Hon'inbou

Hon'inbou
Title
本因坊
Established
1940
Title Matches Played
May through July
Sponsor
Mainichi Shinbun
Affiliation
Nihon Ki-in
Kansai Ki-in
Purse
¥32,000,000
Best of
7
Time Allotted (Title)
8 hours
Byouyomi (Title)
10 minutes
Time Allotted (League)
5 hours
Byouyomi (League)
5 minutes


Tournament

The Hon'inbou tournament is a Japanese professional go competition featuring a challenge against the Hon'inbou for his title.

C through B Preliminaries

Players from the Tokyo main branch of the Nihon Ki-in compete in a set of single-knockout preliminaries, advancing from C to B. The top 40 players qualify for the A preliminary.

Players from the Kansai Ki-in and the Chuubu branch of the Nihon Ki-in compete in a separate set of single-knockout preliminaries, advancing from C to B. The top 16 players qualify for the A preliminary.

A Preliminary

80 players from the Tokyo main branch of the Nihon Ki-in's B preliminary compete in a single-knockout preliminary. The top 20 players advance to the last preliminary.

32 players from the Kansai Ki-in and the Chuubu branch of the Nihon Ki-in's A preliminary compete in a separate single-knockout preliminary. The top 8 players advance to the last preliminary.

Last Preliminary

The last preliminary is a single-knockout tournament comprised of 36 players, including:

  • The 20 players who qualified in the A preliminary held by the Nihon Ki-in for players of its Tokyo main branch.
  • The 8 players who qualified in the A preliminary held jointly by the Kansai Ki-in for its players and the Nihon Ki-in for the players of its Chuubu branch.
  • The 4 players who were bottom-most ranked in last year's league and lost their places in the league.

The top 4 players progress to the league.

League

The league is comprised of 8 players:

  • The top 4 players from last year's league
  • The 4 qualifying players from the last preliminary

The league plays a round-robin tournament, and players are ranked based on performance.

  • The bottom 4 players lose their positions in the league and are returned to the last preliminary
  • The top player progresses to the title challenge

In the event that two players tie for top performance in the league, the two tied players advance to a playoff.

Playoff

In the event that players are tied for the top position in the league, the tied players will advance to a playoff to determine who earns the right to challenge the Hon'inbou. The winner advances to the title challenge.

Title Challenge

The winner of the playoff challenges the Hon'inbou for his title in a best-of-7 series. The winner of the series gains (or retains) the title of Hon'inbou, and will await next year's challenger.

Title

Players who have mounted 5 successful sequential defences of the title are named Hon'inbou (numbered in sequence after the heads of the Hon'inbou school of go before it passed the title to the Nihon Ki-in in 1940). This is distinct from being recognized as the current holder of the Hon'inbou title. As there were 21 heads of the Hon'inbou school, the numbering for modern-day players who have achieved the status of honourary Hon'inbou resumes at 22, e.g., 22nd Hon'inbou Takagawa Kaku.

Progression

It takes 24 months to progress from Preliminary C to the final title match.

  • Preliminary C
    • August through October (first year)
  • Preliminary B
    • November (first year) through January (second year)
  • Preliminary A
    • February through April (second year)
  • Last Preliminary
    • May through September (second year)
  • League Tournament
    • October (second year) through April (third year)
  • Title Matches
    • May through July (third year)

Schedule

January B Preliminary League Tournament
February A Preliminary League Tournament
March A Preliminary League Tournament
April A Preliminary League Tournament
May Last Preliminary Title Matches
June Last Preliminary Title Matches
July Last Preliminary Title Matches
August C Preliminary Last Preliminary
September C Preliminary Last Preliminary
October C Preliminary League Tournament
November B Preliminary League Tournament
December B Preliminary League Tournament

Titleholders

Title Challengers

League Participants

2002

References