The second round of the 15th Nongshim Cup finished on December 7, 2013 with Team Japan being eliminated. The previous round was played in late October.
Giant noodle cups
Kim selected the odd scroll, which gave Korea a bye in the first round.
15th Nongshim Cup Teams
Yao won the right to be promoted to 1p in Taiwan, at the age of 11 in 2009, but refused his promotion to become an insei in Japan instead.
Three years later, in 2012, he became a professional with the Nihon Kiin.
China’s running start in round one
Round one was played from October 22-25, 2013. Fan Tingyu got China off on a roll, quickly dispatching Japan’s Yao Zhiteng and Anzai Nobuaki, as well as Choi Kihoon from Korea.
Fan’s run was cut short by Korea’s Kang Dongyun at the end of round one.
When play resumed on December 2, 2013, Kang only managed one more win, over Kono Rin, before succumbing to Team China’s Chen Yaoye.
Chen also had a pretty good run, with three straight wins. He defeated Yuki Satoshi after his win over Kang.
By now, no doubt Choi Cheolhan (the next man on the Korean bench) was wondering if the universe was having a joke at his expense.
We’ve written before about Chen’s remarkable record against Choi.
Choi actually played Chen in this tournament last year and broke his losing streak against Chen.
Unfortunately Choi couldn’t repeat that feat this year.
Japan’s last man
Cho U, Japan’s anchorman, was up next.
Cho ended Chen’s run, but his momentum was cut short by Kim Jiseok, the dangerous infighter from Team Korea.
The final round
With Korea’s Park Junghwan (and Kim Jiseok) and China’s Zhou Ruiyang, Tan Xiao and Shi Yue still in play, Kim will have to wait until play resumes in February 2014 for his next opponent.
As always, we’ll keep you updated as China and Korea battle it out for the title.
The Nongshim Cup
The Nongshim Cup is a team event between China, Japan and Korea.
The sponsor, Nongshim, is a Korean instant noodles company.
The tournament uses a win and continue format, which is common in these team events.
Korea has dominated this event, winning it 11 times. In contrast, China has won the tournament twice and Japan only once.