After two days and four rounds at the 34th World Amateur Go Championship in Sendai, Japan, just four of the 62 players are undefeated: Yuqing Hu of China, Korea’s Hyunjae Choi, Kikou Emura of Japan and… Canada’s teenaged Bill Lin (at left in photo), who drew down in the fourth round but still faced a stiff challenge from Slovakia’s Pavol Lisy. Top players with 3-1 records include Chinese Taipei’s Shin-Wei Lin, Russia’s Ilya Shikshin, Artem Kachanovskyi of Ukraine, France’s Thomas Debarre, Csaba Mero of Hungary, the Netherlands’ Merlijn Kuin and Cornel Burzo of Romania. Curtis Tang of the U.S. is 2-2 after the tough draw of Chinese Taipei in the fourth round. Tuesday’s 5th-round pairings include China-Japan, Korea-Canada, France-Ukraine and U.S.-Singapore. Click here for full results; here for selected game records and here for the player roster. Four matches are broadcast each round on Pandanet and WBaduk.
- report Chris Garlock; photo: Lin (l) playing Nicola Mitic of Serbia in Round 3; photo by John Pinkerton
Round 3: U.S. vs Korea: Good Fighting Spirit
U.S. player Curtis Tang (left) — one of only two players to earn the title of Redmond Meijin — shows good fighting spirit against Hyungjae Choi of Korea, one of the most formidable players in this tournament. Click here for the commentary.
Round 3: Hungary vs. China: Very short but interesting
“This is a very short but interesting game,” says commenter Michael Redmond 9P. “Hungary’s Csaba Mero (right) handles a challenge well and gets a fairly severe attack going on Yuging Hu of China, but at a critical point in the fight, an apparently natural move turns out to be a fatal mistake.” Click here for the commentary.
Every story has a beginning: Three WAGC participants — Andrés Aguilar (Ecuador, 1 dan, at right), Krzysztof Giedrojć (Poland, 4 dan) and Aleksandar Savchovski (Bulgaria, 1 dan) — explain how they started playing go. Click here for John Richardson’s report.
Interview with Franz-Josef Dickhut: Germany’s representative talks about the new crop of strong young German players…click here for the full interview.
Interview with Pavol Lisy: Slovakia’s player explains how a childhood hobby of collecting beer caps led to playing go…click here for the interview.
Interview with Artem Kachanovskyi: The Ukrainian 6-dan reviews his game with Chinese Taipei and his recent return to serious game study…click here for the interview.
Interview with Suzanne D’Bel: The Malaysian player (left) — one of just two women in this year’s WAGC — explains ” why I like to play tengen openings.” Click here for the interview.
Interview with Andrew Kay: A chat with the British player (the 4d ‘Warfreak2′ on KGS), about his aggressive style and go philosophy. Click here for the interview.
Ranka Yearbook 1998: The 1998 Ranka Yearbook is now available in PDF format. Click here to download a copy.
- excerpted from reports in Ranka Online; this report compiled by Chris Garlock; photos by John Pinkerton
This year’s Cotsen Open and Pro Prelim has been set for October 26-27 at the Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles, according to AGA President Andy Okun. The tournament, put together by local go devotee and businessman Eric Cotsen, will include many of the features that made it a perennial favorite. These include the circulating massage therapists, impressive trophies, free lunch, and refunds for those who preregister and play all their games, as well as teaching, puzzles, and a demonstration game by Yang Yilun 7P. “We are extremely grateful to Eric for sponsoring this great event again, and to the KCCLA, Ambassador Yeon-sung Shin and retired Ambassador Suh Dae-won for arranging for us to be in their beautiful facility again,” said Okun. Top boards will be broadcast online by the E-Journal. A registration site should be up within days; inquiries can be sent to registrar Samantha Davis at CotsenGoTournament2013@gmail.com.
Netherlands: Bert Vonk 1d bested Jan Bol 2d (left) at the Centraal Plaasingstoernoii on August 25 in Amstelveen; Ger de Groot 1d placed third. Croatia: The 5th Memorial-tournament Ivica Kuhar finished August 24 in Veliki Grdjevac with Stjepan Mestrovic 1k in first, Vlimir Kuhar 5d in second, and Robert Jovicic 2k in third. Poland: Stanislaw Frejlak 4d won both the first and second week of the Summer Go School Marathon tournament in Przystanek Alaska. Week one finished on August 16 with Andrew Kay 4d in second and Tomas Kozelek 4d in third. During week two, Kay held his post while Marcin Majka 2d placed third.
— Annalia Linnan, based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news.
This post was updated 9/4 to indicate that the photo is of Jan Bol 2d, not Bert Vonk 1d.
by Roger Schrag
On the way to Tacoma for the US Go Congress last month, we stopped for a few days in Portland, OR. Among other places we visited the Lan Su Chinese Garden in downtown, claimed to be the most authentic Chinese garden outside of China. I had been here before – in 2008 while attending that year’s US Go Congress. A few of the displays had changed in the intervening five years, including this scene in the Scholar’s Study. According to the garden’s tour, this is a place “where the men of the family studied for civil service exams that would ensure the family’s prosperity. It served as a place of comfort for writing poetry, practicing calligraphy, reading and admiring art.” Is the position on the go board viable? How strong were the players? You be the judge.
There were no surprises on the top boards on the first day of the 2013 World Amateur Go Championship, as strong players dominated weaker opponents in the early rounds. China’s Yuqing Hu, one of that country’s strongest amateurs, defeated Belgium’s Lucas Neirynck and Slovenia’s Janez Janza; Korea’s Hyunjae Choi beat Andrew Kay of the UK (right) and Curtis Tang of the US; Tapei’s Shin-Wei Lin defeated Thiago Sinji Shimada Ramos of Brazil and Artem Kachanovskyi of the Ukraine; Russia’s Ilya Shikshin beat Charlie Akerblom of Sweden and Suzanne D’Bel of Malaysia; Hong Kong’s King Man Kwan defeated Bertan Bilen of Turkey and Kikou Emura of Japan. Curtis Tang of the US defeated John Erickson Javier of the Philippines and lost to Korea, and Canada’s Bill Lin defeated Alexander Bukh of Kazakhstan and Aleksandar Savchovski of Bulgaria. In other results, France’s Thomas DeBarre defeated both Ireland’s James Hutchinson and Denmark’s Per Marquardsen, while Czechia’s Ondrej Silt lost to Singapore in the second round, after defeating Lithuania’s Vladas Zaleskas in Round 1. Click here for full results; here for selected game records and here for the player roster. Four matches are broadcast each round on Pandanet and WBaduk. Click here for Michael Redmond 9P’s commentaries on the Round 2 Finland-Colombia and Argentina-Israel games.
-Chris Garlock; photo by John Pinkerton; game commentaries by Michael Redmond
In these first-round games, very strong players make short work of their
weaker opponents. Curtis Tang 6D (US) needed just 100 moves to force a resignation from 4-kyu John Erickson Javier (Phillipines), while Alexandr Bukh 5k (Kazakhstan) didn’t last much longer against Bill Tianyu Lin 7D (Canada), resigning after 103 moves (click here for Michael Redmond’s game commentary). In his game commentaries, Michael Redmond 9P shows how the games were actually over much earlier. We’re also including the uncommented records for the Serbia-Nepal and India-Australia games.
Alexandr Bukh, Kazakhstan’s representative, has only been playing for about five years, and this is his country’s first appearance in the WAGC. “For as long as I can remember I have been captivated by Japanese culture,” he says, “both the new and the old, and this led me to discover the game of go. I spent some time working in a company importing used vehicles from Japan, and through this I had the chance to learn some Japanese.” His visit to Sendai for the WAGC is his first time in Japan. Back home, Bukh travels each week to the city of Karaganda to play at its go club, “which has roughly ten regular players,” and he’s met another twenty or so other players across the country. “Recently there has been a surge in interest in go,” Bukh said, which lead to Kazakhstan’s invitation to play in this year’s WAGC. “The most popular sports in Kazakhstan are ice hockey, soccer and martial arts,” said Bukh, “I hope go will soon become one of them.”
- Bukh interview by John Richardson; game commentary by Michael Redmond; edited by Chris Garlock
The 34th World Amateur Go Championship Begins: The 34th World Amateur Go Championship began with a rousing opening ceremony and reception at the Sendai International Hotel on the evening of August 31…click here for Ranka’s report.
Round 1: The first round was paired by the traditional WAGC method, which matches the middle half of the field (28 players this year) at random against the first and fourth quarters (14 players each)…click here for James Davies’ report.
Interview with Christopher Welsh (South Africa): “Go is not as popular in South Africa as it is in some European countries. We have perhaps a hundred registered players. Perhaps fifty of those are regular club and tournament players. There are some initiatives to bring go into the townships in South Africa, which are going encouraging well, but its difficult make these initiatives happen.” Click here for the full interview by James Davies.
Goodwill Event: For the players at the 2013 World Amateur Go Championship, the first official event was a Goodwill Event held on Saturday morning, August 31, at the AER complex in Sendai. Naturally, it was a go-playing event. The Championship contestants were paired against a group of local players of all ages…click here for the full report.
3rd World Amateur Go Championship: The program of the 3rd WAGC (1981) is now available in PDF file format: click here to download.
photos by Ivan Vigano
More Strong Players: “The University of Michigan go club has strong players,” writes Alex Heath (Your Move/Readers Write: Strongest Go Clubs? 8/28 EJ). “They won the Collegiate Go League championship games undefeated with Zifan Yang 7d (though he told me he was a 9d on tygem), Seungjin Lee 7d, Troy Zhao 7d, John Starkweather 5d and Anbo Chen 4d.”
World Go News A Plus: “I was very surprised to see the ‘”Where’s U.S. Go News?’ item in the most recent E-Journal,” writes Nate Eagle. “The E-Journal maintains an impressive pace, especially given the relatively small go community in the United States. I’m very happy to get news about go in the rest of the world. Frankly, I’d enjoy even more coverage by Americans about go activity in other countries. Things like the Power Report are a great start, but I’d love to get more stories about the rich world of go that happens beneath the top title matches. Thanks for all of the great work you guys do – the E-Journal is the best part of my AGA membership.”
The Korea Baduk Association is inviting players from around the world to attend the 7th Kim-in Cup International Senior Baduk Competition, an amateur go tournament being held November 1-4 in Gangjin in the picturesque Korean province of Jeollanam-do, according to AGA President Andy Okun. “My wife and I attended last year and the hospitality and the experience were extraordinary,” Okun said. The Gangjin area is known for its teas and Korea’s traditional celadon pottery (photo). Players need to make their own way to Korea, but once there all the transportation, food and lodging for overseas guests is taken care of by the sponsors. For further information, contact Okun at email@example.com.
“Think for yourself, play your own game, and make your best effort.” That was the advice Kikou Emura (left) of Japan gave to amateur players who want to improve their game, in response to a question from E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock at the Saturday afternoon press conference at the World Amateur Go Championship. “You must love go,” said China’s Yuqing Hu (second from left), adding “and try hard.” Korea’s Hyunjae Choi (third from left) said that “Studying and playing a lot helps.” Ilya Shikshin (second from right) of Russia agreed that “you must love go and play a lot, but also I think you must never give up. There’s always another way to learn, even when you get frustrated.” And Malaysia’s Low Khin Su (right) said that “The important thing is to enjoy the game and always make an effort to improve.” The players also shared their favorite players. For Emura, it’s Fujisawa Shuko and Sonoda Yuichi; for Yu, Fujisawa Shuko; Choi’s favorite is Cho Chikun, Shikshin’s is Go Seigen and Su’s is Ohashi Hirofumi. In other comments, Shikshin said that “I know many in Europe are expecting a good performance from me, and I will do my best despite disappointing results at the European Go Congress earlier this month,” while 32-year-old Yuging Hu acknowledged that “the majority of strong Chinese players (are) in their 20s” and said that “This is all the more reason to take this competition seriously and work harder.”
- includes reporting by John Richardson; photo by John Pinkerton.
The last year has been a very successful one for the International Go Federation, its leaders reported Saturday at the annual IGF General Meeting, held the day prior to the launch of the World Amateur Go Championship, this year in Sendai, Japan.
In addition to successful editions of the WAGC, World Student Oza, World Mind Sports Games, International Pair Go Championship and SportAccord Mind Sports Games, the IGF for the first time directly funded two new projects. The Central and South American Go Propagation Project resulted in 140 go workshops in Venezuela and the 1st International Go Symposium at the 2012 U.S. Go Congress generated tremendous participation from contributors around the world. IGF VP Thomas Hsiang called both efforts “A very good start.”
The IGF also enjoyed financial success in 2012-2013, thanks largely to major financial support from the China Ki-In for the 2012 WAGC and SAWMSG, reported Secretary-General Yuki Shigeno. Another exciting new event, the first Mlily Cup, came together quickly with support from a new sponsor, and although the late start precluded participation by western players this year, the IGF expressed hope that in the next edition there will be slots for players from both the U.S. and Europe.
The 24th annual International Pair Go Championships are coming up in November in Tokyo, and the 3rd edition of the SportAccord Mind Games will be December 12-18 in Beijing (and will be covered again this year by Ranka and the E-Journal). New countries participating in the 2013 WAGC are Brunei and Kazakhstan, and those players received warm welcomes from the IGF leadership and the assembled players.
The final bit of news is that the 2014 and 2015 editions of the WAGC have been confirmed for Korea, the 2014 location definitely in Seoul, with details to be announced at a later date.
- report by Chris Garlock; photos by John Pinkerton
Players in the 34th World Amateur Go Championship began arriving Friday in Sendai, Japan, registering at the Hotel Monte Hermana, where a playing room has been set up (and where some players, shrugging off their jetlag, immediately began playing go).
Saturday’s schedule is light, with a friendship match in the morning, followed by the International Go Federation’s General meeting in the afternoon, followed by a press conference and then the traditional opening ceremony and reception in the evening.
The 8-round tournament — with a field of 62 top amateur players from as many countries — begins Sunday and runs through Wednesday, with rounds each morning and afternoon. On Thursday, the players will tour the nearby area ravaged by the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami, before returning home. In cooperation with Ranka, the E-Journal will file daily reports on all the action, including tournament result updates, game commentaries, photos and daily recaps. Reports will first appear on the AGA’s website and then in the following day’s EJ.
- photos: left: US player Curtis Tang; top right: first games; bottom right: registering; report/photos by Chris Garlock
Where’s U.S. Go News? “No U.S. go news at all?” writes Allan Abramson in response to the 8/29 EJ, which featured reports on go in Japan and the UK. “Perhaps someone needs to be assigned to make or find news?”
We welcome go news from across the United States and around the world; send reports and photos to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jie Li Strong But Not Pro: “While Jie Li is undoubtably quite strong, he’s not actually a professional, let alone 9P,” writes Pierre Mohan (“Where are the strongest Go Clubs” 8/29 EJ). “He’s an amateur,” confirms Brian Allen. “However, he is 9.27 in the AGA ratings, only a stone away from Myung Wan Kim 9p at 10.25 in the AGA ratings.”
More On Strong Go Clubs: “Regarding today’s ‘Your Move’ (“Where are the strongest Go Clubs” 8/29 EJ), Joy Craft may be interested in visiting the website of the Bay Area Go Player’s Association, since she lives in the SF Bay Area,” suggests Steve Burrall.
China and Korea are favorites again this year to win the 34th edition of the World Amateur Go Championships, which will be held on September 1-4 in Sendai, Japan. Beginning September 1st, Ranka Online and the American Go E-Journal will provide full daily coverage of the championship.
The field of 62 players from as many countries will range in age from 14 to 57 and in official rank from 7 kyu to 8 dan. Yuqing Hu will represent China and Hyunjae Choi is playing for Korea; those two countries have not dropped a single game to any other country in this event since 2006. The players from perennially strong Chinese Taipei, Japan, and Hong Kong (Wei-shin Lin, Kikou Emura, and King-man Kwan) will also bear watching, particularly 14-year-old Lin, who will move on from the World Amateur to a pro career in Taiwan.
These Asians will be challenged, however, by a strong European contingent, led by Slovakian prodigy Pavol Lisy, who finished runner-up to former Chinese pro Fan Hui in this year’s European Championship. Joining Pavol will be four other young finalists from the European Championship: Thomas Debarre (France), Ilya Shikshin (Russia), Artem Kachanovskyi (Ukraine), and Nikola Mitic (Serbia). Also competing will be such established European stars as Ondrej Silt (Czechia), Csaba Mero (Hungary), Cornel Burzo (Romania), Merlijn Kuin (Netherlands), and Franz-Josef Dickhut (Germany).
Challenging the Asians and Europeans will be a pair of North American students: Curtis Tang (US), a UC Berkeley student who trained for a year at a go academy in China, and Bill Lin (Canada), who played in the World Mind Games last December and is coming off a 3-1 defense of his Canadian Dragon title.
The Southern hemisphere will be represented by Hao-Song Sun (Australia, 11th place at the 2008 World Mind Sports Games), Xuqi Wu (New Zealand, 12th place at the 2009 Korea Prime Minister Cup), and a pack of hopeful new players from South America and South Africa.
In the past the World Amateur Go Championship has been held in the spring, but this year the schedule was moved back because of the effects of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011. Thanks to support from all over the world during the past two years, most of the regions hit by the earthquake are now recovering. It is hoped that through the game of go this tournament will give the world proof of the recovery and encourage the local people to press ahead with the long recovery process.
- Ranka Online
NOTE: This report has been updated to reflect Curtis Tang’s status as a college student, not high school.
Paul Taylor 2d of the St Albans Go Club, UK took the gold medal for 19×19 go by just half a point at the 17th Mind Sports Olympiad (MSO) in London on Sunday August 25 (Mind Sports Olympiad Under Way in London, 8/18 EJ).
British Go Association (BGA) VP Tony Atkins 1d (right) of Reading, UK, who also organized the go events and ran a free introduction to the game, as well as acting as arbiter for the games, had to content himself with the second place silver medal. Michael Webster 1d of the Central London Go Club took bronze after a tie-break with Alistair Wall 1d of Wanstead Go Club, UK. Click here for full results.
In the previous afternoon’s 13×13 event, Chris Volk from Germany took gold, while the silver medal went to Jay Rastall. Martyn Hamer won the bronze, but only after a tiebreak playoff with Matthew Hathrell, who nevertheless won medals in several other events. Click here for full results.
Click here for full MSO medal awards.
Strongest Go Clubs? “Can you tell me where the strongest go clubs are in the US?” asks Joy Craft. “I live in CA near Stanford University and want to know what cities in the US have serious clubs with professional players.”
Jie Li 9P has been showing up at the Greater Washington Go Club lately, the Seattle Go Center routinely hosts pros and strong players, and we hear that very strong players show up at clubs in LA and San Francisco as well. If other clubs have strong players attending, email us at email@example.com. Club contact info is online here.
“First 20 Hours” Redux: “In the book “The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything…Fast” by Josh Kaufman, there is a whole chapter devoted to Go in a nutshell,” reports Vincent DiMattia.
See our 6/18 report Expert On “How to Learn Go in 20 Hours”
E-Journal Japan Correspondent John Power catches us up on go events in Japan and international events in which Japanese players took part. Click here for Part 1 and Part 2.
Kisei Leagues Update
July 25: (A League) Yamashiro Hiroshi 9P (W) d. Yamashita Keigo Meijin by 3.5 points. (B League) Murakawa Daisuke 7P (B) d. Takao Shinji 9P by 1.5 points; Mizokami Tomochika 8P (W) d. 25th Honinbo Chikun by resig.
August 8: (B League) Takao Shinji 9P (W) d. Mizokami Tomochika 8P by resig.
August 15: (A League) Yoda Norimoto 9P (B) d. Cho U 9P by 1.5 points; Yamashita Keigo Meijin (W) d. Kobayashi Satoru 9P by resig.
To review the state of the leagues, Yamashita Keigo, on 3-1, will win the A League if he wins his final game. The previous Kisei, Cho U, has dropped to 1-3,
so he has to worry about keeping his place. The B League is lagging a little
behind. Murakawa Daisuke, on 3-0, has the sole lead; next is 25th Honinbo Chikun on 2-1.
8th Samsung Cup Qualifying Tournament: The Samsung Cup has become the most diversified of the international tournaments, offering seats to players in various categories through the large-scale qualifying tournament: general (which could be interpreted as meaning purely on strength), senior, female, and world. The number of seats at stake in these sections respectively was 14, 2, 2, and 1. Only one of the 30 Japanese players who made the trip to Seoul to compete was successful: Komatsu Hideki 9P (aged 46), who won a place in the senior section for the second year in a row. The qualifying tournament was held in Seoul from August 2 to 7. Komatsu had to win five games in a row to get into the main tournament. The seeded players from Japan are Takao Shinji and Yuki Satoshi. The opening round, a complicated double elimination, will be held from September 3 to 5.
26th Women’s Meijin League Starts: The new Women’s Meijin League has got under way and first round and the first two games in the second round have been played. (25 July) Suzuki Ayumi 6P (B) d. Okuda Aya 3P by 1.5 points; Ishii Akane 2P (W) d. Mukai Chiaki 5P by resig. (August 1) Suzuki Ayumi 6P (B) d. Yoshida Mika 8P by half a point; Kato Keiko 6P d. Chinen Kaori 4P by forfeit.
(August 8). Kato Keiko 6P (W) d. Ishii Akane 2P by resig.
Murakawa to Battle Shida in Agon Kiriyama Cup Final: Two new stars will battle it out in the final of the Agon Kiriyama Cup: Murakawa Daisuke 7P of the Kansai Ki-in (aged 22) and Shida Tatsuya 6-dan of the Central Japan branch (Nagoya) of the Nihon Ki-in (also 22). In the semifinals, held on August 19, Murakawa (W) d. Cho U by resignation and Shida (B) defeated Ichiriki Ryo 3-dan by half a point. The final will be held in Kyoto on October 5.
Yamashita Keigo or Akiyama Jiro to be Tengen Challenger: The semifinals of the 39th Tengen title were held on August 22. Yamashita Keigo Meijin (B) beat Cho U 9P by resignation and Akiyama Jiro 9P beat Yo Seiki 3P, also by resignation. The winners will meet in the final to decide the challenger to Iyama Yuta. Cho U has had a terrible summer: he missed a chance to challenge for the Meijin title, he dropped out of the running in the Kisei league, and he lost in the Tengen and Agon Kiriyama Cup semifinals. Not so long ago, when he was winning three or four titles every year, he looked a certainty to challenge the record for most titles won, but now his prospects don’t look nearly as good. The record, 72 titles, is held by Cho Chikun (25th Honinbo Chikun); Cho U is in sixth place with 38.
Yashiro Kumiko Promoted: Ms. Yashiro Kumiko was promoted to 6P (90 wins) on July 12.
The Teacher’s Workshop will be offered again at the 2014 Go Congress, according to AGA VP Chris Kirschner. “The howling success of the 2013 Workshop indicates that this will become a regular Go Congress event,” he told the E-Journal. The Workshop had 21 hours of programming, with some of the sessions repeated. Certificates for 8 hours of participation were earned by 40 teachers who ranged from 15 kyu to 5 dan. Go teachers who did not attend the workshop are welcome to join the announcement/discussion list for the Workshop, which is being moderated by Bill Camp. To join the list, just email Bill. Photos: top right: Go Phrase Guessing Game devised by Korean Pro Dahee Lee (at back); bottom left: Chris Kirschner; bottom right: Bill Camp. Photos/report by Brian Allen
E-Journal Japan Correspondent John Power catches us up on go events in Japan and international events in which Japanese players took part. Click here (link) for Part 1.
Kita Fumiko Inducted Into Hall Of Fame: At a July 16 meeting at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo, Kita Fumiko, honorary 8-dan, became the first woman to be inducted into the Go Hall of Fame. Kita (1875-1950) was the adopted daughter of the pioneering woman player Hayashi Sano (1825-1901). She became professional 1-dan in 1891 and reached 3-dan in 1895. In the same year, she married the head of the Kita No school, Kita Roppeita, and retired from active play. She made a comeback in 1907 and achieved good results, leading to her being promoted to 4-dan by the Hoensha group in 1911. In 1921 she became the first woman player to reach 5-dan. She played an important role in the founding of the Nihon Ki-in in 1924. She retired from active play and devoted herself to teaching. After her death, she was promoted to 7-dan and then to 8-dan. She is famed as “the mother of women’s go” and had many disciples, one of whom, Sugiuchi Kazuko 8-dan, is still active.
Iyama To Challenge For Meijin Title: After the 38th Meijin League ended in a tie between Iyama Yuta Kisei and Kono Rin 9P, a play-off to decide the challenger to Yamashita Keigo was held on August 5. Iyama drew black and beat Kono by resignation. This win gives Iyama a chance to regain the title that he lost to Yamashita Keigo in 2011. It also means that he will set yet another record by becoming the first player ever to appear in all top-seven title matches in one year. That will also give him a chance to revive the dream of holding all the top seven titles simultaneously (he would need to win all his title matches up to the Kisei next year, then regain the Judan title).
Below is an update of Meijin League results since my last report.
Round 7 (July 18). Yuki Satoshi 9P (B) d. Mizokami Tomochika 8P by half a point. This was the last game in the seventh round and it put an end to Yuki’s losing streak of 16 games over three leagues. His loss made demotion from the league certain for Mizokami; even though he had only one win, as a seeded player he could have retained his league seat if he had won his final two games. Three players, Yuki, Mizokami and Sakai, now had only one win with one round to go, so Murakawa Daisuke, with three wins, became certain of retaining his place.
Round 8 (August 1): As has become the practice in recent years, all the games in the final round were played on the same day, to ensure a dramatic finish. If Cho U won, he would win the league outright and become the challenger. If he lost his game with Kono Rin, Kono would end in a tie for first with the winner of the game between Iyama Yuta and Hane Naoki. Kono Rin 9P (B) d. Cho U 9P by resig; Yuki Satoshi Judan (B) d. Takao Shinji 9P by resig; Murakawa Daisuke 7P (B) d. Mizokami Tomochika 8P by resig; Iyama Yuta Kisei (B) d. Hane Naoki 9P by resig.
The final order in the league was: 1st, Iyama 6-2; 2nd: Kono 6-2; 3rd Cho U 6-
2; 4th Hane 5-3; 5th Takao Shinji 5-3; 6th Murakawa 4-4. Yuki (2-6), Mizokami
(1-7), and Sakai Hideyuki 8P (1-7) lost their places.
In an interview after the play-off, Iyama said that he was lucky. He was not
just being modest. When he was beaten by Cho U in the seventh round (actually the sixth round for Cho, his score was 5-2 compared to Cho’s 6-0, so his prospects didn’t look very good. Fortunately for him, other players managed to defeat Cho in his last two games. This is an example of relying on “tariki” (the strength of others) instead of “jiriki” (one’s own strength). It worked for Iyama.