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January 27th, 2006

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Yi Ch’ang ho gets 10-dan title, Yamada Kimio promoted to 9-dan

International:

The Oceanian qualifying phase of the Toyota-Denso Cup was held in Brisbane, Australia, last weekend, and this time the tournament was not won by Guo Yiming from Sydney. However, the tournament winner, 6-dan amateur Sena Lee was from abroad, so I suspect Guo, who came second due to SOS, will once again represent Oceania at the Africa/Oceania/Rest of Asia playoff for the Toyota-Denso World Oza.

Japan:

Yamada Kimio defeated So Yokoku in a Honinbo league match earlier this month to become the first player promoted to 9-dan via the Nihon Ki-in’s cumulative-wins system instituted in 2003. Yamada achieved the 200 necessary wins required earlier, but because only 90% of wins prior to the start of the system were taken into account as part of the transition, he had to gain more wins before getting the promotion.

Takao Shinji Honinbo became the 40th Japanese player (and the youngest so far at 29) to score 600 wins in professional games after defeating Yamada Kimio 9-dan in the 31st Japanese Meijin league. He is the player to achieve this the quickest – in less than 15 years. He also has the highest winning percentage of the 40 players, winning more than three quarters of his games. In the other Meijin League game played last Thursday, Sakai Hideyuki (7p) defeated Yoda Norimoto Gosei.

Yamashita Keigo won the challenger decision playoff for the Judan title against Takao Shinji yesterday. Japan’s Big Seven titles’ title matches are scheduled to start in a certain order, and with this victory, it will be the fourth successive title match Yamashita will be playing in, the third being the Kisei, where his second match against title-holder Hane Naoki will be played next Wednesday and Thursday at the Gero Hot Springs in Gifu prefecture.

Cho U and Ko Iso won their first round games in the Tengen challenger decision tournament, with Cho U defeating Michael Redmond. Meanwhile, Mimura Tomoyasu (9p) and Iyama Yuta qualified for the challenger decision tournament for the Oza title, and Cho Chikun Judan defeated O Meien in their second round game in the Gosei challenger decision tournament.

On Wednesday, the second semi-final of the Female Kisei challenger decision tournament was broadcast. Yoshida Mika (8p) despatched Kato Tomoko (5p), securing a victory by resignation. Yoshida’s final match against 3-dan Mannami Kana will be broadcast this Wednesday.

Finally, the first semi-final of the 25th NEC Cup will be held tomorrow, featuring Cho Sonjin (9p) and Takao Shinji Honinbo.

Korea:

Yi Ch’ang-ho claimed yet another title this week, becoming the first holder of the new Siptan title by defeating Pak Yeong-hun in the decisive third game of the final in just 154 moves. As holder of this title, the equivalent of the Japanese Judan title, Yi is entitled to call himself 10-dan while holding the title. Next month, Yi will face the Japanese Judan, Cho Chikun, in a new play-off between the two countries.

On Wednesday, Yi Ch’ang-ho also made another step to reclaim the title he lost to Ch’oe Ch’eol-han two years ago, by winning the first game of the title match of the 49th Kuksu. The second game of the best-of-5 match is on Thursday.

Song T’ae-kon has a chance to claim the Gisung title on Thursday, when he plays the second game of the title match against An Cho-yeong. Song leads 1-0 in the best-of-3 match.

In this week’s game in the 7th Maxim Cup, Yi Se-tol eliminated Seo Bong-soo. In next Wednesday’s game, Yoo Changhyuk faces Yun Seonghyeon (both 9-dans). Finally, in a first round game played in the 25th KBS Cup, Kim Myeong-wan (7p) was eliminated by 2-dan Kim Jinwoo.

China:

In the 20th Tianyuan challenger decision tournament, star teenager Zhou Ruiyang (3p) once again proved his mettle this past week, defeating China’s #5 Xie He and #7 Wang Lei to reach the semi-finals. Chen Yaoye (5p) also gave a sterling performance, defeating #8 Qiu Jun in the quarterfinals, after Qiu Jun eliminated Chang Hao in the 3rd round. China’s #2 and #6 respectively, Kong Jie and Luo Xihe also reached the semi-finals to be held on 17/2, but will face each other, guaranteeing one of the young stars a place in the final.

On his return from his victory in the Samsung Cup, Luo Xihe won his first round game in the 2006 CCTV Cup, which was delayed for the final. Taking White, he defeated 5-dan female, Xu Ying.

Taiwan:

The first preliminary tournament to decide who gets the sole unseeded berth in the 6-player knockout tournament to decide Taiwan’s representative at the CSK Cup was decided last Friday. Yang Zhude (5p) was awarded an “arbitration win” over Xiao Zhenghao (5p) – what exactly that means is not clear, but I will post more information if/as I get it. Today Yang faces Lin Zhihan (7p). The winner there faces Zhou Junxun (9p) in the semi-final, and that winner will compete with Chen Shien for the CSK Cup Taiwanese berth.

Finally, in pool 2 of the preliminary phase of the Tianyuan Huang Changyi (1p) beat Lin Shengxian (7p) in the first round.

Posted by Steve in Pro News

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