by Jake Jacobs
10 June 2009
I've smeared quite a bit of ink on paper describing the Japan Open. The Open is a big tournament to be sure, and is the one that draws entrants from overseas, but there are three other important events on the Japanese calendar. Two of them involve league play, and so are effectively closed to foreigners. These are the Bonsei ("board saint") and the Meiji which could be translated as the "Masters" (and is applied to everything from chess to fishing), except that they have an event called the "Masters" event that we would call the "Seniors." Bonsei and Meiji start with qualification through regular league play, and culminate with extended playoffs. Currently the Meiji is in the playoff phase; matches are 25 points, and since the qualifiers come from clubs around Japan, it takes months for the players to arrange matches to play off.
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