Chen Yaoye and Park Junghwan play a really big game of Go!

On September 21, 2013, Chen Yaoye 9p defeated Park Junghwan 9p by 14.5 points in a giant game of Go, in Fenghuang city, Hunan Province, China.

This was China’s second victory in this biennial exhibition match. The first was when Luo Xihe 9p defeated Lee Sedol 9p in 2007.

Chen Yaoye in excellent form


Chen Yaoye 9 dan (left) with Hua Xueming 7 dan (captain of China’s national Weiqi team).

Chen Yaoye is currently #1 in China and has been in excellent form this year.

His style is thick and solid, similar to Yoda Norimoto 9p and Kong Jie 9p.

Kong Jie, in particular, may have had an influence on Chen’s play, since they’re team mates in the Chinese A League.

White takes an early lead

The opening was better for white (Chen), and there were two big ko fights, on the left side and in the top right corner.

Black made a mistake on the right side, after the second ko, and white took the lead.


Human ‘Go stones’ demonstrate traditional martial arts at the 2013 Ancient City of the Phoenix Cup.

Park tried hard to catch up, but Chen’s counters were perfect and the game became even worse for black as a result.

Chen was winning by a big margin when the game ended, after 298 moves, but Park didn’t resign because it was a special exhibition match.


Park Junghwan 9 dan (left) and Chen Yaoye 9 dan nigiri (choose colors) at the start of the game.

The pressure of sudden death

The time limit for this game was 50 minutes sudden death.

That means that if a player uses more than 50 minutes, they immediately lose the game.

It seems like Park was nervous about running out of time, and he didn’t use his time properly.

Sometimes he played too quickly, in places where he should have spent more time. And he played too passively at times, when he should have fought back.


Feeling the heat? Being a human Go stone can be a tough gig.

The Ancient City of the Phoenix Cup

The ‘Ancient City of the Phoenix Cup‘ started in 2003. It’s an exhibition match that takes place every two years in Fenghuang City, China – between a top player from China and Korea.

Fenghuang (凤凰) is the Chinese word for ‘phoenix’.

The winner’s prize is 400,000 RMB (about $65,000 USD at the time of writing). The runner up takes home 280,000 RMB.

The head to head record so far is 3-1-2 in Korea’s favor (one draw because there was a quadruple ko between Chang Hao and Lee Changho in 2005).

During the game, 361 people (dressed in black and white outfits) demonstrate traditional martial arts, before taking a seat as a stone on a giant Go board.


A game of Go in progress in Fenghuang City, China.

The huge Go board is 31.7 m long, with an area 1005 square meters.

Many people come to watch these spectacular matches.

The board is situated in the world heritage listed area of China’s Southern Great Wall (different to the Great Wall of China), where one of the most beautiful castles in the world is.

The official name of the match translates literally to something like ‘Phoenix Ancient City World Go Champion of Champions’, so it’s not easy to translate it elegantly into English.

Because of this, Go Game Guru has decided to translate the name of this competition as ‘Ancient City of the Phoenix Cup’, which flows more naturally in English.

Previous results

  • 2003: Cho Hunhyun 9p (white) defeated Chang Hao 9p by 10.5 points
  • 2005: Lee Changho 9p and Chang Hao 9p drew, after a quadruple ko
  • 2007: Luo Xihe 9p (white) defeated Lee Sedol 9p by resignation
  • 2009: Lee Sedol 9p (black) defeated Gu Li 9p by 5.5 points
  • 2011: Choi Cheolhan 9p (black) defeated Kong Jie 9p by 2.5 points
  • 2013: Chen Yaoye 9p (white) defeated Park Junghwan 9p by 14.5 points.

More photos

Game record

Park Junghwan vs Chen Yaoye


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Is this the world’s biggest Go board?

Even though we have the dimensions of this huge Go board, we’re not sure if it’s bigger than the one at Lanke Mountain (because we don’t have the dimensions for that one at the moment).

What do you think? Have a look at the photos below and the photos of the Lanke Mountain Go board, and leave a comment below to let me know which one you think is bigger!

Related Articles

About Younggil An

Younggil is an 8 dan professional Go player with the Korean Baduk Association. He qualified as a professional in 1997 and won an award for winning 18 consecutive professional matches the following year. After completing compulsory military service, Younggil left Korea in 2008, to teach and promote the game Go overseas. Younggil now lives in Sydney, Australia, and is one of the founders of Go Game Guru. On Friday evenings, Younggil is usually at the Sydney Go Club, where he gives weekly lessons and plays simultaneous games.

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


  1. David Kerschner says:

    Someone should take aerial shots of each move and then string them together in an animated gif :-p

  2. Hi!

    Thanks for the article.

    I was wondering how complicated it would be for you guys to implement an image viewer into the website? It would be cool to be able to just browse through the pictures by clicking left and right (similar to facebook/google+) rather than having to click on them one by one for a larger view.

    • Theres an open-source solution for displaying slideshows called “jQuery-Image-Gallery”, however most of the solutions would cost money.

    • David Ormerod says:

      Ok, I’ll do that. People have asked about it before too.

      I have to do a lot of work on the website over the next few weeks anyway, so I’ll add it to the list. Younggil will take care of writing articles while I disappear into my cave and work on code for awhile 🙂

  3. I ask : black 21 is not better on E6 after white f5 black h3 . D12 is good position with this sequence ?

    • Younggil An says:

      That’s a good idea. It looks as if Park didn’t think it was urgent, but actually, pushing back makes a good position along with D12. 🙂

      • thank you for your comment .
        another question if not too much : Black 36 is not better on c7 because after that I find some good for black ? I’m mistaken ?

        • Younggil An says:

          If white played at C7 for 36, black would cut at D7, W B8, B E8, W C8, B E7, W B6, B C5, W B5, B D4, and it’s good for black.
          Actually, the result up to W56 is playable for white. 🙂

  4. Pretty sure the Ancient City is substantially larger than the Lanke Mountain board. When you compare the size of the people to the size of the square formed by four intersections, it’s pretty clear the squares are larger on the Ancient City board.

    I’m guessing the square edge size on the Lanke board is around 1m, which would make the length of the full board around 20m.

  5. That must be one awesome show! I wonder if there is a video recording of it?

  6. Here is the full program on youtube: