Ichiriki in Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture, on September 8 and 9, Ichiriki being written with the same characters, “one strength,” as in the player’s name. Although there’s no connection between the family that founded the inn and Ichiriki’s family, it was a pleasant coincidence for Ichiriki (the venue would have been chosen before the organizers knew who the challenger would be). The game was a real rough-and-tumble affair, with various moves supposed to be bad style, such as empty triangles and moves pushing through a knight’s move, appearing in the messy infighting. Iyama (B) delivered what Go Weekly called “unlimited punches,” with Ichiriki sometimes absorbing the impact, sometimes dodging lightly. Ichiriki had an edge, but in the endgame he missed a move that would have secured a win, so the game became a half-pointer. However, Iyama later made a mistake, so the half point went in Ichiriki’s favor. This was Ichiriki’s first win in a two-day game?he lost 0-4 when he challenged Iyama for the 42nd Kisei title in 2018.
The third game was played at Kakujoro inn in Tahara City, Aichi Prefecture, on 15 & 16 September, with Hane Naoki acting as referee. Ichiriki (B) got into trouble when he came under a severe attack, but he was able to pull off an upset. Iyama resigned after move 225. The fourth game will be played on September 28 and 29.  

Ichiriki wins Kisei S League
In a repeat of his Meijin League performance, Ichiriki Ryo has won the S League of the 46th Kisei tournament without dropping a game. Second place was taken by Yo Seiki 8P of the Kansai Ki-in. Results since my last report are given below.
(Aug. 16) Murakawa Daisuke 9P (W) beat Yamashita Keigo 9P by resig.
(Aug. 23) Ichiriki (B) beat Takao Shinji by resig.
(Sept. 16) Yo Seiki 8P (W) beat Murakawa Daisuke 8P by 2.5 points.
The final-round game between Kono Rin and Yamashita Keigo has yet to be played.

The winners of the other leagues have also been decided, though not all the games have been played yet. In the B League play-off, Son Makoto 7P, who won the B2 League with 6-1, defeated Shida Tatsuya 8P, who won the B1 League with 5-2. The game was played on September 6, and Son, taking black, won by resignation. The knock-out to decide the challenger looks like this: Numadate Sakiya 7P, winner of the C League, plays Son Makoto; the winner then plays Shibano Toramaru, winner of the A League; the winner plays Yo Seiki 8P, who came second in the S League; the winner then plays Ichiriki in a “best-of-three” in which Ichiriki has a one-win advantage, so he needs to win only one game to become the challenger.

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The Power Report: Ichiriki perfect in Meijin; Ueno into King of the New Stars final; Iyama wins Gosei, 65th title

Monday September 20, 2021

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Ichiriki

Ichiriki’s perfect record in Meijin League
The final round of the 46th Meijin league was held on August 6. There was no suspense at the top of the league, as Ichiriki had taken an unbeatable lead of 7-0 in the previous round, but at the other end there were issues of demotion still to be decided. Kyo Kagen, Hane Naoki, Yamashita Keigo, and Shibano Toramaru were sure of their places. Yo Seiki, who had a bye in the last round, was the only player sure of dropping out. That meant that out of Kono Rin, Motoki Katsuya, and Anzai Nobuaki, two would have to drop out. Complete results for the final round follow:
Ichiriki Ryo Tengen (W) beat Yamashita Keigo 9P by resig.
Kyo Kagen Judan (W) beat Kono Rin 9P by half a point.
Motoki Katsuya (W) beat Hane Naoki 9P by resig.
Anzai Nobuaki 9P (B) beat Shibano Toramaru Oza by resig.

The position became simplified when Motoki won his game. He improved his score to 4-4 and took 5th place. Anzai needed not just to win but also to have Motoki (and Kono) lose, in which case there would be a play-off with Motoki for the sixth seat. This happens only when the players have the same rank, so this rule applies only to the three newcomers to the league, who are all ranked 7th. That’s why Anzai didn’t get a play-off with Shibano, although they finished on the same score. Shibano’s luck in keeping his place with a 3-5 score is indicative of how the Meijin League favors the status quo. In the Honinbo League, a score of 4-3 is sometimes not enough to keep your place. Incidentally, Kono is enduring one of the worst slumps of his career, the loss above being his 11th in a row. This was his 10th Meijin League in a row and the first time he lost his seat.

Ueno makes King of the New Stars final
On August 9, Ueno Asami, Women’s Kisei, (W) beat Nishi Takenobu 5P in the semifinal of the 46th King of the New Stars tournament by 4.5 points. This made her the second woman player to make the final. The first was Aoki Kikuyo 8P (then 7P) in the 22nd title. The other finalist is Sotoyanagi Sebun 3P; the best-of-three starts on September 20.

Iyama

Iyama wins Gosei, once again
The fourth game of the 46th Gosei title match was held at the Niigata Grand Hotel in Niigata City on August 17. Taking white, Iyama Yuta won by resignation after 198 moves and so survived a kadoban. He played quite aggressively and did not seem to fall behind at any stage. The highlights of the game were two brilliancies played by Iyama. One was a surprising move adding a stone to three captured white stones, but giving White leverage that he used in his second brilliancy. Incidentally, the referee for this game was Cho U. Aged 41, Cho was making his debut in this role. He was also the referee for the first game in the Meijin title match (see below). It’s a little unusual to choose as referees players who are still competing at the top. Cho is slated to play Iyama in the semifinal of the 69th Oza tournament; if he won that game, he would meet Ichiriki in the final to decide the challenger. (As it happened, Iyama beat Cho.) Actually, it’s not just Cho. The other three members of the group popularly called “the top four of the Heisei (1989-2019) era,” that is, Takao Shinji, Hane Naoki, and Yamashita Keigo, are also serving as referees for the Meijin title match.
The fifth game was held at the Nihon Ki-in headquarters in Tokyo on August 29. Iyama drew white in the nigiri and continued where he left off in the fourth game. He took the edge in the middle game, so Ichiriki felt that he had to stake the game on attacking a large white group. When this attack failed, he resigned. The game lasted 180 moves.
Iyama regained the title that he had held for six years in a row (2012‾2017: 37th to 42nd). He lost it to Kyo Kagen in 2018, who lost it to Hane Naoki in 2019, who lost it to Ichiriki Ryo in 2020. Perhaps a new dynasty will start. Iyama once again becomes a quadruple title holder. This is his 65th title, so he moves ahead of Sakata Eio into sole second place on the all-time list:.
Most titles won
1. Cho Chikun: 75
2. Iyama Yuta: 65
3. Sakata Eio: 64
4. Kobayashi Koichi: 60
5. Otake Hideo: 48
6. Kato Masao: 47
7. Cho U: 41
8. Yoda Norimoto: 36
9. Rin Kaiho: 35
10. Xie Yimin: 27

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New lectures by Michael Redmond 9P and Tsuruyama Atsushi 8P sponsored by INAF

Thursday September 2, 2021

The Iwamoto North American Foundation (INAF) is pleased to sponsor two more lectures produced by the Nihon Kiin. The first, “the Art of Sacrificing Stones,” is a dan-level lecture in English by Michael Redmond 9P based on a game between the greatest master of the Edo period, Honinbo Dosaku (本因坊道策), and the multi-talented genius Yasui Santetsu (安井算哲). The second, “Useful Techniques for Capturing Race” by Tsuruyama Atsushi 8-dan, is a kyu-level lecture given in Japanese with English subtitles.

-report and screenshots provided by Thomas Hsiang

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Categories: Japan,Main Page
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50 years aGO – August 1971

Monday August 30, 2021

By Keith L. Arnold, hka, with Patrick Bannister

Ōtake Hideo defends the All Japan First Place Title
Ōtake Hideo defends the All Japan First Place Title

From August 10 we see Ōtake Hideo 9d in triumph over Katō Masao 7d in the All Japan First Place Title. Ōtake’s 2-0 victory meant that he now had held the title for 4 straight years. (Game records: Game 1, Game 2.)

The first game of the Meijin Title took place on August 20 and 21. Fujisawa Shūkō, the title holder, confidently dominated his young challenger, Rin Kaihō…until he made one of his fateful blunders on move 131, going on to lose the game. Sakata Eio watches as Rin shares his thoughts with a dismayed Shūkō. (Game record: Meijin Game 1.)

Rin Kaihō wins Meijin Game 1
Rin Kaihō wins Meijin Game 1

On August 15, the ladies of Koyukai once again took on the best foreign players for the fourth time. The games ended 4-4-2 so for the first time the guests did not win. Wins by notables Manfred Wimmer, Horst Mueller, and James Davies were offset by losses by Richard Bozulich and James Kerwin.

On 29 to 30 August, Nihon Ki’in’s young professional players went on a biking trip at the Cycle Sports Center in Izu, by invitation from the Japan Bicycling Promotional Association (Nihon Jitensha Shinkōkai, which later would be absorbed into the present-day Japan Keirin Autorace Foundation).

Nihon Ki'in's young professionals on a biking trip
Nihon Ki’in young professional players on a biking trip

Photos courtesy of Go Review, Go Weekly, and Igo Club, game records thanks to GoGod

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INAF releases “Gosei vs. Kisei” game commentary

Sunday August 22, 2021

The Iwamoto North American Foundation, with co-sponsorship by the Nihon Kiin, has just released a special YouTube game analysis in English by Ichiriki Ryo 9p, current Japanese Gosei title holder. His opponent is the 7-crown champion Iyama Yuta, and the occasion was a December 2020 challenge match in the Tengen title series, dubbed “Gosei vs. Kisei”, the clash between the top two Japanese pros of 2020 – 2021. 

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Categories: Japan,Main Page
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Top pro titles: A primer

Saturday August 21, 2021

by Yuan Zhou 

73rd Honinbo title match (2018), Iyama Yuta 9p v. Yamashita Keigo 9p.

Most western go players are probably familiar with the top professional titles in Japan, but less so with those in China and Korea. Here’s a quick primer.  

The top three tournaments in Japan are the Kisei, Meijin, and Honinbo, all currently held by Iyama Yuta 9p, who’s been dominant for some years. The Honinbo is the oldest pro title in the world, first held in 1941: the current occurrence of the contest for that title is the 77th. The other four big Japanese titles are Gosei, Oza, Judan, and Tengen.  They also have been running for many years, and in terms of a long, stable tournament history, Japan is the best in the world.

The oldest title in Korea is the Myeongin, equivalent to the Japanese Meijin and to the Chinese Mingren. Currently being contested for the 44th time, it was discontinued for several years, but is being actively fought for this year. The last previous winner was Lee Sedol 9p in 2016. The final match this year is a five-game contest between Shin Jinseo 9p, who holds several other Korean titles and is currently considered number one in Korea, and Byun Sangil 9p. Shin Jinseo also holds several other Korean national titles and the Asian TV Cup. He defeated Ding Hao 6p of China for the latter title.

The oldest title in China is the Tianyuan, which was contested for the thirty-fifth time this year: Gu Zihao 9p defeated the previous holder of the title, Yang Dingxin 9p, by a score of 2-1. The next oldest Chinese national title is the Mingren, which was won most recently by Mi Yuting 9p. Ke Jie 9p, who has won more international titles than any other player currently active, has not done as well at the national level, but he does hold four national titles currently, including the Changqi Cup, which is one of the more prestigious titles, and the Qisheng. As a result he is considered number one in China.

There are also pro titles in Taiwan, of course, though the Taiwanese pros have not had much success at the international level. This is partly because the best Taiwanese players usually moved to Japan to play very early in their careers. Some of these have done quite well in Japan, such as the well-known Cho U 9p, Rin Kaiho 9p, and O Rissei 9p, all of whom have held some of the top Japanese titles. In fact, O Rissei 9p recently won the 1st Shinan International Senior Baduk Cup, playing for Taiwan and defeating such famous older players as Japan’s Kobayshi Koichi 9p and China’s Yu Bin 9p as well as Seo Bongsoo 9p of Korea. Both Cho U and O Rissei won the Japanese Kisei title three times in a row when they were playing as members of the Nihon Ki-in. O Meien is also a native of Taiwan who joined the Nihon Ki-in and won the Honinbo title in 2000 and 2001.

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Categories: China,Japan,Korea,Main Page
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The Power Report: Promotions, retirement and an obituary

Friday August 20, 2021

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Promotions
To 8-dan: Uchida Shuhei (150 wins; as of July 30)
To 7-dan (120 wins): Minematsu Masaki (as of July 6), Kato Yuki (as of July 9)
To 4-dan (50 wins): Takahashi Masumi (as of July 6); Otani Naoki (as of July 16); Seki Kotaro (as of July 27)

Retirement: Kanagawa Masaki
Born in Kanagawa Prefecture on June 26, 1955, Kanagawa was a disciple of Abe Yoshiteru 9P. He became 1-dan in 1975 and reached 8-dan in 2017. He retired on July 31 and was promoted to 9-dan. He took second place in the 2-dan, the 4-dan, and the 5-dan section of the Kisei tournament in 1976, 1979, and 1983 respectively.

Obituary: Harada Minoru
Harada Minoru died of a heart attack on July 10, aged 85. In his prime, he was one of the top amateur players in Japan while also pursuing a business career at Hitachi Manufacturing. He won the Amateur Honinbo tournament seven times, the Amateur Best Ten four times, and various other amateur titles. He was known as one of the “Top Four” amateurs, along with Kikuchi Yasuro, Hirata Hironori, and Murakami Bunsho. They monopolized the amateur titles and could all have been successful as professional players if they had wanted to, but perhaps they might not have become so well known.

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The Power Report: Sumire suffers setbacks but recovers; Most wins/Best winning streak

Thursday August 19, 2021

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Sumire v. Iyama at New Ryusei

Sumire suffers setbacks but recovers
   As reported on June 4, Nakamura Sumire saw her winning streak come to an end and in fact suffered successive losses to two 9-dans. Although she won what was her third successive game against a 9-dan, she then lost four games in a row, the worst losing streak of her career so far. However, she is now balancing losses with wins, including her first win in an international tournament against a formidable opponent.

(June 3) Sumire (W) beat Nakane Naoyuki 9p by 1.5 points Prelim. B, 60th Judan tournament).
(June 4) Sumire beat Iwasaki Seito (2 stones) by 4. This was an unofficial game. Iwasaki is blind in his right eye and has 0.01 vision in his left eye. With the cooperation of the Nihon Ki-in, he has become an insei. He started out in April in D Class, but quickly moved up to C Class. He attends a school for the blind, and, like Sumire, is in the first year of middle school. He plays on a board, called “aigo,” adapted for use by players with vision disabilities. A 2-hour commentary (in Japanese) on the game can be found here.

(June 10) Sumire lost to Takeshita Ryoya 1p (Prelim. B, 47th Gosei).
(June 15) Sumire (W) lost to Nyu Eiko 3p by 6.5 points (semifinal, 8th Hollyhock Cup?see article above). Reaching the final four is Sumire’s best result in a tournament so far. 
(July 1) Sumire (B) lost to Shuto Shun 8p by 1.5 (46th Kisei, C League).
(July 5) Sumire (W) lost to Koyama Terumi 6p by 3.5 (Round 2, main tournament, 40th Women’s Honinbo.) This was her fourth loss in a row.
(July 8) Sumire (W) beat Ueno Risa 1p by resig. (Round 1, main tournament, 6th Senko Cup). This was her first win in an official game for five weeks. 
(July 15). Sumire (B) beat Muramoto Wataru 3p by resig. (Prelim. A, 60th Judan. This game was played at the Kansai headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in.)
(July 18) Sumire (W) beat Kim Jaeyoung 6p (Korea) by half a point. (Sumire was given a sponsor’s wild-card seed in the 4th Wu Qingyuan [Go Seigen] Cup; see report above. Kim won this tournament in its first year, so this is an excellent result for Sumire and her first international win.)
(July 19) Sumire (W) lost to Zhou Hongyu 6p (China) by resig. (Round 2 of tournament above.)
(July 22) Sumire (B) beat Endo Yoshifumi 8p by 2.5 (Prelim. C, 70th Oza.)
(July 29) Sumire (W) lost to Iyama Yuta Kisei in round one of the New Ryusei tournament. This is an unofficial tournament, presumably because of its very short time allowance. Players start with one minute and get an extra five seconds every time they play a move (a system known as Fischer time, after its inventor Bobby Fischer). There are 32 participants in a knock-out; Sumire was chosen as one of two special seeds. After the game, she commented that she was “cut to pieces.” (The above information comes from the Net. The Nihon Ki-in is withholding news of the result until the game is televised on August 28.)
(August 2) Sumire beat Antti Tormanen 1p (Prelim. C, Tengen) (details not yet available).   
Sumire still has the second-most wins of all Nihon Ki-in pros but no longer the best winning percentage; see below. However, I have a problem. Go Weekly (and the Nihon Ki-in HP) gave her score as 29-8 as of July 16, compared to 26-8 as of July 9, but I can find only one result, listed above, for that week. A Net site that tracks her results didn’t have the two “missing” games either.

Most wins (as of July 31)
1. Ueno Asami, Women’s Kisei: 35-13
2. Nakamura Sumire: 31-10 (75.6%) (note that the last two games given above are not included)
3. Fukuoka Kotaro 2p: 27-4 (86.6%). Fukuoka was on a winning streak that stopped at 13, so he is level with Sumire for the best winning streak so far this year.
4. Fujisawa Rina: 23-10; Motoki Katsuya 8p: 23-11; Kyo Kagen Judan: 23-12; Nyu Eiko 3p: 23-28. Tsuneishi Takashi 4p: 22-2 (at 91.6%, the best winning percentage); Ichiriki Ryo Tengen: 22-5 (his 12-game winning streak stopped a few weeks earlier); Seki Kotaro 4p: 22-7.
   At present, there are four women players in the top ten.

Best winning streak
11: Tsuneishi Takashi
9: Otake Yu. Sumire’s father, Shinya 9P, briefly entered the list with 5-in-a-row, but was unable to keep his streak going.

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50 years aGO Special – You Were There in July 1971

Wednesday August 18, 2021

by Keith L. Arnold, hka, with Patrick Bannister and guest contributor John Tilley

James Kerwin at Nihon Ki'in
James Kerwin at Nihon Ki’in. Photo courtesy of Go Review.

We enjoy bringing these glimpses of go history each month, and we love hearing from you.

This month we received not just thanks, but precious additional info from 50 years ago regarding July 1971. John Tilley, author of GO: International Handbook and Dictionary, worked in the overseas department of the Nihon Ki’in, and proofread many of the early Ishi Press books. And he was there…

“James Kerwin is having a paid teaching game with Takenaka 4d. You could buy a ticket for a lesson at the reception at the Nihon Ki’in Chūōkaikan and this gave you a game plus review with one of the professionals – I am guessing that the whole lesson would have been 45-60 minutes and cost about 1,000 Yen. In one of the back issues of Go Review the fact that Kerwin had a lot of lessons was mentioned.

“I remember watching Takenaka-sensei with interest, as he was waiting for his next student he would play though jōseki after jōseki using just the white stones.” The professional next to him in the photo (top right) is Matsumoto Tokuji 7-dan, giving a five stone lesson.”

John also supplemented our report regarding the 4th Asahi Best Ten Pro-Amateur Match –

GO: International Handbook and Dictionary
GO: International Handbook and Dictionary

“Eight of the games were 2 stones and the other two were even – the amateurs who played the two even games both won – against Ishida Yoshio and Kajiwara. (I am guessing no komi). Kanazawa (the 13 year old sensation) beat Hashimoto Utarō on 2 stones by 5 points.”

We return John’s best wishes, and look forward to providing more information from our readers, in those instances where – you were there.

9/20/21 Update: This post has been updated: the pro at top right is Matsumoto Tokuji 7-dan, not Sakakibara Shoji, as previously reported. Thanks to John Power for the correction.

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