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Tournaments | HONINBO | Shortest honinbo titlematch game
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Shortest honinbo titlematch game
The first game of the 55th Honinbo final ended almost farcically after 59 moves when O Meien 9-dan was caught out by a fairly simple ladder. Not the best way to start your title-busting career, though he seemed remarkably unperturbed by it afterwards.

The game took place on 25 May 2000 on Floor 34 of the Lotte Hotel in central Seoul, home territory for winner and current Honinbo Cho Sonjin 9-dan. It was also broadcast live on the international go server IGS, the first time a major Japanese title event has been put on the internet. Many western viewers assumed O has misread the ladder, but he hadn't - he just hadn't noticed it, he said.

This is the shortest title game in the long history of the Honinbo, of course, overtaking the 89 move game in 1979 between Kato Masao and Rin Kaiho (Game2 of the 34th term). A quick perusal also suggests it is also the shortest game in any title match, beating the 61-move loss incurred by Takemiya Masaki in the 1996 Meijin.

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