Cho U

    Keywords: People
Cho U's Nihon Ki-in photograph

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Cho U (張 栩 Chō U, in Chinese: Zhang Xu, Pinyin: Zhāng Xǔ, in Korean: 장쉬 (Jang Shwi), born 20 January 1980), Nihon Ki-in 9 dan pro from Taiwan.

Cho U was a pupil of Rin Kaiho, is the husband of Kobayashi Izumi and the son-in-law of Kobayashi Koichi. The celebrated couple has two daughters: the first, Cho Kosumi became a pro in 2020 at the age of 13 and the second, Cho Koharu also became a pro in 2022 at the same age.

Cho U came to Japan at the age of 10, a behavior reminiscent of Rin Kaiho, Cho Chikun, Cho Shoen, and Cho Nam-ch'eol. Each of these professionals came to Japan at a young age to study go.

With his win in the 47th Judan, Cho became the first professional to simultaneously hold five of the seven major titles (considering the major titles since 1977). He has now held all of the Japanese Big Titles at least once. He also set a record by winning 30 titles by his 30th birthday, surpassing Cho Chikun who won his 30th title at age 32.

Results as a professional

  • Winner of 26th Agon Cup (2019)
  • Winner of 43rd Meijin (2018)
  • Winner of 63rd NHK Cup (2016)
  • Winner of the 19th Agon Cup title (2012)
  • Winner of the 36th Kisei title (2012)
  • Winner of the 59th Oza title (2011)
  • Winner of the 35th Kisei title (2011)
  • Winner of 30th NEC title (2011)
  • Winner of the 58th Oza title (2010)
  • Winner of the 48th Judan title (2010)
  • Winner of the 34th Kisei title (2010)
  • Winner of the 57th Oza title (2009)
  • Winner of the 34th Gosei title (2009)
  • Winner of the 47th Judan title (2009)
  • Winner of the 56th Oza title (2008)
  • Winner of the 34th Tengen title (2008)
  • Winner of the 33th Meijin title (2008)
  • Winner of the 32nd Meijin title (2007)
  • Runner Up in the 3rd Toyota Denso Cup (2007)
  • Winner of the 31st through 33rd Gosei titles (2006-2008)
  • Winner of 26th NEC title (2007)
  • Winner of the 15th and 16th Ryusei titles (2006, 2007)
  • Winner of the 13th, 14th and 15th Agon titles (2006, 2007, 2008)
  • Winner, with Suzuki Ayumi, of the 2006 Ricoh Pair Go Cup
  • Winner of the 53rd Oza title (2005)
  • Winner of the 30th Meijin title (2005)
  • Winner of 17th Asian TV Cup (2005)
  • Winner of 9th LG Cup title (2005)
  • Winner of 52nd NHK Cup (2005)
  • Winner of 24th NEC title (2005)
  • Winner of 52nd Oza title (2004)
  • Winner of 29th Meijin title (2004)
  • Challenger for 42nd Judan title (2004)
  • Winner of 59th Honinbo title (2004)
  • Winner of 58th Honinbo title (2003)
  • Winner of 51st Oza title (2003)
  • Winner of 27th Shinjin O (2002)
  • Winner of 49th NHK Cup (2002)
  • Challenger for 56th Honinbo title (2001)

His winning record in 2002 was 70-14, a new record for wins (64 in 2001 by Hane Naoki). He was #1 in wins in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

In 2009-12-17, Cho U obtained 700 wins in his career (36th pro of the Nihon Kiin). His record is: 700 wins, 254 losses, 2 jigos, 1 no result. Cho is also the youngest pro with 30 titles.

valerio: from 2009-06 to 2010-03, Cho will play six title [ext] matches for a big title in one year. This equals a record set by Kobayashi Koichi in 1992.

In fact, it seems that of current Japanese titles, the Daiwa Grand Champion Cup, Daiwa Shoken Cup and Yugen cup are the only titles Cho is eligible to compete for but has not won.

Playing style

In 2004, Michael Redmond 9p had this to say about Cho U's style:

"Cho U, the current Honinbo, is a very territory-oriented player, and it's almost like his weak groups are charmed, they don't die: it's almost impossible to kill a group of his. I actually beat him once, when he had two weak groups on the board, both of them lived but I managed to win that game. His reading is extremely deep, better than most of the top players. His specialty is creating small tsume-go problems that are very difficult for even the pros to solve, and he can make them very quickly."[1]

Game two of the 30th Meijin (2005) is a good example of a giant "charmed" group.

Around 2004-2006, Cho was very fond of making a 5-4 approach to his opponent's komoku on the second move. He had very good results with this move, but stopped playing it in 2006.

19x19 diagram  

In 2010 and 2011, he has been playing a 5-4 point as White. My impression is that his play in this period is more flexible and less consistently territorial. --Hyperpape

19x19 diagram  

See also Cho U opening


Cho U is the author of the following books:

[1] January 14, 2004 AGA E-Journal

dtslife: A summary of Cho U's early Go life and doubt can be found on this link from Taiwan Culture Portal [ext] Taiwan Culture Portal

Cho U last edited by hnishy on September 27, 2022 - 04:03
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