by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal
The 2022 tournament year
The last of the 4496 official games played in the 2022 tournament year at the Nihon Ki-in were played on December 26. Below we present a statistical overview of the year.
As has been the trend in recent years, there were many female players in the top groups, thanks to the increase in women’s tournaments. Ueno Asami, winner of the 9th Women’s Hollyhock tournament, scored the most wins for the second year in a row. Two other female players, Fujisawa Rina (top right) and Nakamura Sumire, joined her at the top of the list; the latter came third for the second year in a row. Ueno commented: “A miracle happened two years in a row.” According to a go reporter, Ueno is actually aiming at the record set by Cho U in 2002 of 70 wins.
1. Ueno Asami, Women’s Hollyhock: 54 wins 20 losses
2. Fujisawa Rina, Women’s Honinbo: 51-22
3. Nakamura Sumire 3-dan: 48-22
4. Ichiriki Ryo Kisei: 47-21
5. Shibano Toramaru Meijin: 44-19
6. Otake Yu 7-dan: 43-19
7. Koike Yoshihiro 7-dan: 41-13
8. Nyu Eiko, Women’s Senko: 38-20
9. Sakai Yuki 4-dan: 36-12; Ueno Risa 2-dan: 36-15; Ida Atsushi 9-dan: 36-18
Best winning percentage (among players who have played 24+ games)
1. Koike Yoshihiro: 75.93%
2. Sakai Yuki: 75%
3. Cho U 9-dan: (25-9): 73.53%
4. Hirata Tomoya 7-dan (30-11): 73.1%
5. Ueno Asami: 72.97%, Mito Shuhei 2-dan (27-10): 72.97%
7. Tanaka Nobuyuki 4-dan (22-9): 70.97%
8. Ueno Risa (36-15), Kono Rin 9-dan (24-10), Suzuki Shinji 7-dan (24-10): 70.59%
Most successive wins (as of Dec. 31, 2022)
16: Kyo Kagen Judan
13: Koike Yoshihiro, Otake Yu
11: Ichiriki Ryo, Ueno Asami (twice)
10: Ichiriki, Shibano Toramaru, Hane Yasumasa 9-dan, Hikosaka Naoto 9-dan, Koike Yoshihiro
Top prizemoney winners
For the 12th year in a row, Iyama Yuta was number one on the list of top prizemony winners last year. Although he lost the top two titles, the Kisei and the Meijin, he successfully defended the Honinbo, Oza, and Gosei titles. Second to fourth and ninth places were taken by the holders of the other top-seven titles. It’s interesting to note that, as in the previous year, the fifth and sixth places were taken by woman players, though they changed places.
Although he topped the list yet again, this is only the second time in these 12 years that Iyama failed to make ¥100,000,000 (at $US1 = ¥130.78, that is approximately $764,643). In fact his total in 2022 was just ¥66,000 more than in 2011, when he first topped the list.
1. Iyama Yuta: ¥91,579,911
2. Ichiriki Ryo: ¥75,113,134
3. Shibano Toramaru: ¥50,818,400
4. Kyo Kagen: 31,881,690
5. Ueno Asami: ¥28,740,283
6. Fujisawa Rina: ¥24,431,729
7. Hirata Tomoya: ¥16,582,000
8. Yamashita Keigo: ¥15,248,252
9. Seki Kotaro: ¥14,941,400
10. Ida Atsushi; ¥14,841,000
Players promoted for 2022 tournament winnings
Every January the 13 players who topped their dan sections in prizemoney winnings in the previous year are promoted one rank. Specifically, they are the top two 1- to 5-dans and the top 6-dan. The following players were promoted as of January 1 this year.
To 7-dan: Hirose Yuichi
to 6-dan: Fujisawa Rina, Cho Zuiketsu
to 5-dan: Onishi Kenya, Sotoyanagi Sebun
to 4-dan: Fukuoka Kotaro, Sakai Yuki
to 3-dan: Ikemoto Ryota, Miura Taro
to 2-dan: Tanaka Yuki, (Ms.) Jo Bun’en
The 56th Kido Prizes were decided by a committee of go journalists on January 31. They are open only to Nihon Ki-in players.
Most outstanding player: Honinbo Monyu (Iyama Yuta) (11th year in a row)
Outstanding player: Ichiriki Ryo Kisei
New Star: Otake Yu 7-dan
Women’s Prize: Fujjisawa Rina, Women’s Honinbo
International Prize: Ueno Asami (for winning the 4th Senko Cup)
Most wins: Ueno Asami
Best winning percentage: Koike Yoshihiro
Most successive wins: Kyo Kagen
Most games played: Ueno Asami (74)
Kiseido Publishing Company recently published Essential Go Proverbs by John Power (that's me). The book covers 104 proverbs in its 522 pages. The format is the same as the Kiseido magazine Go World, so in content it is equivalent to eight issues of the magazine. The go proverbs have long been known as one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to study go. They cover many aspects of the game and important proverbs are treated in great detail. There are many techniques, tesuji combinations, and life-and-death sequences that are essential knowledge for all devotees of the game.