Satomi makes history

Satomi Kana Ladies 4-Crown surprised everyone with her amazing achievement.

As a first women she qualified to a Main Tournament of professional world. This made her eligible to take a professional examination.

2022, May 27th, in Kiou elimination match she beat Komori 5 dan and qualified to Kiou Main Tournament. Word of explanation might be needed for English readers, Kiou Tournament is a tournament that is organized for professionals (not ladies professionals) and only few that aren’t professionals are allowed to participate in it. One of them is top ladies professional player, Satomi. It never happened in the past that a woman would fight her way through the elimination round.

On top of that, she is now able to attempt to become professional 4 dan (again, not Ladies Professional) by taking an exam. It is possible because in the last official matches she got score of 10 wins and 4 losses, “more than 6:5 win to loss ratio”. In order to take the exam, Satomi would need to within one month apply for exam with recommendation of a professional, then pay the participation fee. If she applied, 5 matched would be played against the newest 4 dan professionals and she would need to get 3 wins to become 4 dan and start in free class of Meijin.

Previously Satomi was really close to get this chance in 2019, but she missed it by losing decisive game.

But so far, we don’t know if she will attempt the exam.

You can read in more details on Japanese news page:

https://hochi.news/articles/20220527-OHT1T51179.html?page=1

The chaos of choice

Thousand ideas.

Shogi Books reviews?
Writing shogi book in English about endgame?
Doing more penguin videos?
Making a shogi board that is readable for shogi players and easily buyable in Europe?
Writing blog posts with game analysis like before?

Too many ideas paralyses the choice.
Similar in shogi game where there are too many moves on the board and you end up choosing the wrong one under time pressure.

Today I played a game on 81dojo and tried to analyze it on playshogi.com and lishogi.org to compare how both websites AI’s will judge the moves.

Both computers showed the same drops in the evaluation (orange), but some smaller spikes were more or less forgiving (green).

The centipawn and mistake count showed like this:

Also not being far off from each other. Playshogi was harsher to categorize imprecision as mistakes for Black, at the same time finding more imprecisions for White.

Checking in more detail, what position they found as imprecision… Sometimes they agreed, sometimes not.

To study my own kifu, instead of concentrating on every detail, it is easier to concentrate on those bigger jumps in the graph (orange). If there is many of them, concentrate on the ones with biggest centipawn loss. In this case there was this huge mistake on the right side, dropping from 2000 points.

The move I played was to jump the knight, with the idea of “putting more pressure”. That would lead to my horse being blocked off by …S*44.

That move reviewed on playshogi.com first showed equal game, then showed Black being 500-1000 points better. Little confusing when trying to find the best variation. Lishogi.org was between 0.1-2.4 for Black. (As comparison the big spike of 2000 points = 26.9). The longer the AI thought, the more evaluation changed. A quite confusing study tool.

But one thing is clear perhaps, …S*44 was a good answer for White, so instead of jumping the knight, taking gold was more decisive. Sx62+ Gx, B*81 Kx, +Bx62 will lead to hisshi. After B*81 K61 with G*53 (lishogi) leads to many complex variation, but we are able to promote our second bishop while eyeing the 27 dragon. The king is more unsafe in the middle of the board. …K61 L*64! [Px is mate] (playshogi) is a move that lishogi also preferred, if let it analyze it. L*64 N*71 leads again to G*53 (+18.2 or 4843 for Black).

With this experiment I can say that no matter which website you use, they both seem to use reliable computer. At lishogi you have ability to change how many lines or how much memory the computer can use, and on playshogi you can force computer to reconsider move for next 5 seconds.

Personally I am more used the centipawn showed by playshogi, the chess originated +18.2 tells me nothing. Showing multiple moves options on lishogi is also interesting, but hard to see which move is the best (Yes, the size of the arrows is supposed to show it, but there are also drops with regular size or different piece on the same square…? Hard to see).

It is clear though that I made a horrible mistake by jumping the knight. A bad, but unpunished choice it was.

The first game of the year

Life is about the journey, not the destination. Life is a dance, made of steps. Many books say similar wisdom.

I wish I had read more books in my life. To know better, rather than learn by experience.

This year starts weird, where I am sitting in Switzerland and wondering what my life could be. What to do next.
As always, I might have many ideas, but none of them sound as good or exciting as in the past.
Maybe it is just winter, dulling my mind.

Today we had a not too complex Sunday Shogi stream, where we analyzed games of regular viewers.
Any viewer could send a game, but so it just happened that only regulars send them today. We enjoyed every one of them. Many people are getting stronger each week.

After that I played a game against iongrey, and I thought I can show some positions from that game, just to put something cool on the blog. Here it goes.

Maruyama’s Vaccine, a counter strategy for central rook that forces early bishop exchange, with my unusual counter that is supposed to be disadvantageous for Gote. Bishop drop that will take a free pawn, but will end up on wrong diagonal.

Iongrey did his best and made an engagement on P-24 and P-45 squares. I had to protect against his rook sabaki. Here Sente has chance for a good bishop drop. Making a horse that would pressure my bishop.

Iongrey missed the bishop drop, but I also missed a chance to make game equal. According to the computer P-25 would allow me to counter better. I was afraid about 53 square and moved S-62. (surprisingly computer considers B*66 as an answer to that.. is it because S-46 bad shape and good counter on big diagonal? )
The game equalized after this move. My bishop became little more active by targeting 38 square.
The final big mistake: knight jump allowed exchange of rooks and silver for lance. My horse ended up in a good position to attack non-castled king. Again, the computer suggested quite interesting move instead of knight jump: B’16 keeping the equal fight.

And the final position was this:

Thank you for the 10 second shogi game, Yellow!

Recent games of Joryu Meijin

It is already New Year. I have officially submitted my thesis, though I am still working on technical corrections. I hope to publish it after my final exams.

January means that there is Joryu Meijin eliminations and I have to write an update about my games.

I have played two games, the first one was last week, against LPSA Ooba Ladies 1dan. It was a central rook vs ibisha game. In later middle I took the lead and did not let it go until end.

Winning this game meant, that my next opponent would be Shimizu Ladies 6dan. So I have been preparing the whole week. Yesterday, I had honor of facing Shimizu sensei in a battle.

I went to the game with this mind set “either I win, or lose and learn something valuable”. This let me relax and concentrate on the game. As predicted, the game was Nakabisha vs ibisha with closed Bishop line. I have gained small material advantage in the beginning, but later was left without the rook (which I gave up for a gold). I have managed to get the knight and the lance with a tokin, but Shimizu sensei put one horse to defense and two rooks to attack. However, the difference in the defense structure was big. I had full castle defending with bottom pawn and then counterattacked using lance. In the end I have surrounded her king and won.

I have not realized the excitement until I left the game room. I remember the result surprised many people, including my shisho. I had to go for a long walk around the city to calm myself down.

I am not satisfied. I feel that I still can still improve a lot. I remember the scary feeling of Shimizu sensei reading all the endgame variations with amazing speed. Maybe that I can improve before the next game. And I have a huge respect for Shimizu sensei after the game.

And I cannot let it go into my head. My opponent will prepare double carefully for the next game for sure. I shall as well. Wish me luck.