Why Ichiriki Ryo is a new sensation – 1st GLOBIS Cup

Japan’s Ichiriki Ryo 7p won the 1st GLOBIS Cup World Go U-20, defeating Kyo Kagen 2p (aka Xu Jiayuan by his Chinese name) on May 11, 2014.


Ichiriki Ryo 7 dan  (left) plays Kyo Kagen 2 dan at the 1st GLOBIS Cup.

The finals of this new, under 20, international tournament were played at the Graduate School of Management, at GLOBIS University, Tokyo, Japan.

The runner up, Kyo Kagen, was born in Taiwan, but turned pro with, and plays for, the Nihon Kiin (Japanese Go Association).

China’s Lian Xiao 7p defeated his countryman Xia Chenkun 3p in the playoff for third place, and North America’s Gansheng Shi 1p (Shi Gansheng by the Chinese reading of his name) scored a win against Oceania’s Joanne Missingham 6p in the group stage.


Gansheng Shi 1 dan (North America) and Joanne Missingham 6 dan (Oceania) at the 1st GLOBIS Cup.

Lukas Podpera, who represented Europe, played two tough games against Lian Xiao (China) and Choi Jung 4p (Korea). Unfortunately for Lukas, both of his games ended in his resignation.


Choi Jung 4p (left) and Lukas Podpera.

A new hope for Japanese Go

In a hopeful sign for Japan’s Go fans, Ichiriki Ryo and Kyo Kagen defeated Lian Xiao and Xia Chenkun respectively – achieving an overall 2-0 score for Japan vs China in the finals of this tournament.


Ichriki Ryo 7 dan (left) defeated Lian Xiao 7 dan

It’s worth noting that, even though this event is only open to players younger than 20, Lian Xiao and Xia Chenkun are hardly pushovers. Both players have performed well other recent tournaments.

Because of this, the results from this new tournament have been a topic of some sensation in Asia.

The last time two players from the Nihon Kiin were in the final of an international tournament together was the 10th Fujitsu Cup – between Kobayashi Koichi 9p and O Rissei 9p. That was about 17 years ago.

A new international tournament in Japan

It was very unfortunate when Japanese sponsored tournaments disappeared from the international Go scene after the 24th and final Fujitsu Cup in 2011, so it’s excellent to see this brand new tournament appear with a Japanese sponsor.

Hori Yoshito, the Chairman of GLOBIS Corporation, said, “I was particularly concerned by the fact that international Go tournaments were no longer held in Japan; there used to be the Toyota & Denso Cup and the Fujitsu Cup. But they were discontinued one by one. Wondering what GLOBIS could do, I came upon the idea of initiating a world tournament to develop young players.”

Mr Hori also serves on the board of the Nihon Kiin and you can read more about his goals for Japanese Go and thoughts regarding the GLOBIS Cup on his blog (which is in English).


Joanne Missingham and Ichiriki Ryo review their game together.

The talented Ichiriki Ryo

Ichiriki Ryo was born in 1997 and turned pro in 2010. A few days ago, on May 16, he also won the 5th Okage Cup (under 30 tournament), against Seto Taiki 7p.

Ichiriki’s other achievements include winning the 4th Okage Cup, against Anzai Nobuaki 9p, in 2013, and fighting his way into the 39th Kisei League (2014).


From left: Lian Xiao, Ichiriki Ryo and Kyo Kagen receive their prizes at the 1st GLOBIS Cup.

Brief comments about the final

An Younggil 8p has provided some brief comments about the final between Ichiriki and Kyo. You can find the game record below or click here to download it:

Black started the game with the Micro Chinese Opening.

White’s approach from the side at 8 has been becoming more popular recently.

Black 11 was a new move. Ichiriki must have researched it before the final. White 12 was a light answer, but Black was alright up to 17.

White 20 and 22 were strong moves, but the result up to 35 was satisfactory for Black.

White 38 and 48 were nice haengma. White 54 was a good move, and the game was playable for both.

White 62 and 64 were questionable. Black 69 and 75 were a nice combination. White 76 and 80 were good responses to 75, and the game up to 94 was still ok for both players.

White 106 was solid, but too slow. It was a big mistake.

The game suddenly became good for Black after 107, and 113 and 115 were a very nice combination. The result up to 120 was good enough for Black, because Black secured a large territory from the top right through to the center.

Black’s 3-3 invasion at 121 was the proper move. Ichiriki wanted to simplify the game at this stage. Black 127 and 129 were a good choice against White’s double hane at 126, because the left side was more valuable.

Black 145 was very sharp, and White 146 was the losing move. White should have played at 147 – the game would have still been better for Black, but it would have lead to a long game.

Black 147, 149 and 151 were an excellent sequence, and White’s 4 stones on the left side were captured.


The GLOBIS Cup World Go U-20 is an international lightning tournament for 16 players aged 20 years and younger.

The players initially go through a group stage, similar to the Samsung Cup, or the FIFA World Cup. It uses a double elimination format, with 2 players progressing through each group.

The remaining 8 players compete in a simple knockout tournament (single elimination) to decide the winner.

The winner takes home 3 million Yen (about $30,000 USD at the time of writing) and the runner up receives 500,000 Yen.

The tournament is sponsored by GLOBIS University.


Europe’s Lukas Podpera (right) put up a good fight against China’s Lian Xiao.

1st GLOBIS Cup Participants

This year, the participants were as follows:

Japan: Ida Atsushi 8p, Ichiriki Ryo 7p, Kyo Kagen 2p, Sun Zhe 2p, Tsuruta Kazushi 2p and Koyama Kuya 1p.

China: Lian Xiao 7p, Xia Chenkun 3p and Li Qincheng 1p.

Europe: Lukas Podpera (winner of the U20 European Youth Championship).

Korea: Na Hyun 4p, Choi Jung 4p and Shin Jinseo 2p.

North America: Shi Gansheng 1p (aka Gansheng Shi).

Oceania: Joanne Missingham 6p (aka Hei Jiajia).

Taiwan: Lin Junyan 6p.

More 1st GLOBIS Cup photos

Game records

Ichiriki Ryo vs Kyo Kagen


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Ichiriki Ryo vs Lian Xiao


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Shi Gansheng vs Joanne Missingham


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Lukas Podpera vs Choi Jung


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)



David Ormerod, with Younggil An

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About David Ormerod

David is a Go enthusiast who’s played the game for more than a decade. He likes learning, teaching, playing and writing about the game Go. He's taught thousands of people to play Go, both online and in person at schools, public Go demonstrations and Go clubs. David is a 5 dan amateur Go player who competed in the World Amateur Go Championships prior to starting Go Game Guru. He's also the editor of Go Game Guru.

You can follow Go Game Guru on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Youtube.


  1. I’m following Ichiriki since 2013 and his amazing 16-win streak, in which he defeated several notable players (including O Rissei, Nakamura Shinya, Yamashiro Hiroshi, Michael Redmond, Cho Chikun, Kono Rin and Yuki Satoshi). His move are already so sharp that I can’ help thinking that he semés like Sakata’s reincarnation (who actually passed away in 2010, the same year Ichiriki turned pro… coincidence ? 🙂 ). I believe, after reviewing his games, that what makes him so strong is his vers good sense in fighting backed with extremely deep reading.
    Any comment by David or Younggil about his style and strong points ?

    • Younggil An says:

      Thanks Simon for your description about Ichiriki’s style of play.
      His playing is active and lively. I can see some of his sharp moves as well. He surely is one of rising stars in Japan, and I hope to see his name more in the international matches in the near future. 🙂

  2. Hello, thanks for the great news. I appreciate these good news for Japan, but it’s also nice to see there’s some international tournaments for young players 🙂

    Just in case it would interest someone else, 2 links (I was looking for this after reading that article ) : full results http://igokisen.web.fc2.com/wr/gc.html and game list http://www.go4go.net/go/games/tournament/167 .

    • Younggil An says:

      Thanks SimeonG for the links for more information.
      Yes, that’s nice to see this sort of new international tournaments for youngsters.

  3. How did japan start with 6/16 players? Is it just accepted now that the host country gets to stack the deck in their favor? Also, did China have a preliminary? Seems like they could have fielded a better team. I know Fan Tingyu 9d is under 20.

    • Younggil An says:

      In general, there’re more players from hosting country, so it’s common. I’m not sure if China had a preliminaries because I couldn’t find any report about that. I agree that China could make it a better team with world champions, but actually Lian Xiao, Xia Chenkun and Li Qincheng are already top level in China, so I don’t think they’re weak.

      • Ah, sorry you’re right. Xia Chenkun and Li Qincheng seemed like unknowns to me, searching around a little shows they’ve already beat a lot of top players. China has a few too many strong players to keep track of these days. Also, lian xiao is mislabeled in the article, he’s 7p now

  4. Mario Aguero says:

    I had the chance to meet Ichikiri in the las WAGC in Sendai

    He is a person with whom you can easily get along! with a nice sense of humor, and always willing to share his knowledge. He is very gifted and has a lot of patience to explain. When you explain your ideas he kindly explains the flaws and corrects the line. Then he turns to find a better way to achieve the goal or, simply tells you what should be the goal.

    Luckily, I must say most of the pros I met in the WAGC are like this, but he has his own charm.

    • Younggil An says:

      Thanks Mario for sharing your experience with us here.
      Ichiriki must be a kind and nice guy! 😀