Tue, Oct 28, 2003 - Page 4 News List

Marriage a good strategy for Taiwanese `go' master


Cho U (張栩), the Taiwan-born, Japan-based "go" player who won the coveted "Honinbo" title in July, will announce his engagement on Nov. 9 to Japanese "go" player Izumi Kobayashi.

The 23-year-old Cho and 26-year-old Kobayashi are reportedly planning to get married in the spring.

According to Tokyo newspaper reports, Cho met Kobayashi in his first year in Japan at the age of 10. The two, however, did not start their romance until 18 months ago.

Kobayashi said that although Cho is three years younger, he remains a respectable prospective spouse because of his personality and because he is a superb "go" player.

Kobayashi is one of the top 16 female go players in Japan.

In addition to his skills, Cho also has enormous charisma. With his youth and good looks, he is one of the five most popular "go" players in Japan.

Cho, accompanied by his two mentors, Lin Hai-feng (林海峰) and Wu Ching-yuan (吳清源), returned to Taiwan for a visit late last month, marking his first homecoming visit since he left for Japan 13 years ago to pursue a career playing the ancient game of strategy.

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) met Cho and his two mentors, and Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) presented them with honorary citizen status in recognition of their achievements.

Go, also known as "encirclement chess," was invented in ancient China and later gained enormous popularity in Japan.

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