The 25th Tianyuan Tournament has ended with Chen Yaoye 9P successfully defending his title against up and coming Chinese player, Zhou Hexi 4P.
Zhou was tipped by punters to have a good chance against Chen in this challenge. He was one of three ‘tiger cubs’ who made it to the semi final and he won the right to challenge Chen by defeating stalwart and Chinese head coach, Yu Bin 9P. Unfortunately, this was not to be his year and Chen held the title with two consecutive wins – taking the best of three matches.
Chen’s own path to winning Tianyuan, for the third year in a row, is also quite remarkable. At the age of 19, in 2009, Chen successfully challenged Gu Li 9P, who himself had held the title for six consecutive years. In 2010, Chen once again held the Tianyuan, defending a strong challenge by none other than Gu Li. By winning Tianyuan in consecutive years, Chen has equalled the winning streaks of Liu Xiaoguang 9P and Ma Xiaochun 9P.
During the post game interview, Chen said he was quite lucky to win the first match, with white and black both becoming embroiled in a live or die battle. When asked about the second match, Chen said that he was quite nervous and benefited from a miscalculation on Zhou’s part. Of Zhou’s game, Chen has nothing but praise, saying that Zhou is a very strong opponent and very difficult to beat.