This is a castle game between Honinbo Dosaku and Yasui Chitetsu from early Edo period Japan (17th century). Dosaku was acknowledged as having been stronger than practically all of his contemporaries, and was later referred to as a Kisei (Go Saint) along with Honinbo Shusaku.
The Honinbo is the oldest professional Go tournament in the world. Today it is, arguably, still the most prestigious title in Japan.
The Honinbo tournament is sponsored by Mainichi Shimbun (The Daily Newspaper) and the prize money is currently $32 million Yen.
During the Edo period, the Honinbo was a 'hereditary' title, which was bestowed upon the head of the Honinbo school, passed down from master to student. The last hereditary title holder, Honinbo Shusai, sold (some say gave) the title to the fledgling Nihon Kiin (Japanese Go Association) and it became a tournament title.
Typical of Japanese titles, the title holder is challenged by the winner of a league. The title is decided in a best of seven match. Each player is given eight hours of play over a two day period.
Iyama Yuta took his first Honinbo title on July 19, 2012, defeating title holder Yamashita Keigo by 7.5 points in the final game. The best of seven Honinbo title match, which started in May 2012, culminated in an exciting and unusual 7th game. Yamashita, playing black, built a large framework in the opening, while Iyama took solid territory…
Over the last few months, Iyama Yuta and Yamashita Keigo have been playing the 67th Honinbo title match in various locations throughout Japan. Yamashita won the 6th game on July 10, 2012 and the score now stands at three wins each. This brings the best of seven Honinbo title match to an exciting and decisive 7th game…
This is a commentary of the last game of the 66th Honinbo title match. Yamashita won first three games, but Hane won next three games and made it a tie at 3-3. In general, we could expect Hane to win from this position in a reverse sweep. Anyway, let’s review the final game of the 66th Honinbo final and see what happened.
Yamashita Keigo (9p) successfully defended the Japanese Honinbo title today, cutting short Hane Naoki’s recent winning streak. Going into this match Hane Naoki (9p) was the favorite to win the title, and for much of the final game it seemed that he would. However, Honinbo Dowa (Yamashita Keigo) is nothing if not tenacious. Even though the final game looked difficult for him, he waited for his opportunity to strike back.
The 66th Honinbo has turned out to be an exciting title series. The sixth match, which finished on July 14, was a spectacular game full of complicated fights. Earlier in the year, Yasmashita Keigo (9p) won the first three games of the title. However Hane Naoki (9p) fought back with three successive wins of his own. The 7th game will now decide who takes the prestigious Honinbo title.