Friday, July 24, 2009

Aoki Kikuyo to Challenge For the 28th Japanese Female Honinbo

Aoki Kikuyo (8 dan) got the right to challenge Xie Yimin, the current Female Honinbo title holder, by defeating
Ishii Akane (1 dan) in the final of the challenger decision match by resignation.

The game started by Ishii who played as black, opened the game by playing Lei fuseki. Early in the game (at move 61) black entered
white's bottom left corner and tried to survive inside. At the first glance, I think it was better to played A5 instead of blocking at B9,
however if white played A2, it will become a flower ko for white and at the same time, black put her left group in danger. So I think what black did
in the game was good, but the outcome was still favorable for white.

Board position up to move 88

After 230 moves, Aoki Kikuyo won the game by resignation.

Aoki Kikuyo is a veteran in go world. She already has many titles in the past. She won Female Saikyo in 2001, she held Female Meijin for 5 times (1990,1999-2000,2002,2006),
she is 4 times (1991-1992,1994,2000) Female Kakusei champion, and also she became runner-up in Shinjin-O tournament in 1997 losing to Yamada Kimio.

Aoki Kikuyo

Ishii Akane is a newcomer in pro world. She became shodan in August 2007. So far I think this is her best achievement.

Ishii Akane

This is Aoki's first time to be challenger for the Female Honinbo title. She will play Xie Yimin, one of the best female player in Japan at the moment.
Earlier this year, Xie beat Chinen Kaori, one of the go veteran to defend her Female Meijin title. I wonder if Aoki Kikuyo can beat Xie. The first game will be played in October 1st.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Xie Yimin Won Daiwa Ladies Cup for the Second Time

Xie Yimin (Female Meijin, Female Honinbo) repeated her success last year by winning the 3rd Daiwa Ladies Cup.
Xie Yimin met the 1st Daiwa Ladies Cup's champion, Kobayashi Izumi (6 dan).

Kobayashi Izumi who played white in this game opened the game agressively. She didn't take the last empty corner, instead she directly approach black.
Xie played by the ame fighting spirit, by playing a pincer to response Kobayashi's ikken takagakari (one space high approach). Black's answer at move 11 is rather rare nowadays, but perhaps
Xie was afraid of the possible variation (11 B-O4, W-O2, B-R2, W-R3, B-P2, W-N2), as the ladder was favorable for white.

The game was commented by Shuto Shun and the move reader was Suzuki Ayumi

The game proceed difficultly and the battle spreaded all over the board. After 343 moves, Xie Yimin won the game by 3.5 points.
Xie Yimin won the cup for two concecutive years. She also met Kobayashi Izumi in the final last year.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Kang Dongyun's Victory

The final game of the 22nd Fujitsu Cup had been played. The "old tiger" Lee Changho met the "new star" Kang Dongyun.

Kang Dongyun played white in this game, while Lee Changho played as black.

The opening up to move 9 was exactly the same as Lee Changho vs. Chang Hao game.

Board position up to move 55

Chang Hao decided to played hane at S13 in that game, while Kang decided to play hane from Q13 in this game. White's joseki choice in the game is rare. Tsugi at Q14 is usual
if white is in the bottom right, but it was black's corner in this game. White's move at 124 was good, since it established white's territories, while prevent black to jump into white's area.

Kang Dongyun won the game by 2.5 points. This seems to be Kang's first international title. Congratulation for him!

All Korean Finals

The semi-final matches of the 22n Fujitsu Cup had been held. Three Koreans and one Chinese compete
for two tickets for the final match.

Chang Hao (9 dan) from China met Lee Changho (9 dan) from Korea.

Chang Hao who played white in this game chose to play for influence.
Black's move at 11 is corect, since it allows black to make an approach while creating a ladder breaker at the same time. White started a ko fight at move 38 as he tried to made his group alive at the corner. For some reasons, I think it
is early for white to start a ko fight, since his threats damaged his positions a lot.

Chang Hao vs. Lee Changho, board position up to move 55

After 299 moves, Lee Changho won the game by 4.5 points. To be honest, I don't like white's joseki choice at move 10. The joseki has two main problems, ladder and ko threats.

Kang Dongyun (9 dan) from Korea met his countryman, Pak Yeonghun (9 dan).

The opening was interesting. White played for influence with building his position in the bottom. Black chose to play for territory, as up to move 55, he already had 3 corners in hand.

Kang Dongyun vs. Park Yeonghun board position up to move 55

White 70 us a good move. It is vital for white's moyo, as black can jump here without afraid of cut. Up to move 200, black resigned.

The champion will be decided at July 6th.