Izumi Kobayashi, daughter of Koichi Kobayashi, one of the strongest go players in the world

I met Izumi Kobayashi during the 1992 Fujitsu Cup in Tokyo, Japan.

Izumi Kobayashi

Izumi Kobayashi was born on June 20, 1977 in Tokyo. She became 1-dan in 1995 and 2-dan in 1998.

Izumi Kobayashi is daughter of Koichi Kobayashi, one of the strongest go players in the world, and of Reiko Kitani, 7-dan. Her grandfather was the great Minoru Kitani 9-dan, one of the two strongest players in the era following the Second World War.

When I met Izumi Kobayashi, she was 14 years old. She was standing watching the Fujitsu Cup matches with a girl about her age. I was surprised to see two young girls standing in a crowd dominated primarily by adult men. What they were doing was even more surprising. They were reading a Go magazine and playing through the go games in that magazines in their heads.

The way they were doing this was also surprising. In the Go magazine, there were numbers on the stones showing the order in which the moves were made. They would put their finger first on move number 1, then on move number 2, then on move number 3 and so on until the end of the game. Because of their quick sight of the board, they were able to play through all of moves of a game in only about 30 seconds.

I was impressed with this, so I asked a friend how they would do against a top female player whom he knew. "They would whip her" behind, my friend said.

Naturally, I went over and introduced myself to these two go girls. I showed them a copy of my Go World Magazine which had just come out and which had a picture of one of them in it which they had not seen before.

They were so impressed by this that they gave me their telephone number. I later called them, but they told me that they were locked in an aspiring professional go player's dormitory and could not go out.

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