Othello Quiz 2017

by Jake Jacobs
17 October 2016

Jake Jacobs

With Japanese players occupying the three top spots on the Giants list, and a number of other very successful Japanese players making their mark in world competition, foreign players may be pardoned for thinking they have seen the cream of the Japanese crop. But some of Japan's best players don't travel, or at least haven't to date.

Perhaps the most famous of them is Ichikawa Masanori, aka Othello. Every year at the Japan Open he presents the Othello Quiz. The Quiz comprises ten positions drawn from his play over the course of the previous year, ten of the toughest and most interesting positions he has seen. Most years I include a position from the quiz as a teaser at the beginning of my article covering the Japan Open.

This year is one of the few times I have been unable to attend since my first entry back in 1999. The Quiz this year is, I think, one of the better ones. It turns out that had I attended, and assuming I was in the same frame of mind as I was when I saw the Quiz online the other day, I would have won. That rubbed wasabi in the wound of missing the tournament, which is one of the world's best. This year I will devote an entire column to the Quiz.

The positions are below, but may also be found at: http://itikawa.com/fesquiz2016/othello_quiz_2016rc1.pdf

That's a PDF format, which would allow you to download them. The following link gives scores, breakdowns of which problems were toughest, and rollout details through an internal link: http://itikawa.com/fes2016quiz.html

Position 1: Black leads 4-3 to 7

Position 2: Black trails 2-4 to 5

Position 3: Money Game

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