Cho Hanseung wins 55th Kuksu in Korea

On November 16, 2011, the 55th Kuksu ended in Korea, with Cho Hanseung 9p winning his first Kuksu title over defending champion Choi Cheolhan 9p.

Cho Hanseung 55th Kuksu 300x378 picture

Cho Hanseung (9 dan), the new Kuksu.

The first 4 games

Choi, as the defending title holder and also past title holder (2004-2005), arguably entered the title matches with a slight edge. However, Cho, who gained an early finish from military service based on his Go performance, was certainly a dark horse.

After the third match on October 25 Cho had a 2-1 lead over Choi and it seemed like victory was within reach. However Choi clawed his way back on November 14 to make a stand at 2-2.

Black wins all 5 games

On November 16 the final game took place. Interestingly in all 5 games, the player that held black emerged as the winner, which is most unusual.

Choi Cheolhan 55th Kuksu 300x377 picture

Choi Cheolhan (9 dan), looks troubled.

Kuksu

The Kuksu is a domestic title tournament in Korea. The Korean word, Kuksu, corresponds to the Chinese characters (国手, guoshou), which literally mean ‘national hand’, but translate loosely to something more like ‘national treasure’.

Rui Naiwei 9p, widely known as the strongest female player, famously won this tournament in 1999, defeating the legendary Cho Hunhyun 9p.

A strange pattern…

Since its inception in 1956, the Kuksu has been characterised by long winning streaks by the dominant players of the time – Cho Namcheol 9p held the title from 1956 to 1964, Kim In 9p from 1965 to 1970, Cho Hunhyun from 1977 to 1985 and Lee Changho from 1993 to 1997.

Both Lee Changho and Cho Hunhyun also won the title in other non-consecutive years. More recently though, the title has not been held for more than two years in a row.

More photos from the 55th Kuksu title match

Game records from the 55th Kuksu

Game record: Cho Hanseung vs Choi Cheolhan – Game 1

Download SGF File (Go Game Record)

Game record: Choi Cheolhan vs Cho Hanseung – Game 2

Download SGF File (Go Game Record)

Game record: Cho Hanseung vs Choi Cheolhan - Game 3

Download SGF File (Go Game Record)

Game record: Choi Cheolhan vs Cho Hanseung - Game 4

Download SGF File (Go Game Record)

Game record: Cho Hanseung vs Choi Cheolhan - Game 5

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.

Comments

  1. Nice tenuki battle in that last game. It’s interesting that even though black gave up a lot in the corner and still didn’t kill the centre group, he still managed to profit enough from the attack to build up the lower side and win.

  2. I really like Choi but it’s always nice to see titles changing hands.

  3. and i think the players have like 6 hours each, which is tiring

Speak your mind