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August 5th, 2005

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Meijin league completed – decision match to follow

Plenty of pro and top amateur news today.

With this year’s Gosei completed so quickly, attention shifts to the Meijin title. Yesterday saw the last round of the Meijin league completed, with Yamashito Keigo Tengen and Kobayashi Satoru 9d winning their games to finish tied 6-1 in the league. As a result, the challenger to Cho U Meijin will be decided in a playoff on Monday (8 Aug). 3 players are relegated from the league each year – this year 2 of them will be Ogata Masaki and Cho Sonjin, both 9 dan. O Meien and Yoda Norimoto Gosei will have a playoff to decide on the third relegated player. (Correction: Relegation is not decided by a playoff, but by previous performance in the tournament.) On the other hand, Sakai Hideyuki 7d and Yamada Kimio have retained their places in the league, Yamada defeating Yoda in his final game to stay in the league.

In the prelims for next years’ Honinbo, Hane Naoki Kisei has already qualified for the challengers’ league
by defeating Ishida Atsushi 9d. Amongst the younger pros, Kim Sujun 7d has qualified for the best-of-3 final of the Shinjin O King of the New Stars final, where he will face rising young star Iyama Yuta 4d.

In Korea, Yi Ch’ang-ho (Lee ChangHo) defeated Yi Seong-chae 7d to win League A of the Korean Prices Information Cup. This secures him a position in the league next year, while he will join Weon Seong-chin 6d (who eliminated Yi Se-tol) and Pak Yeong-hun Kisung in the final stage, along with the winner of League C.

At the European Go congress in Prague, the European Open is being dominated by top Korean amateurs, many of them inseis verging on qualifying as pros. Of the top 10 after the 8th round (of 10) of the tournament, 8 of the top 10 players in the tournament are Korean, 1 (Zhao Pei) is a Chinese representing Germany, and the final spot goes to Alexandr Dinerstein, who led the tournament until losing to Kim Se Young in the previous round. Ironically, although of Russian descent, Alexandr is also a 1-dan pro at the Korean Go institute. So is 14th placed Svetlana Shikshina. Her younger brother, Ilja Shikshin, is still an amateur but is placed 12th at the moment. Their father Valerij 4d runs the top Go school in Russia, and both of them as well as Alexandr were students there. Just around the top 10 in the tournament are a number of Westerners – besides the ones mentioned above, there is Catalin Taranu tied for 10th (a Romanian who is a 5-dan pro at the Japanese Go Institute), French mathematician Pierre Colmez, Cristian Pop and Andrej Kulkov.

This past weekend at the European Go Congress also saw the European Masters Championship which usually decides who represents Europe at the pro-amateur international tournaments. Here Alexandr Dinerstein won the tournament, and chose to represent Europe at next year’s Fujitsu Cup. Catalin Taranu was on track for second place but apparently made a “20-kyu” mistake in a vital game, thus losing second place to Czech Radek Nechanicky, who had beaten him in the first round. Radek will therefore represent Europe at the LG Cup.

And of course, tomorrow sees the start of the 9-day United States Go Congress in Tacoma, Washington.

Posted by Steve in Pro News

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