His style has been noted as thick and calm, aiming for long games with the goal of maximizing his thickness in the endgame. He wrote a book on his style called The Way of Creating a Thick and Strong Game. A noted rivalry was with Takao Shinji.
In 2003-2005, he lost fifteen straight games to Chinese and Korean players in international competition, a record which was cited as representative of Japan's decline on the international stage. http://gobase.org/studying/articles/LeeHongYeol/?episode=5 More recently he was however the only Japanese player in the 11th Nongshim Cup in 2009 to score wins at all, beating Yun Chun-sang and Park Yeonghun.
- Winner of the 26th Shin Ei (1996)
- Winner of the 27th to 29th Tengen titles (2001-2003)
- Winner of the 28th and 29th Kisei title (2004-2005)
- Winner of the 11th and 16th Agon Cup (2004 and 2009)
- Winner of the 53th NHK (2006)
- Winner of the 63th and 64th Honinbo (2008-2009)
- Winner of Okan Tournament in 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 201
- Winner of the 28th NEC Cup (2009-03-07).
- Winner of the 36th Gosei (2011-08-29).
In 2008, he beat Takao Shinji for the Honinbo title after losing the first three games. As of 2011, this has only happened six times between the Meijin, Kisei and Honinbo titles.