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History of Topics 2007

14 February

14 February

Yi Se-tol wins Toyota & Denso Cup

  The first big event of the new year was the best-of-three final in the 3rd Toyota & Denso Cup. So far no Japanese representative has won this Japanese-sponsored international tournament, which has a first prize of 30 million yen (about $247,000), so the hopes of local fans were riding on Cho U. Cho was actually the first Japanese representative even to reach the final.

  In the first game (6 January), Cho staged an upset to make a good start to the match, but Yi bounced back to take the second game (8 January). In the third (9 January), Cho was the one to make a good start, but Yi played very cleverly and resourcefully in the second half of the game and upset Cho's lead.

  This is Yi's second victory in a row in this tournament, which is held every two years. The first term was won by Yi Ch'ang-ho, so Korea is maintaining a monopoly.

Chang Hao wins Samsung Cup

  Chang Hao 9-dan of China has made a great comeback in the international arena recently after losing his place on international Chinese teams at one stage. In the final of the 11th Samsung Cup, he defeated his bitter rival Yi Ch'ang-ho 9-dan of Korea 2-0 to take the 200 million won (about $214,000) first prize. Chang also holds the 5th Ing Cup

  The games were played in Shanghai on 22 and 24 January. Chang won the first with white by resignation and the second with black by 3.5 points.

Korea wins 8th Nong Shim Cupe

  In the second round, held in Pusan from 22 to 27 November, Peng Quan 7-dan of China followed up his two wins at the end of the first round by defeating Imamura Toshiya 9-dan (Japan), Weon Seong-chin 7-dan (Korea), and Yamada Kimio 9-dan (Japan). That gave him five wins in a row, earning him a special bonus. Pak Yeong-hun 9-dan then won three in a row to conclude this round; he beat Peng, Takao Shinji 9-dan (Japan), and Chen Yaoye 5-dan (China), and also earned a bonus.

  In the final round, held from 6 to 9 February, Pak added another win, defeating Yoda Norimoto 9-dan of Japan. This loss eliminated Japan from the tournament. However, he lost to Kong Jie 7-dan of China in the next game.

  There were now two Chinese players left to one Korean. Yi Ch'ang-ho, who had only one loss in the first seven terms of this tournament, promptly disposed of Kong, setting up a showdown with China's top player, Gu Li 9-dan, in the final game. Yi also won this, so Korea took this tournament for the seventh time.

Pusan Round
  (22 Nov.). Peng Quan 7-dan (China) (B) beat Imamura Toshiya 9-dan (Japan) by resig.
  (23 Nov.). Peng (W) beat Weon Seong-chin 7-dan (Korea) by 3.5.
  (24 Nov.). Peng (W) beat Yamada Kimio 9-dan (Japan) by 3.5.
  (25 Nov.). Pak Yeong-hun 9-dan (Korea) (B) beat Peng by 1.5.
  (26 Nov.). Pak (B) beat Takao Shinji 9-dan (Japan) by 2.5.
  (27 Nov.). Pak (B) beat Chen Yaoye 5-dan (China) by 2.5.

Shanghai Round
  (6 Feb.). Pak Yeong-hun 9-dan (Korea) (W) beat Yoda Norimoto 9-dan (Japan) by 1.5.
  (7 Feb.). Kong Jie 7-dan (China) (W) beat Pak by resig.
  (8 Feb.). Yi Ch'ang-ho (Korea) (W) beat Kong by resig.
  (9 Feb). Yi (B) beat Gu Li 9-dan (China) by 2.5 points.

China wins Agon Kiriyama Play-off

  China has evened the score by winning the 8th term in this play-off between the winners of the Agon Kiriyama titles in Japan and China. Playing black, Liu Xing 7-dan of China defeated Cho U 9-dan of Japan by resignation and took the five million yen first prize.

Yamashita finally wins Oza title.

  Yamashita Keigo finally overcame his jinx in the Oza title. Both his challenges in 2004 and 2005 had been convincingly rebuffed by Cho U, but he showed greater resilience in his third successive challenge. Although he dropped the first game, he swept the next three to take the title. The deciding game was played on 7 December.

  Cho U had a bad time of it in the latter part of 2006, losing the Meijin and Oza titles and the Japan-China Agon Kiriyama Play-off, but there is little doubt he will be back.

Kono Rin defends Tengen

  Yamashita's attempt to regain the Tengen title that he lost last year did not fare so well. Kono Rin showed impressive strength in fending off his challenge at the cost of only one loss. Kono had earned promotion to 8-dan last year when he won this title and the successful defence earned him promotion to 9-dan.

  The deciding game was played on 14 December. Kono won the match 3-1.

Yamashita makes good start in Kisei

  With Kobayashi Satoru 9-dan fired up for his first Kisei challenge in a decade, everyone expected a very exciting encounter in the 31st Kisei title match. The games have certainly been exciting, but all three played to date have entered in resignations by Kobayashi. Yamashita has played very aggressively and has put a lot of pressure on the challenger. That pressure may have been the cause of an upset loss suffered by Kobayashi in the second game after he had made a good start.

Results to date:
  Game 1 (17, 18 Jan.). Yamashita (B) won by resig.
  Game 2 (31 Jan., 1 Feb.). Yamashita (W) won by resig.
  Game 3 (7, 8 Feb.). Yamashita (B) won by resig.

2nd round of Cheongkwanjang Cup completed

  Japan and China are both in good positions after two rounds of the 5th Cheongkwanjang Cup, an international women's team tournament. The pressure is on Korea, which is down to its last player.

  Players remaining are Yashiro Kumiko and Konishi Kazuko for Japan, Yi Min-chin for Korea, and Li Chunhua and Ye Gui for China.

Korean players dominate Dali Travel

  The Dali Travel Women's World Professional Go Tournament is a new international tournament sponsored by Dali Travel, a company headquartered in Dali, the second-largest city of Yunnan Province in China. The first four rounds were held from 25 to 29 November, and all four players reaching the semifinals were Korean representatives (though one of them was the Chinese-born Rui Naiwei). Victorious in the semifinals were Kim Hye-min, who beat Kim Eun-seon, and Pak Chi-eun 6-dan, who beat Rui.

Matsuoka wins Okan title

  Matsuoka Hideki 8-dan (B) defeated Yamashiro Hiroshi 9-dan by resignation to win the 47th Okan title. The game was played on 27 November.

Kato Keiko to challenge for Women's Meijin

  In the play-off to decide the challenger to Aoki Kikuyo 8-dan for the 19th Women's Meijin title, Kato Keiko 5-dan defeated Konishi Kazuko 8-dan of the Kansai Ki-in. The game was played in the Yugen Room, the top playing room at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo, on 24 January. Taking white, Kato won by 2.5 points.

  Kato has previously made only one challenge, unsuccessfully, for the 6th Women's Kisei title in 2003.

Yamada leads Meijin League

  Yamada Kimio 9-dan, on 3-0, has the provisional lead in the 32nd Meijin League, but Cho U Gosei is also undefeated, though he has played one game fewer.

  The new league got off to a start on 30 November. Ko Iso 7-dan (B) beat Mimura Tomoyasu 9-dan by resignation. Other results to date are given below.

(7 December) Yamada Kimio 9-dan (W) beat Yoda Norimoto 9-dan by 1.5 points.
(14 December) Kobayashi Satoru 9-dan (W) beat Hikosaka Naoto 9-dan by resignation.
(21 December) Sakai Hideyuki 7-dan (B) beat Yamashita Keigo Kisei by resignation.
(11 January) Yamada Kimio 9-dan (B) beat Ko Iso 7-dan by resig.
Mimura Tomoyasu 9-dan (B) beat Hikosaka Naoto 9-dan by 1.5 points.
(25 January) Cho U Gosei (W) beat Yamashita Keigo Kisei by half a point.
Yoda Norimoto 9-dan (W) beat Kobayashi Satoru 9-dan by 1.5 points.
(1 February) Cho U Gosei (B) beat Hikosaka Naoto 9-dan by 1.5 points.
Yoda Norimoto 9-dan (B) beat Sakai Hideyuki 7-dan by half a point.
Yamada Kimio 9-dan (W) beat Mimura Tomoyasu 9-dan by resignation.

Honinbo League

  Cho U Gosei took the early lead in the 62nd Honinbo League, with a perfect record in the first four rounds, but in the fifth round he suffered a painful loss to Hane Naoki 9-dan, so there are no undefeated players. Cho is still have a step ahead, but Cho Sonjin is hard on his heels with 3-1.

(23 November) Cho U Oza (W) beat Kobayashi Satoru by 3.5 points.
Hane Naoki 9-dan (W) beat O Meien 9-dan by resignation.
(30 November) Hane Naoki 9-dan (B) beat Kobayashi Satoru 9-dan by 3.5 points.
(14 December)  Cho Sonjin 9-dan (W) beat Yamada Kimio 9-dan by resignation.
So Yokoku 8-dan (W) beat Yoda Norimoto 9-dan by 2.5 points.
(21 December) Cho U Gosei (B) beat O Meien 9-dan by half a point.
(11 January) Yoda Norimoto 9-dan (W) beat Hane Naoki 9-dan by resig.
So Yokoku 8-dan (B) beat Kobayashi Satoru 9-dan by resig.
(18 January) Cho U Gosei (W) beat Cho Sonjin 9-dan by resignation.
O Meien 9-dan (B) beat Yamada Kimio 9-dan by resignation.
(8 February) Hane Naoki 9-dan (W) beat Cho U Gosei by resignation.
Yamada Kimio 9-dan (W) beat So Yokoku 8-dan by resignation.

Kobayashi Satoru scores 900th win

  Kobayashi Satoru scored his 900th win when he beat Yata Naoki 9-dan in the Tengen tournament on 21 December. Playing white, Kobayashi won by resignation. He became the 13th player in Japan to win 900 games. His record was 900 wins, 420 losses and 1 jigo, giving him a winning percentage of 68.2, which was actually the best record at this point of the thirteen. He became a professional in 1974, so it took him 32 years 8 months.

Umezawa to challenge for Women's Kisei

  In the play-off to decide the challenger for the 10th Women's Kisei, telecast on 7 February, Umezawa Yukari 5-dan (B) defeated Yashiro Kumiko 5-dan by resignation. She will challenge Mannami Kana 3-dan for the title.


  Kasai Koji earned promotion to 7-dan on 19 January.

  Kono Rin earned promotion to 9-dan for winning his second top-seven title, the 32nd Tengen, on 14 December.

The Redmond report

(16 November) Anzai Nobuaki 3-dan (W) beat Michael Redmond 9-dan by resignation.
(Preliminary A, 46th Judan tournament)
(30 November) Yoda Norimoto 9-dan (B) beat Redmond by 5.5 points.
(Final preliminary round, 20th Fujitsu Cup)
(14 December) Redmond (B) beat Ko Iso 7-dan by resignation.
(Preliminary A, 33rd Tengen tournament)
(21 December)  Komatsu Hideki 9-dan (W) beat Redmond by 3.5 points.
(Preliminary B, 63rd Honinbo tournament)
(18 January) O Rissei 9-dan (B) beat Redmond by 1.5 points.
(play-off of final preliminary round of 55th Oza tournament)
(25 January) Redmond (B) beat Sakai Hideyuki 7-dan by resig.
(33rd Tengen main tournament)
(1 February) Redmond (W) beat Tei Meiko 9-dan by 17.5 points.
(Preliminary B, 33rd Meijin tournament)
Michael has also played three games in the D League of the 2nd Daiwa Securities Cup Net Igo Open, as follows.
(21 January) Redmond (W) beat So Yokoku 8-dan by resignation.
(28 January) Mimura Tomoyasu 9-dan (W) beat Redmond on time.
(10 February) Iyama Yuta 7-dan (W) beat Redmond by resignation.


  The marriage of Kato Keiko 5-dan and Mizokami Tomochika 8-dan actually took place on 19 November.

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