Go Commentary: Yamashita Keigo vs Iyama Yuta – 70th Honinbo

This is game 5 from the 70th Honinbo final.

The game was played between Yamashita Keigo 9p and Iyama Yuta 9p on June 29 and 30, 2015, in Osaka, Japan.

Yamashita Keigo 9 dan (left) and Iyama Yuta 9 dan at the 70th Honinbo, Game 5.

Yamashita Keigo 9 dan (left) and Iyama Yuta 9 dan at the 70th Honinbo, Game 5.

70th Honinbo title match

Yamashita Keigo won six games out of seven in the 70th Honinbo league, and he became the challenger.

Game 1 of the Honinbo title match was started on May 13 and 14, 2015, and Iyama Yuta had a nice start with winning that game.

2nd day of game 5 from the 70th Honinbo.

2nd day of game 5 from the 70th Honinbo.

Iyama won next two more games, and Yamashita had to face a kadodan (a potentially match deciding game) in game 4.

Yamashita showed his strength and power in game 4, and Iyama resigned early at the move of 128.

This was game 5 of the 70th Honinbo, and the score of the series was 3-1 for Iyama’s favor before this game.

Iyama Yuta

Iyama Yuta 9 dan at the 70th Honinbo final.

Iyama Yuta 9 dan at the 70th Honinbo final.

Iyama Yuta has been arguably the strongest Go player in Japan for quite a few years now.

He was holding four major titles, including the Kisei, Meijin and Gosei when this match was played.

Iyama challenged Yamashita Keigo for 67th Honinbo in 2012, and won his first Honinbo title with a 4-3 score.

In 2013, Iyama defeated Takao Shinji 9p 4-3 to defend the title and in 2014, he defended again against Ida Atsushi 8p, winning the title match with 4-1.

Iyama’s style of play is thick and powerful, and his reading is sharp and accurate as well.

Many of Go fans might want to see him more often in the international scene, since he’s the best player from Japan, and I also hope he’ll have more chances to participate international tournaments while he’s in his prime.

Yamashita Keigo

Yamashita Keigo was playing to win his 3rd Honinbo title.

Yamashita Keigo 9 dan at the 70th Honinbo final.

Yamashita Keigo 9 dan at the 70th Honinbo final.

Yamashita challenged Hane Naoki 9p for 65th Honinbo in 2010, and won his first Honinbo title with a 4-1 score.

In 2011, Hane Naoki was the challenger, but Yamashita won the return match again with a 4-3 score to defend his Honinbo.

However, he was defeated by Iyama Yuta in 2012, and this final was his first return match since he lost the Honinbo title.

Yamashita’s last title was the 22nd Ryusei in 2013, and his last major title was the 37th Meijin in 2012.

After that, he hasn’t gained any titles, partly because he’s lost many important matches against Iyama Yuta.

His style of play is creative and solid, and he’s been doing quite well against other top Japanese players. However, when he plays against Iyama Yuta, it doesn’t seem to work very well.

It seems as if Iyama Yuta is a big obstacle for Yamashita to win a title again, and that’ll be interesting to see if he will find Iyama’s weaknesses in his games in the future or not.

Let’s have a look at the game 5 from the 70th Honinbo title match.

Commented game record

Yamashita Keigo vs Iyama Yuta

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