Sun, Dec 09, 2018 - Page 11 News List

Taiwanese go champion hopes to promote game

Staff writer, with CNA, TOKYO

Taiwanese professional go player Cho U, who just reclaimed the Meijin tournament title, on Friday said he hopes to promote the game to people in Taiwan and Japan, where he is based.

Cho said he was happy to take the title again on Nov. 2 after nine years with a win against defending champion Yuta Iyama of Japan in four of the seven games in the final.

At a celebration held in his honor by tournament organizers, Cho said his main goals are to pursue other titles and introduce the strategic board game to more people in Taiwan and Japan.

The 38-year-old said he suspended his career in 2015 and returned to Taiwan because he felt he had hit a wall.

He said he was exhausted at the time, both physically and psychologically, but was pleased to be able to interact with Taiwanese go players and teach the game to young people.

The exchanges he had with other Taiwanese go players helped him find form, he said.

Playing go requires mental fortitude, as each loss can be “traumatic,” Cho said, adding that he has taken up rock climbing to help build mental and physical strength.

Cho has the distinction of having won all seven major go titles in Japan — Meijin, Kisei, Honinbo, Judan, Tengen, Gosei and Oza — throughout his career.

He said his two daughters are also enthusiastic about the game.

The elder one is at a go academy and is planning to the take the required tests to advance to a professional level.

His younger daughter, aged nine, is at about level five for amateurs, which is relatively strong for her age group, he said.

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