23rd Asian TV Cup kicks off

On June 6 2011, the 23rd Asian TV Cup kicked off in Beijing, China, with a reception thrown in honour of the contestants.

The contestants

The 7 players competing for the title are: Kong Jie 9p, Wang Lei 8p, Zhong Wenjing 5p of China, Park Junghwan 9p and Baek Hongseok 8p of Korea and Yamada Kimio 9p and Yoda Norimoto 9p of Japan. Kong, as defending champion, is seeded directly into the semi finals.

From left: Wang Lei, Zhong Wenjing, Kong Jie, Yoda Norimoto, Yamada Kimio, Park Junghwan and Baek Hongseok

If the players had anticipated an easy night of good food and wine before official play commenced, they were sorely disappointed. The Master of Ceremonies, Wang Yi, had a good time asking some very probing questions.

MC Wang Yi grills Kong Jie

Kong Jie gets grilled by the MC

For example, Kong was stumped with this question – “after you got married, you won 3 big international tournaments but after the honeymoon period ended, your results have not been so good, why not?”

As Kong struggled to come up with an answer, Wang Yi quickly followed with “Takemiya won this tournament 4 years in a row, are you planning to set a new record?”

Wang Lei (8 dan) defeats Yoda Norimoto (9 dan)

About the Asian TV Cup

The Asian TV Cup is a lightning Go tournament open to the winners and runners up of domestic Chinese, Korean and Japanese TV station sponsored blitz tournaments. Beijing, Tokyo and Seoul take turns as tournament hosts.

The previous year’s winner receives a bye into the semi final while the other 6 players battle it out for the remaining 3 semi final spots.

The results so far

On June 7 2011, Wang Lei defeated Yoda and Yamada defeated Park. Zhong will take on Baek tomorrow in the remaining opening round match.

Yamada Kimio (9 dan) ousts Park Junghwan (9 dan), keeping Japan's hopes alive

Then the semi finals will take place – Yamada will take on defending champion Kong while Wang will play the winner of the Zhong/Baek match.

Wang Lei’s imminent promotion

If Wang Lei can win his next match and make it to the final, he will be promoted to 9 dan.

Can Kong make it 3 in a row? Stay tuned for more.

Who are you cheering for?

I’d like to see Wang Lei reach 9 dan. Then I hope Kong Jie can win this Cup and give Wang Yi something to think about :). How about you?


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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.

You can follow Go Game Guru on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Youtube.


  1. Thanks for the news.
    Do you know where i could see the kifu?

  2. Michael says:

    Pro blitz tournaments are interesting in my opinion.

    What are the time settings in this tournament?

    • scwizard says:

      According to Sensei’s Library the time settings are 10 minutes with 1 period of 30 second byo-yomi.

      It’s amazing the sorts of moves professional players can find even when the time setting is that small.

      • They rely on intuition a lot more in these games. They also make more mistakes though.

      • Michael says:

        Thank you.

        I wonder if one could create an attractive TV show if you force the world’s best players to play a game in one hour total. That’s a time amount that a viewer might consider to watch and the mistakes (because of the time pressure) would make it really interesting.
        A good commentator would be needed for this though.

        What do you guys think? Is it possible to make watching go appealing to the masses?

        • David Ormerod says:

          Michael, it’s an interesting concept and I think it could work in Asia.

          To some extent this is what the Asian TV Cup and its respective qualifying tournaments already are. The time is just done slightly differently. One hour total might change things because pros are more used to 30 sec byo-yomi.

          Personally I’m not such a fan of fast games because I don’t like watching pros get pressured into making mistakes for other people’s entertainment. There definitely is another element of skill to it though.

        • as David said, there already are tournaments similar to your proposal. but neither I like it so much, because while it may be be entertaining the hour you watch it on TV, the game record that can otherwise last hundred years is not worth much with the mistakes and suboptimalities due to time pressure.
          i prefer the old-fashioned Japanese 8 hour matches for the big three titles, for they get as close to perfect play as anyone can. actually that’s something i would find interesting – to get top Koreans and/or Chinese into such a slow serious game, to show their very best (because they should be stronger players than Japanese)

          • David Ormerod says:

            I’d also like to see a slow play international tournament. I wonder who would want to sponsor it though? Caterpillar? 🙂

  3. MarcoRosso says:

    It’d be interesting to see how Yamada does. He seems to be doing well lately.

    • His win over Park is certainly impressive. Let’s see if he can follow Iyama Yuta’s lead.