An all China affair
When we last checked in on the Bailing Cup, you could have been forgiven for thinking that it was just another domestic Chinese tournament.
Both Xie and Tan managed to win one game, against Zhou and Chen respectively, in the best-of-three semifinals, which were held in late 2012.
Zhou’s patience is rewarded
Prior to this win, Zhou’s rank of 5p somewhat belied his real strength, as he has been consistently ranked among China’s top pros for some years.
Zhou was selected for the Chinese team in the last two iterations of the Nongshim Cup.
He was also quite impressive in junior tournaments, winning both the Under 15 Fujitsu Cup and the Xinren Wang (‘Rookies’ Cup’) twice.
And now, finally – more than 10 years after he turned pro – Zhou’s patience has been rewarded with his first international title.
Zhou’s performance will also earn him a promotion to 9p under the, fairly strict, Chinese dan promotion system.
Congratulations Zhou Ruiyang!
Another missed opportunity for Chen
This was Chen’s third appearance at an international final and yet another missed opportunity for the player whom many consider to be long overdue for a major international title win.
Nevertheless, he lost this best-of-five title match in three straight games.
While no longer the child prodigy he once was, Chen’s performance on the domestic Chinese circuit remains solid.
In 2012 he successfully defended the Tianyuan title (the Chinese Tengen) for the 3rd consecutive year, won the Changqi Cup and crushed Choi Cheolhan in the China Korea Tengen mini title match (Chen seems to be Choi’s natural enemy).
Luckily, he doesn’t have to wait long for his next chance.
Do you think he’ll be able to make his international breakthrough against Lee?
The Bailing Cup
The Bailing Cup is an international Go 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 $300,000 USD at the time of writing) and the runner up receives 600,000 RMB.
The format is a straight knock out of 64 players with the final played as a best of three.