1996-2000: Honinbo, Kisei, Meijin, and back to zero

meijin 1997

In 1996 a second period starts where Cho holds the triple crown. But in 1999 he suffers an unexpected loss of the Honinbo, and by the end of the period he is without a single title.


Cho gets his revenge in the Kisei, beating Kobayashi Satoru. But is is not easy: (4-3). Ryu Shikun is the Honinbo challenger: (4-2). In the Meijin league Cho after a lot of years finally emerged as the challenger (7-1 in the league). He wins the title from Takemiya (4:2).

This must have been a tough year for Cho. He played no less than 62 tournament games (winning 45) according to the yearbook. Well, in fact I have 82 games (including pair go) from this year:- [1996]

meijin 1999


Keeps the triple crown. Kisei won (4-1) against Kobayasi Satoru, Honinbo (4-0) against Kato Masao and Meijin (4-2) against Kobayashi Koichi.

39 games played in total according to the yearbook, winning 26. Games: [1997]


Keeps the triple crown again. Wins the Kisei (4-2) against Yoda, the Honinbo (4-2) and the Meijin (4-3), both against O Rissei.

49 games played in total, winning 28, according to the Kido yearbook. Games: [1998]


Wins the Kisei (4-2) against Kobayashi Koichi, but then unexpectedly loses the Honinbo to Cho Sonjin. Yoda is not yet a match in the Meijin (4-1). Cho challenges O Rissei for the Oza, but is not succesfull (3-1).

52 games this year, winning 31. Games: [1999]


Loses the Kisei to O Rissei (1-4), the Meijin to Yoda (0-4), and again fails in the challenge for the Oza against O Rissei (1-3). Back to zero and without a title. Well, almost, he still has the NEC Cup.

Kido says Cho played 58 [official] games, winning exactly 50%: [2000].



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