Akihiro Takahashi8 July 2020
Written by Tad Maehata, Benkt Steentoft, Daniel Turunen
When we decided to do an interview with Akihiro Takahasi we realized that not only are we doing an interview with a 13 year old Japanese player. We are doing an interview with one of the best players in the world. Takahasi is rated 17th in the world. That rating is before Meijin 2019 is taken into account in to the World Othello rating.
In 2017 he won the Japan Youth Championship in a tight game against Keisuke Fukuchi. That win gave him a chance to travel to Ghent in Belgium and the World Othello Championship 2017. There he showed everyone that he was a player they should count on. When the 13 first rounds were played, Takahashi was at the top. He only lost one game of thirtheen. He played three semi-final games against the 2016 World Champion, Pianyat Aunchele, and won with 2-1. In the WOC-final he met Yusuke Takanashi. He lost, and ended up as runner up in WOC 2017. They were two very great games. You can see the games with WOF commentators here.
The year after he was close to qualifying to WOC 2018. He was high up in the standings for the traditional tourneys Meijin-sen, Japan Championship and Ouza-sen. Takahasi played 32 tournaments (!) in 2018. This year, 2019, he won the highest rated tournament in Japan, Meijin, and will play in WOC 2019 in Hong Kong.
Tad Maehata did an interview for Othello News with Akihiro Takahashi just before Meijin 2019. We hope we can add this article with answers about his win in Meijin 2019, and thoughts about WOC 2019 in Hong Kong.
Editors note: Since this interview Mr. Akihiro Takahasi won the World Othello Championship 2019. We think this article is great way to learn the reign Othello world champion!
Interview with Akahiro Takahashi
|Othello News: How old are you?
Akihiro Takahasi: I’m 13 years old.
Othello News: When did you first encounter the game Othello? And do you have any episode when you encountered the Othello game?
Othello News: Does your family also play Othello?
Othello News: Has Othello changed your life?
Othello News: What other hobbies do you have besides playing Othello?
Othello News:. What are your plans going forward with othello?
Othello News:. Do you have any tips or words of encouragement for people just getting started with Othello?
Othello News:. Do you have any Othello openings you prefer over others?
Othello News:. Do you have any Othello openings you try to avoid?
Othello News:. Do you prefer Black or White in Othello?
Othello News:. Do you have any tips on how to best prepare for Othello tournaments?
Othello News:. Do you have any tips or tricks regarding staying focused during a tournament?
Othello News:. Whats your most memorable moment in Othello?
Othello News:. Are there any other Othello players that you look up to? How have you been inspired with these othello persons?
|Othello News: How did you feel to be the youngest Meijin?
Tell us about your games?
I was the happiest ever, since I was able to go up to "7th Dan" with winning the title of my best wish. In the second round I had a match with Shimizu Naoki, who is " 7th Dan, played in last year's final game. He was an opponent who I had lost the final game completely last year.
This year, the Match was so conpetitive each other, moerover I was rather disadvantaged. However, when I took advantage by the time attack operation at contrary, I won at a stretch.
The opponent of the semifinals was Makoto Suekuni, who is "9th Dan", the former world champion.
He is a player who has a similar style of being good at reading Othello, and he is also my longing person.
There were five minutes left around end of the game, so I counted down 8 squares and calmly was gonna forward to win. I was surprised at the victory giving the four corners to the opponent.
The opponent for the final was Tetsuya Nakajima, who is ”8th Dan” ranked number one in the Japan ranking before Meijin-sen.
It is the player who is difinitely sure with a solid way of proceeding.
It became the final match that each bet with promotion up to Dan.
In the first half, I was aggressively attacking toword Nakaijima-san. The attack worked effective and the win went to me around the middle of the game.
Othello News: You played 32 tournaments 2018. Is the fact you play a lot tournaments one of the reasons why you have been a so strong player?
Akihiro Takahashi: Actually I played over 32 tournament. In fact it was 48 tournaments I played. (Official tournament 36, reguler tournament 9, Elementary students tournament 3)
In 2018, I played not only in the official tournament but also in regular tournaments and Elementary students tournament, and played 289 games (232 wins, 56 lose and 1 draw) in a year. I think that it is a shortcut which makes you strong to play in a lot of tournaments and playing Othello in a real tournament. It is very important to look back on all the winning and losing matches.
Othello News: WOC 2019. You are qualified to WOC in Hong Kong. You was runner-up in WOC 2017. What is your thoughts about WOC?
Akihiro Takahasi: I will go to Hong Kong to pick up my things left in Belgium.
ON: 2019年のWOC in香港への切符をあなたはつかみました。2017年は準優勝している世界大会です。今回の大会に思う事はありますか？