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The Power Report: Ueno first woman to win Shusai Prize; Easing of mask policy; Ueno wins Women’s Mei

Chris Garlock | Published on 8/25/2023

John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal


Ueno first woman to win Shusai Prize

On March 6, the Nihon Ki-in announced that the 60th Shusai Prize had been awarded to Ueno Asami, holder of the Women’s Hollyhock Cup. This prize is awarded to “a player with outstanding results who is expected to do big things in the future.” Ueno is the first woman player to win it. Her victory in the Senko Cup last year, the first by a Japanese in an international women’s tournament, probably was a big factor in the judges’ decision. She also won the Hiroshima Young Carp tournament, which is open to both male and female players, for the second year in a row. Last year she also won the Women’s Kisei and the Women’s Hollyhock Cup.


Easing of mask policy

The Japanese government announced that, after three years of the novel corona virus, its policy recommending the wearing of masks would be eased as of March 13. The decision of whether or not to wear a mask would be left up to individuals. In line with this, the Nihon Ki-in and the Kansai Ki-in modified their policy, as follows.

1. Players can decide for themselves whether or not to wear a mask during a game, but are recommended to wear one during the game review. Players with cold symptoms are recommended to wear masks during games as well.

2. Go journalists, game recorders and others entering a room where games are being played are recommended to wear masks. The practice of checking temperatures before a game is to be continued.


Ueno wins Women’s Meijin League

Below are listed the results of games played in the Hakata Kamachi Cup 34th Women’s Meijin League, to give it its full name, since my last report. In the key final-round game, played on March 13, Ueno Asami (left) beat Xie Yimin, so she won the league outright with a 6-0 score and avoided a play-off with Nakamura Sumire, who finished on 5-1. Nyu Eiko and Ueno Risa, the younger sister of Asami, tied for 3rd place, and Xie, Kobayashi and Suzuki dropped out.


(Jan. 9). Xie Yimin 7-dan (B) beat Kobayashi Izumi 7-dan by resig.

(Jan. 19) Ueno Asami, Women’s Hollyhock, (B) beat Nyu Eiko, Senko Cup, by half a point.

(Jan. 30) Ueno Asami, Women’s Hollyhock, (B) beat Nyu Eiko, Senko Cup, by resig.

(Feb. 2) Nakamura Sumire 3-dan (B) beat Kobayashi Izumi 7-dan by resig.

(Feb. 6) Suzuki Ayumi 7-dan (W) beat Xie Yimin 7-dan by resig.

(Feb. 23) Xie (W) beat Ueno Risa by resig.

(March 9) Nyu (W) beat Suzuki by resig.

(March 13) Ueno (B) beat Xie by resig.

(March 16) Nakamura (W) beat Ueno Risa by resig.


Sugiuchi Kazuko sets new record

At present, the oldest active professional go player is Sugiuchi Kazuko 8-dan. On March 16, playing black, she beat Miyazaki Ryutaro 7-dan by 4.5 points (prelim. C, 49th Gosei), so she raised her own record for the oldest woman player to score a win to 96 years no months. She promptly renewed that record on April 13, when she beat Yokota Hinano 1-dan (prelim. C, 62nd Judan). Her next target will be the age record for all players of 96 years ten months, set by her late husband, Masao 9-dan (he died in 2017). Her record so far this year is 3-5. Just for the record: in 2014 Sugiuchi became the first woman player to score 600 wins; she also won ten women’s titles.

Tomorrow: Seki wins NHK Cup; Yoda’s suspension ends; Shibano wins Judan title; Cho Chikun wins Teikei Cup Legends Tournament; Ichiriki wins last Honinbo League

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