About Meijin Title

The Meijin tournament is now sponsored by the newspaper Asahi Shinbun. It was previously sponsored by the Yomiuri Shinbun, but after a dispute with the Nihon Ki-in over funding, the Yomiuri switched to the Kisei tournament and their version of the Meijin, which ran from 1962 to 1975, is now referred to as the Old Meijin Title.

The title holder is challenged each Autumn by a challenger who is the winner of a nine-man all-play-all league. The bottom three in the league are demoted. Entry to the league is via preliminary tournaments held in three stages. The Third Preliminary comprises three separate knockouts, and the winners of each take one of the vacant league places.

In the final (best-of-seven) each player has 8 hours thinking time over two days. Each game of the final is played in a different city. In all other games thinking time is 5 hours each. Komi is 5.5 points.

In 1965,

Rin Kaiho

won the title by defeating

Sakata Eio

and became the youngest Meijin. The eldest Meijin is

Takagawa Shukaku

, he won 7th Old Meijin Title in 1968 at the age of 53.

Rin Kaiho

and

Kobayashi Koichi

all won Meijin eight times, but

Kobayashi Koichi

achieved seven consecutive titles, he and Cho Chikun are the only two players who got Honorary Meijin. In 1999, Cho Chikun won his ninth Meijin, breaking

Kobayashi Koichi

‘s record.

Top prize is 37 million Japanese Yen (about US$ 350 thousands).

All editions of Meijin Title

Type Edition Year Country First Place Second Place Details
title 27th 2002 Japan Yoda Norimoto Cho Chikun Games
title 26th 2001 Japan Yoda Norimoto Rin Kaiho Games
title 25th 2000 Japan Yoda Norimoto Cho Chikun Games
title 24th 1999 Japan Cho Chikun Yoda Norimoto Games
title 23th 1998 Japan Cho Chikun O Rissei Games
title 22th 1997 Japan Cho Chikun Kobayashi Koichi Games
title 21th 1996 Japan Cho Chikun Takemiya Masaki Games
title 20th 1995 Japan Takemiya Masaki Kobayashi Koichi Games
title 19th 1994 Japan Kobayashi Koichi Rin Kaiho Games
title 18th 1993 Japan Kobayashi Koichi Otake Hideo Games
title 17th 1992 Japan Kobayashi Koichi Otake Hideo Games
title 16th 1991 Japan Kobayashi Koichi Rin Kaiho Games
title 15th 1990 Japan Kobayashi Koichi Otake Hideo Games
title 14th 1989 Japan Kobayashi Koichi Awaji Shuzo Games
title 13th 1988 Japan Kobayashi Koichi Kato Masao Games
title 12th 1987 Japan Kato Masao Rin Kaiho Games
title 11th 1986 Japan Kato Masao Kobayashi Koichi Games
title 10th 1985 Japan Kobayashi Koichi Cho Chikun Games
title 9th 1984 Japan Cho Chikun Otake Hideo Games
title 8th 1983 Japan Cho Chikun Otake Hideo Games
title 7th 1982 Japan Cho Chikun Otake Hideo Games
title 6th 1981 Japan Cho Chikun Kato Masao Games
title 5th 1980 Japan Cho Chikun Otake Hideo Games
title 4th 1979 Japan Otake Hideo Sakata Eio Games
title 3rd 1978 Japan Otake Hideo Rin Kaiho Games
title 2nd 1977 Japan Rin Kaiho Otake Hideo Games
title 1st 1976 Japan Otake Hideo Ishida Yoshio Games
title 28th 2003 Japan Yoda Norimoto Yamashita Keigo Games
title 29th 2004 Japan Cho U Yoda Norimoto Games
title 30th 2005 Japan Cho U Kobayashi Satoru Games
title 31th 2006 Japan Takao Shinji Cho U Games
title 32th 2007 Japan Cho U Takao Shinji Games
title 33th 2008 Japan Cho U Iyama Yuta Games
title 34th 2009 Japan Iyama Yuta Cho U Games
title 35th 2010 Japan Iyama Yuta Takao Shinji Games
title 36th Japan Games