13 year old Xie Erhao youngest semifinalist at 1st Bailing Cup

On August 23, 2012, as the inaugural Bailing Cup names its semifinalists, China has already started celebrating with a guaranteed all China final.

1st Bailing Cup semifinalists

Zhou Ruiyang (5 dan) defeated Park Junghwan (9 dan) in the quarter finals and drew calligraphy (书 – shu) to decide his seeding in the 1st Bailing Cup semifinals.

Park Junghwan 9p, Korea’s last man standing, fell to one China’s highest rated players, Zhou Ruiyang 5p.

The other three semifinalists are Tang Weixing 3p, Chen Yaoye 9p and, to everyone’s surprise, 13 year old Xie Erhao 1p.

No treat for Xie Erhao?

Xie caused quite a stir in his first round match, defeating Chinese superstar, Rui Naiwei 9p. He followed up in round two with an equally impressive win over Japan’s Meijin, Yamashita Keigo 9p.

Xie Erhao (1 dan) – the youngest player to reach an international semifinal – is swamped by reporters at the 1st Bailing Cup.

At post match interviews, reporters flocked to Xie like bees to honey.

When quizzed about his parents’ reaction and whether they had some sort of treat in store for him, Xie shrugged and said that they didn’t seem surprised and he had certainly not seen any sign of a reward!

Xie Erhao draws painting (画 – hua) to score a match with Zhou Ruiyang in the 1st Bailing Cup semifinals.

The Four Arts

To determine the semifinal match up, the players drew scrolls inscribed with one of the traditional Chinese ‘Four Arts’ – calligraphy, painting, zither and Go.

Chen pulled out the Go scroll – perhaps a good omen for Chen? Zhou will play Xie and Chen will take on Tang in the semifinals, which will take place in early November.

Chen Yaoye (9 dan) draws Go (棋 – qi) setting up a semifinal match with Tang Weixing at the 1st Bailing Cup.

Seeded players… where are they now?

Amazingly, none of the 14 players seeded directly into the main draw have made it through to the semifinal.

However, An Younggil will comment one of the games from the earlier rounds between Jiang Weijie 9p and Lee Sedol 9p.

The Bailing Cup

The Bailing Cup is a new international 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 $280,000 USD at the time of writing) and the runner up receives 600,000 RMB. This puts the tournament in the same league as the BC Card Cup and Samsung Cup in terms of prize money.

The format is a straight knock out of 64 players with the final played as a best of three.

Tang Weixing (3 dan) draws zither (琴 – qin), a musical instrument with strings. Tang will play Chen Yaoye in the semifinals of the 1st Bailing Cup.

Can Xie Erhao make history?

Xie has already broken a record by becoming the youngest player to reach an international semifinal.

Do you think Xie can make it all the way and, more importantly, will his parents finally surprise him with celebratory treat?

You can leave a comment below to join the discussion with me and other Go players.

Game records

Zhou Ruiyang vs Park Junghwan


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Zhou Hexi vs Chen Yaoye


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Tang Weixing vs Dang Yifei


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Xie Erhao vs Li Kang


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


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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. When is the next round?

  2. If I had a young child who was that much better than me I might not give him any presents either!

  3. Rainier Bob says:

    Loved the Xie Erhao game. Would be good to see more.

    • We might be seeing a lot more of Xie Erhao from here depending on how he goes in November.

  4. Dylan Carter says:

    I had the pleasure of training in Wuhan in 2007 when Yan An 7p was training this talented youngster! Really great to see this in the headlines!

    • Younggil An says:

      Wow, You must have had fun and interesting time with him and other youngsters! 😀