Iwasaki Haruto

    Keywords: People

Blind / visually impaired insei, twelve years old as of his acceptance to the insei D league in Tokyo at the beginning of April 2021.

He has no vision in his right eye and about 0.01% in his left. He does, however, actually look at the board.

To excerpt from John Fairbairn:

"Haruto had been blind since falling ill with lymphoblastic leukaemia at age one. ... He had to go to a special blind school and that is where he started playing go, attracted to it because of the connection with his grandfather's rent-out. He was about six. ...

Three years later, as nominally amateur 1-dan, he joined a local club run by a strong amateur 6-dan Sogabe Toshiyuki. Sogabe gave him special attention, and arranged games with a pro, Mizuma Toshifumi 8-dan. ... Haruto zoomed up to 6-dan in about seven months. This led to an introduction to pro 6-dan Nobuta Shigehito ...

Nobuta noted the combination of talent and intense concentration in Haruto, and that led him to suggest trying out as an insei. He is the first blind insei."

On June 4, he played and lost a two-stone game as Black against Nakamura Sumire, who "won by 4 points but only after pulling away in the late endgame when there were several kos and quite a lot of ko threats on the board."

For more details, see the L19 thread [ext] Blind boy on the path to pro.

On 16 December, Fairbairn gave news on another promising visually impaired young player:

"Now a visually impaired schoolmate of his, Sato Misora, is making waves. At the start of 2020 she was 6-kyu, but in the past year she has shot up from 1-dan to 4-dan at age 13. She has just reached the final of the major tournament for blind people (a mixed event). Despite losing there (in a remarkably tactical long game in which she was ahead but then lost a big group), she too now has set her sights on becoming an insei."


Iwasaki Haruto last edited by bugcat on December 27, 2021 - 21:21
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