- Zhao Yikang from China Wins with a Complete Victory of 6 Wins. Korean Representative Choi Kwang-ho Finished at 3rd Place -
The 12th Korea Prime Minister Cup International Baduk Championship, which started on 10th of this month with 55 players from around the world, finished with Zhao Yi Kang from China as the final winner.
The KPMC is the one and only championship out of all the professional and amateur Baduk(Go) championships in the world, where players from 55 countries and territories got together. Despite the recent tendency in which Korea, China, Japan and up and coming Chinese Taipei are considered as to have the strongest players, the fact that international players from the remaining part of Asia, Europe, the Americas, Oceania and Africa visited Buan, Jeollabuk-do holds a notable significance.
Celebrating its 12th edition of the championship, 12 representatives from Asia, 29 from Europe, 11 from the Americas, 2 from Oceania and 1 from Africa participated in this year’s KPMC.
As a result of the fierce games throughout the 3 days of 6-rounds of Swiss League from September 11th to 13th, Zhao Yikang from China won the championship. Having achieved a complete victory until the end of the second day of the championship, Zhao scored winnings against representatives from Thailand and Japan consecutively on the last day and won the championship.
Born in 1999, Zhao mentioned in an interview after the awards ceremony, “The game against Ozeki from Japan was the hardest. I thought I’d lost even after filling up the neutral points and while counting the stones. But it turned out I had 1.5 points more so I was befuddled. I was lucky.”
The Korean representative, Choi Kwang-ho, resulted in 3rd place. Having been considered as the most probable winner, Choi took 4 straight wins until the end of the second day. However, his prospect to win the cup faded after a loss against Ozeki from Japan on 5th round. Yet Choi won in the following and final round against Hsu Yong-yu from Chinese Taipei, resulting in the 3rd place.
Up to the 12th championships, Korea took 7 wins total and China 4. Chen Zijian from Chinese Taipei had won a championship forthe 6th KPMC in 2011.
On another note, this year’s KPMC was met with fervent responses from the participating players and guests with various side events.
Shin Sang-chul, the president of KABA, donated 10 million Korean won to the ‘Buan Nanumi Scholarship Fund’ during the opening ceremony. “In every field, investment on education is very important. I was impressed that Buan became the first province in Korea to apply the 50% discount on college tuitions.” Shin said during the ceremony and continued, “I donate the following scholarship for nurturing the talented students in Buan and for the promotion of the educational environment.” Kim Jong-gyu, the chairman of ‘Buan Nanumi Scholarship Fund’, reciprocated and showed his gratitude as following: “With respect to the members of Korean Amateur Baduk Association who tries to improve the quality of life through Baduk, we will try to make our scholarship fund one of the best in the nation.”
‘Buan Gomso-salt team’ in Korean Women’s Baduk League visited the championship venue to encourage the players. Along with the director Kim Hyo-jeong, Kim Hye-min 7P, Kim Eun-sun 5P and Lee Yu-jin 1P stayed until late at night for simultaneous games for the players.
Kim Seung-jun 9P and Diana Koszegi 1P hosted a live commentary program which caught attentions of the participating players. Major games have been broadcasted live on YouTube.
After all the official championship finishes with the awards ceremony, the players and guests will have a tour of Buan on 14th, visiting Buan Celadon Museum, Buan Silkworm Town and Naesosa Temple where they will enjoy the charms of Buan. The participants are to leave from the Incheon International Airport on the 15th.
The 12th Korea Prime Minister Cup International Baduk Championship was hosted and organized by Korea Amateur Baduk Association, sponsored by Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and Korean Sport & Olympic Committee. It is financially sponsored by Korea Sports Promotion Foundation, Jeollabuk-do and Buan-gun and cooperated by Korea Baduk Association and Asian Go Federation.