Saturday, January 10, 2009

Chinen Kaori Challenge Xie Yimin For the 21st Female Meijin sen

The teenager title holder, Xie Yimin, will be challenged by Chinen Kaori 4dan.

Chinen Kaori (left) won the right to challenge after winning the first place in the league with 4-2 score.It's actually kinda surprise, because Kato Keiko was leading the league, but ended up with 3-3 score due to her straight loses in her last 2 games and put her in the third place.Suzuki Ayumi, who lost to Xie Yimin (right) in the 27th Female Honinbo title match, ended up in second place. She also had 4-2 score, but it seems that she wasranked #2 due to his 2.5 points lost to Chinen Kaori. Umezawa Yukari, the current Female Kisei title holder ended in fourth place with 3-3 score. She was lucky, becauseshe was tied with Yoshida Mika (8 dan), but due to her resignation victory, she wasn't demoted from the league.Bad news for 3 bottom players. Kobayashi Izumi (6 dan), Yoshida Mika (8 dan), and Mukai Chiaki (2 dan) are demoted from the league.

Chinen Kaori has won 2 titles so far. They're Female Kisei in 2002,2003,and 2005 and Female Honinbo in 1997-1999 and in 2004.Her first title in the 1997 Female Honinbo was pretty interesting and involved huge press conference due to her pregnancy, as by that point the baby was expected any day.The game four (which she won along with the title) was played in Yugen no Ma in Nihon Kiin.
one interesting point about this 21st Female Meijin league is the fact that the league system is just being used this time. They were using double elimination system before.
The first round's date is yet unknown but expected to be played in February. Last year Xie Yimin won 2 straight games, all by 0.5 point. I wonder who will win this time.