The second round of the 8th Chunlan Cup was played on Monday, March 29.
A surprising result came from Cho Chikun of Japan. He beat Qiu Jun of China by resignation. Qiu Jun recently managed to the final of 14th Samsung Cup, but lost to Kong Jie by 2-0.
After all, it seems that the old tiger Cho Chikun still has his fangs.
You can download the game between Cho Chikun and Qiu Jun here
Here is the result of the second round: Heo Yeongho (7 dan) of China beat Chang Hao (9 dan) of China by 0.5 points. Kong Jie (9 dan) of China beat Choi Cheolhan (9 dan) of Korea by resignation. Lee Sedol (9 dan) of Korea beat Sun Tengyu (4 dan) of China by resignation. Wang Xi (9 dan) of China beat Yuki Satoshi (9 dan) of Japan by resignation. Xie He (7 dan) of China beat Iyama Yuta (9 dan) of Japan by resignation. Cho Chikun (9 dan) of Japan beat Qiu Jun (8 dan) of China by resignation. Gu Li (9 dan) of China beat Yamashita Keigo (9 dan) of China by resignation. Gu Lingyi (5 dan) of China beat Lee Changho (9 dan) of Korea by resignation.
The 8th series of the international tournament hosted by China was started in March 27. 24 players from China, South Korea, Japan, Europe, and America compete to be number one.
Chunlan company's Vice President
Zhongguo Qiyuan's president.
Here is the result of the first round: Heo Yeongho (7 dan) of Korea beat Yoda Norimoto (9 dan) of Japan by 6.5 points. Choi Cheolhan (9 dan) of Korea beat Hu Yaoyu (8 dan) of China by 0.5 points Lee Sedol (9 dan) of Korea beat Zhou Junxun (9 dan) of Taiwan by resignation. Yuki Satoshi (9 dan) of Japan beat Lin Zhihan (8 dan) of Taiwan by resignation. Iyama Yuta(9 dan) of Japan beat Csaba Mero (6 dan amateur) of Europe by resignation. Cho Chikun (9 dan) of Japan beat Kang Dongyun (9 dan) of Korea by resignation. Yamashita Keigo (9 dan) of Japan beat Chen Yaoye (9 dan) of China by resignation. Gu Lingyi (5 dan) of China beat Jiang Mingjiu (7 dan) of North America by resignation.
Japan did pretty well in round one, as 4 from 5 representatives managed to the second round. I'm very surprised by Cho Chikun's result, since Cho didn't show good performance recently in domestic tournaments.
The game between Iyama and Csaba was hard for Csaba. I don't think Csaba stood a chance in the game.
The game between Lee Sedol and Zhou Junxun is also interesting. Lee showed quite a skill in that game.
A great news came for all Yuki satoshi's fans. For the second time, he won the speed go championship which broadcasted weekly, NHK Cup.
Last year, he won the final from Takemiya Masaki. This year, he beat Iyama Yuta Meijin in the final.
With this, both Yuki and Iyama will represent Japan in the Asian TV Cup. The other participants for Asian TV Cup are Lee Changho and Kang Dongyun of Korea. The representative of China is still unknown.
Takao Shibji,one of the top Japan player, currently leading the 35th Meijin League with a perfect 4-0 score!
So far, he scored his victories from Sakai Hideyuki (W+1.5), Ogata Masaki (B+R), O Meien (B+R), and Mizokami Tomochika (B+R).
What about the ex-Meijin, Cho U? He is currently at 2-1 position. He won from Yamada kimio (W+R) and from Mizokami Tomochika (B+8.5), while his one lost came from Yuki Satoshi.
Both Takao and Cho will meet each other in the 6th round in May. Cho's opponent in the fifth round is Sakai Hideyuki, while Takao is not scheduled for the league game next month (since Meijin league has 9 players playing, one player will not play their game once.)
As I mentioned yesterday, the 65th Honinbo league is entering the final round with the end of the last game of the 6th round, between Yamashita Keigo and Takemiya Masaki.
Yamashita won the game as white with 4.5 points margin. With this, he is tied 5-1 to Iyama Yuta who was leading the league.
The last round will be played in April 1. If both Yamashita and Iyama won their games, Yamashita will be the challenger, but if both lose their games and Takao Shinji won his, he will challenge Hane Naoki to reclaim his title for the second time.
The challenger spot is still open for the three oft them.
The 65th Honinbo league is heating up with only one game left to go. So far, Iyama Yuta Meijin leads the league with 5-1.
Yamashita Keigo will decide his position today in a game against Takemiya Masaki. Yamashita currently at 4-1 position. If he win today's game, he will be at the same 5-1 position, thus gain the lead at the league, since his previous year's rank is better than Iyama.
Takao Shinji is third with 4-2 position. He suffered two loses from Iyama Yuta and Cho U who recently won Kisei title and is fighting for his Judan title.
Three players are declared demoted already. They are Yuki Satoshi, Mimura Tomoyasu, and sadly, Takemiya Masaki who surprised everyone when he made to the league last year.
The last player to be demoted is the loser between Yamada Kimio and Cho U's match. Yamada is a 2-4 position, while Cho is at 3-3. If Yamada Kimio win his game, their position will be the same, at 3-4, but Yamada is ranked number 2, while Cho is ranked 4. Cho has a better record against Yamada. He beat Yamada 3-0 in the 57th Oza.
All the remaining game will be played in April.
Here is the pairing for the last round: Takao Shinji vs. Mimura Tomoyasu Yamada Kimio v Cho U Yamashita Keigo vs. Yuki Satoshi Iyama yuta vs. Takemiya Masaki
It was settled! Korea is the champion of the 11th Nongshim Cup!
It must be very disappointing for China, since they were doing very well, yet they can't win the title.
Let's review the tournament from the first stage. Kim Jiseok of Korea was the star of the first round. He won the first three games (thus winning the consecutive prize money), before losing to Xie He of China in the fourth game.
When the tournament was continued in January, the spot light went to Xie He who won 4 consecutive games before losing to Japan's Honinbo, Hane Naoki. Hane Naoki then closed the second stage by beating Park Yeonghun in the tenth game.
The third stage was started at March 9. Liu Xing of China helped China team to strengthen their grip on the tournament. However, Lee Changho played all out and won the last three games from Liu Xing, Gu Li, and Chang Hao. It was such a drama this year!
Why I said again in the title? Because the same thing also happened in the Jeongganjang Cup. When the third stage started at Jeongganjang Cup, China still has three members, while Japan and Korea only had one each. However, Park Jieun won all 4 games, thus winning the championship for Korea.
Signing an autograph. I want one too. Hehehehehe.
I must say that the two tournaments were very interesting this year.
The 11th Nongshim Cup is down to the climax part! Only two countries left with only one player representing each.
The 14th game is down to China's captain, Chang Hao vs. Korea's captain, Lee Changho.
The third stage was started in March 9. The first game was between Hane Naoki from Japan and Liu Xing of China. Hane lost the game by 5.5 points, thus eliminating Japan's hope to win the tournament, as their last player was eliminated.
The next day, the last player of Korea, Lee Changho played Liu Xing. China was on the advantage side, since they still had three players. Liu Xing, Gu Li, and Chang Hao. If Liu won this game, China will once again triumph in this championship.
However, Lee pulled quite a game and saved Korea from losing by beating Liu Xing by resignation.
The next player from China was the grand slam, Gu Li. It was interesting to wonder the outcome, since Gu Li's playing style is very aggressive, while Lee's is calm (though he seems to change a little nowadays).
Lee Changho once again played very well and won the game by resignation.
The first game of the 48th Judan title match series was played at March 4. Guess who are the players. Yup. They are (again) Cho U and Yamashita Keigo.
After his previous lost at Kisei title series, for sure Yamashita is motivated to win Judan from Cho. Is the motivation enough to win the title? I don't know. But at least it wasn't enough to won the first game.
Cho U (left) vs. Yamashita Keigo (right)
The first game was won by Cho U who played black by resignation. The game was moyo game with both players built very big moyos. However, Cho attacked white's weak group and by a smart sequence, Ymashita was left with the options of letting the weak group go or lost about 15 points in his moyo. Yamshita chose the third option. Resigning the game.