12-year-old Rikka Mitsuyama becomes Japan Women's Chess Champion 2022
12-year-old Rikka Mitsuyama scored an impressive 5/6 to become the newest Japan Women's Chess Champion 2022. She remained undefeated and finished a half point ahead of the competition. Melody Takayasu and WCM Azumi Sakai scored 4.5/6 and 4/6 respectively to secure second and third place respectively. Japan Senior Chess Championship 2022 also took place simultaneously, which was won by Takeshi Gishi. He started with five straight wins before splitting the point in the final round to win the tournament 5.5/6. Top seed of the tournament Teruomi Higashishiba and Seiichi Ogasa were placed second and third scoring 5/6 and 4.5/6 respectively. Mayur Gondhalekar writes the report of both events. Photo: National Chess Society of Japan
Takeshi Gishi is the Japan Senior Chess Champion 2022
Japan’s Chess calendar has some important events penciled in for each year. The Womens’ Chess Championship, and Seniors’ Chess Championship being two of them. This year, both events were held on the heels of the 44th Chess Olympiad held in Chennai, India.
The National Chess Society of Japan organized the Women’s Chess Championship 2022, right on the heels of the 44th Chess Olympiad, on August 20th and 21st. The tournament consisted of six rounds, with a time control of 45 minutes + 30 seconds/move from move 1.
Three members of the Olympiad team – Mitsuyama Rikka, Sakai Azumi, and Misawa Yuki – participated in this tournament, which saw an overall participation of thirteen players. As luck would have it, Rikka and Azumi faced off in the first round. What a game it was! They went into a Rook and Pawns endgame on move 36, with Rikka being the defensive side. After a long fight, on move 100, she found a very nice mad-rook stalemate trick eventually drawing the game after 107 moves! Both o them made up for this ‘slow’ start with fantastic performances in the further rounds.
In the article introducing Japan’s Chess Olympiad teams, about Rikka, I had written “A player to watch, for sure!”. She played impressive games at the Olympiad but had difficulty in the conversions. Back on home turf, she showed her class. A win against the leader Ishizuka Mirai in Round 4 put her in sole lead.
But a draw in the next round meant that a last round win was needed to win the tournament outright. That is exactly what happened, and Japan got its newest (and probably the youngest) Women’s Champion, in 2022: Mitsuyama Rikka all of age 12 who won with a staggering 5.0/6.
Takayasu Melody, who played in the online Olympiad for Japan previously, made a good comeback to finish second with 4.5/6, while Sakai Azumi won third place on tie-breaks with 4.0/6.
Winners and top finishers in this tournament also qualify for Chess Olympiad, as well as Japan Chess Championship for the following year. Mitsuyama Rikka qualified for both, while Takayasu Melody qualified for the Japan Chess Championship 2023.
Replay all Japan Women's Championship 2022 games
Final standings in Japan Women's Chess Championship 2022
|9||11||Nakamura Junko||JPN||750||R1 bye||3||15||14||6,75||3193|
|10||8||Yamada Misaki||JPN||1140||R1 bye||2,5||22,5||19,5||7,50||4827|
|13||12||Bhatia Ramneet Kaur||JPN||0||0||1||18||16||3,00||4896|
The National Chess Society of Japan organized the Seniors’ Chess Championship 2022, a little over a week after the 44th Chess Olympiad, on August 20th and 21st running parallel to the Womens’ Chess Championship 2022. The tournament consisted of six rounds, with a time control of 45 minutes + 30 seconds/move from move 1 and participants had to be above 50 years of age to participate.
This tournament saw the participation of seventeen players where Mr. Gishi Takeshi (55) ran away with the tournament with a score of 5.5/6. He scored five wins in the first five rounds, and only settled for a draw in the last round against Mr. Ogasa Seiichi (68) from Chiba Chess Club.
Mr. Manabe Hiroshi, the Director of NCS Japan also participated in the tournament and finished at a respectable sixth place.
The top three winners were Gishi Takeshi with 5.5/6, Higashishiba Teruomi with 5.0/6 both of whom qualified for Japan Chess Championship 2022, and Ogasa Seiichi with 4.5/6. Mr. Ogasa also won first place in Over 65 category.
The winners of both tournaments had performances which were quite like this pretty mountain, standing high up above the rest…
Replay Japan Senior Chess Championship 2022 games
Final standings of Japan Senior Chess Championship 2022
About the Author
Mayur is an IT engineer and a chess enthusiast from Mumbai, working in Japan since 2013. He has played over-the-board tournaments in India, USA and Japan. He has also been a top three finisher in a one-day OTB events in Japan in 2013, 2015, 2017 and online blitz in 2020. Currently he is making use of online platforms for chess improvement and learning Ayurveda. He loves salsa dancing, reading, traveling and teaching.