Sunday, February 28, 2010

O Meien Hit 900 Victories

One of go veteran at Japan, O Meien made another history in his career by winning his 900 victories mark

O hit this milestone when he won his match from Ko Iso (7 dan) at the final prelim of the 35th Japanese Kisei.

So far, O Meien has 900 won, 504 lost, 2 draw, and 2 no match game, giving him 63.92% victory.

O Meien also won one seat in the 35th Kisei league with this victory. Another person who won his seat earlier is Kato Atsushi (8 dan). The other two seats will be the winner between Kiyonari Tetsuya vs. Ryu Shikun match and Yamashiro Hiroshi vs. So Yokoku.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Rui Naiwei vs. Cho Hyeyeon Again!

It seems that this two long time rival still want to fight each other. After their previous meeting in the 11th Female Myeongin, Rui Naiwei and Cho Hyeyeon will meet each other again in the final of the 15th Female Kuksu. Rui won her final seat earlier in February 2 by beating Lee Minjin, while Cho won her seat later, by beating Park Jiyeon by a small 1.5 margin.

Rui is the record holder for this tournament, since she won 6 out of 14 times this tournament being held, while Cho holds the record for being the most runner-up with 4 times record.

They have met each other in the final of Female Kuksu for 5 times before, with Rui won 4 of them. Let see whether Cho can take revenge of her previous lost in the Female Myeongin or not.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Cho U Rewrote the History

Cho U sets new records when he hit 700 wins milestone.

Cho's victory over Takemiya Masaki in the Honinbo League on 17 December was the 700th victory of his career. Cho is the 36th player to reach this landmark, but he rewrote the record book. At 29 years ten months, he is the youngest player to reach this landmark and also the quickest (15 years eight months) and has the highest winning percentage (73.4%). His tally was 700 wins, 254 losses, 1 jigo.

More About Fujisawa Rina

The February edition of English Nihon Kiin's report included an article about Fujisawa Rina. Here is what written in the English Nihon Kiin's website:

Fujisawa Rina, granddaughter of the legendary Fujisawa Shuko and daughter of Fujisawa Kazunari 8-dan, has set a new record for the youngest professional in Japan. On 6 February, Rina, who is in fifth form at elementary school, qualified as a professional 1-dan at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo. When she officially begins her career, on 1 April, she will be just 11 years six months old. This lowers Cho Chikun's overall record by three months and the women's record by nearly three years (it was set by current women's champion Xie Yimin when she was 14 years four months old)..
Rina took first place in an all-play-all league in which nine players competed for a single slot for a new woman professional. This was actually the third time she had competed in the qualifying tournament.
Rina learnt go at the age of 6 and made up her mind to become a professional when she was in first grade. Her ambition was to make it while she was still in elementary school. Every day after class her mother would take her to a go club in Shinjuku, where she would play until nine o'clock. Dinner was a lunchbox her mother prepared.
Her efforts paid off. In March last year, she took fourth place in the all-Japan women's amateur championship and became an insei in April. She had become a disciple of her late grandfather, who died in May last year, but did not have many opportunities to receive direct instruction. She is proud of her grandfather but says her style is different, favouring territory rather than thickness. Her ambition is to become known in her own right, not just as `Shuko's granddaughter'.
Rina will have to take days off school to play her tournament games. Her earnings from game fees will dwarf her schoolmates' pocket money.

Let see whether she will be one of the elite female player (or even an elite player?) or not.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Poll: Who Is the Next Japanese Kisei?

Who will win the 34th Kisei title?
Yamashita Keigo
Cho U free polls

Game Review (2) Break the Streak

It's been awhile since the last time I wrote about my game review (the last time it was August 2009), so since I got time to write about it, I'll post it now.

Recently I'm in a really nasty losing streak. This is the first game I won in a while.

Black:TigerBaduk(1k) White:Biondy(1k)

Move 1-50

Move 7 : It's more usual to play at C6, but I think this move is fine.
Move 11: I usually play the hiraki at thia position. Keeping the B4-C3 exchange in reserve.
Move 32: I think it's too heavy to directly connect the group, so I decided to jump to the center. Even if black cut at L17, I think I can still play for influence in the center, using these stones and my right side (but I'm not sure though)
Move 38: The last big point I think...
Move 43: All right. Game on!

Move 51-100

Move 80: I want to strenghten my group here. I'm not sure this is a good move for it.
Move 86: I should cross cut here.
Move 97: Up to here, I'm not satisfied with the result in the right side.

Move 101-150

Move 101: A good move, however the follow up is a mistake I think.
Move 103: Should extend to K11
Move 124: The result is good for me.
Move 140: I was too greedy here. Should just simply connect at K7

Move 151-200

Move 151: The proper choice. Black can't cut at O8, due to the follow up (WP7, BQ7,WQ8)
Move 185: I think black will still alive even if he decided to save the two stones. I think I'll lose the game if black decide to save the two stones.

Move 201-250
The rest is a simple endgame. Nothing tricky at the end game.

Move 251-300
White won the game by 6.5 points at move 301.


Can you name this strong player below?

EDIT: The answer is Kato Masao. He was one of the top Japan's player. Unfortunately, we can't see him play any game anymore. I wrote about him here

Yamashita Keigo Survived His First Kadoban

If there was any pro player that stressed out in February 18, then I bet no one was as stressed as Yamashita Keigo, as he faced his first kadoban in the 34th Kisei title match series.

Cho U who won the first three games only need one more victory to steal Yamashita's Kisei. However, Yamashita who played white this time, went all out and won the game.

Cho who played black, opened the game with a micro chinese opening. Yamashita chose to make a far approach by playing Q7 and answered by an aggressive move at Q9. The game then continued with an exchange. Cho gave up the corner for a thickness in the right side. Perhaps Cho was aiming for white's weak group in the center.

Position at the end of day 1.

Day 1 ended at move 60, with Cho U did the sealing move.

Cho U handled his sealing move to the referee.

Day 2 started with Cho played his sealing move at C2 which is a casual move under that position.

The game went difficultly from that point, but Yamashita Keigo handled the game well and won the game by 7.5 points.

Yamashita saved his chance!

With this, Yamashita saved his chance to defend his title. Fifth game will be played in February 25,26 at Izu, Shizuoka.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

It's a poem from Robert Frost. I like this poem. It's just so real. For my life and on the goban.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"Facebook" for Go Player

There is a new social network site specially designed to people who play go.

Visit it at

I can't say much yet about this site, since I just register and need some times to understand using it

My id there is Biondy. Add me as your friend ok.

Baduk's Charity for Haiti

Lee Changho and Lee Sedol played a charity game to help the Haiti's earthquake victims.
Of course this game drew a lot of attention, since this two long time rival were met for the first time, after their last game in the final of KBS Cup last year.

The event was the idea of Kingsfield Ltd, a company working on IT.

The players said that result doesn't matter in this game. They were concentrating in making an entertaining game to raise public's interest. Lee Changho won the game by resignation.

Download the game record here
Here are some photos from the event:

Foreign students of KBA along with the two players

Lee Changho

Lee Sedol

A friendly game

During the game

Friday, February 12, 2010

2010 Promotion

Here is the list of promoted players so far (February 2010)

Promotion based on the most money prize won last year (One top 6 dan and top 2 from 1 dan to 5 dan)
* Son Hideyo to 5 dan (Kansai Ki-in 2010-01-01)
* Shinji Suzuki to 2 dan
* Ida Atsushi to 2 dan
* Shiraishi Yuichi to 3 dan
* Ohashi Naruya to 3 dan
* Uchida Shuhei to 4 dan
* Mukai Chiaki to 4 dan
* Xie Yimin to 5 dan
* Suzuki Ayumi to 5 dan
* Mitani Tetsuya to 6 dan
* Yamamori Tadanao to 6 dan
* Shuto Shun to 7 dan

Based on cummulative victory:
* Suzuki Yoshimichi to 7 dan
* Tominaga Takeshi to 4 dan

Ida Atsushi started his career in 2009 and finished 18-5 last year, with 8 streak victory. Perhaps he will be one of the elite Japanese player in the future.

Ida Atsushi

Xie Yimin deserved the promotion, because she is currently the female grand slam, after winning Female Kisei title. She currently holds Female Meijin, Female Kisei, and Femle Honinbo, along with Daiwa Ladies Cup. An amazing achievement!!

Xie Yimin

Mukai Chiaki recently showed a good result. She won from ex Tengen title holder, Kudo Norio in Oza final preliminary. She will play Imamura Toshiya to decide who will advance to the main round of Oza. She will play Xie Yimin for Xie's Female Meijin. As of February 12, she is tied for second place in Japan by 4-0 result.

Mukai Chiaki

There are also several players who got their pro status. The most famous is Fujisawa Rina, the daughter of Fujisawa Kazunari. She passed the pro exam in 2010 when she was at grade 5 elementary school. She will be inaugurated at April 1st 2010, and at that time she will be 11 years and 6 months old, making her the youngest person in Japan to do so (surpassing Cho Chikun who became a pro when he was 11 years 9 months old). She learnt Go at the age of 6 and progressed under the tutelage of Hong Malgunsem (who last year became professional 1 dan at Kansai Kiin).

Fujisawa Rina

There is an article about her, here. (already a dead link)

Another female who got her pro status is Li Ting. Li was born in Beijing, but currently she lives in Austria with her husband. She is one of the top female European player. Li Ting is the second foreign player of Kansai Kiin.

Li Ting

Some other names who turned pro are Takeuchi Kosuke (open qualification tournament) and Tsuruta Kazushi (Chubu branch)

Heated Up in Honinbo League

The Honinbo League was heated up by Yamashita Keigo, after his victory from the league leader, Iyama Yuta.

Iyama was leading by 4-0 before losing to Yamashita who was 3-1 at that time.

Now 3 players are tied with 4-1 position. Takao Shinji, Yamashita Keigo, and Iyama Yuta. Takao Shinji has his only lost from Iyama Yuta, while Yamashita has his only lost from Takao Shinji. What a triangle!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Trivia: Blast From the Past

Can you name this famous go player?

Edit: It is Takemiya Masaki of Japan. Well, it was when he still has a lot of hair :)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Trivia Trivia

Can you name this strong female go player?

EDIT : It is Park Jieun of Korea who recently won Jeongganjang Cup for Team Korea. Congratulations!

Internet Trouble

As for the several last days, I'm having internet connection trouble. So many things happened at the go world, yet I can't cover or even see the kifu of it :(

Yamashita Keigo is facing kadoban to defend his Kisei title, as Cho U won the first three games.

Korea won the Jeongganjang Cup. Though China started great, Park swept the last stage by winning all the game. She surely showed why she got the 9p rank.

The second round of 2nd BCCard Cup is moving with Lee Sedol won his second round, Han Taehee lost his games very quickly to An joyeong (I've covered this before), and Japan is down to their last representative, Iyama Yuta. Let see what will happen next.

I hope the connection will be fixed soon :( I don't want to go to internet cafe every time I want to write in the blog or searching materials to write