A tale of three Meijins

Each of the three Meijin tournaments have started in China, Korea and Japan. Let’s see how things stand as of September 14, 2011.

This year will be the 34th Meijin in Japan, the 39th Myeongin in Korea and the 24th Mingren in China. See Sensei’s Library for an explanation of the history and numbering of the Japanese Meijin title.

The Japanese Meijin

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.

Iyama Yuta (9 dan, left) and Yamashita Keigo (9 dan) at the 36th Meijin.

The first game was played on September 1 and 2 with Yamashita winning by 5.5 points as black.

Game 2 is underway in Kyoto at the moment. The first day of two was played today (September 14, 2011).

Should the title match reach 7 games, the final decider will take place in early November 2011.

Iyama has held the Meijin since 2009, where he defeated Cho U 9p 4-1. In 2010, Iyama held the title convincingly, defeating Takao Shinji 9p 4-0.

The Chinese Mingren

In China, the challenger match for the Mingren title is being played between Kong Jie 9p and Li Zhe 6p, in a best of 3 games. On September 13, Kong won the first game by resignation as black.

Li Zhe (6 dan, left) plays Kong Jie (9 dan) in the 24th Mingren challenger match.

The winner of the challenger match will take on Mingren holder, Jiang Weijie 5p in November 2011. Jiang became Mingren holder in 2010 by defeating Gu Li 9p, who held the title from 2004 to 2009.

Park Younghun (9 dan), Korean Myungin and World Meijin title holder.

The Korean Myeongin

In Korea, the Myeongin is played under a different format. Prior to this year, it was played using a league format, with semi finals played as a best of 3 games and the final played as a best of 5 games.

This year, it will be a knock out tournament between 16 players, with the final played as a best of 5 games. The first round has already seen a major upset, with Park Junghwan 9p (recent 24th Fujitsu Cup winner) losing to Baek Hongseok 8p.

Today reigning Myeongin and recent World Meijin winner, Park Younghun 9p defeated Kang Dongyun 9p by resignation as white. With this win, Park advances to the quarter finals of the knockout tournament, along with Baek Hongseok, Na Hyun 1p and Lee Taehyun 1p.

Park Younghun (left) plays Kang Dongyun (9 dan) in the 39th Myungin.

The next chapter

What do you think will happen in the next chapter of the tale of three Meijins? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think.

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About Jing

Jing likes writing, and can occasionally be convinced to play a game of Go. Even though she doesn't play Go as often as she once did, she still enjoys following the professional Go scene and writing about it on Go Game Guru.

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  1. the korean TV studios are much cooler than the chinese and japanese! ^^

  2. Japanese – tradition & slow
    Chinese – pragmatic & medium
    Korean – modern & fast

    This pattern applies to many situations.

  3. i still feel that korean and chinese should have to follow japanese style (longer series / best of seven and also longer thinking time). since this way will the match quality will be increased. also it give the feeling of a big match.

    • David Ormerod says:

      Unfortunately, it’s dictated by whatever makes the most money for the sponsors and the media. I agree that it would be interesting to see slower games though. It would be nice to have at least one major international tournament with longer games, but the logistics might be difficult.