The 3rd game of the 35th Japanese Kisei Tournament was held on February 2nd and February 3rd in Toyama, Japan. The challenger Iyama Yuta (9 dan) defeated the Champion defender Cho U (9 dan) with 1 point and half and leads the game series 2 to 1.
The Kisei title is decided in a best of seven matches with 8 hours thinking time per person. The challenger comes from a large knockout tournament where the final is decided in a best of three matches. The Kisei is the most prestigious title with a first prize of about USD 225,000.
The rise of Iyama Yuta
Followers of the Japanese professional Go scene have been watching Iyama for a number of years. In 2005 he became the youngest Japanese professional Go player to win a title, when he defeated Kobayashi Satoru to take the Agon cup. He was promoted to 9 dan in 2009 after defeating Cho U to win the Meijin, which he successfully held against Takao Shinji in 2010. He was the youngest ever Japanese professional to be promoted to 9 dan, at the age of 20.
Two giants of Japanese Go
Both Cho U and Iyama Yuta had good performance in year 2010. Cho U had won 32 games and lost 16 games, and won prizes of ￥90 million Japanese Yen last year. He maintained the highest prize winner for 4 consecutive years in Japan. In addition, Cho U is the 2nd Go player after Cho Chikun in the Japanese history who has won the 7 most important Go titles in Japan: Kisei, Meijin, Honinbo, Judan, Tengen, Gosei and Oza. In 2010, Iyama Yuta won 34 games and lost 20 games and won ￥56 million Japanese Yen. Before the 35th Kisei Tournament, Cho U and Iyama Yuta played 25 games in total between them, and Cho U led the games 14 to 11. Starting from year 2008, they frequently met in important tournaments, and both regard each other as the most powerful opponent.
Game Three of the Kisei
The game started at 9:00am on February 2nd, and both parties played very quickly in the lower left corner. They suspended the game at move 88. On the 2nd day, they still played very quickly. At move 126, Cho U only used 4 hours and 26 minutes and Iyama Yuta used 6 hours and 3 minutes. They had a fierce battle in the middle of the game, and finally Iyama Yuta won the game with 1 point and half.
The 4th game will be held on February 17th and 18th in Hyogo Japan.
During the match
The game record
Who will take the title?
Who do you think will win this year’s Kisei title? Is Cho U on the back foot or can he fight back? Is Iyama set to become the top Japanese professional player? Can he challenge Korean and Chinese supremacy on the international Go scene?