In an all-Korean final that must, to some degree, have disappointed the sponsors
of China's first venture in staging a truly international event, Cho Hun-hyeon
9-dan beat his pupil Yi Ch'ang-ho to take the 1st Chunlan Cup.
He came out 2-1 ahead in a series of three games in Nanjing (capital of the sponsor's home
province) on 25, 27 and 29 June 1999. And the next big international event he
attended was the Mind Sports Olympiad!
A nice touch was playing the semi-finals in Korea - especially as three of the contestants were Korean.
Round 1 (26 November 1998 at the Baoli Building, Beijing)
Shao Weigang (China) 1-0 Michael Redmond (USA); Zhou Heyang (China) 1-0 Yamada Kimio (Japan); Yuki Satoshi (Japan) 1-0 Song Xuelin (China); Mok Chin-seok (Korea) 1-0 Shao Zhenzhong (China); Yu Bin (China) 1-0 Zhou Junxun (Taiwan); Yoda Norimoto (Japan) 1-0 Catlin Taranu (Romania); Ch'oe Myeong-hun (Korea) 1-0 Qiu Jun (China); Lin Shengxian (Taiwan) 1-0 Kudo Norio (Japan).
Round 2 (28 November 1998 at the Baoli Building, Beijing)
Cho Hun-hyeon (Korea) 1-0 Shao Weigang; Zhou 1-0 Hikosaka Naoto (Japan); Yu Ch'ang-hyeok (Korea) 1-0 Yuki; Chang Hao (China) 1-0 Mok; Yi Ch'ang-ho (Korea) 1-0 Yu; Yoda 1-0 Ma Xiaochun (China); Ch'oe 1-0 Nie Weiping (China); O Rissei (Japan) 1-0 Lin.
Quarter-finals (23 April 1999 in Wuhan)
Cho 1-0 Zhou; Yi 1-0 Yoda; Chang 1-0 Yu; Yi 1-0 Yoda; Ch'oe 1-0 O Rissei.
Semi-finals (21 May 1999 in Seoul)
Cho 1-0 Chang; Yi 1-0 Ch'oe.
The final games between Cho and Yi are available here in sgf format.
This is mainland China's first venture in sponsoring a truly international event. Depending on your politics, the Taiwanese Ing Cup could be classed as the first Chinese international, but this uses the slightly quirky rules devised by Ing Chang-ki.
That allows mainland China the diplomatic ambiguity of referring to the Chunlan as the first international event held under Chinese rules.
The sponsors are the Chunlan Group, one of the top five enterprises in China. Based in Qingzhou City, Jiangsu province, they are makers of domestic electrical appliances.
24 players are invited, from China (9), Japan (6), Korea (5), Chinese Taipei = Taiwan (2), America (1) and Europe (1). The early rounds are arranged to avoid players from the same country playing each other.
It is a knockout with Round 1 limited to 16 players. The 8 winners combine with 8 seeds (3 Chinese, 2 Japanese, 2 Korean plus Yi Ch'ang-ho as world number 1 money winner) in a knockout culminating in a best-of-three final.
Each country makes its own arrangements about who enters. In China's case, a preliminary tournament is held among the 40 top-ranked players, but in Term 1 the Chinese Weiqi Association also recommended three players to be seeded straight through to the 2nd round.
The European and American representatives were professionals based in Japan.
First prize was US$150,000, roughly one eighth of the total prize fund of 10 million yuan.
Match fees in the early rounds graduated upwards each round.
Time limits are 3 hours each.