Top 20 Go Players: Cho Hanseung and Chen Yaoye

Won Seongjin 9p plays Cho Hanseung (right, 9p)

The next players I’d like to introduce from the Top 20 Go Players of 2010 are Cho HanSeung 9p (No. 17) from Korea and Chen Yaoye 9p (No. 18) from China.

Cho Hanseung 9p

Cho was born in 1982, and has recently completed his military service. While he was in the army, he was chosen for the Korea national team for the Asian Games in Guangzhou last year. He had been training Go for the Asian games with other representatives instead of training for a war in the army. It must have been a pleasant time because the time in the army is always hard and tough.


Cho Hanseung wins a gold medal in the Asian Games, as well as exemption from further military service

Cho Hanseung - 'Military Spirit'

At the Asian games, he won all his games with the ‘Military Spirit’ and Korea finally gained the gold medal. As a reward, he could complete his military service right away, and didn’t need to finish his rest of period.

His style of playing is very smooth. You can’t see any overplay in his games, but you can see underplay or slack moves when a game is good for him. He occasionally loses games because of those which are based on his optimism. That’s the weak point of his style, but I hope he’ll overcome that one day, and play more tightly.He’s always bright with a smile, and handsome with clean skin, so that he has lots of female Go fans, and this is what I’m envy him the most about.

He’s not only good at Go, but also good at other various things; singing, bowling, billiards, tennis, computer games, etc. When I was in Korea, I played ‘Star Craft’ with him pretty often and it was fun and thrilling. He is so popular amongst pros because he likes to treat his friends to meals, and I was one of them. That means he treated me to lunches and dinners a lot, and I have only good memories of him.

I hope to see him playing more at the world championships with his ‘Military Spirit’.

Chen Yaoye 9p

Chen Yaoye was born in 1989, and is one of the best players in China.

Chen Yaoye 9p

Personally, I don’t know him very well because he’s far younger than me, and I couldn’t get any chance to play or talk to him. However, I’ve watched his games quite a lot, and let me describe him from my point of view.

When he was only 16, he reached to the final at the LG Cup in 2006. He beat Lee ChangHo on the main tournament who was the untouchable at that time, and no one could stop him until he faced to Gu Li at the final. He lost first two games, but won the next two and made it tie. Many Go fans were hoping to see a new world champion with a reverse sweep, but regrettably, he lost the last game.

After that, he couldn’t get any better chance up to now. If he won the LG Cup, he’d be the youngest pro to win an international title. (Lee ChangHo has the record)

After the LG Cup, he was expected to become No. 1 in China, as he was already quite strong and still very young. However, his performance is no longer impressive, and he hasn’t gone further.

Even though he couldn’t go far as we expected, he’s still young, and he might get a chance to explode his potential in the future.

Kim Kiyong vs Chen Yaoye (right) in the 3rd BC Card Cup

He’s going to play Lee SeDol at the quarter final of BC Card Cup, and it’ll be a good opportunity to step forward.

Let’s enjoy watching the game, and who do you think will be the winner?

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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.

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