IM Shinya Kojima wins Japan Open 2021
In a normal year at least three FIDE rated, classical time control tournaments are held in Japan, two simultaneously in May, and one in November. This year, with the coronavirus playing havoc, the events in May were cancelled, while the Gion Open in Kyoto went ahead as scheduled. Finally, come November, and relatively quieter situation with regard to the virus, we saw the successful completion of the FIDE rated Japan Open 2021. The National Chess Society of Japan (NCS Japan) successfully conducted the FIDE Rated OTB classical tournament - Japan Open – as planned, in November 2021. Photo: Mayur Gondhalekar
Kojima becomes unbeaten champion
Japan Open is one of the open FIDE rated tournaments, conducted by NCS Japan in November, which sees the participation of many players from all over the country. This year’s tournament had a maximum participation limit of 70, yet saw players coming in from all over Japan, across all ratings, from the then FIDE top ranking IM Kojima Shinya down to brand new unrated players. The tournament has great incentives to win or secure top spots: The top ranking male and female players qualify for the next Chess Olympiad. Top ten players, top two females, top junior (U-18), and top senior(O-50) qualify for the next Japan Chess Championship (FIDE rated, closed event)
This year, the top players of Japan participated, featuring a stellar lineup of:
IM Kojima Shinya (2489)
CM Tran Thanh Tu (2374)
FM Aoshima Mirai (2342)
Asaka Samuel (2254)
CM Matsuo Tomohiko (2162)
FM Yamada Kohei (2131)
and the two WCMs, Kojima Natsumi and Sakai Azumi.
Eight federations were represented, while twenty new and FIDE unrated players participated in the event.
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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.