On August 23, 2012, as the inaugural Bailing Cup names its semifinalists, China has already started celebrating with a guaranteed all China final.
1st Bailing Cup semifinalists
No treat for Xie Erhao?
At post match interviews, reporters flocked to Xie like bees to honey.
When quizzed about his parents’ reaction and whether they had some sort of treat in store for him, Xie shrugged and said that they didn’t seem surprised and he had certainly not seen any sign of a reward!
The Four Arts
To determine the semifinal match up, the players drew scrolls inscribed with one of the traditional Chinese ‘Four Arts’ – calligraphy, painting, zither and Go.
Chen pulled out the Go scroll – perhaps a good omen for Chen? Zhou will play Xie and Chen will take on Tang in the semifinals, which will take place in early November.
Seeded players… where are they now?
Amazingly, none of the 14 players seeded directly into the main draw have made it through to the semifinal.
The Bailing Cup
The Bailing Cup is a new international tournament (not to be confused with a now defunct Chinese female tournament of the same name), which started in 2012.
It’s sponsored by the Guizhou Bailing Pharmaceutical Group.
The winner receives 1.8 million RMB (about $280,000 USD at the time of writing) and the runner up receives 600,000 RMB. This puts the tournament in the same league as the BC Card Cup and Samsung Cup in terms of prize money.
The format is a straight knock out of 64 players with the final played as a best of three.
Can Xie Erhao make history?
Xie has already broken a record by becoming the youngest player to reach an international semifinal.
Do you think Xie can make it all the way and, more importantly, will his parents finally surprise him with celebratory treat?
You can leave a comment below to join the discussion with me and other Go players.