Zhou Ruiyang wins 1st Bailing Cup with 3 hit combo

The first few weeks of 2013 saw the end of the 1st Bailing Cup, as Zhou Ruiyang 5p defeated Chen Yaoye 9p 3-0 to win the final – and his first international title – on January 19.

An all China affair

Zhou Ruiyan (5 dan, left) plays Chen Yaoye (9 dan) in the final of the 1st Bailing Cup.

When we last checked in on the Bailing Cup, you could have been forgiven for thinking that it was just another domestic Chinese tournament.

The semifinalists were (13 year old) Xie Erhao 1p, Tang Weixing 3p, Zhou Ruiyang 5p and Chen Yaoye 9p – all four of them from the Chinese Go Association.

Both Xie and Tan managed to win one game, against Zhou and Chen respectively, in the best-of-three semifinals, which were held in late 2012.

Zhou’s patience is rewarded

Zhou Ruiyang wins the 1st Bailing Cup.

Prior to this win, Zhou’s rank of 5p somewhat belied his real strength, as he has been consistently ranked among China’s top pros for some years.

Zhou was selected for the Chinese team in the last two iterations of the Nongshim Cup.

He was also quite impressive in junior tournaments, winning both the Under 15 Fujitsu Cup and the Xinren Wang (‘Rookies’ Cup’) twice.

And now, finally – more than 10 years after he turned pro – Zhou’s patience has been rewarded with his first international title.

Zhou’s performance will also earn him a promotion to 9p under the, fairly strict, Chinese dan promotion system.

Congratulations Zhou Ruiyang!

Another missed opportunity for Chen

Chen Yaoye.

This was Chen’s third appearance at an international final and yet another missed opportunity for the player whom many consider to be long overdue for a major international title win.

Nevertheless, he lost this best-of-five title match in three straight games.

While no longer the child prodigy he once was, Chen’s performance on the domestic Chinese circuit remains solid.

In 2012 he successfully defended the Tianyuan title (the Chinese Tengen) for the 3rd consecutive year, won the Changqi Cup and crushed Choi Cheolhan in the China Korea Tengen mini title match (Chen seems to be Choi’s natural enemy).

Luckily, he doesn’t have to wait long for his next chance.

Chen will face Lee Sedol in the final of the 9th Chunlan Cup, in July 2013.

Do you think he’ll be able to make his international breakthrough against Lee?

The Bailing Cup

The Bailing Cup is an international Go tournament (not to be confused with a now defunct Chinese female tournament of the same name), which started in 2012.

It’s sponsored by the Guizhou Bailing Pharmaceutical Group.

The winner receives 1.8 million RMB (about $300,000 USD at the time of writing) and the runner up receives 600,000 RMB.

This puts the tournament in the same league as the BC Card Cup and Samsung Cup in terms of prize money.

The format is a straight knock out of 64 players with the final played as a best of three.

1st Bailing Cup photos

Game records

Chen Yaoye vs Zhou Ruiyang – Game 1


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Zhou Ruiyang vs Chen Yaoye – Game 2


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Chen Yaoye vs Zhou Ruiyang – Game 3


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 don’t know what was going on with Chen in these matches. Something was bothering him and he wasn’t playing up to his strength. The only highlights were his middlegame in game 1 and his unique opening in game 2. Game 3…oh my.

    • It seems that Zhou leads Chen 7-2 in their mutual encounters. Was Chen really playing so badly?

  2. Thank-you for the question Paul.

    A couple of things first about their record. They actually have over thirty games together through Tygem with fairly even results. Second, it’s important to understand why the wins and losses occurred when observing game records. Flukes happen, a player could have a particularly troublesome play style for the other player, illnesses can affect play, a heavy tournament schedule could be tiring a player, and so forth. The meaning of the results (i.e. who is objectively stronger) depends entirely upon our understanding of these circumstances.

    Game 1, Chen gets into a questionable position by mv. 80 and makes a mistake with d2. He winds up in a superior position entering the endgame, but then blunders it with several endgame mistakes.

    Game 2, makes a huge blunder with g16 and loses the game. It was a very surprising mistake for a professional and in such a title match. Slowly squanders his chances to come back with moves like e8.

    Game 3, entire game feels low on spirit, blunder with n16, did not fully read ko theats, then loses fighting spirit by mv. 125.

    • Let’s be honest here, Paul was being rhetorical. But, you should remember that Chen’s record against Zhou is like a reversed version of his record against Choi Cheolhan. If nothing else, all of your points simply showed me that Zhou might be the stronger of the two players overall. Even pros who are playing at their best can’t beat people who are better than them.

      • It wasn’t clear to me that Paul was being rhetorical. It can be difficult to tell these things over the internet. Thus, Paul brought up a fair point and question and I felt it polite to try and answer his possible concerns.

        I won’t answer every question or comment, because unlike David, Jing & Mr. Youngil who are partly invested in the business aspect of the website, I am not. I hope this is understandable and that you have a nice day moboy780.


  3. Hi Logam, in game 2 do you mean f16? It looks to me like g16 wasn’t played. Or g17?