Japanese Go League for Female Players to Debut in July

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Nihon Ki-in Chairman Satoru Kobayashi, center, speaks at a press conference on Monday.

The Nihon Ki-in, also known as the Japan Go Association, will start an official league for teams of female Go players, the group announced Monday.

The event is part of the centennial anniversary project for the founding of Nihon Ki-in and is aimed at improving the level of female Go players while acquiring more fans of the Japanese game.

Five teams comprised of four members will compete in the first such league. Three members of each team will face off against the other. The teams will comprise players belonging to Nihon Ki-in and up to one member from either Kansai Ki-in or an overseas Go institute. The league will start in July, and the teams will play in a round-robin style with home and away games. The finals will be held in June next year.

“The players will assume a heavy responsibility by playing for a team, but it will also help them become mentally stronger,” said Nihon Ki-in Chairman Satoru Kobayashi at a press conference on Monday. “We want to increase the number of Go fans.”