Othello news

Weekend in Japan

30 April 2024
Written by Alexandr Melnikov

We offer an overview of the tournaments that were played last weekend in various regions of Japan.

Kawagoe Kisei and Kawagoe Queen Match

Meijin 2024 runner-up Satoshi Kurahashi and 2015 women's world champion Yoko Sano won the North Kanto Block tournament.

To qualify for the men's and women's finals, 17 participants played 5 rounds. The tournament began unexpectedly - in the first round, two of the most status participants lost their games: Hiroshi Goto (7th dan) and Satoshi Kurahashi (6th dan). Both then won all the remaining games, but while this was enough for Kurahashi to become second in qualifying, Goto was only third. Another finalist was Yuki Hiroyuki, who won all five games in the qualifications.

The final between Kurahashi and Hiroyuki was very interesting and close. In the position in the diagram, White (Hiroyuki) can still win +2, but to do this they must prevent Black from playing the lower zone well. The correct move is 40.e7, in order to first spoil the black move on e8, and then play on f1. But White immediately played 40.f1 and this is -6: after 41.e8 42.e7 43.d8 44.f8 45.d7 it turns out that the eighth row was played to Black’s advantage.

As for the Queens Match, Yoko Sano quickly gained a good position in the final game against Atsuko Ohno and won comfortably.

5th Osaka Endurance Race

2019 world champion Akihiro Takahashi  wins the Kinki/Hokuriku Block Endurance Tournament.

32 people participated in the 5th Osaka Endurance Race. During one day, participants played 13 rounds (!) with a game control of 15 minutes.

9th dan Takahashi took the lead from the very beginning and won one game after another. In total, he won 12 games out of 13. Only Takeshi Hasegawa (5th dan) managed to beat him in the 7th round. Second place in the tournament - with 10 wins and 3 losses - was taken by Satomu Kosai (4th dan). In third place is Yuji Miyazaki (7th dan): 9 wins and 4 losses.

Kanto Championship

Keita Ohmori won the non-JOF tournament organized by Takeshi Murakami. Nine participants played six qualifying rounds. The strengths of the rivals turned out to be equal - five people shared first place with 4 wins and 2 losses. As a result, two 6th dans - Keita Ohmori and Hiroto Nagao -  qualified for the main final, and Ryutaro Ogura and Yuta Meisho played in the Student final.


In the final of the Students everything was decided by one bad move. Meisho, who played white, should have made the move c1 in the position on the diagram, and then an equal, close game would have continued. Instead he played 34.d2? and after 35.d1! it turns out that White is running out of good moves. Ogura is the winner of the Student Kanto.


And in the main finale, important events occurred at the exit from the opening. In Chimney, Ohmori played the not very common move 22.b5 (more popular than b6). And Nagao did not answer in the best way at first - 23.e7 (better d7), and after 24.b6 he played completely unsuccessfully 25.e2. White played 26.d2!, ​​got a very good position and deservedly won.

89th Sapporo Open

This time, 10 people took part in the monthly Hokkaido Block tournament. Having won all 6 games, Takao Kobayashi (4th dan) became the winner of the tournament. Second place went to a very experienced and strong player - Sohei Sasaki (7th dan). Back in 2010, Sasaki became the champion of Japan and took 7th place at the World Championships in Rome.

Let's also mention that this weekend Yasuyuki Araki (5th dan) won the Shizuoka Prefecture Championship, and Yuta Suzuki (4th dan) won the 106th Q League in Fukuoka.