The 10th Chunlan Cup begins in China


The Chunlan Cup is an international tournament for 24 players.

The 10th Chunlan Cup kicked off on March 26, 2014, in Taezhou, China.

The Chunlan Cup is an invitational tournament for 24 top players from around the world.

In the first round, 16 unseeded players vied for a spot in the second round.

They were joined by the remaining 8 seeded players in round two, on March 28.

Round 1

North America and Europe

This year’s North American and European representatives – Jiang Mingjiu 7p and Fan Hui 2p – are certainly no strangers to the Western Go community.


Jiang Mingjiu 7 dan represented North America and Fan Hui 2 dan represented France.

Jiang teaches Go in the USA, while Fan is the official coach for the French Go Federation.

Unfortunately, they were knocked out in the first round by China’s Tuo Jiaxi 9p and Japan’s Cho U 9p respectively.

Taiwan and Japan

Taiwan’s representative, Wang Yuanjun 7p, was also knocked out in round one, by Japan’s Iyama Yuta 9p.

Wang, who’s currently regarded by many as Taiwan’s strongest player, gave Iyama a scare in a close game. However, Iyama was able to win by half a point after Wang made a mistake in the endgame.

Japan had two other players advance to the second round after Kono Rin 9p defeated Fan Tingyu 9p and Murakawa Daisuke 7p defeated Lian Xiao 7p.

The other winners from round one were Tang Weixing 9p, Mi Yuting 9p and Gu Li 9p.

Lots were drawn to determine which seeded player the winners of the first round would face in round two.

2014’s seeded players

This year, seeds were awarded to Chen Yaoye 9p, Jiang Weijie 9p, Zhou Ruiyang 9p, Shi Yue 9p, Lee Sedol 9p, Park Junghwan 9p, Kim Jiseok 9p, and Choi Cheolhan 9p.

As we mentioned yesterday, the universe seemed to be playing some sort of joke in once again pairing Gu Li against Lee Sedol. However, it’s worth noting that several international tournaments, including the Chunlan Cup, setup the draw to minimize intra-country clashes in the earlier rounds.


Gu Li 9 dan draws Lee Sedol 9 dan as his opponent in round two.

Round 1 results table

Here are the full results from round one:

Winner Result Loser
Mi Yuting 9p B+R Mok Jinseok 9p
Gu Li 9p B+R Kim Junghyun 4p
Murakawa Daisuke 7p B+R Lian Xiao 7p
Tang Weixing 9p B+R Yamashita Keigo 9p
Kono Rin 9p B+R Fan Tingyu 9p
Iyama Yuta 9p W+0.5 Wang Yuanjun 7p
Cho U 9p B+R Fan Hui 2p
Tuo Jiaxi 9p B+R Jiang Mingjiu 7p


Brief commentary on round 1

An Younggil 8p provided some brief commentary on selected games.

Murakawa Daisuke (B) vs Lian Xiao

The first fight began with White 52. Up to White 88, the game was even.ย White 92 was questionable, and Black 101 and 103 were a nice counter-attack.

Black took the lead up to 129, after establishing a large territory. Black 207 and 209 were very nice endgame tesuji to finish the game.

Kono Rin (B) vs Fan Tingyu

The opening was peaceful, and both players seemed to like that. Black 31 and 33 were a nice sequence and, up to 37, the opening was favorable for Black.

Black 71 was big, and the game was still good for Kono. White 94 and 96 were a nice combination and the game became very close. In the end, Kono was winning by half a point, and Fan resigned.

Iyama Yuta (W) vs Wang Yuanjun

Black started with nice opening, and the game was favorable for Black up to 67. Black developed a large territory in the center up to move 91, but he should have exchanged F17 for G17.

The game became very close up to 110. Black 175 was the losing move, and White reversed the game with 176 and 180.

Round 2

Round two was played on March 28, 2014.

Gu Li and Lee Sedol – Game 40

The majority of attention was on the game between Gu Li and Lee Sedol. This happened to be their 40th encounter.

Gu managed to give himself another mental boost before Sunday’s Jubango, by defeating Lee in a close game.


Gu Li (left) plays Lee Sedol at the 10th Chunlan Cup

A disappointing round for Japan

After a great opening round, Japan made a disappointing showing in round two.

Zhou Ruiyang had a surprisingly straightforward win over Iyama Yuta. Meanwhile, Murakawa Daisuke and Kono Rin also failed to progress to the quarter finals, falling to China’s Shi Yue and Chen Yaoye.

However, Cho U had better luck than his compatriots, defeating China’s Jiang Weijie convincingly.


Chen Yaoye 9 dan (left) defeated Kono Rin 9 dan.

Round 2 results table

The full results from round two are as follows:

Winner Result Loser
Park Junghwan 9p W+R Tang Weixing 9p
Gu Li 9p B+R Lee Sedol 9p
Mi Yuting 9p B+R Choi Cheolhan 9p
Kim Jiseok 9p W+R Tuo Jiaxi 9p
Zhou Ruiyang 9p B+R Iyama Yuta 9p
Chen Yaoye 9p W+R Kono Rin 9p
Cho U 9p W+R Jiang Weijie 9p
Shi Yue 9p B+R Murakawa Daisuke 7p


Brief commentary on round 2

Here’s Younggil’s quick review of the key points from round two:

Park Junghwan (W) vs Tang Weixing

White had a nice start up to 60 and a big fight started with Black 63. A ko fight began at move 95, and the result up to 148 was still good for White.

Black 149 and 155 were a good combination, and the game became very complicated up to 177. White 188 and 194 were good moves and Park managed to save the game.

Gu Li (B) vs Lee Sedol

The opening up to 57 was successful for Black. There was a big ko fight and the trade up to 104 was good for Black.

White 116 was a very nice tesuji, and White 132 was typical of Lee Sedol, making the game complicated. Lee caught up by attacking Black’s left side group, and the game became very close up to 218.

White 250 was the losing move, and Gu won the game with 251 and 257. In the end, Lee was losing half a point, so he resigned.


Lee Sedol after the game.

Cho U (W) vs Jiang Weijie

Cho U started the game with a joseki he invented, at White 6 and 8. Black 29 and 31 were questionable, and the opening up to 40 was favorable for White.

White 66 and 68 were sharp, and the result up to 86 was successful for White. White 94 was a very good move and Cho maintained a solid lead up to 104.

White 132 was a brilliant move and the game was practically over at that point. It was a great game by Cho U.


Jiang Weijie 9 dan (left) was defeated by Cho U 9 dan. Cho will be Japan’s only representative in the quarter finals.

Zhou Ruiyang (B) vs Iyama Yuta

Black 29 and 31 were a nice combination and Zhou got off to a good start. Black 43 and 45 were practical and severe, and Iyama was in trouble.

Up to 67, Black made a big territory, and the game was still good for him. Iyama started to attack with 68, but Zhou’s responses were perfect up to 85.

Black 119 and 121 were very sharp, and White’s eye shape was gone. After Black 127, Iyama couldn’t find any chances to catch up, and he resigned soon afterwards.

Quarter finals

The quarter finals and the semifinals will be played in late 2014 and the final will be played in 2015. As always, we’ll keep you updated on its progress.

The pairings for the quarter finals are as follows:

  • Gu Li 9p vs Cho U 9p
  • Chen Yaoye 9p vs Park Junghwan 9p
  • Mi Yuting 9p vs Kim Jiseok 9p
  • Shi Yue 9p vs Zhou Ruiyang 9p

10th Chunlan Cup Quarter Finalists (from left): Kim Jiseok, Gu Li, Cho U, Chen Yaoye, Zhou Ruiyang, Shi Yue, Mi Yuting and Park Junghwan.

Gu Li and Lee Sedol’s busy schedule

While everyone else heads home for the time being, Gu and Lee head straight to Chengdu for their match on Sunday. They both have one day to rest in between.

Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan, a neighbouring province to Gu’s hometown, Chongqing.

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.

10th Chunlan Cup photos

Game records

Click here to download a selection of other game records from rounds one and two.

Gu Li vs Lee Sedol


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Jiang Weijie vs Cho U


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Zhou Ruiyang vs Iyama Yuta


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)



Jingning Xue, with Younggil An and David Ormerod.

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About Jing

Jing likes writing, and can occasionally be convinced to play a game of Go. Even though 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.

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  1. Too bad Iyama Yuta didn’t make it. But it’s amazing that Kono Rin beat Fan Tingyu, isn’t it?

  2. Honestly, it does not feel right to me that the two players supposedly from the not-Asian countries were both ex Chinese pro. I think that having some young “true” western players would have done more good to the spreading of go. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I think this is a very tricky issue. I understand why some people might find it unfair, especially when you consider there are European pros who are not of Asian descent.

      However, in the case of North America, it’s a bit more complicated. The strongest players are the Asian expats so to exclude Asian players would mean excluding some of the strongest representatives. And often if a tournament like this gives a region a spot, the local Go association will select a representative through a qualifying tournament or based on points. The main criterion for participation is usually citizenship.

      In any case, Fan Hui and Jiang Mingjiu are both popular and well respected teachers who’ve done a lot of the international Go community, so perhaps the tournament organizers thought their selection might attract more Go fans from outside of Asia?

      • Thank you for your answer. I agree that both of them did a wonderful job in spreading go in the western world. I think the main issue may not be so much the origin of the players but the fact that both of them were already pro in China. It is a bit like if a Russian chess master at the end of his career would come to China to spread chess (great!), and then represented China in international chess tournaments, instead letting his students make experience (not so great.). ๐Ÿ™‚ I feel that sending a “young hope” may be much better for spreading go and making young boys dreams that one day they could be there…

  3. Great article. DO you know if I could find somewhere all the games? I would love to see the ones from the Western representatives. Thank you!

  4. Thank you very much, will keep it in mind ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Bill Singer says:

    In the game Iyama-Zhou, why doesn’t White play move 54 at Q6. Doesn’t this win the game outright?

    • Younggil An says:

      That’s a good question. In the game, Iyama played at Q6 for 56, but he can’t capture Black’s two stones on the side. If White captures the side stones with S5, Black can capture White’s three stones in the center with P6, W S6, B N8. That’s why Iyama didn’t capture, but sacrificed the right side instead.