Choi Cheolhan overcomes his nemesis – Jingdezhen exhibition match

An exhibition match between Choi Cheolhan 9p and Chen Yaoye 9p was played in Jingdezhen, on March 9, 2014.


Chen Yaoye 9 dan (left) plays Choi Cheolhan in Jingdezhen.

This was the third iteration of this invitational match and Choi Cheolhan won by 1.5 points.

The first of these matches was played in 2012 and the players were Ma Xiaochun 9p and Liu Xiaoguang 9p. Ma won the game.

In 2013, Lee Sedol 9p and Gu Li 9p were invited to play in Jingdezhen, and Lee emerged victorious.

An interesting opening

Chen held black and the opening of the game was interesting.


Chen Yaoye 9 dan.

Chen started the game with a variant of the Micro Chinese opening, and established some territory at the top.

Choi responded by attacking Black’s left side group, with alternating jumps in the center and at the bottom, up to 40.

Black dies, but maintains balance

The middle game started with move 41. Black built a large territory at the top up to 73, while White continued attacking Black’s left side group.

After White cut at 78, Black’s left side group was captured. However, Black 93, 99 and 101 were a good combination, and the game was still well balanced up to 109.

Black started a leaning attack against White’s center group with 111 and 113, but the result up to 134 wasn’t particularly successful, so the game was still even.

Both players falter


Choi Cheolhan (center) reviews his game with Chen Yaoye.

White 142 was a mistake, and Black punished White with the powerful combination of 149 and 151. As a result, Black captured some of White’s stones and took the lead.

Black 169 was a mistake, and Choi didn’t miss his chance.

White 170 and 172 were good endgame tesuji, and the game became very close.

Black 181 was another questionable move and the game was reversed when White played at 182.

After that, both players’ endgame was perfect, and Chen didn’t get any more chances to reverse the game.

Choi Cheolhan conquers his demons

Before this game. Choi’s head to head record against Chen was 4-10 in Chen’s favor. We’ve talked about how Chen seems to be Choi’s Go nemesis on several occasions.

In particular, Chen defeated Choi in eight consecutive games, from 2007 to 2012.

However, Choi defeated Chen once again in Jingdezhen and their head to head record since 2013 is actually 3-1 in Choi’s favor now.


Choi Cheolhan delivers a post-game commentary for the audience at the event.

About the Jingdezhen matches

Last year, this exhibition match was called the Tianxin Pharmaceutical Cup, but it’s also sponsored by the city of Jingdezhen itself.

At the 2013 match between Gu Li and Lee Sedol, there was also a meeting to finalize details about the MLily Gu vs Lee Jubango.

After that meeting, the jubango was realized.

The winner’s prize is 150,000 RMB (approx $24,500 USD at the time of writing) and the runner up receives 100,000 RMB (approx $16,000 USD).

The time limit for the game was 2 hours and 30 minutes with 5 x 60 seconds byo-yomi for each player.

The game was played under the Chinese rules, with komi of 7.5 points.

Jingdezhen City

Jingdezhen City (景德鎭) is located in Jiangxi province, China, and is very famous for its China (porcelain). It’s also the hometown of Chen Yaoye’s father.

The popular blue and white porcelain which originated in China is made in Jingdezhen – even the trophy for this match was made in that style. Ceramic Go stones are also made in Jingdezhen and an annual ceramics expo is held there.


Choi Cheolhan receives a porcelain trophy.

More photos

Game record

Chen Yaoye vs Choi Cheolhan


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


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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. Anonymous says:

    what was the purpose of black 269?

  2. Anonymous says:

    After filling teire, white P5 and M4 are atari, enabling white to capture a big clump of stones if black neglects to protect with black 269.

  3. Anonymous says:
    Please commented game,i had analyse it very much

  4. Black suit and black shirt? Is that the style now?

  5. Younggil An says:

    Haha, that’d have been so funny Black and White costume! 😀