American Go E-Journal » Japan

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.


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.


The Power Report: Kisei S League; Iyama plays in top Chinese league

Monday August 16, 2021

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Kisei S League
   Two players were undefeated in the 46th Kisei S League on 3-0, so their clash on July 26 was the key game of the league to date. Ichiriki Ryo beat Yo Seiki, so the former took the sole lead. On 2-1, Murakawa Daisuke is still in the running if Ichiriki falters and he wins his remaining two games, as he is ranked above Ichiriki and there are no play-offs within the league. For the same
reason, Yo, though on 3-1, is out of the running, but he could come second and make the knock-out tournament to decide the challenger. Takao Shinji is also in the running for second place. Results since my last report follow.

(May 31) Yo Seiki 8p (B) beat Takao Shinji 9p by resig.
(June 10) Yo (W) beat Kono Rin 9p by resig.
(June 17). Ichiriki Ryo Tengen (W) beat Murakawa Daisuke 9p by resig.; Takao (B) beat Yamashita Keigo 9p by 3.5.
(July 15) Takao (W) beat Kono by resig.
(July 26) Ichiriki (W) beat Yo Seiki by resig.

   In the A League, Onishi Ryuhei 7p and Shibano Toramaru Oza share the lead on 4-2. In the B1 League, Shida Tatsuya 7p has the sole lead with 5-1. In the B2 League, So Yokoku 9p and Son Makoto 7p share the lead on 5-1. In the C League, four players have started with three straight wins: Yamashiro Hiroshi 9p, Numadate Sakiya 7p, Otake Yu 5p, and Yuki Satoshi 9p. Scores of the female players in this league are: Fujisawa Rina, Women’s Honinbo, 1-2; Xie Yimin 6p 1-1; Nakamura Sumire 2p 0-2.

Iyama plays in top Chinese league
   The Chinese A Class League, a large-scale team tournament, probably represents the top level of go competition in the world. Unfortunately, information about it is hard to come by for people who do not know Chinese, but the ejournal published an excellent article by Yuan Zhou on July 20. This year Japan’s top player, Iyama Yuta, is participating for the first time, and he played his first game on June 12. This happened to be the day after he suffered his third
 successive loss in the Honinbo title match. Iyama is a member of the Zhejiang Ticai team, and his opponent was Xie Ke, one of China’s top players, who represented the Supoer Hangzhou team. Taking black, Iyama scored a good win, keeping the initiative throughout the game. This game was actually in the 10th round of the league; so far his team has three wins, four losses, and three draws, and is running 10th out of 16 teams. By the way, earlier in the year, Shiban
o Toramaru and Ichiriki Ryo both played a game in this league but lost.

Categories: China,Japan,Main Page

The Power Report: Ichiriki takes lead in Gosei; Ichiriki wins Meijin League

Saturday August 14, 2021

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Ichiriki takes lead in Gosei title match
   Iyama Yuta became the challenger for the 46th Gosei title, held by Ichiriki Ryo, on May 6 when he beat Ida Atsushi 8p in the play-off (Iyama had black and forced a resignation). Iyama won this title six terms in a row, from the 37th (2012) to the 42nd (2017). He lost it to Kyo Kagen in 2018, who lost it to Hane Naoki in 2019, who lost it to Ichiriki in 2020. Perhaps Iyama thinks it’s time to bring some stability back to the title. Be that as it may, he made a good start to the title match, winning the first game, which was played on June 26. Iyama had black and forced Ichiriki to resign after 135 moves. The venue was the Mabi Contact Center, a kind of community hall, in Mabi Town, Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture. This town was subjected to extensive flooding in July 2018, with a lot of damage to the area. It has taken three years to fix the damage; the Gosei game was one of the events held to commemorate the reopening of the center.
   Ichiriki also had his pride on the line, as his family newspaper, the Kahoku Newspaper, is one of the sponsors of the tournament, and his hometown was the venue for the second game in his hometown. It was played at the Hotel Sakanin Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, on July 12. Taking black, Ichiriki won by half a point after 242 moves. (For some information on the Ichiriki family newspaper, see my report of April 11, 2020.)
   The third game was played in the Hokkoku (North Country) Newspaper Hall in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture, on July 19. This newspaper is another of the sponsors of the tournament. Ichiriki (W) played positively and attacked strongly; Iyama had to resign after just 138 moves when he lost a group. Ichiriki is now well placed to defend his title, but there is a bit of a gap until the next game, which is scheduled for August 17.

Ichiriki wins Meijin League
   Ichiriki Ryo won his eighth-round game in the 46th Meijin League while his closest rival, Kyo Kagen, lost his, so the former won the league with a round to spare. This will be Ichiriki’s second challenge for a top-three title: he lost the 42nd Kisei title match to Iyama 0-4. The best-of-seven will start on August 26. Results since my previous report follow.

(June 7) Ichiriki Ryo Tengen (B) beat Hane Naoki 9p by resig.
(June 10) Kyo Kagen Judan (W) beat Yamashita Keigo 9p by 4.5.
(June 14) Motoki Katsuya 8p (W) beat Kono Rin by resig.
(June 17) Shibano Toramaru Oza (W) beat Yo Seiki 8p by 3.5.
(July 1) Ichiriki (B) beat Kono by half a point.
(July 5) Anzai Nobuaki 7p (B) beat Yo Seiki by 5.5.
(July 8) Hane (W) beat Kyo by resig. (This win made sure of Hane’s seat in the 47th league.)
(July 15) Yamashita (W) beat Motoki by resig. (This win made sure of Yamashita’s seat in the next league.)


The Power Report: Iyama defends Honinbo title, matches Cho’s record; 4th Wu Qingyuan Cup

Monday August 9, 2021

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Iyama Yuta celebrates 10th consecutive Honinbo win
Yu Zhiying 7p (China)

Iyama defends Honinbo title, matches Cho’s record
   As of our previous report (June 4), the 76th Honinbo title match between Iyama Yuta, also known as Honinbo Monyu, and Shibano Toramaru Oza was tied 1-1. When the defending champion won the first game, Shibano fans would have been worried that this match might follow the path of last year’s Honinbo and Meijin title matches, both of which were one-sided, ending in 4-1 victories for Iyama. However, Shibano roared back in the second game, crushing Iyama in 96 moves.
   The third game was played at the Hotel Agora Osaka Moriguchi in Moriguchi City, Osaka Prefecture, on June 1 and 2. Taking black, the challenger, Shibano Toramaru Oza won by resignation after 149 moves. In the opening, Shibano staked out a large moyo. Iyama was confident he could erase it, but a large group of his inside the moyo got into trouble. When he was unable to save it, he had to resign. This was another convincing win for Shibano, who incidentally took a lead over Iyama for the first time in a best-of-seven.
   The fourth game was held at the Art Hotel Kokura New Tagawa on June 10 and 11. This game also featured aggressive fighting and once again Shibano came out on top, capturing a large group. Iyama (black) resigned after just 124 moves. O Meien 9P, the newspaper commentator, said: “I felt Shibano’s reading was awesome. Iyama can’t often have been outread like this. It was a convincing win for Shibano.” This was the first time Iyama had fallen behind 1-3 in the Honinbo title.
   Game Five was the first kadoban (a game that can lose a series) for Iyama.It was played at the Matsumoto Hotel Kagetsu in Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture, on June 21 and 22. The game started peacefully. In the middle game, a kind of trade took place, with Iyama (white) capturing a group in exchange for letting Shibano put a large white group into ko. The game was dominated by this ko, which went on for 90 moves. In the end, Shibano captured the group, but was forced to let White take a fair bit of profit with his ko threat. Shibano resigned after White 218. Yamashita Keigo, the newspaper commentator, said: “There’s no move that I can clearly label as bad among the Honinbo’s moves.” This convincing win by Iyama changed the flow of the match.
   Game Six was played at the Todaya hotel in Toba City, Mie Prefecture, on June 29 and 30. Iyama (B) took a small lead on the first day. In the middle game, the lead became confused, but Iyama was saved by a mistake made by Shibano, who resigned after move 153. Iyama saved his second kadoban and tied the match. He now seemed to have better momentum than the challenger.
   The final game was held at the Tokiwa Hotel, Kofu City, Yamanashi Prefecture,  on July 6 and 7. Iyama drew white in the nigiri. He convincingly outplayed Shibano and won by resignation after 180 moves. He made an excellent recovery after losing three games in a row by returning the courtesy to his opponent. Having won the title ten years in a row, he matched Cho Chikun’s record. Shibano missed out on his chance to become the youngest tournament Honinbo. First prize is 28 million yen (about $254,500).

4th Wu Qingyuan Cup
   The opening rounds of the 4th Wu Qingyuan (Go Seigen) Cup World Women’s Go Tournament were held on the Net on July 18 to 20 with 16 players competing. Of these, three Chinese players and one Korean survived to make the semifinals. For Japanese fans, the highlight of the tournament was Nakamura Sumire’s scoring her first international win. The best performer for Japan was Fujisawa Rina, who picked up two wins. The dates of the semifinals and final have not yet been decided. Below are the results so far.

Round 1 (July 18). Fang 4p (China) (B) beat Stephanie Yin 1p (US) by resig.; Oh Yujin 7p (Korea) (W) beat Natalia Kovaleva 5d (Russia) by resig.; Cho Seunga 3p (Korea) (W) beat Hei Jiajia 7p (Ch. Taipei) by resig.; Li Xinyi 3p (China) (W) beat Manuela Marz 3d (Germany) by resig.; Lu Minquan 6p (China) (B) beat Xie Yimin 6p (Japan) by 1.5; Ueno Asami 4p (Japan) (W) beat Luo Yuhua 3p (Ch. Taipei) by 0.5; Suzuki Ayumi 7p (Japan) (W) beat Feng Yun 9p (US) by resig.; Nakamura Sumire 2p (Japan) (W) beat Kim Jaeyoung 6p (Korea) by 0.5.
Round 2 (July 19). Fujisawa Rina 5p (W) beat Li by 2.5; Yu Zhiying 7p (China) (W) beat Ueno by resig.; Wang Chenxing 5p (China) (W) beat Suzuki by resig.; Zhou Hongyu 6p (China) (W) beat Nakamura by resig.; Choi Jeong 9p (Korea) (W) beat Lu by resig.; Fang (B) beat Rui Naiwei 9p (China) by resig.; Cho (B) beat Tang 4p (China) by 1.5; Oh (W) beat Li He 5p (China) by 2.5.
Quarterfinals (July 20) Yu (W) beat Fujisawa by resig.; Fang (W) beat Cho by resig.; Wang (W) beat Oh by resig.; Choi (B) beat Zhou by resig.
Semifinal pairings (date undecided). Wang v. Yu; Choi v. Fang

Categories: China,Japan,Main Page

The Power Report: Wang wins Globis Cup; 6th LG Cup starts; Fujisawa defends Women’s Hollyhock Cup

Sunday August 8, 2021

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

Wang wins Globis Cup
The 8th Globis Cup World Igo U-20, which decides the world’s top teenaged player, was held on the Net on June 5 and 6. It was won by Wang Xinghao 6p, who defeated his compatriot Tu Xiaoyu 6p in the final. This was the fourth victory for a Chinese player, to three for Korea, and one for Japan (that was Ichiriki Ryo in the first term).
This tournament has a dual structure, starting with four mini-leagues, each with four players, who compete over three rounds. Players who score two wins proceed to the next stage, a standard knock-out; players who lose two games are eliminated (this is known as the “double elimination” system). As the host country, Japan fields six players; they are joined by three each from China and Korea, and one each from Chinese Taipei, Europe, North America, and Asia/Oceania. The time allowance follows the NHK format: 30 seconds per move plus ten minutes to be used in one-minute units.
Three Japanese players, Ueno Asami, Otake Yu, and I Ryo, made the best eight, but here they were eliminated. China also got three in the best eight, of whom two sent through to the final. Park 5p of Korea beat Moon 4p, also of Korea, in the play-off for third place. First prize is 1,500,000 yen (about $136,000). Second is 250,000, and third 100,000.

6th LG Cup starts
The opening rounds of the 26th LG Cup, a Korean-sponsored tournament with a first prize of 300,000,000 won (about $262,000), were held on the Net on May 31 and June 2. Korean players did best, scoring four wins in each round, China
scored three in each, and Chinese Taipei won one game in the first round and Japan one in the second. For Japan, Ichiriki Ryo qualified for the quarterfinals for the third international tournament in a row. He seems to be the only player Japan can rely on. The quarterfinals are scheduled for November 7 and 8. Incidentally, the number of participants was reduced from 32 to 24 this year.

Round 1
(May 31) Weon Seongjin 9p (Korea) (B) beat Kyo Kagen (Xu Jiayuan) 9p (Japan) by resig.; Kim Jiseok 9p (Korea) (B) beat Ida Atsushi 8p (Japan) by resig.; MiYuting 9p (China) (B) beat Lee Changseok 7p (Korea) by resig.; Tao Xinran 8p (China) (W) beat Heo Yongho 9p (Korea) by resig.; Kang Dongyun 9p (Korea) (B) beat Xie Erhao 9p (China) by resig.; Tan Xiao 9p (China) (W) beat Park Jinsol 9p (Korea) by resig.; Kim Myounghoon 8p (Korea) (B) beat Xie Ke 9p (China) by resig.; Chen Chirui 7p (Ch. Taipei) (W) beat Hong Seongji 9p (Korea) by 1.5 points.

Round 2 (June 2). Ichiriki Ryo 9p (Japan) (W) beat Chen by resig.; Mi (B) beat Lee Donghun 9p (Korea) by resig.; Shin Jinseo 9p (Korea) (W) beat Tao by 3.5; Shin Minjun 9p (Korea) (B) beat Kang by resig.; Byun Sangil 9p (Korea) (W) beat Kim Myounghoon by 4.5; Park Junghwan 9p (Korea) (W) beat Tan by 1.5; Ke Jie 9p (China) (W) beat Weon by 0.5; Yang Dingxin 9p (China) (W) beat Kim Jiseok by resig.
Quarterfinal pairings are: Byun v. Mi, Park v. Ke, Shin J. v. Ichiriki, Shin M. v. Yang

Fujisawa defends Women’s Hollyhock Cup
The semifinals and finals and the best-of-three title match of the 8th Aizu Central Hospital Women’s Hollyhock Cup were all held at the Konjakutei Inn in Aizu Wakamatsu City, Fukushima Prefecture, over a period of five days. Ueno
Asami became the challenger, but Fujisawa Rina defended her title with straight wins. She has now held the Hollyhock Cup for five years in a row and six times overall. This is her 18th title.
Results are given below.

Semifinals (June 15). Ueno Asami Women’s Kisei (W) beat Kato Chie 2p by resig.; Nyu Eiko 3p (B) beat Nakamura Sumire 2p by 6.5.
Final (June 16). Ueno (W) beat Nyu by resig.
Title match, Game 1 (June 18). Fujisawa (W) beat Ueno by resig.
Game 2 (June 19). Fujisawa (B) beat Ueno by resig.


50 Years aGO – July 1971

Saturday July 31, 2021

by Keith L. Arnold, hka, with Patrick Bannister

On July 11, the 4th Pro-Amateur Go Congress took place, between ten pros and ten top amateurs. Our source is silent on the handicap, but the score was a tie, with each team winning 4 games and two games ending in jigo, There was quite a sensation when 13 year old M. Kanazawa defeated Hashimoto Utarō 9d.

The Meijin League entered its final phases. On July 8, Rin Kaihō’s perfect 5-0 start was ended by veteran Takagawa Kaku, keeping suspense alive as to the challenger for another round. But on July 22, Rin defeated Ōtake Hideo and secured the right to challenge Fujisawa Shūkō. (Game record: Rin-Takagawa.)

On July 26 (televised on August 1) Kojima Takaho 6d won the 3rd Shin’ei TV event by a half a point over Cho Hunhyun 5d. (Game record: Kojima-Cho.)

Two amateur players visited Japan to study go this month. The more famous, at the time, was Manfred Wimmer, amateur 5d and former European Champion. His plan was to stay for two years. With a plan to stay for two months, James Kerwin arrived to study as well. He is pictured on the left facing Takenaka 4d at the Nihon Ki’in.

Rin Kaihō wins the Meijin League
Rin Kaihō wins the Meijin League
Kojima Takaho and Cho Hunhyun in the final game of the 3rd Shin'ei Tournament
Kojima Takaho and Cho Hunhyun in the final game of the 3rd Shin’ei Tournament
James Kerwin at Nihon Ki'in
James Kerwin at Nihon Ki’in

Photos courtesy of Go Review.


Amateur Pair Go Championship postponed due to COVID

Friday July 30, 2021

The 32nd International Amateur Pair Go Championship has been postponed to next year. It had been scheduled to be held on December 11 and 12 this year, but due to the fact that the COVID-19 situation in Japan is not improving, organizers decided that “it’s just too difficult to safely invite players from overseas.” The Championship is expected to be held in late November or December of 2022.

Categories: Japan,Main Page,World

INAF and Nihon Kiin upcoming events

Wednesday July 21, 2021

The Iwamoto North America Foundation (INAF) and the Nihon Kiin announce two upcoming joint online events.  Anyone may sign up on a first-come-first-served basis.

Above, Mitani 7p and Tormanen 1p. Photos provided by Nihon Kiin.

Event 1 –  August 2  2021, US Eastern time 21:00 to 22:30.   Lecture for kyu players by Mitani Tetsuya 7p (三谷哲也) and Antti Tormanen 1p.  This pair has frequently visited Europe and given many popular lectures since 2012. This event is limited to the first 100 people. Register for this webinar.

Above, Taijiri 5p. Photo provided by Nihon Kiin.

Event 2 – August 7 2021 US Eastern time 21:00 to 22:30.  Interactive AI play for kyu players with Tajiri Yuto 5p (田尻悠人).  All participants will join in to play with AI, led by Mr. Taijiri who will also provide Q&A, quizzes, and commentary. Register ahead of time for this webinar.

Additional events will be forthcoming.  Please check INAF website and on AGA e-journal for announcements.

  • Lecture by Tsuruyama Atsushi 8p, a student of Cho Chikun, on “Key points of Capturing Race” (single-digit kyu to 4d players); 
  • Lecture by Michael Redmond 9p on “Technical Improvements” (dan players); 
  • Lecture by Mitani Tetsuya 7p and Antti Tormanen 1p on “Understand Go Rules and How to Play on 9×9” (beginners); 
  • Lecture by Ichiriki Ryo 9p, commentary on his recent games (all players). This will be presented on YouTube.

Go to the INAF website to sign up:
 Zoom links will be sent to all registrants by the end of July.


50 Years aGO – June 1971

Friday June 25, 2021

by Keith L. Arnold, hka, with Patrick Bannister

Ishida Yoshio, the youngest ever Hon'inbo in June 1971
Ishida Yoshio

This was Ishida Yoshio’s month, by the end the 22-year-old would hold three titles, youthful success in newspaper tournaments unprecedented before that time.

On June 10-11, in Game 5, he scored an upset victory over Rin Kaihō Hon’inbo to take a 3-2 lead in the title match. Then on June 21-22, in Game 6, he navigated a complicated ōnadare joseki — to become very much in vogue — to lead to the famous exchange: Rin – “Half a point?” “Half a point to the good” replied Ishida and he was Hon’inbo. The counting, under the watchful eye of Sakata Eio, is pictured here. (Game records: Hon’inbo Game 5, Game 6.)

Ishida added the Pro Best 10 to his Hon’inbo and Nihon Ki’in Championship, but it was not without difficulties. Carrying a 2-0 lead in the five game match into the month he stumbled, perhaps under the pressure of the concurrent Hon’inbo match. On June 6, Ishida, known as “The Computer” for his calculating skills, had an AlphaGo Game 4 moment when he retook a ko without a threat – the first time this had happened in a tournament final – and lost by forfeit. He then was defeated by Kajiwara Takeo in Game 4, setting up a decisive Game 5. On June 29, with the Hon’inbo title secured, he returned to form and secured the title. Watching the smiling Ishida is a constellation of pros, including white haired taisha expert Yamabe Toshirō, Awaji Shuzō, Takemiya Masaki and Ishida Akira. Standing on the left is a gentleman who I think might be a pro who regularly attends the European Go Congress – his name escapes me, perhaps a reader can help. (Game records: Pro Best Ten Game 3, Game 4, Game 5.)

On June 21, Murakami Bunshō won the Amateur Best 10 for the fourth time in the event’s 11 year history.

Scoring Game 6 of the Hon'inbo title match - Ishida wins by a half point
Ishida wins the Hon’inbo by a half point
Ishida wins the Pro Top Ten
Ishida wins the Pro Top Ten
Murakami Bunshō wins the Amateur Best Ten Tournament
Murakami Bunshō wins the Amateur Best Ten Tournament

Photos courtesy of Igo Club.