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Chinese Pros Dominate Early Rounds of Mlily Cup

Kong JieKong JieThe first two rounds of the 64-player knockout to determine the winner of the Mlily Cup were played in Beijing July 9 and 11. Of the four Korean amateurs who won places among the 64, Oh Jangwook drew as his first opponent Taiwan's 19-year-old 6-dan pro Joanne Missingham, aka Hei Jiajia. This game caught the eye of the media (Joanne attracts attention whenever she sits down to play), but that did not bother Oh; taking white, he won by 1-1/4 stone, the Chinese equivalent of 2-1/2 points.

But that was to be the only win by an amateur player. In the second round Oh drew Korean 9-dan Choi Chulhan, men's gold medalist at the 2012 World Mind Games, and lost by resignation. The other three amateurs (Choi Hyeonjae, Jeong Seunghyeon, and Lee Changseok), lost to 9-dan pros Kong Jie (China) and Yuki Satoshi (Japan) and 15-year-old 2-dan pro Kun Yanyu (China) in the first round. The other two women competing also departed in the first round: Song Ronghui, women's gold medalist at the 2008 World Mind Sports Games lost to Choi Chulhan, and Wang Chenxing, whose eight straight wins powered the Chinese women's team to victory in the Huang Longshi Cup last year, was beaten by Korean 9-dan Cho Hanseung.

In some other notable games, six 4-dan and lower-ranked pros overcame famed 9-dan opponents: China's Tang Weixing, who won the men's individual gold medal at the recent Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games, beat Ing Cup winner Fan Tingyu; Na Hyun, who led the Korean men's team to a gold medal in the Indoor & Martial Arts Games, beat LG Cup winner Shi Yue; China's An Dongxu beat Japan's Meijin Yamashita Keigo; China's Mi Yuting eliminated former Fujitsu Cup winners Kang Dongyun and Lee Sedol; Chinese shodan Lei Zhenkun beat former winner of almost everything Lee Changho; and China's Dang Yifei beat Xie He, whose victory over Lee Changho gave China the Nongshim Cup in 2012. Dang, Mi, and Tang were among the thirteen Chinese survivors of the second round, giving China a tremendous edge over Korea (two survivors) and Japan (one survivor). The third round will be played on August 9.

Game records are available at the go4go website