Chen Yaoye’s China Korea Tengen hat trick

The 17th China Korean Tengen was held on August 22, 23 and 24, 2013, in Hangzhou, China.

Chen Yaoye 9p, of China, won the tournament for the third year running, defeating Park Younghun 9p.

A familiar face


Chen Yaoye 9 dan has become something of a regular in the China Korea Tengen tournament.

Chen has become quite the regular at these showdowns – between the winners of the Tianyuan and Chunwon (the respective names of the Chinese and Korean Tengen titles).

Chen, who’s held the Tianyuan title since 2009, has faced several Korean Chunwon title holders. His impressive record is four out of five wins in this mini-tournament.

A new challenger

Park Younghun defeated Choi Cheolhan 9p to take the Chunwon title in January 2013.


Park Younghun 9 dan (right) receives a caricature of himself at the 17th China Korea Tengen match.

Unlike the Japanese Tengen title and the Chinese Tianyuan, the Korean Chunwon is played as a straight knockout tournament.

This means that the defending champion has to play through the draw like everyone else, so there’s less of an advantage in being the title holder. Choi still made it to the final, but was outplayed by Park this time.

Having had no luck in the previous two years, with Choi unable to win even a single game against Chen, Korean fans hoped that Park would be more successful.

A matter of style

As has been noted before on Go Game Guru, Chen’s style of play is particularly effective against the stereotypical Korean fighting style of Go (epitomized by sharp tactical play and running battles).

Chen tends to play very solidly and his forte is defense. He waits patiently for an opportunity to counter-attack.

Chen’s style seems to have frustrated Choi Cheolhan, who prefers a dynamic attacking game and is one of the most dangerous dragon slayers in the contemporary Go world.


Chen Yaoye (left) plays Park Younghun in game 3 of the 17th China Korea Tengen.

In contrast, Park Younghun excels in the endgame. Similar to Lee Changho 9p in his prime, Park prefers to keep things simple where possible and to outplay his opponents in the endgame.

The Korean camp hoped that Park’s style would be more effective against Chen.

China edges ahead

However, it wasn’t to be.

Park won game 2, of this best of three title match, but the final score was 2-1 in Chen’s favor.

2013 has been a good year for Chen. He also won his first major international tournament at the 9th Chunlan Cup in June, defeating Lee Sedol 9p.

With this victory, China has edged ahead of Korea in the nation vs nation results for this tournament.

Korea had quite a head start, with Lee Changho winning the first four iterations of the tournament.

Since then, China has been oh-so-close to evening the score on several occasions, but Korea has always managed to edge ahead.

Last year, Chen evened the score at 8-8 and now, with Chen’s win, China is ahead for the first time at 9-8.

Because of this, Chinese Go fans celebrated Chen’s victory even more enthusiastically than usual.

Congratulations Chen Yaoye!

China Korea Tengen photos

Game records

1. Chen Yaoye vs Park Younghun


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


2. Park Younghun vs Chen Yaoye


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


3. Chen Yaoye vs Park Younghun


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. Well, if you want some endgame study then these are definitely some games to study! Game 3, almost 200-moves of pure endgame!

    I enjoyed watching game one very much.

    • I hate endame, but I have to say that to win by 1.5 points after playing 157 for seki is pretty awesome. The end of the game was still over 100 moves away, and b still declined to play a “flower viewing” instead. This has to mean that he completed the game in his head at this point.

  2. ray kukol says:

    in game 3, it seems W must start the ko in the seki corner before move 243. It looks to me as tho W wins. (Chen v. Park 20130813)

    • Younggil An says:

      That’s a good idea. It looks possible, but I’m not sure if White can win the game or not.
      White has two ko threats from O2, and Black has also two ko threats at F2 and R9.
      If White ataris at A17, Black can connect at A19, and Black will take the ko first.
      If White doesn’t answer the ko threat at R9, Black will still win the game by a small margin.