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Taiwanese go champion hopes to promote game in Taiwan, Japan

2018/12/08 16:05:22

Cho U (張栩)

Tokyo, Dec. 7 (CNA) Taiwanese professional go player Cho U (張栩), who just reclaimed the title in the Meijin tournament, said Friday he hopes to promote the appeal of the game to the public in Taiwan and also in Japan where he is based.

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

At a celebration held in his honor by the organizers of the tournament, 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 board game to young people during that period.

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 board game and the older 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 around level 5 for amateurs, which is relatively strong for her age group, he said.

(By Yang Ming-chu and Lee Hsin-Yin)