Chen Yaoye wins 9th Chunlan Cup, finally achieves international success

The 9th Chunlan Cup finals were held in Jinan, China on June 17, 19 and 20, 2013.

Chen Yaoye 9th Chunlan Cup final 300x269 picture

Chen Yaoye wins his first major international Go tournament at the 9th Chunlan Cup.

Chen Yaoye’s breakthrough!

Much to China’s delight, Chen Yaoye 9p defeated Lee Sedol 9p 2-1, to win his first and much overdue major international title.

This is Chen’s fourth attempt at an international final and it was smiles all round as Chen finally made his breakthrough on the world stage.

Smiles all round

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Lee Sedol 9 dan (left) congratulates Chen Yaoye 9 dan on his first international title.

Lee seems to make a habit of being present at special milestones in Chen’s career and looked genuinely pleased for Chen.

The last time these two met in an international final was in 2007, at the 19th Asia TV Cup, which – as Chen’s appearance at his second international final – saw Chen promoted to become the youngest 9p (at the time).

An interview with Chen Yaoye

Chen gave an interview after the game, but he still seemed to be trying to come to grips with the moment so the answers were somewhat perfunctory.

Among the more interesting points, Chen admitted that he still thinks Lee is the stronger player and that he was lucky to win (note that this seems to be the standard line that gets taught in Go player media training these days ;), though we don’t doubt Chen’s candor, nor his modesty).

When asked what was next for him on the agenda, Chen said that he hopes to play well in the next round of the Chinese A League and that he has to start preparing for his next games.

No rest for the wicked, nor for professional Go players!

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Chen Yaoye (left) and Lee Sedol are mobbed by reporters, officials and friends while reviewing the final game of the 9th Chunlan Cup.

3rd place playoff

In other news, Jiang Weijie 9p defeated Kong Jie 9p in the playoff to take third place in the 9th Chunlan Cup.

The Chunlan Cup

The Chunlan Cup is an invitational Go tournament for 24 top players from around the world. In addition to players from China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan, a European and a North American representative are also invited.

The top 8 seeded players proceed directly to round two, while the remaining 16 play a single elimination round, knocking out 8 players. After the first round, the remaining 16 players compete in a knockout tournament, culminating in a best of three final.

The tournament is sponsored by Chunlan Group, a Chinese conglomerate with interests in the air conditioning, domestic appliance, automotive, finance and alternative energy industries.

The Chunlan Cup uses Chinese rules, with a komi of 7.5 points, and offers a prize of $150,000 USD to the winner.

9th Chunlan Cup photos

Game records

Lee Sedol vs Chen Yaoye – Game 1

Download SGF File (Go Game Record)

Chen Yaoye vs Lee Sedol – Game 2

Download SGF File (Go Game Record)

Chen Yaoye vs Lee Sedol – Game 3

Download SGF File (Go Game Record)

Jiang Weijie vs Kong Jie (Playoff)

Download SGF File (Go Game Record)

About Jing

Jing likes writing, and can occasionally be convinced to play a game of Go. Although she doesn't play Go as often as she once did, she still enjoys following the professional Go scene and writing about it on Go Game Guru. You can find Jing on Google+ and follow Go Game Guru on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter.


  1. Lee’s mental state is questionable. He is separated from his family(wife and daughter) and looks it affects him(?). Korea has not won any international tournament this year. Will Korea overcome China’s dominance ??????

  2. Thomas Rike says:

    Thank you so much for the “instantaneous” reporting. I had to go to bed before the game was over, but I really wanted to know the results and see the last half of the game. Having your report and all the game records available for review was a “breakfast” treat.

  3. I think Chens modestly speaking of his success and saying Lee is still stronger, is part of the Chinese way of life. Courtesy requires that you play down you own success and praise your adversary.

  4. Chimin Oh says:

    There were opinions over the Chinese dominance in the international Go scene in Korea. One of the Korean pros argued that there is a one stone gap in a new pro level between the two countries. Some people think this is a more serious problem.

  5. Chen yaoye has been playing well for several years. Now he will be more confident and will have more champions.

  6. Lee said his $50000 prize can only support his wife and kid at Canada for 2 months. Wonder why so expensive.

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