The 14th Nongshim Cup resumed play from November 26 to 30, 2012 for the second stage of games.
Rookies go out
Sadly for Lee, the celebrations would prove to be short lived. He fell to Japan’s Fujita Akihiko 3p in a half point game.
Fujita also only managed one win, losing to China’s Wang Xi 9p in next second game.
Wang equalled his previous best Nongshim Cup run (2007) with 3 wins.
Japan’s last man
Choi shattered Japan’s hopes by defeating their anchorman, Murakawa Daisuke 7p.
An interesting piece of trivia is that Murakawa is affiliated with the Kansai Kiin, rather than the better known Nihon Kiin (Japanese Go Association).
Still on the bench
Behind Choi, Korea’s wunderkind, Park Junghwan 9p is still standing.
A slight edge for China?
Interestingly, of the three remaining Chinese players, one is the natural enemy of Choi and another holds the second best record in the Nongshim Cup.
Xie’s record in the Nongshim Cup is 14-3, which puts him behind only Lee Changho 9p, who’s record stands at 19-3.
Chen’s head to head record against Choi is a whopping 9-1 in Chen’s favor! And Choi’s record against Xie is almost as grim.
Both Chen Yaoye and Xie He favor a solid, defensive style of play, waiting patiently for the opportunity to counter-attack.
They also both tend to perform unusually well against the stereotypical Korean fighting style, which is exemplified by Choi Cheolhan.
For Korea to win this year’s Nongshim Cup, either Choi will have to overcome his demons, or Park Junghwan will have to rise to the very high expectations people have for him, as the successor to Lee Changho.
The final round
The third and final stage will start on Febrary 26, 2013. Check the Pro Go Calendar for details.
The Nongshim Cup
The Nongshim Cup is a team event between China, Japan and Korea.
The sponsor, Nongshim, is a Korean instant noodles company.
The tournament uses a win and continue format, which is common in these team events.
Korea has dominated this event, winning it 10 times. In contrast, China has won the tournament twice and Japan only once.
14th Nongshim Cup photos
Download all the game records from Stage Two of the 14th Nongshim Cup here.
Murukawa Daisuke vs Choi Cheolhan
Choi Cheolhan vs Wang Xi
Wang Xi vs Kim Jiseok
Lee Hobum vs Fujita Akihiko