On November 12 and 13, 2012, almost three months after the title match started, Yamashita finally grasped the decisive game and successfully defended his Meijin title for the first time. As if trying to prove a point, Yamashita started a severe attack around move 60 and skilfully carried the momentum from one attack to another, winning convincingly in just 138 moves…
The Meijin tournament, originally sponsored by the Yomiuri newspaper, first started in 1962. Numbering for the tournament restarted at at 1 in 1976 because the sponsor changed to the Asahi newspaper.
The Meijin is one of the 'big titles' on the Japanese domestic circuit. As with all Japanese titles, the defending title holder plays a series of games with the challenger, who wins the right to challenge by playing through a league.
Entry to the league is dependent on past performance in the league or through the preliminary rounds.
The Meijin tournament should not be confused with the historical Meijin title, which was held by the strongest player of the day. At that time, the Meijin was also the only player ranked 9 dan in all of Japan.
Yamashita Keigo defeated Iyama Yuta to win the 36th Meijin title on October 28, 2011. Yamashita, who was the challenger, took the title from Iyama in 6 games, winning the series 4-2. Iyama Yuta first won the title from Cho U in 2009 and defended it against Takao Shinji in 2010. However, he couldn’t stop Yamashita Keigo, who now holds the Japanese Meijin and Honinbo titles simultaneously.
The 24th Mingren, 36th Meijin and 39th Myeongin continue in China, Japan and Korea. As of October 23, 2011, the Mingren and Meijin are both in the title match stage while quarterfinalists are being decided in the Myeongin. The much anticipated game between new pro, Cho Insun, and veteran, Lee Changho, took place on October 18, with Lee defeating Cho by resignation…
The three Meijin tournaments have continued in Asia and history has been made. On September 20, 2011, 7 dan amateur player Cho Insun defeated Park Jeonggeun (4p) in the Myeongin tournament and won himself a promotion to professional 1 dan! This is the first time a Korean amateur has become pro in this way, because it has only been possible to do so for a short time. Read more in the article.
Each of the three Meijin tournaments have started in China, Korea and Japan. Let’s see how things stand as of September 14, 2011. In Japan, Yamashita Keigo (9p), current Honinbo title holder, is challenging Iyama Yuta (9p) for the Meijin title in a best of 7 games match. In China, the challenger match for the Mingren title is being played between Kong Jie (9p) and Li Zhe (6p). In Korea, the Myeongin is being played as a knock out tournament between 16 players for the first time.