We grabbed the following report and results from the 2012 US Shogi Championship in Las Vegas off of the shogi-L, from George Fernandez of the US Shogi Federation (USSF)
The 2012 U.S. Shogi Championship was held on March 30- April 1 at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Los Angeles Shogi Club, led by Mr. Mark Ono, hosted the 36-player event. Mark Steel International LLC was the sponsor. We all greatly appreciated the efforts of the many LA organizers that took care of all the details so that the rest of us could focus on playing our best shogi.
Professional players Yaichio Ohno 7 Dan, Hisashi Namekata 8 Dan, Hiroe Nakai Ladies Pro 6 Dan, Chikara Akutsu 7 Dan, Hirotaka Nozuki 7 Dan and Akira Nishio 6 Dan were in attendance and all were great teachers throughout the event. We played “teaching games” against them and got many lessons.
Mr. Tadao Hayashi, 4 Dan from Indiana, was victorious this year and outclassed the field after a second place finish last year, in Philadelphia. George Fernandez, 4 Dan from New York, was a solid second, followed by Mr. Koji Nozawa, a two-time U. S. Champion, in 3rd place. Takeshi Shimura, from San Francisco, was much-improved and finished a surprising 4th in a very strong field, with 11 players ranked 4 Dan or above. In the B Section, one of the tournament favorites, Keiji Tomita, 3 Dan from LA won the showdown in the finals against Larry Kaufman, 5 Dan from Maryland and Mr. Minoru Hayashi, 4 Dan from NY was 3rd. Mr. Tomita lost, back-to-back, to ex-champions (Nozawa and Mr. Jiro Yoshinari, 5 Dan from NY, in an exciting play-off) and Larry suffered a mild upset to his own son Ray Kaufman, a 3 Dan, in another brutal qualifier pairing!
The “LA 2″ Team won the team event, which was a quick-play format (5 Min./40 Sec.). The pairings were a little strange this year because, due to time constraints, not all teams were able to play each other.
In the Blindfold Shogi exhibition game, Mr. Akutsu 7 Dan won over Mr. Nishio 6 Dan in an exciting game.In the Pro Relay Shogi exhibition game, the Ohno-Nozuki team beat the Namekata-Ms. Nakai team.
A new club has been formed in Hawaii. Two representatives were present and we’re all hopeful that they will be able to host the national event in five years!
The tournament was started with a rousing musical medley, at 8:30 AM on Saturday, performed by three Elvis impersonators! Two players from the LA club and Mr. Ohno 7 Dan! Later, during our traditional group dinner, the top Elvis impersonator in Las Vegas, straight from Harrah’s “Legends in Concert” Show, gave a 30 minute show followed by an open-mike karaoke session, which had it’s highs and lows, as can be expected, and ranged from Japanese Enka to “Puff the Magic Dragon” and from The Monkees to Whitney Houston!