The Honinbo Game Collection

I have collected most of the games played in the Honinbo match from 1941 to 1995. The collection is in three parts, with games from 1941-1960, 1961-1979 and 1980-1995 respectively. The third part is complete, the other two parts are not yet.

  • A few bits on the history of the Honinbo title match

    All games are in Smart Go Format.



    Jun 16, 2009: Removed compressed versions, and reference to invalid web page.

    March 31, 1996: 21 more games! A big thank you to Richard Hunter and John Power. Richard borrowed old books from John's library and sent me all the games missing from matches 3, 15, 16 and 29.

    The last 3 games from the 1995 Honinbo match have been found on Jan's site and added.

    May 9, 1995: 18 more games! Thanks to Yasunori Suzuki, Takayuki Okamoto and Dave Dyer for completing matches 12 and 13, and games 16/2, 27/7, 28/4, 29/6,29/7. The 1995 Honinbo match has begun, the first two games have been added. Thanks Jan!

    May 9, 1995: Jyan-min Fang sent game 5 of match 27. All updates have been integrated into the collections above.

    May 8, 1995: Takayuki Okamoto sent all 6 games from match 11.

    Apr 30, 1995: Paul Donnelly sent game 1 of match 30.

    Apr 25, 1995: More games from Yasunori Suzuki, completing the collection for matches 7,9 and 10.

    Apr 24, 1995: Many new games! Thanks to Yasunori Suzuki for the games from the forties, and to Klaus Fittges who lent me his Sakata biography.

    Note that I have changed the ID field in all games from "year/game" to "match/game".

    Mar 23, 1995: In game 94/4 four moves were missing in the middle of the game record. It is corrected in the collection now.

    Thank you

    Games, game records on paper, and/or corrections were supplied by:

    History of the Honinbo Title Match

    Only a few bits of information are here yet (Thank you Suzuki Yasunori!).

    The first match, 1941: A big tournament was held, with the two winners Sekiyama Riichi and Kato Shin playing a six game match. The match ended 3-3, so Sekiyama, the winner of the league, became Honinbo.

    Second match, 1943: Sekiyama was to defend his title against challenger Hashimoto Utaro. However, in game 2 he fell ill due to a severe stomachache after move 90. Sekiyama could not continue the match, and Hashimoto became Honinbo.

    Third match, 1945: Iwamoto Kaoru vs. Hashimoto Utaro.
    Game 2, the tragic 'atomic bomb' game, was played in a suburb close to Hiroshima. The bomb destroyed the city during the game. The match ended in a 3-3 tie, and in 1946 a 3-game playoff match was held. The first two moves of the playoff were played in a buddhist temple in Hiroshima.

    Fourth match, 1947: Iwamoto defends his title against Kitani Minoru

    Fifth and sixth match, 1950/51: Hashimoto wins the title and narrowly defends it against Sakata, after trailing 1-3 in the match.

    7th - 15th match, 1952 - 60: Takagawa Kaku successfully challenges Hashimoto and holds the title for a record nine years in a row

    16th - 22th match, 1961 - 67: After ten years, Sakata Eio finally becomes challenger again and dethrones Takagawa. He holds on to the title for seven years, defeating Takagawa two more times.

    23rd - 25th match, 1968 - 70: Rin Kaiho wins the title in his second attempt.

    26th - 30th match, 1971 - 75: Ishida Yoshio wins five matches in a row and earns the title of 'Honorary Honinbo', just like Takagawa and Sakata before him.

    31st match, 1976: Takemiya Masaki's first Honinbo title.

    32nd - 34th match, 1977 - 79: Kato Masao adds the Honinbo to his many titles.

    35th match, 1980: Takemiya Masaki's second Honinbo title.

    36th - 37th match, 1981/82: Cho Chikun wins the title and defends it once against Kobayashi Koichi.

    38th - 39th match, 1983/84: After losing the first three games, Rin Kaiho wins 4-3 against Cho.

    40th - 43rd match, 1985 - 88: Takemiya becomes Honinbo for the third time, and defends his title against Yamashiro (twice) and Otake.

    44th - 52th match, 1989 - 97: Cho Chikun recaptures the title, and has defended it ever since.

    Back to games collection
    Last modified: Jun 16, 2009

    Martin Müller