The 17th China Korean Tengen was held on August 22, 23 and 24, 2013, in Hangzhou, China.
A familiar face
Chen has become quite the regular at these showdowns – between the winners of the Tianyuan and Chunwon (the respective names of the Chinese and Korean Tengen titles).
Chen, who’s held the Tianyuan title since 2009, has faced several Korean Chunwon title holders. His impressive record is four out of five wins in this mini-tournament.
A new challenger
Unlike the Japanese Tengen title and the Chinese Tianyuan, the Korean Chunwon is played as a straight knockout tournament.
This means that the defending champion has to play through the draw like everyone else, so there’s less of an advantage in being the title holder. Choi still made it to the final, but was outplayed by Park this time.
Having had no luck in the previous two years, with Choi unable to win even a single game against Chen, Korean fans hoped that Park would be more successful.
A matter of style
As has been noted before on Go Game Guru, Chen’s style of play is particularly effective against the stereotypical Korean fighting style of Go (epitomized by sharp tactical play and running battles).
Chen tends to play very solidly and his forte is defense. He waits patiently for an opportunity to counter-attack.
Chen’s style seems to have frustrated Choi Cheolhan, who prefers a dynamic attacking game and is one of the most dangerous dragon slayers in the contemporary Go world.
In contrast, Park Younghun excels in the endgame. Similar to Lee Changho 9p in his prime, Park prefers to keep things simple where possible and to outplay his opponents in the endgame.
The Korean camp hoped that Park’s style would be more effective against Chen.
China edges ahead
However, it wasn’t to be.
Park won game 2, of this best of three title match, but the final score was 2-1 in Chen’s favor.
With this victory, China has edged ahead of Korea in the nation vs nation results for this tournament.
Korea had quite a head start, with Lee Changho winning the first four iterations of the tournament.
Since then, China has been oh-so-close to evening the score on several occasions, but Korea has always managed to edge ahead.
Last year, Chen evened the score at 8-8 and now, with Chen’s win, China is ahead for the first time at 9-8.
Because of this, Chinese Go fans celebrated Chen’s victory even more enthusiastically than usual.
Congratulations Chen Yaoye!