Go Commentary: Choi Cheolhan vs Chen Yaoye – China Korea Tengen

This is a commentary of the second game of the 15th Korea China Tengen, between Choi Cheolhan 9p and Chen Yaoye 9p.

Choi Cheolhan (9 dan), the number 2 baduk player in Korea.

Choi Cheolhan

Choi Cheolhan is number 2 in Korea (as of August, 2011), but his results against Chen Yaoye are no good, somehow.

Choi really likes fighting. His nickname is ‘venomous snake’.

Back when Lee Changho was almost invincible, Choi defeated him a lot with his endless fighting style. At that time he gained that nickname, but he once said he doesn’t care about such things in an interview.

Chen Yaoye

Chen is also good at fighting. However, his style of play is thick and solid. He waits for his opponent’s invitation to battle. I wrote about Chen Yaoye as part of my Top 20 Go players of 2010 series.

Chen Yaoye (9 dan). Particularly strong against Choi Cheolhan.


Commented game record

Choi Cheolhan vs Chen Yaoye – 15th China Korea Tengen


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. Thank you very much Mr Younggil, it’s very helpful.
    I like your work. I hope to see more commentary.

  2. Good example of how to dominate the game by defending well, instead of attacking! Only pros can do it 🙂
    Thanks for the commentary, An! It’s always a pleasure to read your explanations.

  3. Very enlightening commentary again, it is so enjoyable to replay a game when you understand a bit more about it. One general question though, not only applicable to this game: what were the time conditions? I know most of these games are one day games, but still, it is interesting to know, and appreciate the prowess of these players with more or less restricted time limits.

    Kind regards,

    • An Younggil 8p says:

      Thank you very much everyone!

      For the time limit, I couldn’t find any information about that. I think it can be either 2 or 3 hours each with byoyomi. An article said that first game started at 9:30am and finished at about 4:30pm. It may include lunch time anyway.

  4. W160 is one of those amazing moves that make you realize how far they plan ahead. And the variation shown is just one of the possible lines they plan about, I guess.

    • An Younggil 8p says:

      You’re right.
      Pros’ plans are much further and deeper, but most of plans and thought can’t be shown, but they’re in their minds.
      W160 is just one of them, and you can enjoy it!

  5. Thanks for the commentary. This is a marvelous example of how to swiftly take and keep a victory 🙂

  6. I love your game commentary. It’s very thorough yet easy to understand. When I see a big match, a lot of times I’m thinking, “I hope An 8p decides to comment on this game”. Wonderful work.

  7. What if black ignored move 160 and went to B17? To me it seems like that would have more kiai than the way played in the actual game.

    • David Ormerod says:

      White 160 is offering a trade. If black takes the top left area, white will kill the lower left group with C2. See Younggil’s comment on move 137, the situation is almost the same. The trade wouldn’t improve the balance of territory for black, but it would help white to simplify the game. When you’re behind, you have to be patient and wait for an opportunity. Fighting spirit is no good if it just lets the opponent win more quickly. Just keep the pressure on and make them run a marathon instead.