A slight edge for China in the 14th Nongshim Cup

Fujita Akihiko 3 dan scores the first win for Japan.

The 14th Nongshim Cup resumed play from November 26 to 30, 2012 for the second stage of games.

When we last caught up with the 14th Nongshim Cup, Lee Hobum 3p was celebrating Korea’s first win, having stopped China’s Tan Xiao 7p from becoming a runaway train.

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.

Wang Xi (9 dan, left) and Kim Jiseok (8 dan) review their game.

In addition to Fujita, Wang skillfully dispatched Kim Jiseok 8p and Anzai Nobuaki 6p before succumbing to Korea’s Choi Cheolhan 9p.

Japan’s last man

Choi Cheolhan 9 dan holds the baton for Korea as stage two of the 14th Nongshim Cup ends.

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.

Meanwhile, China still has Jiang Weijie 9p, Xie He 9p and Chen Yaoye 9p on the bench.


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.

Business time: Chen Yaoye (left) and Xie He review an ongoing game in the Nongshim observers’ room.

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

Game records

Download all the game records from Stage Two of the 14th Nongshim Cup here.

Murukawa Daisuke vs Choi Cheolhan


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Choi Cheolhan vs Wang Xi


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Wang Xi vs Kim Jiseok


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Lee Hobum vs Fujita Akihiko


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. I had high hope for Kim Jiseok because he was really outstanding this year in Korean League(League MVP) and Chinese League(10-0). But he lost without winning any game. Seems he was not ready mentally!!!!!!!!!
    Is Choi out of slump?? I wished Nongshim continued while he is in good spirit instead of continuing next year…..

    • David Ormerod says:

      I was expecting to see a string of wins by Kim Jiseok too, especially after he won four games last year. Maybe it was just a bad day for him.

      The long break until the end February doesn’t do Choi any favors, unless he can score a win against Chen in some other tournament in the meantime. I think 8 losses in a row would be a big psychological barrier.

  2. whats age limit for a pro in korea and china