In a nice bit of timing, the semi-finals of China’s Chang Qi Cup were held on US soil on Saturday, the day after Chinese President Xi Jinping capped his first U.S. visit with a meeting with President Obama and a black-tie state dinner at the White House. Four of the world’s strongest go players competed for the coveted title; Qiu Jun 9P, Lian Xiao 7P, Li Qincheng 1P and Tuo Jiaxi 9P. Lian Xiao 7P, playing black, won his game against Li Qincheng in 161 moves, shortly after the lunch break. One of the rising stars of the go world, Lian is ranked #11 in China (as of March 2015), has already won several domestic titles and continues to climb the rankings. This would be the biggest title of his career so far. Just after 4pm, Tuo Jiaxi 9P, playing white, edged out Qiu Jun 9P by a single point — the game is scored with Ing counting — in a 241-move nail-biter that had the more than 200 KGS viewers on the edge of their collective seats wondering who would triumph. Tuo Jiaxi is one of the top players in China. He won the 2014 LG Cup, has reached several quarter- and semifinals, and was ranked #1 in the country for a while back in 2013. He won this tournament in 2010, and should be one of the favorites this year to win the Chang Qi Cup. Tuo is #6 in the world, while Qiu is #23, according to Remi Coulom’s GoRatings.org. “It was a very close game for a long time,” Tuo told the EJ after the game, “but as a professional I’m used to playing long games so it was no problem.” He and Qiu know each other’s games so well that Tuo said he planned no special preparation, “just rest and relaxation.”
The semifinals are a best-of-three series, so the players will meet again on Sunday, September 27; the games will be broadcast live on KGS (starting at 9:30a EST) with commentary on the AGA’s YouTube channel. Depending on the results, there may be final round(s) on Monday.
The semifinals were held in Cambridge, MA at Harvard’s Student Organization Center at Hilles, sponsored by the American Collegiate Go Association (ACGA), the Shanghai Ing-Changki Weiqi Education Foundation and the American Go Association (AGA), which also hosted the inaugural American Chang Qi Tournament, drawing over 200 go fans to both play and watch on a gorgeous sunny fall day.
The Changqi Cup is one of China’s most generously sponsored tournaments, with a winner’s prize of about $70,000 USD. It’s jointly hosted by the Chinese Go Association and the Shanghai Branch of the Ing Foundation. The tournament first started in 2004 in memory of Ing Chang-ki.
– report/photos/collage by Chris Garlock; translation assistance by Cheng Hao; tech support by Steve Colburn
via American Go E-Journal http://ift.tt/1WpM4vt