Tuo Jiaxi won the 2015 CCTV Chinese New Year Cup

Tuo Jiaxi 9p defeated Kim Jiseok 9p to win the 2015 CCTV Chinese New Year Cup.

The 2015 CCTV Chinese New Year Cup was held on February 20 to 22 in Beijing, China.

Tuo Jiaxi 9 dan (left) and Kim Jiseok 9 dan at the 2015 CCTV Chinese New Year Cup Final

Tuo Jiaxi 9 dan (left) and Kim Jiseok 9 dan at the 2015 CCTV Chinese New Year Cup

CCTV Chinese New Year Cup

This is exhibition match between top players from China, Japan and Korea, and the players were invited by Chinese Weiqi Association.

The three invited players in 2015 were Tuo Jiaxi, Kim Jiseok and Murakawa Daisuke 8p. Murakawa was also invited last year.

Tuo Jiaxi and Murakawa Daisuke

Murakawa Daisuke 8 dan at the 2015 CCTV Chinese New Year Cup

Murakawa Daisuke 8 dan at the 2015 CCTV Chinese New Year Cup

Game 1 was played between Tuo Jiaxi and Murakawa Daisuke.

Murakawa had a nice opening, and he maintained his lead before the endgame stage.

However, Tuo caught up with sacrifice strategy and aggressive endgame moves, and eventually won the game by a minimum margin.

Tuo proceeded to the final, and Murakawa had to play one more game against Kim Jiseok.

Murakawa Daisuke and Kim Jiseok

Game 2 was played between Murakawa Daisuke and Kim Jiseok.

Kim Jiseok 9 dan (left) and Murakawa Daisuke 8 dan at the 2015 CCTV Chinese New Year Cup

Kim Jiseok 9 dan (left) and Murakawa Daisuke 8 dan at the 2015 CCTV Chinese New Year Cup

The game was peaceful and Kim took the lead while they were fighting a ko in the bottom right corner.

When the long ko fight was finished, the game was already decided, and Murakawa soon resigned.

Final Game: Kim Jiseok and Tuo Jiaxi

The final game was played between Kim Jiseok and Tuo Jiaxi. Their head to head record before this game was 4-0 for Kim’s favor.

Furthermore, Kim’s results in international matches throughout 2014 were incredible, so many go fans expected that Kim would win.

However, Tuo’s play in the opening was active and lively, and his moves were strong and powerful. There were also long ko fights on the left side and in the center, but it was hard for Kim to win.

When the ko fights were all finished, Kim resigned.

Tuo Jiaxi won the 2015 CCTV Chinese New Year Cup

Tuo Jiaxi won the 2015 CCTV Chinese New Year Cup

First final in 2015 between Chinese and Korean players

The Chinese media was happy to say that it was Tuo Jiaxi’s first win against Kim Jiseok, and it was also the first win in a final between top Chinese and Korean players for 2015.

Last Year, Shi Yue 9p won the 2014 CCTV Chinese New Year Cup, defeating Murakawa Daisuke in the final, and Lee Sedol 9p took 3rd place.

Even though it’s an exhibition tournament, the prize money isn’t small.

The prize of the winner is 800,000 RMB (approximately $127,000 USD), and runner up and 3rd place are 400,000 RMB and 200,000 RMB respectively.

Brief Game Commentary

Game 1

Tuo Jiaxi and Murakawa Daisuke

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White 24 was a nice move, and the opening was smooth for White up to 48.

White 98 was a brilliant move, and White took the lead at move 110.

Black  127 and 139 were aggressive, but White responded gently, and he was still in the lead up to White 148.

White 152 was a mistake, and Black’s play from 153 were very sharp and sophisticated. Eventually, Black reduced White’s territory greatly up to Black 193, and the game became very close.

White 200, 210 and 216 were mistakes and Black 219 was a very good endgame move, and the game was reversed up to Black 233.

White had so many chances to win the game, but Murakawa missed them all.

Game 2

Murakawa Daisuke and Kim Jiseok

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The opening was peaceful up to Black 29, and White 30 was the first fighting move.

White 36 and 38 were interesting, and White got a satisfactory result up to 44.

Black started to attack White from 45, but White 54 was a nice counter, and White took the lead up to 68.

Black 81 and 83 were a good time to start a ko, but Black 97 was questionable.

White 98 was sharp, and Black became very thin up to White 114.

Black couldn’t keep fighting the ko because of his thinness, and the game was decided when White eliminated the ko with 132.

Final Game

Kim Jiseok and Tuo Jiaxi

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White 14 and 16 were interesting, and the result up to White 26 seems to be favorable for White.

White 30 and 32 were light and gentle, and White 40 and 42 were creative.

The opening up to White 54 was satisfactory and promising for White.

White 64 and 66 were strong defense, and White was happy to capture Black’s two stones with 76.

White 78 was a well timed, and White maintained his lead up to 88.

White 96, 100 and 112 were a nice combination, and it was another success for White up to 116.

Black started to attack White’s center stones, but White 134, 136 and 144 were nice moves to save them.

White 180 was the finishing blow, and the game was practically over there.

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