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 Post subject: Honinbo quiz
Post #1 Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:12 am 
Gosei
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In another post, it was mentioned that Iyama Yuta could reach ten consecutive Honinbo titles. This inspired me to hold a short quiz:

1. Who is the current holder of the record of 10 consecutive titles?
2. The non-consecutive record is 12. Who holds it?
3. And who has played the most finals?
4. In 2002 a player won the Honinbo 33 years after having played his first final. Who was that?
5. Which top professional never won the Honinbo, losing 4 times against the same player, whom we can consider his arch rival?
6. Out of 70 best-of-7 finals, only 10 ended in a clean sweep (4-0). One player did that 3 times in a row. Who?
7. 15 finals were decided in the last game and thus ended 4-3. One player won 3 of his 5 titles in such a tense fashion, against Rin, Takemiya and Sakata. Who?
8. One player fought his way to the throne 3 times, which is also a record. He dethroned Ishida, then Kato (who had taken the title from him) and then Rin. He was finally dethroned by the player mentioned in the first question.
9. In 2000, which player won the title, recovering from a loss due to a misread ladder?
10. Iyama Yuta won 3 of his 8 finals against the same player, who features an unconventional playing style. Who is it?

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Post #2 Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:52 am 
Judan

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(I did look at the SL page yesterday)

1. Cho Chikun (ended by Cho Sonjin)
2. Also Cho Chikun
3. maybe Cho again?
4. Cho again?
5. Kobayashi Koichi (eg Tournament Go 1992 book)
6. Sakata?
7. Kato?
8. Takemiya?
9. O Meien
10. Yamashita Keigo

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 Post subject: Re: Honinbo quiz
Post #3 Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 2:28 am 
Gosei
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Uberdude wrote:
(I did look at the SL page yesterday)

1. Cho Chikun (ended by Cho Sonjin)
2. Also Cho Chikun
3. maybe Cho again?
4. Cho again?
5. Kobayashi Koichi (eg Tournament Go 1992 book)
6. Sakata?
7. Kato?
8. Takemiya?
9. O Meien
10. Yamashita Keigo


8/10. Well done!

If you switch two answers, you get 9/10. The player you are missing is the main character in another great tournament book.

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 Post subject: Re: Honinbo quiz
Post #4 Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 2:52 am 
Oza

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A little known feature of Cho's achievement - he changed the Japanese language.

Players who win the title five times on the trot become Lifetime Honinbos (with a pension to look forward to) and are numbered as part of the traditional line. Cho Chikun thus became the 25th Honinbo (Shusai, the last "real" Honinbo, being the 21st). These numbers were usually ignored in practice for the new lifers, being reserved for retirement, but in 2000 the Japanese press suddenly took to using them, probably because Cho was, unusually, then bereft of all titles and he was far too eminent to be called a mere 9-dan again.

Ironically, I now detect something of a reversal in the press, not against the lifers but against grades in general. I see game records and articles quite often now where dan ranks are omitted. It's still at the very early creepage stage, and may not be sustained, but I suspect that Japan is being influenced by western practice. There may also be some reaction to the plethora of 9-dans and, in particular, to the rise of the teenage 9-dans who skip most of the dan grades in between by winning titles. I know that I have lost almost all interest in modern pro dan grades. They just don't have any real function any more. There are now more titles than there were 9-dans in the not so old days, so it makes sense to shift respect for 9-dans to title-holders. The lifetime awards seem like a reinforcement (the in-word!) of that trend.

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 Post subject: Re: Honinbo quiz
Post #5 Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:12 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Honinbo quiz
Post #6 Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:56 am 
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Knotwilg wrote:
4. In 2002 a player won the Honinbo 33 years after having played his first final. Who was that?

That was Kato. I remember watching his match against Cho U the following year. Cho Chikun is too young, he would have been 13 in 1969.

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Post #7 Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:18 am 
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the ladder game from question 9:

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 Post subject: Re: Honinbo quiz
Post #8 Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:47 am 
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As to #6, has anyone come from behind, 0-3, to sweep the next four games?

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Post #9 Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:54 am 
Tengen

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John Fairbairn wrote:
There may also be some reaction to the plethora of 9-dans and, in particular, to the rise of the teenage 9-dans who skip most of the dan grades in between by winning titles. I know that I have lost almost all interest in modern pro dan grades. They just don't have any real function any more.
One of my hobby-horses is observing that the new Japanese system makes a 9-dan grade rather exclusive. In large part thanks to Iyama, there was a period with no new young 9-dans, and now I think only Murakawa and Shibano are under 30 9-dans.

It seems to me in the future, the most likely scenario will be a big group of players jumping from low or mid-dan up to 7 dan. A handful of those will move up to 8 or 9 dan in title matches. The remainder will linger at 7-dan for some time, and reaching 9-dan will take an additional 350 additional wins. Eventually, 9-dan will indicate either having been in title matches, or a sort of career capstone for a player who had a long career just below the level of title holders.

Not that the observation obliges you to care about who is a 9-dan. I had to double-check whether Ichiriki was a 9-dan, so it's not something I spend a lot of energy on.

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 Post subject: Re: Honinbo quiz
Post #10 Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 7:14 am 
Oza

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Quote:
One of my hobby-horses is observing that the new Japanese system makes a 9-dan grade rather exclusive.


Not wrong, but the implications of the word 'exclusive' may make it sound as if the new system was trying to increase the status of 9-dans. If it did, the Law of Unintended Consequences was at work. The system was changed to cut the calls on the pension pot. Higher dans get a bigger pension.


This post by John Fairbairn was liked by: hyperpape
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 Post subject: Re: Honinbo quiz
Post #11 Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 7:47 am 
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bogiesan wrote:
As to #6, has anyone come from behind, 0-3, to sweep the next four games?


I was curious about this too so I looked it up. I'll hide the result in case this spoils any of the quiz on top...

I found 3 cases:

    38th Honinbo: Cho Chikun wins the first 3, Rin Kaiho comes back to win 4-3
    47th: Cho Chikun comes back against Kobayashi Koichi
    63rd: Hane Naoki over Takao Shinji


That's all I could find, but it's possible I missed one

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 Post subject: Re: Honinbo quiz
Post #12 Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 8:03 am 
Gosei
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bogiesan wrote:
As to #6, has anyone come from behind, 0-3, to sweep the next four games?


Yes. At least Cho did in one of his victories over Kobayashi.

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 Post subject: Re: Honinbo quiz
Post #13 Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 8:06 am 
Gosei

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Here is another trivia-type question: Who challenged or won the Honinbo championship match at the lowest dan rank?

Kato Masao at 5-dan challenged and lost to Rin Kaiho in 1970

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 Post subject: Re: Honinbo quiz
Post #14 Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 8:13 am 
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Knotwilg wrote:
bogiesan wrote:
As to #6, has anyone come from behind, 0-3, to sweep the next four games?


Yes. At least Cho did in one of his victories over Kobayashi.


And Ishida Yoshio did the same to Sakata.

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 Post subject: Re: Honinbo quiz
Post #15 Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:32 am 
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John Fairbairn wrote:
Ironically, I now detect something of a reversal in the press, not against the lifers but against grades in general. (...) There may also be some reaction to the plethora of 9-dans and, in particular, to the rise of the teenage 9-dans who skip most of the dan grades in between by winning titles.


Hmmm, wasn't the new promotion system designed to avoid this, of sorts?

Take care.

(I know I owe you, and others, a proper reply in another post. I need some time)

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 Post subject: Re: Honinbo quiz
Post #16 Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:43 am 
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kferg wrote:
bogiesan wrote:
As to #6, has anyone come from behind, 0-3, to sweep the next four games?


I was curious about this too so I looked it up. I'll hide the result in case this spoils any of the quiz on top..
That's all I could find, but it's possible I missed one


Very cool, I can likely find some of those games in SmartGoKifu's library. thanks!

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Post #17 Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:09 am 
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Thank you for a most enjoyable quiz. Another Honinbo question has to be:

When was the first 4-3 result?

In the 6th Honinbo in 1951, Sakata was leading 3-1 and became too confident. Hashimoto Yutaro had established the Kansai Kiin and had all the pressure, all he said was "I've washed my neck". He won the next 3 games and kept the Honinbo title at the Kansai Kiin for another year. It would be ten years before Sakata eventually became Honinbo. A samurai washes his neck so that his second has a clean blow with his sword.


John Tilley

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 Post subject: Re: Honinbo quiz
Post #18 Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:52 am 
Oza

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This sudden interest in the Honinbo Tournament prompts me to remind readers that I have done an e-Pub book on the early years of the event.

The description on the SmartGo site says enough, I think:

Quote:
The Honinbo Tournament is go’s oldest annual tournament. By trial and error it set the standards for every tournament since. This book describes in detail how it came about, and goes carefully through each of the early years in the 1940s and 1950s, and each year’s changes. The games of each title match up to and including Term 6 are given with rich commentaries (32 games), showcasing also the most famous players and anecdotes featured in the highest level of go.

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 Post subject: Re: Honinbo quiz
Post #19 Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 11:07 am 
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John Fairbairn wrote:
This sudden interest in the Honinbo Tournament prompts me to remind readers that I have done an e-Pub book on the early years of the event.


Have it. And I quite like it. I'd really prefer a pdf or print version, if I could manage it. I have to try to convert it again this summer. Last time, the result was suboptimal.

Take care

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