Gu Li (pictured) 9P has held the fast play Chinese NEC Cup three times and was runner-up once in the last five years. This year he faces Hu Yaoyu 8P in the finals. Hu has done well in a number of top events, but has won few titles–most recently the Liguang Cup in 2007. Gu is the top title holder in China currently, holding two international titles (Fujitsu and Chunlan Cup) and five national titles.
American Go E-Journal » World
Monday December 8, 2008
World Go News: Takao Keeps Japanese Alive in Nongshim; Park Leads 2-0 in GS Caltex Cup Title Match; Zhou Ruiyang Wins Qiwang
Monday December 1, 2008
TAKAO KEEPS JAPANESE ALIVE IN NONGSHIM: The Nongshim Cup, the popular international team tournament, started off being dominated by two teens. First Chinese teen Tuo Jiaxi 3P won four games, eliminating two members of the Japanese and two of the Korean five-player teams. Then Korean teen Kang Dongyun 9P won five games, kicking out three Chinese and two more Japanese. Down to their last player, Takao Shinji (left) 9P, the Japanese finally managed to win a game, with Takao sending Kang down on November 29th. Facing two Koreans, Lee Changho 9P and Lee Sedol 9P, and two Chinese, Chang Hao 9P and Gu Li 9P, it seems highly unlikely — even to Takao, according to an interview in the latest issue of Goama — that Takao can defeat all four, probably the strongest players in the world at the moment, to capture the title for the Japanese, who won this cup in 2006. The Chinese team, with Chang Hao holding the fort, won the Nongshim last year, but the Koreans have won it the other seven times. In every case, Lee Changho was the Koreans’ iron door. The final games start on February 2nd in Shanghai.
PARK LEADS 2-0 IN GS CALTEX CUP TITLE MATCH: Park Yeonghun (right) 9P defeated challenger Won Sungjin 9P November 28th in the second game of the best-of-five-game match for the 13 Korean GS Caltex Cup to make the score 2-0. Park won the international Fujitsu last year, defeating Lee Changho 9P in the final, and also the 12th GS Caltex Cup, defeating Lee Sedol 9P in that final. Earlier this year he won the Korean Maxim Cup and the Gisung. Won won two Korean titles last year, the BC Card Cup (aka New Pro Cup) and the Chunwon (J: Tengen). Both players are in their early twenties. Photo by Picasaweb user BadukNews
ZHOU RUIYANG WINS QIWANG: Zhou Ruiyang 5P, who is seventeen, defeated Li Kang 6P to take the 4th Chinese Qiwang (King of Go) title on November 15th. Zhou has won the Xinren Wang (New Pro) Cup twice (2007 and 2008) and the Weifu Cup in 2008. The Xinren Wang is limited to players under thirty and 7P. Li, twenty-one and yet to win a title, was the runner-up in the Weifu Cup against Zhou back in February, losing that one 2-0.
Monday November 24, 2008
Korean Kang Dongyun (right) 8P snapped Chinese teen Tuo Jiaxi 3P’s winning streak in the international Nongshim Cup, winning by 1.5 points Monday. Tuo, got the Chinese team off to a blazing start in the Nongshim team tournament by winning all four games in the first stage and eliminating two members of the Korean and the Japanese teams, lost in the first round of the second stage on Monday, November 24th to Korean Kang Dongyun 8P (another teen) by 1.5 points. There will be six games in this stage, which is being played in Pusan, Korea, one each day until November 29th. Coincidentally, the first Chinese player in the similar Jeongganjang Cup for women also won all four of the games in the first stage earlier this month. Song Ronghui 1P, yet another teen, will face a Korean player when that event resumes in early January. Photo from the World Go new blog
Monday November 24, 2008
There’s just over a month left to apply for an exciting new go study program in Korea. Applications for The King’s Baduk Academy are due by December 31. Applicants must be between the ages of 10 and 25; There will be 10 fully-funded positions — including paid travel, room and board, and tuition — one for each country, and 50 self-paying positions. Those selected will join a class of fifty other promising young players from around the world for a 3-7-year rigorous course of study starting in March 2009. Contact both email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
World Go News: Cho Takes Third Straight Meijin; Teen Park Jiyeon in Women’s Myeongin Finals To Challenge Rui Naiwei; Chinese-Korean Finals in LG Cup
Monday November 10, 2008
CHO TAKES THIRD STRAIGHT MEIJIN: Cho U (left) has retained his Meijin title after an exciting seesaw battle with Iyama Yuta that went the full 7-game distance. After losing the first two games in his Meijin title defense against teen Iyama 8P, Cho 9P then won three straight games to take a 3-2 lead but then lost Game 6 in less than 100 moves. Cho won the decisive seventh game on November 5-6 and so will hold that title for the third year in a row and the fifth time overall. Cho is now in the midst of a major run at the top seven Japanese titles. He already holds the Meijin and the Gosei, and he’s the challenger for both the Tengen and the Oza (he’s won the first game in the Oza title match), and he is in the finals to be the challenger for the Judan. In the Honinbo League, which has just started, he is 1-0. The only one of the top seven he is out of currently is the Kisei, although he came close to winning his section of that League. Iyama is also compiling an impresssive record. He won his section of the Kisei League, but lost the play-off game to Yoda Norimoto 9P; he is still alive in the Losers’ Bracket of the Judan, lost to Cho in the finals to be the challenger for the Oza, and is playing in the challenger’s tournament for the Gosei.
TEEN PARK JIYEON IN WOMEN’S MYEONGIN FINALS TO CHALLENGE RUI NAIWEI: Seventeen-year-old Park Jiyeon 1P has won no titles yet, but she now finds herself in the finals of the tournament to determine the challenger for Rui Naiwei (left) 9P’s Korean Women’s Myeongin (Japanese: Meijin) title. This tournament is a double-elimination; after their first loss, the losers play each other in a separate bracket until only one is left. That player then plays the winner of the winners’ bracket to decide who will be the challenger. This year Cho Hyeyeon 8P, who challenged Rui for it five times, winning in 2003 while still a teen herself – and who is also the current Women’s Kuksu – is the winner of the winner’s bracket. She beat Park in the semi-finals of that bracket, but Park won the final game among the losers, so she and Cho will meet again.
CHINESE-KOREAN FINALS IN LG CUP: The best-of-three-game finals of the 13th international LG Cup will be between Lee Sedol 9P of Korea and Gu Li (below right) 9P of China. In the semifinals November 5th, Lee knocked out fellow Korean Park Yeonghun 9P, while Gu eliminated Korea’s Lee Changho 9P by 1.5 points. Lee Sedol won this event last year, as well as in 2003, and Gu won it in 2006. Lee Changho has won it four times. Overall, the Koreans have been victorious seven times, the Chinese and the Japanese twice each, and the Taiwanese once. The finals will occur in late February in Seoul.
Xie Yimin Takes Lead In Honinbo Defense; Gu Li Wins Chinese Agon Cup; Kang Dongyun Vs Lee Sedol In Chunwon
Monday November 3, 2008
XIE YIMIN TAKES LEAD IN HONINBO DEFENSE: Xie Yimin (left) 3P leads 2-1 in her best-of-five-game defense against challenger Suzuki Ayumi 4P for the Women’s Honinbo title. Still a teenager, Xie also holds the Women’s Meijin title. She lost her first title, Strongest Woman, to Kato Keiko 6P back in July, though she made it to the finals, losing 2-0. At this point Kato has the best record in the League to determine the challenger for the Meijin. The fourth game in the Women’s Honinbo title match is scheduled for November 5th.
GU LI WINS CHINESE AGON CUP: Gu Li (right) 9P defeated Chang Hao 9P by 5.5 points to win the 10th Agon Cup in China (Ahan Tongshan Cup). This is the third time Gu has won this event, more than any other player. Liu Xing 7P won it in 2006 and 2007, and Zhou Heyang 9P in 2000 and 2004. Gu will play the winner of the Japanese Agon Cup in a dual international meet. The Japanese event has reached the finals, which will be between Takanashi Seiken 8P and Cho U 9P. Gu won this event in 2004 and 2005. Every time he has won the Chinese event, he has also won the match against the Japanese winner. Cho won the Japanese event the last two years and was defeated by Liu both times.
KANG DONGYUN VS LEE SEDOL IN CHUNWON: Teen Kang Dongyun (left) 8P, who won a gold medal in the recent World Mind Sports, will play a best-of-five-game match with Lee Sedol 9P for the Korean Chunwon (Japanese: Tengen) title. Last year Kang took the King of Kings (aka Electron-Land Cup) title from Lee Changho 9P by a score of 2-1. Now he has a chance to do the same thing to the other of the two top Korean players, Lee Sedol. It would be quite a feat. Lee Sedol holds four international titles currently and two nationals. Only Gu Li 9P of China comes close to that level; he has two international titles and five Chinese nationals. Cho U 9P may soon have that kind of dominance in national Japanese titles, but holds no international ones. Kang played in the finals of the Chunwon last year, as well, losing to Won SeongJin 9P.
Monday November 3, 2008
IYAMA FIGHTS BACK IN MEIJIN: Down 2-3 in his challenge for the Meijin, Iyama Yuta (right) 9P came roaring back after losing three straight to make the score 3-3 and take the match to a final Game 7 showdown. Defeating defending champion Cho U 9P by resignation after less than a hundred moves, the teen will now try to ride the momentum in his quest to be the first teenager ever to hold one of the top three titles in Japan. The final game of the best-of-seven-game match is scheduled for November 4th and 5th (U.S. time), and will be carried live on IGS starting at 7 PM Eastern Time on Tuesday night, enabling those interested in the U.S. Presidential election to follow two historic contests.
CHO U TAKES FIRST GAME IN OZA: Cho U (left) 9P got off to a good start in his challenge of Yamashita Keigo 9P for the Oza title, winning the first game by resignation. Yamashita is hoping for a three-peat in the Oza, which he first took from Cho U in 2006. Cho had held the title for three years. Yamashita’s only other current title is the Kisei. Cho also holds the Meijin, which he is currently defending against Iyama Yuta 8P, and the Gosei among the top seven, and he is the challenger for the Tengen. Cho will quite likely be engaged in three top-seven title matches at the same time. He is also the current holder of the Agon Cup and the NHK Cup. In terms of current titles Cho is clearly number one in Japan. The next game in the Oza match is scheduled for November 13th.