American Go E-Journal » World

Gu Li Winningest Pro In ’09

Monday February 1, 2010

An important indication of superiority among go professionals is their winning percentage, especially among the most active players. Here is a rundown for 2009. Gu Li 9P of China was the player with the most wins in international events, winning eighteen and losing seven for a winning rate of 72%. Second in number of wins was fellow Chinese Qiu Jun 9P with 17-8 for a 68% rate. Third was Heo Yeongho 6P of Korea whose 16-4 record gave him an amazing 80% win rate. Not surprisingly, the top twenty international event winners are all either Chinese (9) or Korean (12): nine Chinese and twelve Koreans (a six-way tie for 16th makes the total twenty-one).

In 2008, Gu Li was third behind Lee Sedol 9P and Lee Changho 9P of Korea, but Gu’s winning percentage was higher: 82% vs. 75% and 74%.

In Japan in 2009 Iyama Yuta 9P was dominant, not only winning the most games (43-14) but also having the highest winning percentage among the top winners: 75%.

Yuki Satoshi 9P was second in wins, 40-15.

Top title holder Cho U 9P fell to fifth place, winning 35 while losing 19 for a 65% rate. Cho was the top winner in 2008 in Japan.

In Korea, Kim Jisuk 6P, who turned twenty during 2009, was the top winner at 71-20 for a 78% rate. His 78% winning percentage was also top among the thirty players with the most wins.

Choi Cheolhan 9p was second on the winning list with 56-18 for a 76% rate, and Lee Changho 9P was third with 50 wins and a 66% rate.

Lee Changho was second in 2008 behind Lee Sedol 9P (who is currently not playing in professional events).

Kong Jie 9P is the top winner for 2009 in China: 47-20 for a 70% rate.

Only one player among the top thirty winners in China has a higher rate: Tan Xiao 5P in fifteenth place with a 74% rate for 33-12.

The precocious teen Chen Yaoye 9P – who turned twenty at the end of 2009 — was second in China with 46-20, which also gives him a 70% win rate.
- Bill Cobb

Categories: Go News,World

WORLD GO NEWS: Japanese Surge In The Nongshim Cup

Monday January 25, 2010

JAPANESE SURGE IN THE NONGSHIM CUP: The Japanese, who in recent years haven’t survived past the second round of the Nongshim Cup have made it through to the third round this year. Hane Naoki 9P — Japan’s last player — pulled out a win on January 22nd and then defeated Park Yeonghun 9P of Korea. The Nongshim is a win-and-continue team event between five member teams from China, Japan, and Korea. The Japanese and Chinese teams have each won only once in Nonshim’s ten-year history, with Korea winning the other eight titles. The Koreans started out strong as usual, when Kim Jiseok  6P won the first three games, defeating two Japanese: Yamashita Keigo 9P and Takao Shinji 9P. Then Xie He 7P of China took over, winning five games before being stopped by Hane. The Koreans are also down to a single player, Lee Changho 9P, while the Chinese still have three. Hane’s next game will be against Liu Xing 7P of China in early March. The other Chinese players are Chang Hao9P and Gu Li 9P. Sources: Go News, GoGameWorld, Sensei’s Library, JustPlayGo

Categories: World

WORLD GO NEWS: Korean Teen Park Junghwan Wins Third Title Match; Iyama Yuta Takes Clear Lead In Honinbo League

Monday January 11, 2010

KOREAN TEEN PARK JUNGHWAN WINS THIRD TITLE MATCH: Park Junghwan 5P (l) won’t be twenty until 2013, but he is already becoming a major player. Last year he won two Korean titles, the Siptan (Judan) Cup and the Chunwon (Tengen), and he has just successfully defended the Sibdang against challenger Lee Changho 9P with a score of 2-1. Lee won the first game of the match, but Park took the other two on January 9th and 10th. In the unusual structure of the Siptan, as last year’s winner, Park was seeded into the third round, so he had to win two games just to get into the title match.

IYAMA YUTA TAKES CLEAR LEAD IN HONINBO LEAGUE: In the eight-player round robin league to decide the next challenger for the Honinbo title in Japan, Meijin Iyama Yuta 9P has a 4-0 record with three games to go. Everyone else has at least one defeat. The closest competitor at this point is Yamashita Keigo 9P with a 3-1 record. He and Iyama have not yet met in the league. Yamashita currently holds both the Kisei and the Tengen titles. Iyama is Meijin and also won the Ryusei last year.
- Bill Cobb, from Go News, GoGameWorld, Sensei’s Library

Online League To Launch In 2010

Monday December 14, 2009

ONLINE LEAGUE TO LAUNCH IN 2010: With fifty players signed up, the online Korean-style International Live Leagues are getting ready to launch in January 2010, reports KILL founder Alexandr Dinerchtein, who says that two more professionals — An Young-gil 8P and Lee Hajin 3P – have signed on to participate as well. While the leagues are filled up, organizers are putting new registrants on a waiting list of players who will be able to watch all the lectures while they await an opening in the leagues. Click here for details and to sign up, or email
- Peter Dijkema






Categories: World

WORLD GO NEWS: China Wins 7th Japan-China Agon Cup; Cho Hanseung Wins GS Caltex Cup; Lee Changho Wins Myeongin; Cho U Evens Match In Tengen Defense; Davis Wins 2nd Irish Championship; Xebo Wins St Nick Tourney In Braunschweig; Hungarian League

Monday December 14, 2009

CHINA WINS 7TH JAPAN-CHINA AGON CUP: Sun Tengyu 4P of China defeated Japan’s Hane Haoki 9P by 3.5 points on December 9th to win this year’s Japan-China Agon Cup. The match between the winners of the Japanese and the Chinese Agon Cup tournaments has been a painful experience for the Japanese lately, as the Chinese Cup holders have now won seven straight matches. Sun is a teen whose only title before winning the Chinese version of the Agon Cup (Ahan Tongshan Cup) this year was the National Individual championship in 2008. Hane is in his thirties and has been a major player on the Japanese pro scene. He is the current Honinbo and held the number one Japanese title, the Kisei, in both 2004 and 2005. In the Chinese event, Sun defeated both Gu Li, China’s current top title holder, and Piao Wenyao 5P, another of the strong young Chinese pros. - Bill Cobb, from Go News, GoGameWorld

CHO HANSEUNG WINS GS CALTEX CUP: Cho Hanseung 9P took the fourth game of the Korean GS Caltex Cup to take the title away from Park Yeonghun 9P by a score of 3-1. Park only won the third game. The GS Caltex Cup is one of the richest among Korean events. In his twenties, Cho’s most recent previous title was the Chunwon, which he won by defeating Lee Sedol 9P in 2006. Park, also in his twenties, has had a more illustrious career, toped off by winning the international Fujitsu twice, in 2004 and 2007. - Bill Cobb, from Go News, GoGameWorld

LEE CHANGHO WINS MYEONGIN: Lee Changho 9P defeated Won Sungjin 9P 3-1 to capture the Korean Myeongin (J: Meijin) title for the thirteenth time. Lee won the decisive fourth game of the match on December 10th by a mere half point. Lee, now in his thirties, has not been so dominant lately, but still wins important titles. His last international title was the LG Cup in 2004. Won is ten years younger and has won only two titles so far, both in 2007: the BC Card Cup and the Chunwon. - Bill Cobb, from Go News, GoGameWorld

CHO U EVENS MATCH IN TENGEN DEFENSE: The Tengen now goes to a decisive fifth game as Cho U 9P leveled the match in defense of his title against challenger Yamashita Keigo 9P. Yamashita went ahead 2-1 by winning the third game on December 3rd, but Cho came back on December 10th to take the fourth of the best-of-five-games match. So far Black has won every game by resignation. The final is scheduled for December 22nd. - Bill Cobb, from Go News, GoGameWorld, Sensei’s Library

DAVIS WINS 2ND IRISH CHAMPIONSHIP: Ian Davis beat Claas Roever 2-1 (date) to take the 2009 Irish Championship title. The championship came down to a final, tense game, “As usual between these two it was a game that could have gone either way,” reported Stephen (last name) on the Irish Go Association website. “After repeating the opening of the second game, Claas took an early lead by switching to a Gibson style strategy using some risky opening plays. However somewhere in the middlegame he lost his way, and Ian forced resignation after a devious invasion.” This was Davis’ second Irish title; he has another 14 wins to pass all time Irish title record holder Noel Mitchell. Davis, President of the Irish Go Association and Irish Correspondent for the E-Journal, credited altitude training in County Donegal for his win. Click here for the record of the final game.

Categories: Go News,World

WORLD GO NEWS: Yamashita Takes Lead In Tengen

Monday December 7, 2009

Cho U  9P’s efforts to avoid losing another of his titles has become an uphill fight in the Tengen.  On December 3rd Challenger Yamashita Keigo 9P won the third game of the best-of-five-games title match to take a 2-1 lead. Cho won this title last year for the first time. Yamashita has also held the title for one year, 2004. He lost it the next year to Kono Rin  9P and failed to retake it as challenger the next two years. Cho held five of the top seven Japanese titles at the beginning of this year, but lost the Meijin to Iyama Yuta 9P in November. The fourth game in the Tengen match is scheduled for December 10th.
- Bill Cobb, from Go News & GoGameWorld

WORLD GO NEWS: Korean Myeongin Title Match Tied At 1-1

Monday December 7, 2009

The best-of-five-games match between Lee Changho 9P and Won Sungjin 9P (right) for the Meyongin (Japanese: Meijin) title in Korea was tied at 1-1 when Won won the second game on December 3rd by 1.5 points. The last winner of this title was Lee Sedol 9P, but since he has taken a temporary leave of absence from the pro scene, the title holder will be decided by this match. Lee Changho has won this title twelve times since first taking it from Cho Hunhyun 9P in 1991. Won’s latest title victories were the BC Card Cup and the Chunwon in 2007. He is ten years younger than Lee Changho.
- Bill Cobb, from Go News, GoGameWorld & Sensei’s Library

WORLD GO NEWS: Park Yeonghun Fights Back In GS Caltex Cup

Monday December 7, 2009

On December 2nd, Park Yeonghun 9P avoided a shut-out in the the GS Caltex Cup when he defeated challenger Cho Hanseung 9P in Game 3 of their best-of-five-games title match. Park must win both remaining games to retain the title he has held for the last two years. The GS Caltex Cup is one of the most lucrative in Korea. Park has a more outstanding record of title wins than Cho by a significant margin. Both are in their twenties. Game four in the match is set for December 9th.
- Bill Cobb, from Go News, GoGameWorld & Sensei’s Library

11/24/2009 World Go News: Cho U Evens Up Tengen Title Match; Cho U To Challenge For Kisei; Cho Hanseung Closing In On GS Caltex Cup; Korea Wins Pair Go Championships; U.S. Places 14th

Tuesday November 24, 2009

CHO U EVENS UP TENGEN TITLE MATCH: Cho U 9P (right) won the second game against challenger Yamashita Keigo 9P in the best-of-five-games defense of his Tengen title on November 19th to make the score 1-1. Cho, who holds “only” four titles now, after losing the Meijin to Iyama Yuta 9P, won this title last year for the first time, taking it from Kono Rin 9P who held it for three years. Kono took it from Yamashita in 2005, and Yamashita was unable to regain it despite being the challenger the next two years. Yamashita had held the title for only one year. The third game in the title match is scheduled for December 3rd. Cho is also currently engaged in defending his Oza title against challenger Yamada Kimio 9P. Cho won the first game of that match and the second of the best-of-five-games event will be on November 24th.
- Bill Cobb, from reports in Go News, GoGameWorld, & Sensei’s Library

CHO U TO CHALLENGE FOR KISEI: Cho U 9P defeated O Rissei 9P in the playoff game November 16th between the winners of the two leagues to decide who would get to challenge Yamashita Keigo 9P for the Kisei title. At the age of fifty, O is a member of the older generation now, but has had a remarkable career, doing well in international events and winning his most recent title in 2004, which involved defeating Cho U to retain the Judan title for the fourth consecutive year. The Kisei is the number one title in Japan with a winner’s prize of about $400,000 US. Yamashita has held this title five times, including the last four years. Yamashita first won it in 2003, when he defeated O who had held it for three years, having taken it from Cho Chikun 9P in 2000. This is Cho U’s first challenge for the Kisei. Cho U and Yamashita are currently engaged in the title match for Cho’s Tengen title; Yamashita has won the first game of that contest. The best-of-seven-games finals will begin next January 14th.
- Bill Cobb, from reports in Go News, GoGameWorld, & Haengma

CHO HANSEUNG CLOSING IN ON GS CALTEX CUP: Cho Hanseung 9P (right) won the second game of the GS Caltex Cup title match on November 17th against title holder Park Yeonghun 9P to make the score 2-0 in the best-of-five-games match. Cho, who is not as accomplished as Park, won his most recent title, the Chunwon, in 2006. Park won the international Fujitsu in both 2004 and 2007. The next game in the title match will occur on December 2nd. The GS Caltex Cup has the highest winner’s prize among Korean tournaments.
- Bill Cobb, from reports in Go News & GoGameWorld

KOREA WINS PAIR GO CHAMPIONSHIPS; U.S. PLACES 14TH: Korea won the 20th International Amateur Pair Go Championships, held November 14-15 in Tokyo. Thirty two pairs from 22 countries and territories competed. Japanese pairs took 2nd, 3rd and 5th, with a Chinese pair winning 4th place. From the West, only the Russian team managed to crack the top ten – and that just barely – with Elvina Karlsberg 4d and Evgeny Matveev 5d from Russia in 10th. The U.S. team of Yinlin Wang and Yuan Zhou placed 14th, with Canada in 15th. Other top-20 teams from Europe included Germany at 17th place, with the Czech Republic at 18th and the United Kingdom at 19th. Click here for full results.
Categories: World

WORLD GO NEWS: Yamashita Takes First Game In Tengen Title Match; Korean Myeongin Reaching Final Stages; Honinbo League Proceeding Slowly

Monday November 16, 2009

YAMASHITA TAKES FIRST GAME IN TENGEN TITLE MATCH: Challenger Yamashita Keigo 9P (left) defeated Tengen title holder Cho U 9P on November 12th to take the first game in their best-of-five-games title match. Cho now holds four of the top seven Japanese titles. He won the Tengen for the first time last year, defeating Kono Rin 9P, who had held it for the preceding three years. Yamashita lost the title to Kono after winning it from Hane Naoki 9P in 2003; he then unsuccessfully challenged for the next three years. Yamashita’s main claim to fame is holding the number one title in Japan, the Kisei five times, including the last four years.
- Bill Cobb, Sources: Go News, GoGameWorld

KOREAN MYEONGIN REACHING FINAL STAGES: On November 12-13, Won Sungjin 9P (right), who had defeated Seo Gunqoo 4P, defeated Hong Sungji 7P by a score of 2-1 (winning his two games by a total of five points) to become the League A final winner in the 37th Myeongin (J: Meijin), which has a complicated structure. This year there are two six-player leagues after the usual preliminary event. The top two players in each league have a best-of-three-games match and the winners of those matches have a final match. Since Lee Sedol 9P, who won this title last year, has taken a leave of absence from the active pro scene, the winner of this final match will be the title winner; this match is a best-of-five-games contest. A further complication arose in one league where a play-off game was needed to determine the second winner. The top two from League B, Lee Changho 9P and Kim Seongje 3P will start their playoff on November 16th. Lee Changho is one of the world’s best-known players, but is not as dominant these days. Kim has never taken a title and is still in his teens. Won won the international Chunwon title and the BC Card Cup in 2007. Of these three only Lee currently holds a title, the Korean KBS Cup, which he has held ten times.
- Bill Cobb, Go News, GoGameWorld, Sensei’s Library

HONINBO LEAGUE PROCEEDING SLOWLY: The eight-player round robin to determine the challenger for Hane Naoki 9P’s Honinbo title is proceeding at its usual leisurely pace. At this point Iyama Yuta 9P (recently promoted for winning the Meijin) and Yamashita Keigo 9P have the best records at 2-0. Neither of these players have even challenged for this title before, let alone won it. Among the other League participants only Takao Shinji 9P (currently 1-1) and Takemiya Masaki 9P (also 1-1) have ever won the Honinbo title. Takao held it three years, from 2005-2007, and Takemiya was Honinbo six times, including four consecutive years in 1985-1988. Yamada Kimio 9P (0-2) was the challenger in 2006, losing to Takao. Cho U 9P (1-1–he lost to Iyama) challenged twice unsuccessfully, in 2001 and 2005. The remaining two players, Yuki Satoshi 9P and Mimura Tomoyasu 9P have also never been the challenger.
- Bill Cobb, from GoGameWorld, Go News, Wikipedia, Wintry Smile

Categories: World