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History of Topics 2011


31 January 9th Cheongkwanjang Cup: Mun wins seven in a row
Korea wins 12th Nong Shim Cup
3rd BC Card Cup starts
35th Kisei title match tied
Xie starts well in Women's Kisei
Mukai Chiaki to challenge for Women's Meijin title
Takao makes Judan play-off
Hane leads 66th Honinbo League
36th Meijin League
Annual promotions
Promotion (by cumulative-win system)
Top prize-money winners
The Michael Redmond report



31 January

International News

  January was a good month for Korea, with a spectacular winning streak by a Korean player in one international team tournament and yet another victory in another. Despite many recent individual successes by Chinese players, Korea still seems to be the country to beat.

9th Cheongkwanjang Cup: Mun wins seven in a row

  Korea's top batter, the 19-year-old Mun To-weon 2-dan, has made an extraordinary start, winning all seven games in the opening round of the 9th Cheongkwanjang Cup. She set a new record for this tournament.
  This round was played in Hangzhou, China. The second round will be played in late March. Japan has just one player left and China two. Can they stop Mun from making a clean sweep?

Hangzhou Round
Game 1 (8 Jan.). Mun To-weon 2-dan (Korea) (W)beat Aoki Kikuyo 8-dan (Japan) by resignation.
Game 2 (9 Jan.). Mun (W) beat Lu Jia 2-dan (China) by 18.5 points.
Game 3 (10 Jan.). Mun (W) beat Chinen Kaori 4-dan by 10.5 points.
Game 4 (11 Jan.). Mun (W) beat Li He 3-dan (China) by 7.5 points.
Game 5 (12 Jan.). Mun (B) beat Mukai Chiaki 4-dan (Japan) by 1.5 points.
Game 6 (13 Jan.). Mun (B) beat Song Ronghui 5-dan (China) by resignation.
Game 7 (14 Jan.). Mun (W) beat Suzuki Ayumi 5-dan (Japan) by 3.5 points.

Korea wins 12th Nong Shim Cup

  Korea scored its tenth victory and third in a row in the Nong Shim Spicy Noodles Cup when Ch'oe Ch'eol-han mopped up the resistance in the final round. Ch'oe earned a bonus for a winning streak of four games, and the services of Korea's ‘iron goalkeeper', Yi Ch'ang-ho, were not called on.

The Shanghai Round
Game 11 (18 Jan.). Ch'oe Ch'eol-han 9-dan (Korea) (W) beat Zhou Ruiyang 5-dan by resignation.
Game 12 (19 Jan.). Ch'oe (B) beat Yuki Satoshi 9-dan (Japan) by resignation.
Game 13 (21 Jan.). Ch'oe (W) beat Kong Jie 9-dan (China) by resignation.

3rd BC Card Cup starts

  The opening round of the 3rd BC Card Cup was held in Seoul on 29 January. Japan had only two representatives in this tournament, and they were both eliminated in the first round. Cho Chikun 9-dan (B) lost by resignation to Yan Huan, a 19-year-old 5-dan from China, and Sakai Hideyuki 8-dan (B) lost on time to Korean veteran Yu Ch'ang-hyeok.


Japanese news



35th Kisei title match tied

Deciding the number one
  It can really be claimed that this title match will decide the number one player in Japan, as the holder of the number two title, Iyama Yuta Meijin, is challenging the holder of the top title, Cho U Kisei. This is the fourth time that the Meijin has challenged the Kisei (so far the Meijin challenger has won twice).
  Cho and Iyama have fought two best-of-sevens so far, with the score being 1-1, so in that sense also this series will decide who is the number one -- for the time being, of course, as we can expect their rivalry to continue for a decade. In personal encounters to date, Cho holds a 14-11 lead, but in the 11 games played in the last two years Iyama has the lead, 7-4. However, after losing six games in a row to Iyama, starting with the second game of the 2009 Meijin title match, Cho has recovered and won their last two games.
  According to Ishida Yoshio 9-dan, if anything, there will be more pressure on Cho U. He will be defending his title and, at 31 (on 20 January), he is ten years older than the challenger. Moreover, he lost the most recent best-of-seven between the two, when Iyama took the Meijin title from him in 2009.

Title match tied 1-1
  The first game was played at the Konjakutei inn in Aizu Wakamatsu City, Fukushima Prefecture, on 13 & 14 January. Fighting started early and continued throughout. Taking black, Iyama played well in rescuing a group that came under severe attack. After the middle game, Iyama seemed to have a slight lead. Cho suffered a hallucination and resigned after 207 moves, but the game was already a safe win for Iyama.
  The second game was played at the Number Two Meisuitei inn in Date City, Hokkaido on 26 and 27 January. Taking black, Cho won by resignation after 189 moves. The game started with Cho developing rapidly and Iyama playing solidly. Iyama succeeded in laying waste to Cho's moyo on the right side of the board and he built up a lead. Later, Iyama started a large ko in the top left in an attempt to wrap up the game, but this turned out to be overdoing things and gave Cho a chance to get back into the game. In the large trade that finished off the ko fight, Cho staged an upset.
  The third game will be played in Himi City in Toyama Prefecture on 2 and 3 February.

Cho U KISEI 1 ― 1  Iyama Yuta challenger
Date(2011) Venue Result
1st 13, 14 Jan. Fukushima Iyama (B) won by resig.
2nd 26, 27 Jan. Hokkaido Cho (B) won by resig.
3rd 2, 3 Feb Toyama  
4th 17, 18 Feb Hyogo  
5th 24, 25 Niigata Niigata  
6th 10, 11 March Yamanashi  
7th 16, 17 March Shizuoka  



Xie starts well in Women's Kisei

  Xie Yimin has made a good start in defending the first title in her triple crown. This year Umezawa Yukari 5-dan is challenging for the 14th DoCoMo Cup Women's Kisei title in an attempt to regain the title she lost to Xie last year. The first game was held at the Hotel Sunlife Garden in Hiratsuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture, on 27 January. Taking white, Xie won by 9.5 points.
  The second game will be played on 16 February.

Title Match ( Shei Imin 1-0 Umezawa Yukari )
Date(2011) Venue Result
1st TV Program : Feb. 9 Hiratsuka Hsieh (W) won by 9.5
2nd TV Program : Feb. 16 Ichigaya  
3rd TV Program : Feb. 23 Ichigaya  

Mukai Chiaki to challenge for Women's Meijin title

  The final round of the 23rd Women's Meijin League was held on 20 January. Mukai Chiaki 4-dan lost her last game but still won the league because her only remaining rival, Okuda Aya 2-dan, also lost. Four players ended up on 4-2, but there is no play-off in this league; Mukai took the honours thanks to having the highest ranking. Incidentally, only these four players retained their places, which makes it a pretty tough league; Mannami Nao 2-dan improved her score to 3-3 by winning her final game but was still eliminated from the league.
  The title match with Xie Yimin will start in March.

Results in the final round:
Mannami Nao 2-dan (B) beat Mukai Chiaki 4-dan by half a point.
Yoshida Mika 8-dan (W) beat Okuda Aya 2-dan by resignation.
Suzuki Ayumi 5-dan (B) beat Umezawa Yukari 5-dan by resignation.

The 23rd Women's Meijin Challenger's League
(Sponsor:Sankei Newspaper)
Title holder: Shei Imin
B=playing black
1=win, 0=loss
* Date: mm/dd
RNK
Player Mukai Suzuki
Umezawa
Yoshida Koyama Okuda
Mannami
Score
1 Mukai Chiaki B1
Aug
1
Dec
B0
Sep
1
July
B1
Oct
0
Jan

4-2

2 Suzuki Ayumi 0
Aug
B1
Jan
1
Nov
B1
Nov
0
July
B1
Dec
4-2
3 Umezawa Yukari B0
Dec
0
Jan
B0
July
0
Sep
B0
Nov
1
Aug
1-5
4 Yoshida Mika 1
Sep
B0
Nov
1
July
B1
Dec
1
Jan
B0
Oct
4-2
5 Koyama Terumi B0
July
0
Oct
B1
Sep
0
Dec
B0
Aug
0
Nov
1-5
5 Okuda Aya 0
Oct
B1
July

1
Nov

B0
Jan
1
Aug
B1
Sep
4-2
5 Mannami Nao B1
Jan
0
Dec
B0
Aug
1
Oct
B1
Nov
0
Sep
3-3

Takao makes Judan play-off

  In the final of the Losers' Section of the 49th Judan tournament, held on 20 January, Takao Shinji 9-dan (W) beat Ko Iso 7-dan by resignation. Takao will meet his nemesis, Iyama Yuta Meijin, in a play-off to decide the challenger to Cho U.

Title holder: Cho U (Sponsor:Sankei Newspaper)
Final
Date Players Venue Result
  Iyama
Takao
Nihon Kiin
Osaka
 

Hane leads 66th Honinbo League

  Hane Naoki has not played any games in the league since our last report, but he remains in the sole lead. In sole second place is league newcomer, Seto Taiki 7-dan, the only player with just one loss.
  Hane's next two games look like playing significant roles. In February, he will play Cho U and then in March there will be face-off with Seto.

(6 January) O Rissei 9-dan (B) beat Takao Shinji 9-dan by resignation.
(20 January) Cho U Kisei (B) beat Cho Sonjin 9-dan by resignation.
Seto Taiki 7-dan (B) beat Kobayashi Satoru 9-dan by 3.5 points.

Title holder: Yamashita Keigo in the chart   * B = playing black,
* 1 = win, 0 = loss
* Date: mm/dd
1 Hane Naoki B1
Jan
1
Oct
B
Feb

Apr
B1
Dec
1
Nov
B
Mar
4-0  
2 Iyama Yuta 0
Jan
B
Apr
0
Nov
B0
Oct

Mar
B
Feb
1
Dec
1-3  
3 Takao Shinji B0
Oct

Apr
B1
Dec
0
Jan
B
Feb

Mar
B0
Nov
1-3  
4 Cho U
Feb
B1
Nov
0
Dec
B
Mar
0
Oct
B1
Jan
Apr
2-2  
5 O Rissei B
Apr
1
Oct
B1
Jan

Mar
B0
Nov
0
Dec
B
Feb
2-2  
5 Kobayashi Satoru 0
Dec
B
Mar

Feb
B1
Oct
1
Nov
B
Apr
0
Jan
2-2  
5 Cho Sonjin B0
Nov

Feb
B
Mar
0
Jan
B1
Dec

Apr
B0
Oct
1-3  
5 Seto Taiki
Mar
B0
Dec
1
Nov
B
Apr

Feb
B1
Jan
1
Oct
3-1  

36th Meijin League

  Yamashita Keigo and Yuki Satoshi are already the only undefeated players in the current Meijin League and they share the lead on 2-0.

(6 January) Cho U Kisei (B) beat Hane Naoki 9-dan by resignation.
Rin Kanketsu 7-dan (W) beat Mizokami Tomochika 8-dan by half a point.
(13 January) Yuki Satoshi Tengen (W) beat 25th Honinbo Chikun by resignation.
(20 January) Yamashita Keigo Honinbo (B) beat Sakai Hideyuki Gosei by resignation.
(27 January) Yuki Satoshi Tengen (W) beat Takao Shinji 9-dan by half a point.

Title holder: Iyama Yuta in the chart   * B = playing black,
* 1 = win, 0 = loss
1 Takao Shinji
May
B0
Feb

June
B
Apr
1
Dec
B
July

Mar
B
Aug
1-1
2 Cho U B
May

July
B0
Dec

Feb
B
Aug

Apr
B1
Jan

June
1-1
3 Yuki Satoshi 1
Feb
B
July

Mar
B
June
1
Jan
B
Aug

Apr
B
May
2-0
4 Sakai Hideyuki B
June
1
Dec
B
Mar
May
B
Apr
0
Jan
B
Aug

Feb
1-1
5 Mizokami Tomochika
Apr
B
Feb

June
B
May

Mar
B0
Dec

July
B0
Jan
0-2
6 Cho Chikun B0
Dec

Aug
B0
Jan

Apr
B
Mar

May
B
June

July
0-2
7 Yamashita Keigo
July
B
Apr

Aug
B1
Jan
1
Dec.
B
May

Feb
B
Mar
2-0
7 Hane Naoki B
Mar
0
Jan
B
Apr

Aug
B
July

June
B
Feb
1
Dec
1-1
7 Rin Kanketsu
Aug
B
June

May
B
Feb
1
Jan
B
July

Mar
B0
Dec
1-1

Annual promotions

  Every year the top prize money-winners in the dan sections from 1- to 6-dan are promoted one rank. Earning promotions are the top two from 1- to 5-dan, but only the top 6-dan. The promotions based on last year's winnings have just been announced. They are:

To 7-dan) Mitani Tetsuya
To 6-dan) Iwamaru Taira, Ms. Suzuki Ayumi
To 5-dan) Uchida Shuhei, Kawada Kohei
To 4-dan) Shida Tatsuya, Ohashi Naruya
To 3-dan) Suzuki Shinji, Ida Atsushi
To 2-dan) Obuchi Kotaro, Hirata Tomoya

Promotion (by cumulative-win system)

To 4-dan: Ms. Komatsu Hideko (50 wins).

Top prize-money winners

  Cho U topped this list for the fourth year in a row. He may not have won as many titles as the year before, but one of the ones he did win was the Kisei, which is worth 45 million yen. He also defended the Judan and Oza titles and scored competitive results in nearly every tournament.
  This year Yamashita Keigo gave him a close run. Although he lost the Kisei title to Cho, he replaced it with the Honinbo title, which earned him 32 million yen, and played in the Judan and Tengen title matches; he also did well in fast-go titles, winning the Ryusei tournament and the Agon Kiriyama Cup.
  Xie Yimin, the top woman player, made the top ten for the third year in a row.

1. Cho U: 90,499,000
2. Yamashita Keigo: 86,174,000
3. Iyama Yuta: 56, 482,000
4. Takao Shinji: 32,935,000
5. Hane Naoki: 28,073,000
6. Kono Rin: 25,072,000
7. Yamada Kimio: 19,132,000
8. Xie Yimin: 18,826,100
9. 25th Honinbo Chikun: 18,037,000
10. O Meien: 13,964,000

The Michael Redmond report

  Michael Redmond has made a good start to the year with two wins in January.

(6 January) Redmond 9-dan (W) beat Kamimura Haruo 9-dan by resignation
(50th Judan tournament, Preliminary A).
(27 January) Redmond 9-dan (B) beat Ito Masashi 1-dan by 5.5 points
(Preliminary A, 67th Honinbo tournament).

To my readers:
  I hope that you have enjoyed this news service. It began in June 1998 and has continued, sometimes intermittently, for over 13 years, but I have been informed that this is the last instalment.
  I would like to thank you for your patronage over the years and wish you the best of luck in your go activities.
John Power

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