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August 2nd, 2006

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Mr. Cosmic Go visits EGC

Takemiya Masaki, whose style of emphasising influence over territory led to the development of the “Cosmic Go” style, is one of the most popular Japanese Go professionals today. A member of the older generation, he is rarely seen challenging for titles these days, despite 22 title victories in his career.

However, Takemiya may be primed for a comeback. Less than a week ago, Takemiya beat the current Honinbo, Takao Shinji, to reach the final of the Tengen challenger decision tournament. His opponent in the final is Yamashita Keigo, the current Kisei. If Takemiya can defeat him, he should go into the title match against Kono Rin, 8-dan, full of confidence from victories against the title-holders of 2 of the top 3 Japanese title. On the other hand, Yamashita wants to reclaim the title Kono stole from him last year.

Yamashita is also close to challenging for the Oza title, where he will face Kobayashi Satoru in the final of the challenger decision tournament. And for the Yoda fans, the bad news is that Yoda lost his Gosei title 3-0 to Cho U in July, which means that Cho now holds 3 of the top 7 titles (along with the Oza and Meijin).

In the meantime, Takemiya is not holing himself up studying for his big match. On the contrary, he landed in Italy last night, where he’s attending the European Go Congress, which started on 29 July. There he’ll be giving a lecture and taking part in some of the other Go activities. In the main tournament of the EGC, there are 250 players, with just over a 100 at 2-dan level or better. 6 “above the bar” players are currently undefeated, with the 4 leaders being split 2-2 between Korean and Japan. The remaining 2 players are Rudi Verhagen of the Netherlands, and Dragos Bajenaru of Romania. Svetlana Shikshina and Alexandr Dinerchtein have both suffered 3rd round losses against Orientals.

Details of the congress, with links to the full results, are available at egc2006.blog.aruba.it.

Posted by Steve in Links, Pro News

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