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Lee Changho And Chang Hao In Chunlan Finals

Monday December 15, 2008

In the semifinals of the 7th international Chunlan Cup on December 11th there were three Chinese players and one Korean. Lee Changho 9P of Korea defeated Kong Jie 7P while Chang Hao 9P defeated Zhou Heyang 9P, so Lee and Chang will meet in the best-of-three-game finals. Chang came in second last year, losing to fellow countryman Gu Li 9P, which is the only time the Chinese have won this event. Lee has won it twice, in 2003 and 2005. Overall, Koreans have won it four times and the Chinese and Japanese once each. The winner’s purse is about $150,000.00 US. Lee is also the only Korean ever to take second place, in the first Chunlan in 1999 when he lost to his teacher Cho Hunhyun 9P.

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Cho Holds Onto Tengen, Recaptures Oza

Monday December 8, 2008

2008.12.08 Cho U This has been a good week for Cho U (pictured) 9p, who not only recaptured the Oza, but held onto the Tengen, defeating challenger Kono Rin 9p 3-0. Cho took the last game in the Tengen on December 4th and won the fourth and final Oza game on December 8, claiming two titles in just five days. Cho now holds four of the top seven Japanese titles, including the Meijin, Tengen, Gosei, and Oza. Cho held the Oza from 2003 to 2005, but lost it in 2006 to Yamashita who held it for two years. Yamashita is left with only the Kisei title, which he has held for four years altogether, including the last three. Kono held the Tengen title for three years until Cho took it last year. Kono’s only current title now is the NEC Cup. Cho had an impressive run-up to challenging for this event, winning the final with Ko Iso 7p by 1.5 points, his semi-final game against Cho Chikun 9p by 1.5 points, and his third round game against Takao Shinji 9p by a mere half point. Cho won this title for the first time last year, taking it from Kono Rin, who had held it for three years.

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Lee Sedol Takes 2-1 Lead In Myeongin

Monday December 8, 2008

2008.12.08 Lee Sedol Lee Sedol (pictured) 9P is ahead 2-1 in the best-of-five-game finals of the Korean Myeongin (J: Meijin) against challenger Kang Dongyun 9P. Kang became the challenger by defeating Won Sungjin 9P who had just defeated Lee Changho 9P in the play-off after the Challenger League left the three players tied. Kang is an up-and-coming teen. He won the gold medal in the male individual section of the recent World Mind Sports Games and recently won five consecutive games in the Nongshim Cup international team tournament. Last year he won the King of Kings title by defeating Lee Changho. Lee Sedol took this title last year from Lee Changho, who had held it for twelve of the previous thirteen years.

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Gu Li Meets Hu Yaoyu In Finals Of Chinese NEC Cup

Monday December 8, 2008

2008.12.08 Gu Li 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.

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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.

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Kang Stops Tuo In Nongshim

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

Korean Go School Deadline Nears

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 president@usgo.org and igf@usgo.org for more information.

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Gu Li Hangs On In Mingren

Monday November 17, 2008

Gu Li (right) 9P won Game 3 to hang on in his best-of-five-game defense of the Korean Mingren (J: Meijin). Gu lost the first two games to challenger Piao Wenyao 5P. Games 4 and 5 are scheduled for November 19th and 20th. Gu currently holds five Chinese titles and two international ones (Fujitsu and Chunlan), while Piao, who is just twenty, has only taken one, the CCTV Cup in 2007. - Photo by Picasa user BadukNews

Lee Sedol Takes First Game in Kuksu Defense

Monday November 17, 2008

Lee Sedol (left) 9P has won the first game in his best-of-five-game defense of the Korean Kuksu (National Champion) title against challenger Mok Jinseok9P. Lee won this title for the first time last year. Mok won a few titles in the late ’90s, but has not taken any lately, although he was number one in Korea in terms of number of games won last year, with 93 wins and 29 losses for a winning rate of 76%. Lee Sedol was in second place, but Mok won 12 more games than Lee. This year Lee is leading on that list, while Mok is tied for third. Lee Sedol currently holds four international titles and two national ones. The next game in the title match is scheduled for November 24th. - Photo by Picasa user BadukNews

Chinese Taipei Secures Status As Go Superpower

Monday November 17, 2008

Li-cheng Chien cemented Chinese Taipei’s status among the go superpowers with his win in the just-concluded 3rd Korean Prime Minister Cup, held November 8-11 in Goyang City, South Korea. Chien, the Chinese-Taipei representative, won the championship trophy by beating China and Japan, winning on tie-break despite losing to the Korean representative who in turn lost to China. Korea took 2nd, China 3rd, both with a 7-1 record; followed by Hong Kong and Ondrej Silt of Czechia, the highest-placing European. U.S. rep Thomas Hsiang (seated) placed 6th with a record of 6-2, losing by a single point in the first tie-breaker. Hsiang was followed by Australia, France, Singapore, and Macau – the other 6-2 winners. “The significance of Chinese-Taipei winning a first international amateur title was noted by all,” Hsiang tells the E-Journal, noting that Chien’s win follows Chou Chun-hsun’s capture of the LG Kiwon Championship. Japanese representative Kazumori Nagayo came in a surprising 11th with a 5-3 record. More details can be found on the tournament webpage- Photo by Cuong