On May 16th and 17th the first round of the 68th Honinbo Final took place in Oda, Japan, the birthplace of the Go Saint Honinbo Dosaku. Challenger Takao Shinji won seven games in the qualifiers to challenge for the title. The game, which can be found here with comments by Kono Rin 9p, started out with a new joseki after Iyama's attack on the bottom. After giving up some territory on the bottom to take sente, Takao managed to take the initiative and things looked tough for the title defender. Iyama unleashed a do-or-die move to try and change the outcome of the game and it succeeded!
The Honinbo Final
The Honinbo Final is played as a best-of-seven with each player having 8 hours each of thinking time with an additional 10-minutes byo-yomi. The prize money for the champion is 32 million Japanese Yen and this is the 68th edition of this prestigious title. Iyama Yuta was recently robbed of his Judan Title when he was defeated by Yuki Satoshi. Before that he was holding all the six major titles in Japan simultaneously, something which no one had done before him. The next round in the Honinbo Final is scheduled to be played on May 28th and 29th in Fukuoka, Japan.