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2017 Chinese Pro Qualification
http://lifein19x19.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=14393
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Author:  wolfking [ Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:05 pm ]
Post subject:  2017 Chinese Pro Qualification

The pro qualification in China is held annually in summer. This year's pro qualification started on July 11th and will conclude on July 25th. 317 male and 120 female participants will compete for 20 and 10 pro shodan positions respectively.

Pro qualification in China is famous for both its high standard and grueling schedule. Everyone of these 400 plus young players are the top of their classes and have to beat out heavy competition to just earn a chance to participate in the pro exam. Then you have to stay in peak condition for the two week tournament to survive the exam.

To see how tough the competition is, we just need to look at current world number one Ke Jie. Ke Jie qualified at the last spot in 2008 only because of his age advantage. In 2008 the rule was slightly different. That year the top 12 of the tournament qualified directly, but from number 13 to 20, 4 more players would qualify only if their ages were under 15. Ke Jie was tied for 17th so he would not have made pro if 13 through 16 were all under 15. Lucky for him one of them was not, AND he held tie breakers over two other players (who were both under 15 as well) tied for 17th with him. One of those tied for 17th was Fan Yunruo, who qualified next year in 2009 and is now one of the top players in the world. The other was Cheng Ziyi (程子逸), who focused more on high school study afterwards and went to Shanghai Foreign Language University. Cheng still participated regularly in Shanghai University League as a 6 dan amateur but never made pro. Ke Jie could easily have gone that route if he did not make it that year.

As for the grueling schedule, the main qualification tournament for both male and female has 13 rounds during a 9 day span. For the male participants there is also a 9 round prelim tournament. For the prelims this year 280 male participants were separated into A,B two groups of 140 each, and will play 9 rounds from July 11th to July 15th. At the end of prelims top 50 of each group together with returning participants from last year's top 50 will participate in the main tournament. That would be 22 rounds of Go within a 15 day span if you started in the prelim tournament.

Author:  wolfking [ Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2017 Chinese Pro Qualification

Opening ceremony:
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2nd day Jia Ziwei vs Chen Zijing
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Han Enyi 6d (He was the round 5 opponent of Mateusz Surma in C-League)
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Author:  wolfking [ Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 2017 Chinese Pro Qualification

After 6 rounds, 14 year old Han Enyi (韩恩溢) 6d has 5 wins 1 loss. (Uberdude probably recognizes him from 2016 Gold Cup World Amateur Championship.)

Another well known teenager Luo Zhuofan (骆焯凡) 7d also has 5 wins 1 loss. 15 year old Luo Zhuofan just won the national youth championship in February this year to earn his 7d and finished 4th in the amateur group of Chinese National Games earlier this month. He lost to one of the top amateurs Tang Chongzhe (唐崇哲) in the semi-final, and Tang was that guy who was over 15 year old (Tang was born in 1991) and made it possible for Ke Jie to turn pro back in 2008.

Luo Zhuofan 7d
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Author:  wolfking [ Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 2017 Chinese Pro Qualification

After 8 rounds Han Enyi has risen to the top with 7 wins 1 loss in Group A. Luo Zhuofan tied for 7th with 2 losses. Nobody is undefeated at this point in either groups. Tomorrow (July 15th) will be the last round of prelims. After tomorrow's round top 50 of each group will advance to the main qualification tournament.

Author:  wolfking [ Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2017 Chinese Pro Qualification

The main tournament has played two rounds. There were 129 male and 112 female players in the tournament. So far Luo Zhuofan has won both his games and Han Enyi has lost both his games.

Author:  wolfking [ Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 2017 Chinese Pro Qualification

How does one qualify for the qualification tournament? For starters, you need to be 1. 25 or younger (for 2017 that means you are born on 1/1/1992 or later; there are discussions about relaxing the age limit); 2. strength >= 5 dan (you hold an amateur 5 dan or higher certificate from CWA).

But these are just prerequisites. Normally you gain entrance to the qualification by joining the team of a Go entity that belongs to 1 of the 4 categories below:

1. Provincial level sports authorities / associations
2. Participating teams of the China Weiqi League
3. CWA sanctioned training schools/dojo
4. CWA sanctioned Go cities (there are 28 of them as of 2017, including Ke Jie's hometown Lishui)

Any of these entities can form one and only one team to participate in the pro qualification, even if you qualify under multiple categories. In 2017 there are 78 such teams in the tournament.

There is a limit on how many male participants each team can have. For China A-League teams, each can have 8 participants; for Go cities, 4 participants; all other category teams, 5 participants. There is no limit on number of female participants per team.

One special case that does not occupy the quota above is if you are a returning top 50 participant from last year's pro qualification main tournament. In that case you are also able to go straight to this year's main tournament, skipping the prelims.

The biggest team this year is Hangzhou Weiqi School with 18 male and 26 female participants. Out of 18 males 13 are returning top 50 participants from last year. As I mentioned in the tracking foreign team in China league post Hangzhou is the capital of Zhejiang Province that is full of Go talents. There are 9 Hangzhou teams with a total of 86 participants in this qualification tournament which account for 1/5 of the participants.

Author:  wolfking [ Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2017 Chinese Pro Qualification

By the way in the final standing of the prelims Han Enyi and Luo Zhuofan finished 4th and 5th in Group A. But after 4 rounds in the main tournament Han only has one win and Luo has two. Both of them could use a 4, 5 game winning streak right now.

Author:  wolfking [ Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 2017 Chinese Pro Qualification

After 5 rounds Han Enyi and Luo Zhuofan both has two wins. They almost need to win out from here to have a chance to make pro this year. This just shows you how tough the competition is. The newly minted National Games amateur champion Liu Yuncheng (刘云程) also has one loss and will play at board 10 (meaning his standing is close to 20th) in round 6.

On women's side, one player that attracts much attention is 10 year old Wu Yiming(吴依铭). She finished 5th in the amateur group of the National Games at the beginning of July, losing by half point to the eventual champion Fang Ruoxi(方若曦) in the quarter final. Both Wu and Fang are undefeated after 5 rounds. Fang and Wu will play at board 1 and 2 respectively in round 6.

Wu Yiming during round of 16 of National Games July 2017
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Author:  qingshu [ Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 2017 Chinese Pro Qualification

Thanks for all of this btw. This is super interesting!

Author:  wolfking [ Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2017 Chinese Pro Qualification

qingshu wrote:
Thanks for all of this btw. This is super interesting!

You are welcome!

The main tournament has gone through 10 rounds. On both men's and women's side there are "Early Qualification" rules. On men's side if you win 9 games after 10 rounds or 10 games after 12 rounds you will earn your pro status and can skip the rest of the tournament. On women's side due to the smaller number of available new pro spots you need to win 11 games through 12 rounds to gain Early Qualification.

So after July 23rd morning round (10th round), we have two brand new CWA professional players: 15 year old Zeng Yuanhai (曾渊海) and 16 year old Chen Yichun (陈一纯).

Zeng Yuanhai was born in October 2002 in Beijing (although his family was originally from Fujian Province), but he spent his childhood in Shanghai. He started to study Go at age 5 with top amateurs Hu Yuqing and Liu Yiyi. In 2014 he left Shanghai to study Go and went to several dojos before settling down at Hangzhou Go School. Zeng won the 10th Fengcheng Cup(丰城杯) this May, beating one of the "Four Kings" of amateur Wang Chen along the way. His lone loss in this tournament was to the other early qualifier Chen Yichun in the 5th round. After the qualification news was out Xiamen Go Association immediately sent their secretary general Wang Lu 3p to talk to Zeng about signing playing contract for Team Xiamen (Xiamen has A-League, B-League and Women's A-League teams) since Zeng was originally from that area.

Baby faced Zeng Yuanhai 1p
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Chen Yichun was born a year earlier in October 2001 in Hebei Province. He placed 6th in this year's Evening News Cup and 5th in Guofan Cup. He studies at the famous Ge Yuhong Dojo in Beijing (that's where European Pros trained under CEGO contract).

Chen Yichun 1p (what's the opposite of baby face?)
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For several years now Ge Dojo and Hangzhou Go School has been splitting the majority of new pros each year, and we see this trend in the two early qualifiers too.

Author:  wolfking [ Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2017 Chinese Pro Qualification

After 13 rounds we finally have the 30 new CWA pros of 2017. Here are the new pros on the men's side (in order of final standing):

Zeng Yuanhai, Chen Yichun (early qualifications)

Chen Lei (陈磊), born 2001 in Jiangsu, studied at Ge Yuhong Dojo. Finished No. 22 at last year's qualification. This year qualified with 10 wins.

Zhang Qi (张岐), born 1999 in Heilongjiang, Ge Dojo. Last year's No. 42. Placed 4th at Weixing Cup, 5th at Fengcheng Cup this year. 10 wins.

Liu Yuncheng(刘云程), born 2001 in Jiangsu, Hangzhou Go School. The reigning National Games Amateur Champion. 10 wins.

Dong Kun (董堃), born 1996 in Heilongjiang, Ge Dojo. Oldest new pro this year. Top 10s at Qingdao Publishing Cup and Guofan Cup. 9 wins.

Cheng Jiaye (成家业), born 2002 in Guangdong, Hangzhou Go School. Top 6's in Qingdao Publishing Cup, MLily Cup, Lishui Qingyun Cup. 9 wins.

Sun Pengyu (孙鹏宇), born 2002 in Tianjin. Chen Rui Dojo. Last year Sun won all 9 prelim games but only placed 59th in the main tournament. This year he finally came through with 10 wins.

Ji Xiang (纪祥), born 1999 in Shandong. Hangzhou Go School. He was Mateusz Surma's round 1 opponent in the C-League. He placed in top 10 of several amateur tournaments this year and was runner up at Guofan Cup and Lishui Qingyun Cup. 9 wins.

Yin Songtao (尹松涛), born 2002 in Zhejiang, Hangzhou Go School. Runner up in Weixing Cup, 3rd in Fengcheng Cup and Lishui Qingyun Cup. 9 wins.

Chen Yifu (陈镱夫), born 1998 in Shanghai, Shanghai Ing Chang-ki Go Center. Known as the "Strongest 5 Dan in Shanghai". Came in 4th in MLily Cup and Pufa Bank Cup. 9 wins.

Dai Gengyu (代耕宇), born 2002 in Xinjiang, Ge Dojo. He won Xinjiang's Children's tournament at age 12 and beat Zheng Hong 9p in an exhibition game with no komi. He is the first ever pro from Xinjiang.

Zhang Taiyu (张泰毓), born 1998 in Gansu, Hangzhou Qiyuan. 17th in Evening News Cup, 7th at the National Games. 8 wins.

Gu Ruize (谷瑞泽), born 2000 in Henan. Hangzhou Go School. 3rd in Luoyang Cup, 15th in Lishui Qingyun Cup. 10 wins.

Chen Haodong (陈浩东), born 1999 in Shanxi, Ding Lie Dojo. 6th at the Weixing Cup. 9 wins.

Yu Fulin (于富霖), born 2000 in Heilongjiang. Hangzhou Go School. 13th at the Fengcheng Cup. 9 wins.

Li Yu'ang (李雨昂), born 1999 in Henan. Hangzhou Go School. 3rd at the Qingdao Publishing Cup. 9 wins.

Fan Bingxu (范炳旭), born 1999 in Tianjin, Ge Dojo. 9 wins.

Wang Zeyu (王泽宇), born 2002 in Jiangsu, Ge Dojo. 20th at MLily Cup and Pufa Bank Cup. 8 wins.

Li Zerui (李泽锐), born 2005 in Hunan, Hangzhou Go School. 11th at the Guofan Cup, 20th Qingdao Publishing Cup. Youngest and last qualified new pro this year.

Chen Lei (left) vs Ji Xiang at board 3 in round 13. Behind them Cheng Jiaye was peeking at their board.
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New pros on the women's side (in order of final standing):

Li Xinyi (李鑫怡), born 2000 in Heilongjiang, Ge Dojo. She has consistently placed in Ge Dojo Group 1 (basically top 6 in the Dojo) and are stronger than quite a few new male pros. She finished 7th last year with 10 wins, and started this year's tournament with a 10 win streak to earn the top qualifying spot.

Fang Ruoxi (方若曦), born 2002 in Guizhou, Hangzhou Go School. Reining National Games Women's Amateur Champion. 10 wins.

Gu Wanshan (谷宛珊), born 2001 in Liaoning, Ge Dojo. 10 wins.

Wang Qianyu (王倩钰), born 1996 in Henan, Ge Dojo. 7th at Luoyang Cup. 10 wins.

Yuan Jie (元杰), born 2001 in Shandong, Ge Dojo. 10 wins.

Wang Zixin (王梓莘), born 2001 in Jiangxi, Hangzhou Go School. Last year barely missed final qualifying spot with 9 wins and was responsible for top qualifier Yin Qu's only loss. Yellow River Cup Women's Group champion, runner up at the National Games. 10 wins.

Yang Qiqi (杨棋棋), born 1995 in Shandong, Ge Dojo. 10 wins.

Tang Jiawen (唐嘉雯), born 2004 in Shanghai, Shanghai Qingyi Dojo. Youngest new female pro. 10 wins.

Liu Sijia (柳思佳), born 1998 in Hubei, Hangzhou Go School. 9 wins.

Wen Zhaoyi (文兆仪), born 2000 in Guangdong, Shenzhen Qiyuan. 9 wins. She has a sister that is 5 years younger who was also in the tournament but failed to qualify.

Wang Zixin (left) vs Gu Wanshan at board 1 in round 13
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Out of 30 new pros 13 are from Hangzhou Go School and 12 are from Ge Yuhong Dojo, continuing the trend of domination by the two big Go Schools.

All 30 new pros
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Edit: Fixed a typo. Tang Jiawen (唐嘉雯) was from Shanghai Qingyi Dojo, not Qiyi Dojo.
Edit 2: Changed PinYin spelling of 王梓莘 from Wang Zishen to Wang Zixin. See my response to John's post below for the reasoning. John, thanks for correcting me.

Author:  ez4u [ Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2017 Chinese Pro Qualification

Thanks for some great coverage Wolfking!
BTW, where did Han Enyi, Luo Zhuofan, and Wu Yiming finish in the standings?

Author:  wolfking [ Thu Jul 27, 2017 7:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2017 Chinese Pro Qualification

ez4u wrote:
Thanks for some great coverage Wolfking!
BTW, where did Han Enyi, Luo Zhuofan, and Wu Yiming finish in the standings?

I was going to cover them together with some other tidbits but now is obviously the right time. :)

Han Enyi and Luo Zhuofan both fared better following their 2-3 start. Han had 7 wins, Luo had 6 wins going into the final round. From the standing after round 12 we know that a minimum 8 wins was needed to qualify so Luo was out already. I do not know Han Enyi's final standing but since he started poorly he would likely have a low total opponent's score and even a win in the final round might not be enough (only a couple new pros qualified with 8 wins). In any case he finished outside top 30 in the final standing (I only have info of the top 30 standing).

On the other hand Wu Yiming started brilliantly but stumbled a little in the second half. Going into the final round she had 8 wins 4 losses and faced a tough opponent in Zhang Mengyao (张梦瑶) of Beijing, 3rd place winner in the National Games. Wu played a good game to beat Zhang and got to 9 wins. But unfortunately she was a few opponent points short to place at No. 11, exactly one position out of qualification.

Almost a pro - Wu Yiming beat Zhang Mengyao in the final round at board 9
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Author:  lichigo [ Thu Jul 27, 2017 7:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2017 Chinese Pro Qualification

Thank you so much for covering this event. I'm shocked by the number of pros hahah,in korea it is like 7 or 8 per year. I guess in japan it's much less than 30.

Author:  wolfking [ Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2017 Chinese Pro Qualification

lichigo wrote:
Thank you so much for covering this event. I'm shocked by the number of pros hahah,in korea it is like 7 or 8 per year. I guess in japan it's much less than 30.

Yes it was a lot compare to Korea and Japan. I think Japan also has 6 or 7 new pros per year.

Author:  John Fairbairn [ Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 2017 Chinese Pro Qualification

Who/what is/was Ge Yuhong, please?

Author:  Javaness2 [ Fri Jul 28, 2017 4:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 2017 Chinese Pro Qualification

well they do have a website - http://www.gyhdc.com , bound to be some information there

Author:  John Fairbairn [ Fri Jul 28, 2017 4:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 2017 Chinese Pro Qualification

王梓莘

Are you certain about the reading Wang Zishen? Wang Zixin seems more likely to me.

Author:  hyperpape [ Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 2017 Chinese Pro Qualification

With the exception of two pros (Li Zerui and Tang Jiawen), every player is 14 or older. I wonder how this compares to previous years.

Author:  wolfking [ Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 2017 Chinese Pro Qualification

John Fairbairn wrote:
王梓莘

Are you certain about the reading Wang Zishen? Wang Zixin seems more likely to me.

John you are right that the bottom half of 莘 is 辛 which is 'xin', but the reading of 莘 is 'shen'. It is kind of rare character but does appear frequently in people's names and especially in the phrase '莘莘学子' (shēn shēn xué zǐ), which simply means 'many students'. If you google 莘莘学子 you will see the PinYin spelling listed next to it. But you are not alone in thinking it is read as 'Xin', many Chinese students make the same mistake when they run into this character the first time. :)

Edit: John I looked up in the dictionary and found that Xin is an alternative pronunciation of 莘, which is the name of a medicinal plant. Given that 梓 also describes some kind of tree, her name is quite possibly Wang Zixin. I will edit my post to change her name. If somebody know her name's pronunciation for sure please let me know. John thanks for correcting my mistake and I apologize for not doing more research before posting the response.

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