1986 - Kisei lost in a wheelchair

The first game of the Kisei was planned for January 16-17, 1986.

The first game of the Kisei: Cho insisted on playing.

At 11:45 PM on 6 Jan. 1986, Cho was backing his car out of a parking lot. A motor cyclist coming around a curve in the road braked suddenly to avoid hitting Cho's car, and his bike slid and overturned. Cho helped the driver who was only slightly injured, to get up, then was attempting to pick up the bike when a car ran into him. Cho broke his right thigh and suffered many other injuries. In the hospital he received emergency treatment and had an operation the next day. The doctors thought that his injuries would take three months to heal, but Cho insisted that since his head was not injured seriously and his right hand was unhurt, he would play the Kisei match on the 16th. He also insisted that he would play a Meijin League game on the 9th, but that proved impossible so soon after the operation. On the 16th Cho not only showed up for the match in a wheelchair, but played quite a respectable game, losing by 2.5 points only.

Cho recuperated quickly, and took the second and third game. But then the tide turned in Kobayashi's favour and Cho lost three games in a row. Losing the Kisei meant that Cho was now without a title for the first time in eight years. A phase in his career has ended (and he is yet only 29 years old).

Even with one game forfeited in the 11th Meijin League, Cho shares first place with a (6-2) score. But he loses the playoff against Kato.

Some consolation is winning the Gosei from Otake (3-0) in July.

Games: [1986]. Total score this year is 35-17.

Getting back to the top

The rest of this decade Cho is trying to fight his way back to the top and to the big titles. He succeeds in 1989 by winning the Honinbo title from Takemiya. But his rival Kobayashi still holds the Meijin and the Kisei, and more years will be needed to get those titles back.


The Gosei title is lost to Kato. The challenge for the Oza title is not succesfull (again Kato). But the Tengen is won (3-2) from Kobayashi Koichi, a comeback victory after losing the first 2 games.

Games: [1987]. Total score this year is 40-23.

honinbo 1989

Winning the Honinbo Title in 1989.


Wins the Judan from Kato (3-2), and defends the Tengen title against Sonoda Yuichi (3-2).

Loss of a game against Nie Weiping in the second round of the Ing Cup, who took revenge for a previous loss in 1984 in the first Japan-China exchange.

Games: [1988]. Total score this year is 28-18.


Wins the Honinbo League (5-2). Defends the Judan title against Rin (3-0), then takes the Honinbo (4-0) from Takemiya. But this time the Tengen goes to Rin (2-3).

Games: [1989]. Total score this year is 29-18.


Loses the Judan (to Takemiya), and defends the Honinbo (against Kobayashi Koichi). It is tough, both matches go to the full length.

Games: [1990]. Total score this year is 26-20.



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