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 Post subject: Re: Amazon army
Post #361 Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2022 1:20 am 
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pajaro wrote:
So the final will be Fujisawa vs. Nakamura, next week (day 8). I still think that Rina is favorite, but the odds are closer than in last year's female Meijin match. We'll see. The winner will challenge Ueno Asami in a best of 3 match.


Day 8 came and the game was played.

It's actually haya-go. I didn't know but players have only 30 seconds per hand, with 1 minute ten times. NHK style. Last time they played, it was also haya-go, in an unofficial game (Fumakilla tournament). Rina won that day.

What about today? Today, the winner was the one with the quiet voice. Sumire bested Rina after killing a big dragon. It was a tense fight, including a multi-step ko, some tenuki, some moyo building... and accurate reading. Surprising with those time limits.

With winter time, to me it's as if they play one hour earlier, and with so fast games... when I want to take a look it's already over, and youtube is already offering me several videos with analysis. Big spoiler...

Well, Sumire will challenge for a title for the second time (she played the final game of the Saikyo, but it wasn't a challenge). This time, against Ueno Asami. Also best of 3, against another player known for her aggressive style. So far, they are 1-4 in official games, so odds are that Ueno will keep the title. But I'd say it's 60-40. The match will begin on January 19th and, like Hikaru, "she could be stronger by then".

I hope so.


Last edited by pajaro on Thu Dec 08, 2022 3:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #362 Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2022 2:43 am 
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Has anybody been keeping tabs on Sumire's promotion status?

She needs 50 wins to get to 4-dan (which will match Asami). Her record this year is 45-22 and there will be some games to add from end of 2021 (she was promoted in October 2021). The usual problem applies: which games count.

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Post #363 Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2022 2:44 am 
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Has anybody been keeping tabs on Sumire's promotion status?

She needs 50 wins to get to 4-dan (which will match Asami). Her record this year is 45-22 and there will be some games to add from end of 2021 (she was promoted in October 2021). The usual problem applies: which games count.

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Post #364 Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2022 3:01 am 
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If someone keeps track, it's Silviu22.

50 wins is a lot, so it's still going to be a while, unless...
unless she can get promotion based on prize money. The top and second top winners of the year get a promotion. And, small detail, you need to be the same rank the whole year. To be clear: if you are promoted based on wins in March (for example), even if you win a lot, you can't be promoted based on money the same year. That's because players who are promoted early in the year are more likely to be promoted again by the end of the year.

But Sumire was promoted on 2022, not 2021, so she can't be promoted based on prize money. She will have to make a good 2023.
Also interesting: how far is Asami from 5-dan? She will end the year with the most wins (or very close), she won the Wakagoi, an international title...
And Rina, who qualified for Gosei, Judan and Tengen?

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Post #365 Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2022 4:39 am 
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Here's an unusual sign that women are consolidating their place in Japanese go.

Top qualifier to be a pro from next April (2023) was 14-year-old Kuwabara Itsuki. He is the son of Kuwabara Yoko 6-dan and a former Women's Honinbo, who taught him. English fans of a certain age will remember her as Inori Yoko. She visited the UK with Umezawa Yukari back in the mists of time.

It is very common to have a father who is a pro. It is fairly common to have two parents who are pros. It is, however, pretty rare to have just a mother as one's teacher.

In passing, quite a few Europeans will know the Korean amateur Cho Seok-pin (=Cho Seok-bin), and so will be happy to hear he has just produced his first pro in Japan: 22-year-old Ikawa Ryugo. He thus joins Hong Malk-eun Saem as Korean amateurs who have become successful Koreans teachers who have established themselves in Japan (but Hong, of course, has since advanced to pro status himself).


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 Post subject: Re: Amazon army
Post #366 Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2022 7:35 am 
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John Fairbairn wrote:
In passing, quite a few Europeans will know the Korean amateur Cho Seok-pin (=Cho Seok-bin), and so will be happy to hear he has just produced his first pro in Japan: 22-year-old Ikawa Ryugo. He thus joins Hong Malk-eun Saem as Korean amateurs who have become successful Koreans teachers who have established themselves in Japan (but Hong, of course, has since advanced to pro status himself).


I watched some of Cho's Kisei game last week, he lost this time to a 4 dan but a few years ago he beat 8 and 9 dan to go 2 - 1 in the preliminary. I looked up his school's / club's website and I remembered that he already claimed students becoming pros. It says "In 2013,2017,2019 and 2021 five of my students became professionals in the Nihon-kiin and the Kansai-Kiin" right now at http://www.nakamurahoninbou.com/#english


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Post #367 Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2022 5:24 pm 
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Quote:
It says "In 2013,2017,2019 and 2021 five of my students became professionals in the Nihon-kiin and the Kansai-Kiin"


It looks like I missed the "teacher" detail when those pros were first announced (probably because the teacher was an amateur). But I can't actually identify them all. Two seem to be Terada Shuta and Suzukawa Natsumi.

But Terada says his teacher was Ishida Atsushi (using the standard 門下 - "belonging to the school of" where the teacher is a pro). Suzukawa does, however, refer to Cho as her "instructor" 師事, which term tends to be used of amateur teachers (e.g. Kikuchi Yasuro.) Furthermore, the term 師事 was also used in Ikawa's case, and it was made plain that Cho is an amateur.

In any case, it's still kudos to Cho.

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Post #368 Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2022 11:07 pm 
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John Fairbairn wrote:

It is very common to have a father who is a pro. It is fairly common to have two parents who are pros. It is, however, pretty rare to have just a mother as one's teacher.



I thought Jo Bunen 1-dan would be another example for this. Her mother is Kin En 4-dan, Chinese but pro in Japan. Jo's teacher, at least officially, is Mitsunaga Junzo 6-dan. They have a youtube channel together, by the way.

I said "officially" because, while I don't doubt that Mitsunaga was her teacher, I don't know how Jo was raised. So it's quite possible that her mother played some role in Jo's training as a go player. But the interesting point now is that the mother didn't take her daughter's training.

And, Hikaru's official teacher is Morishita 9-dan, but we all know the truth... ;-)

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Post #369 Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2022 11:23 am 
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I didn't know hong had become pro, wow!

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Post #370 Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2022 12:36 pm 
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I just noticed something that some people might be interested in...

Right now, in goratings.org, Ueno Asami is scoring 3269 and Fujisawa Rina, 3259. Surpassed!
Rina has had a few defeats, one of them to Sumire, and hast lost some points. Asami is always up, up, although she hasn't reached the top level of Rina.

The next Amazonian is, no surprise, Sumire, at 3129 and rising.
And Ueno Risa just broke the 3000 barrier.

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Post #371 Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2022 10:33 am 
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Today, last game of the year for many players, not all.

Fujisawa Rina lost to Ichiriki in the Teikei, finishing 2-3 in the league. Another player was Kotaro Tengen. Hard to win against those two. But not impossible, Rina has one win against Ichiriki. She still has one more game this year, against Ida Atsushi in the Gosei. Hard again.

Ueno Asami beat Cho Chikun in the last prelim of the Tengen, and made it to the main event for the 2nd time. I watched the game, and I still don't understand why Cho resigned so early. There were some exchanges that I probably don't understand. With this win, Ueno will finish the year 54-20, most likely top winner.

In the female Meijin, Sumire beat Nyu. Sumire is now 2-0 and Nyu is 1-1. Sumire improves her record of last year (48-22 against 43-18). gotoeveryone.k2ss gives her 52-24 as of 2022/12/15, I don't know why. Nyu finishes 38-19, also better than 34-17 last year.

What else happened...

Kato Chie 2-dan won Jo Bunen 1-dan in the last prelim of the Shinjin O, and will play the main event, joining other 5 Amazonians. Or 6 if Ueno Risa makes it.

Risa Ueno 2-dan, btw, beat Suzuki Ayumi in the female Meijin league, 3 days ago. Rina is now 2-1 and Suzuki is 0-3.

Moro Arisa 2-dan beat Xie Yimin in the prelims of the female Honinbo. This tournament has just started, a long way to go. But I like that younger players get some wins.

And last but not least, Okuda Aya got a win in the kisei against Mitani Tetsuya 8-dan. This one has just started too.


With only the Fujisawa-Ida game remaining, the year is over.

Would you like to make some bets for 2023? Here I go:

Sumire is promoted to 4-dan based on prize money


Ueno Asami takes the female Honinbo from Fujisawa


Sumire gets to top 4 in Shinjin-O


Fujisawa gets to B league in Kisei


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Post #372 Posted: Mon Dec 26, 2022 1:18 pm 
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Konishi Kazuko has just won her first title. Despite being 8-dan, the highest level so far for women in Japan, she has never won a title before (according to the Nihon Ki-in), and has rarely been even a runner-up.

Actually, she has won an event before, and that was the TV Osaka Cup in 2006, but that was only for women in the Kansai area, so presumably is being disregarded. The national event she has just won also restricted entry, being for women of 45 and over, but still... This was the 2nd Teikei Female Legends Cup. She beat Kuwabara Yoko in the final (Konishi has just turned 50).

She is a delightful person, and to mark this belated achievement, I present below an interview with her in 2006 that GoGoD commissioned from Pieter Mioch (himself a former insei). Despite being given here, I ask you treat this still as copyright material. Editorial notes in [ ].

QOUTE
I STARTED playing go at 8, a little bit late compared to the average pro, I guess. My father taught me, he was about 1-dan and it took me a year to overtake him. Even before I learned to play go I had always loved playing games, especially card games. We often would play poker at home, so at first go was just another game for me.

Thanks to my interest and curiosity, I picked up the basics naturally and I started having pro aspirations from almost the first year I ever touched the stones. I remember feeling strongly attracted to the unlimited possibilities I could sense from the start. The patterns changing all the time, each new game is different from the previous one. Go was like a kaleidoscope to me, beautiful and highly attractive, I couldn't get enough of it.

My early teens were a hard time for me. When I was 12 my father passed away in an infamous plane incident*. I'm not sure why but I feel that those hard times had little influence on my go career. I was absorbed by the game and always have kept at it, rain or shine.

[* National flight 123 from Tokyo to Osaka lost part of its tailplane and crashed on 12 August 1985 killing over 500 people. It was the world's worst air accident involving a single airliner.]

I became pro trainee, or insei, at 13 and made pro at 16. Actually this was two years later then I had hoped, and to tell the truth, I probably could have made it earlier but as I said, I loved playing card games with other insei and young pros perhaps a little too much.

By the way, I quit school after the 9th grade in order to dedicate my life to go, to becoming a pro. It was a little bit scary to not go to high school, as it was not yet clear if and when I would actually make pro.

Because of the popular comic Hikaru no Go the image of the game has changed quite a bit - for the better, I mean. But when I was in 9th grade and ready to enter the pro ranks, most of my friends and classmates did not know about go at all. I was too shy to talk about go. Now I sometimes feel I missed a lot by not attending high school. If I could do it again I would like to experience a normal school life and go to college.

[Konishi (born in 1972) became a pro at the Kansai Ki-in in 1989. Her promotion was rapid. By 1995 she was 5-dan. She reached 7-dan in 2001, and her present grade of 8-dan in 2004. Pieter asked her why she chose the Kansai Ki-in. Konishi's recent results had included being runner-up in the 2005 Women's Saikyo and the TV Osaka Cup. She had won several prizes for popularising go, as well as for outstanding tournament results.]

The Kansai Ki-In started out as this thing with Hashimoto Utaro, you know, but I honestly think that today's pros do not think about that too much. Of course the memory of Hashimoto sensei is still very much alive at the Kansai Ki-in but there are at the same time plenty people here who do not see the need for two pro go associations in Japan, the Nihon Ki-in and the Kansai Ki-in. I happen to be a member of the Kansai Ki-in because my mentor, Mizuno Hiroshi 9-dan, belongs to this group. Other than that, there is no special reason why I should have elected to be a pro at the Kansai Ki-in.

Tournaments and games are all mixed now and pros from the Kansai and Nihon Ki-in play each other every week. We also have regular study groups together and in my eyes, we are one big happy family. Personally I'd like to see the two groups find a way to merge and become one again, as it was before the split off.

When looking at the current titleholders it is, however, not necessary to ask where the strongest pros in Japan are located. Anybody can see that the Nihon Ki-in pros are dominant. And yes, of course we are a bit envious of that. But, hey, there are a number of top flight pros here, too. It is not as if the Kansai Ki-in is completely without chance or has never shown the go world what it's made of.

[And her most memorable game?] It was eight or nine years ago I think. I was doing well in the women's Kakusei tournament and kept on winning, earning myself a place in the finals! I remember very clearly that with each win the tension inside me kept growing.

When I met Kobayashi Chizu for the final match I was totally stressed out, without even having played a single stone! I mean, it was like there was this big billboard inside my head saying: "You are one win away from taking the title. YOU are ONLY a SINGLE WIN away from WINNING this TITLE."

Well, I totally buckled under the pressure, I guess this was my lack of experience. Maybe it is just the kind of person I am.

Do I still know the moves played in that game? Ha, ha, well I certainly won't forget the result and the vague memory of having played a terrible game but you know what, I cannot even think of the first move played!

As a matter of fact, and I think that among pros I might be unique in that respect, most of the time I forget the games I play within a week! It's just that my memory is like a sieve. I never remember much of my own games afterwards. Maybe I just have only a limited memory storage capacity to begin with.

Ah, you know about the exchange games we played with pros from Seoul, do you? Well, it wasn't held last year and I think we had only two matches before that. We had picked out six top pros to meet the Korean pros but we were slaughtered in every game, it was humiliating.

I think that was the reason the sponsor lost interest in holding the event last year and I'm afraid the match will not be repeated this year as well.

But the 2005 European Go Congress held in Prague was wonderful. I always had wanted to visit such a grand event and, combined with a trip to Europe, I found it fascinating.

The congress itself might have been a bit of an excuse for an overseas holiday. Interacting with foreign go players, however, meant something of a culture shock and, as my knowledge of the English language is almost nil, it was not easy to get around. For example, I was forced into ordering only the items on the menu I had had before and knew what it was.

The culture shock? Well, people's attitudes are so completely different than what I'm used to. I was so surprised that while I was doing game analyses to show fans about certain moves almost nobody seemed to be remotely ready to take my word for it! I felt under siege most of the time, something I am far from used to when doing similar game commentaries in Japan. It was kind of freaking me out at first.

At the same time, though, I couldn't help but admire the informal and energetic way the people went about discussing go games - from a safe distance, though!

It also came as a surprise to see so many strong Korean students participate. I mean, here in Japan, people who can spend two weeks away from home are usually retired elderly people who have enough free time and don't need to worry about the cost of it all.

The Koreans were all very young. I don't know how they can manage that. Perhaps they had a sponsor or something. I played some games with Yoon Kwang-sun and was beaten a couple of times too.

During my stay in Prague, and while following the main tournament from the sidelines, I actually thought about forgetting teaching for a while and participating myself! If I did participate, as a Japanese born pro I think this would be a first, so I was a little bit worried how the Ki-in would react.

Come to think of it perhaps it would not be such a big deal as there are already pros participating - Dinerchtein, Catalin [Taranu], and so on. Looking at the field of the 2005 congress, however, I'm not so sure I could win. I'd like to find out!

Other impressions from the EGC 2005? Well, I haven't got much experience travelling abroad and I found it very hard to correctly guess people's age. Everybody usually turned out to be much younger than I had thought. When I was talking with this one couple, for example, I asked the girl, "Is he your father?" Well, it turned out that he was her husband, and younger than his wife at that!
UNQUOTE

She deserves a medal, doesn't she?


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 Post subject: Re: Amazon army
Post #373 Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2023 3:37 am 
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In the grey area of promotions by prize money, Jo Bunen has been promoted to 2-dan.

Her record in 2022 was 18-16, and I don't know how many of these games were valid for promotion, or how far she was from promotion based on wins (30). She became pro in 2021 (April, as usual), so 2022 has been her first whole year as a 1-dan. Does this give and idea of how hard it is to be promoted based on prize money? Or how many strong 1-dan are out there?

Not to me. :lol:

Also, Fujisawa Rina is now 6-dan. We know her a lot better, plays in the kisei C league, final prelims of the big tournaments... makes more sense.


Last edited by pajaro on Fri Jan 06, 2023 11:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #374 Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2023 6:16 am 
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Quote:
Her record in 2022 was 18-16, and I don't know how many of these games were valid for promotion, or how far she was from promotion based on wins (30). She became pro in 2021 (April, as usual), so 2022 has been her first whole year as a 1-dan. Does this give and idea of hard it is to be promoted based on prize money? Or how many strong 1-dan are out there?


Jo has had quite a few good results in the Big 7, against men. Early in the year she beat Rin Kaiho, she had a good run in the Oza as I recall, beating at least a 6-dan, and I think in the Tengen she beat Fujiwara Kazunari 8-dan. Despite that, she was only second in the 1-dan rankings.

But most of all she had a win in the Kisei. I assume that even one good result in this event could skew the standings a lot, because they pay so much more per game. In general, where women have achieved some success in the Big 7, it has been at the Little Big Horn end of the list (Tengen, Judan, Gosei), so Jo's Kisei success stands out a little in any case.

The level of competition among the 1-dans may be a factor. There's about 30 of them. Most have negative records, and some seem like "permanent" 1-dans. These include the foreigners. One who stands out, though, is another member of the Amazon Army, Takao Mari. She has a very good win record, but maybe not enough in the way of high-profile wins.

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Post #375 Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2023 4:33 am 
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2022 was a truly bumper year for the Army. Ueno Asami topped the table of game winners for the second year in a row for Nihon Ki-in players, winning 54 out of 4496 official games played. But she lost 20 and so was only in 5th place in the less highly regarded table of best winning percentages.

In the more prestigious number-of-games-won table, it was another lady in second place - Fujisawa Rina, now 6-dan. Her score was 51-22. AND. AND! Nakamura Sumire was in third place on 48-22. To rub salt in the men's wounds, Nyu Eiko was in 8th place with 38-20 and Ueno Risa was 10th with 36-15. So, with five out of the top ten places occupied, can we say the women have at last achieved some sort of equality? Well, no. They've left the men in the shade, haven't they?

Top man, incidentally, was Ichiriki Ryo (47-21) and he was followed by Shibano Toramaru (44-19), the Kisei and Meijin respectively.

Top of the winning-ratio table was Koike Yoshiro with 41-13, and top of the winning-streaks table was Kyo Kagen with a 16-win streak.

If you look at the table of win-loss results for ALL players, it is noticeable how very many do very badly. 14 players scored no wins in the whole year (and three with 15 losses), 14 scored just 1 win, 24 just 2 wins and so on. That's out of under 240 active pros.

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Post #376 Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2023 1:35 am 
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In the female Meijin league, today Sumire beat Suzuki Ayumi. Sumire is 3-0 and looks like the game with Ueno Asami will decide the challenger. Surprising, this is Sumire's first win against Ayumi. They were 0-3 till now. Ayumi was the last strong Amazonian that Sumire hadn't beaten yet. Is it Major Nakamura now? I don't know about military ranks :D

In another surprising game, Ueno Asami won in the first prelim of the Kisei against Namiki Hibiki 1-dan. I thought that Asami was losing, and then she started a ko that (again, I thought) Namiki could have avoided. In the end, a comfortable win for her (W+6.5). Probably her improvement in yose made this possible too.

And, BTW, Takao Mari will be tomorrow be 2-dan. No promotion based on money for her this year, but who needs it :razz:

Next big event, the female kisei match. Ueno vs. Nakamura, starting next 19th.

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Post #377 Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2023 10:46 am 
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The female Kisei will be broadcasted in Youtube, for everybody if I am not mistaken.

First game, here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ki20lwsevLs

Jan 19th, at 12:50 Japan time.

Remember that time rules are HHK style, so comments will be as they play.

First game, comments by Ishida Yoshio.

AND, second game, by Cho Chikun. :bow: For the first time, we/I will know what he thinks about Sumire. Years ago, he said about Rina "we expect a lot from her". Let's see what he will say now.


Last edited by pajaro on Thu Jan 19, 2023 12:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #378 Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2023 12:05 pm 
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pajaro wrote:
The female Kisei will be broadcasted in Youtube, for everybody if I am not mistaken.

First game, here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ki20lwsevLs

Jan 19th, at 12:50 Japan time.

Remember that time rules are BHK style, so comments will be as they play.

First game, comments by Ishida Yoshio.

AND, second game, by Cho Chikun. :bow: For the first time, we/I will know what he thinks about Sumire. Years ago, he said about Rina "we expect a lot from her". Let's see what he will say now.


For Fujisawa we learnt she had go instincts, which makes sense because the only way her grandfather could win titles while blundering the way he did was if he had super instincts.

For Sumire we need to know one thing: if she is a worthy successor of the Honinbo house he heads!

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Post #379 Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2023 12:41 pm 
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Elom0 wrote:
For Sumire we need to know one thing: if she is a worthy successor of the Honinbo house he heads!


Honinbo Sumire is coming?

How nice if Iyama had been the commentator of the 3rd game.

(and how unlikely)

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Post #380 Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2023 12:36 pm 
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pajaro wrote:
The female Kisei will be broadcasted in Youtube, for everybody if I am not mistaken.

First game, here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ki20lwsevLs

Jan 19th, at 12:50 Japan time.


The game ended with Ueno's victory.

Sadly for Sumire, the game followed a familiar pattern: she began the game with some advantage, but then Asami fought back and Sumire didn't have a chance any more. I feel that Sumire needs to improve her mental strength (even more). But that will come with experience. Like this game.

Next game, in a week, 26th. Commented by Cho Chikun, but sadly, not available for free. :-? Let's hope we can read some of his thoughts after the game.

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