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The Power Report: Iyama makes good start in Gosei defence

Chris Garlock | Published on 9/1/2023

John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal


Iyama makes good start in Gosei defence

The first game of the 48th Gosei title match, in which Ichiriki Kisei is challenging Iyama Honinbo, was played on June 27 on Iyama’s home ground: the Kansai headquarters of the Nihon Ki-in in Osaka. Iyama first won the Gosei title in 2012 and held it for six years in a row. He then lost it to Kyo Kagen but retook it from Ichiriki in 2021 and defended it against him in 2022. This is the third Gosei title match in a row between these two. Just for the record, as of June this year the two have played 11 top-seven title matches, of which Iyama has won nine. 

In the nigiri, Ichiriki drew black. In the opening he built outside thickness, but White cleverly negated it with his center play. Believing that he was behind, Ichiriki made a deep invasion of White’s territory, but White took control of the game when he counterattacked. The game then became one-sided. Black was more than ten points behind on the board when he resigned at move 170.

Han wins Globis Cup

The 10th Globis Cup World Go U-20 was held on the internet on June 3 and 4. In the final, played on June 4, Han Woojin 7-dan of Korea (W) beat Wang Xinghao 7-dan of China, the winner of the previous two Globis Cups, by 2.5 points. This was Han’s first international victory; following the rules of the Korean Baduk Association, he was promoted to 8-dan. 

In the play-off for third place, played on the same day, Tu Xiaoyu 8-dan (China) beat Moon Minjong 6-dan (Korea). First prize is ¥1,500,000 ($10,909). 

Of the six Japanese participants, two, Sakai Yuki 4-dan and Konishi Yoshiakira 1-dan, made the best eight. Miura Taro 2-dan didn’t survive the league stage, but he did pick up a win over the eventual winner of the tournament, Han. Playing white, he won by resig.


6th Go Seigen Cup

This international women’s tournament, also known as the Wu Qingyuan Cup in English, is organized by Fuzhou City, Go’s birthplace, in Minhou County, Fujian Province, and was held on June, 9, 10, and 11. Twenty-four players from around the world took part. The time allowance is two hours per player, plus 60 seconds x 5. First prize is 500,000 yuan ($70,126).

Four Japanese representives took part, three of them playing on the net. Nakamura Sumire was in China to play in the women’s league, so she attended in person. Ironically, she was eliminated in the first round while the players who stayed at home all won in the first and second rounds. Fujisawa Rina has made the semifinals, which is the best performance by a Japanese representative in this tournament so far. She beat China’s top-ranked woman player, Yu Zhiying, in the third round, her first win against her in six official games. Nyu Eiko made the best eight in an international tournament for the first time.

Of the 24 participants, eight were seeded into the second round (including Ueno Asami). The photo of the opening ceremony shows only 12 players on the stage, so it seems that quite a few players from other countries also stayed at home. International tournaments still have not quite reverted to pre-covid “normality.”

The semifinals and finals will probably be played in December. Results follow.


Round 1 (June 9). Wu Yiming 5-dan (China) (W) beat Nakamura Sumire 3-dan (Japan) by resig.; Fujisawa Rina 6-dan (Japan) (W) beat Li Xiaoxi 4-dan (China) by 2.5; Nyu Eiko 4-dan (Japan) (W) beat Tang Jiawen 4-dan (China) by resig.; Stephanie Yin 1-dan (North America) (W) beat Rita Pocsai (Europe) by resig.; Gao Xing 4-dan (China) (W) beat Kim Kyeongeun 4-dan (Korea) by resig.; Fang Ruoxi 5-dan (China) (B) beat Ariane Ougier (Europe) by resig.; Jeong Yujin 3-dan (Korea) (B) beat Li He 5-dan (China) by resig; Zhou Hongyu 7-dan (China) (W) beat Feng Yun 9-dan (North America) by 14.5 points.


Round 2 (June 10). Fujisawa (W) beat Wang Chenxing 5-dan (China) by resig.; Ueno (B) beat Gao by resig.; Nyu (W) beat Yu Lijun 4-dan (Ch. Taipei) by resig.; Choi Jeong 9-dan (Korea) (W) beat Wu by resig.; Fang (W) beat Luo Yuhua 4-dan (Ch. Taipei) by resig.; Yu Zhiying 7-dan (China) (W) beat Jeong by resig.; Kim Chaeyoung 8-dan (Korea) (B) beat Yin by resig.; Zhou (B) beat Oh Yujin 9-dan (Korea) on time.  


Round 3 (June 11). Fujisawa (W) beat Yu Zhiying 7-dan (China) by resig.; Choi Jeong 9-dan (Korea) (B) beat Ueno by resig.; Fang (B) beat Nyu by 5.5; Zhou (W) beat Kim by resig.


Semifinal pairings: Zhou v. Fujisawa; Choi v. Fang


Ueno defends Hollyhock Cup

The best-of-three title match for the 10th Aizu Central Hospital Women’s Hollyhock Cup was held at the Konjakutei inn in Aizu-Wakamatsu City on June 17 to 19. A best-of-three is a short title match, but even so scheduling a game a day is a little hard on the players. The time allowance is two hours per player, with the last five minutes being used for byo-yomi.

In the first game, Fujisawa Rina, the challenger, displayed her brilliant sabaki skills and got off to a promising start. In the second game, however, Ueno Asami, the titleholder, steered the game into a large-scale fight and outread her opponent. The third game became one-sided when Fujisawa made an oversight. This was Ueno’s twelfth title. First prize is ¥7,000,000 ($50,900). Details of the games follow.


Game 1 (June 17). Fujisawa (W) by resig. (216 moves).

Game 2 (June 18). Ueno (W) by resig. (206 moves).

Game 3 (June 19). Ueno (B) by resig. (197 moves).


Yoda does well in international tournament for seniors

Sixteen veteran players of the 20th century took part in the 4th 1004 Islands Xinan World Baduk Championship, which was held in Korea on June 22 and 23. Yoda Norimoto 9-dan picked up some notable wins in reaching the final, where he lost to Yu Bin 9-dan of China. Actually, it could have been an all-Japanese final, as Takemiya Masaki 9-dan also did very well. In his semifinal against Yu, the game was hopeless for the latter   (AI gave Takemiya’s winning chances as 99%), but Takemiya accidentally brushed some stones off the board and while he was trying to restore the position he ran of time. 

First prize is 30 million won ($23,734). Players all took part in person. The name of the tournament is a reference to the islands included in Shin-An County in southeast Korea. Details of the games follow.


Round 1 (June 22).  Choi Myunghoon 9-dan (Korea) (B) beat O Rissei (Ch. Taipei) by resig.; Lee Sanghoon 9-dan (Korea) (B) beat Lachayutto Puwattechakon (phonetic rendering from katakana) (Thailand) by resig.; Yoda Norimoto 9-dan (Japan) beat Seo Neunguk 9-dan (Korea) by resig.; Lee Changho 9-dan (Korea) (B) beat Luo Xihe 9-dan (China) by resig.; Yu Bin 9-dan (China) (W) beat Seo Bongsuh 9-dan (Korea) by resig.; Jiang Mingjiu 7-dan (USA) (W) beat David Fu (?) (Australia) by resig.; Takemiya Masaki 9-dan (Japan) (B) beat Yoo Changhyeok 9-dan (Korea) by 7.5 points; Cho Hunhyeon 9-dan (Korea) (B) beat Rob van Zeijst (Netherlands) by resig.


Round 2 (June 22). Choi (W) beat Lee Sanghoon by 12.5; Yoda (W) beat Lee Changho by resig.; Yu (B) beat Jiang by resig.; Takemiya (B) beat Cho by resig.


Semifinals (June 23). Yoda (W) beat Choi by 16.5; Yu (B) beat Takemiya on time.

Final (June 23). Yu (B) beat Yoda by resig.


Tomorrow: The Power Report: Meijin challenger: Iyama or Ichiriki; New Kisei S League; Sumire’s progress; Promotions; Most wins; Most successive wins; Winning streaks

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