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September 15th, 2005

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Chinese ratings on SL, Ch’oe Ch’eol-han out of Gisung

Although the first item isn’t strictly pro news, it should be of interest to thos who follow the pro go scene, but can’t read Chinese (that’s most of us, I think): someone who can read Chinese has translated the Chinese pro ratings at the end of April this year, until position 30, and posted it on Sensei’s Library. So if you want to know who the top dogs in Chinese go are, check this out. Unsurprisingly, Gu Li tops the list, but I was surprised to find Yu Bin and Chang Hao only at 6th and 7th. Between Gu and Yu lie, in order, Kong Jie, Zhou Heyang, Wang Lei, and Hu Yaoyu.

Today sees a number of important title games on the Japanese pro scenes. The most important one in most peoples’ eyes is the match to decide who will challenge Yamashita Keigo for the Tengen title. 9-dan Imamura Toshiya and 7-dan Kono Rin are competing for the right. The other major match taking place today is Iyama Yuta’s first game in a Nihon Ki-in sanctioned title match. (Although Iyama won the Nakano Cup under-20 championship, by defeating fellow 4-dan Ko Iso earlier this year, this tournament is sponsored by the estate of a writer.) In today’s game, the first in the Shinjin O (New Stars) title for 7-dans and under, he will face 7-dan Kim Sujun. Interestingly, Iyama eliminated Ko Iso in the semi-finals of this tournament as well to qualify for the final.

Ko Iso despite losing both his games, is no pushover: while Iyama is eligible for direct promotion to 7-dan if he claims victory in the Agon Cup, Ko has made a good start on another way to direct promotion to 7-dan: entering the Meijin league. In his pool in the final preliminaries, Ko had to face relegated League member Cho Sonjin 9-dan in the first round. Ko rose to the occasion and eliminated him. Ko is now 2 games away from the Meijin league, with his next game against the holder of the premier Japanese title: Hane Naoki Kisei. Ogata Masaki’s hopes of re-entering the Meijin league were also dashed last week, when he lost his first round match in the final prelims against 8-dan Takanashi Seiken. This means there will be at least 2 new faces in the Meijin league this year, with O Meien, the other relegated player, still not having played a match in the prelims.

Today’s big game on the Korean scene is in the Kuksu challenger decision tournament: Yi Ch’ang-ho vs Cho Hun-hyeon, both in the top 10 Korean players.

Yesterday, Ch’oe Ch’eol-han, who won his first international title earlier this year, and holds the Korean Kuksu title, was eliminated in the first round of the Gisung challenger decision tournament. Kim Juho, 6-dan, eliminated him with a half-point victory.

In the SK Gas New Stars Cup, yesterday Kang Dongyun (3d) bt Cho Hye-yeon (6d) (Korea’s female number 2) to go 4-1 in League A and thus qualify for a playoff against Yun Junsang (4d) to determine the finalist from League A. The last game of League B happens today: if Pak Chi-eun (Korea’s female number 1) wins, she goes through to the final undefeated, otherwise there will be a playoff between her and 3-dan Ko Geuntae.

The CSK Cup is a team tournament between Korea, China, Japan and Taiwan. The Taiwanese team at the 4th tournament, held in May, was nothing to be scoffed at: Rin Kaiho, O Rissei, O Meien, Cho U and Zhou Junxun, all 9-dans, with more than a handful of titles between them. Unfortunately, though, the team only managed to pick up 2 victories at the tournament in 15 matches: Cho U beat Korea’s Kim Seongryong (9d), and Rin Kaiho defeated top Chinese player Kong Jie (7-dan). It seems that Rin, O, O, and Cho’s place in the tournament for next year are assured, while a preliminary tournament is being held in Taiwan to select the final representative, with Zhou seeded into the final stage of 6 player. Other seeds are Lin Zhihan (7d), Chen Shien (3d), Dai Jiashen (7d), and Lin Shengxian .(7d). The last open place in the top 6 is being competed for in a preliminary stage involving 22 Taiwanese pros between 1-dan and 5-dan. This stage kicked off on Tuesday, with 2-dan Zhang Kaixin defeating 1-dan Chen Yixiang.

Posted by Steve in Pro News

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