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May 30, 2017

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Go player suffers second loss in title defense attempt

TAIPEI--Japan-based Taiwanese Go player and Oza title holder Cho U lost to challenger Yuta Iyama in the second game of this year's Oza title match in Taipei Saturday.

It was Cho's second loss in the best-of-five championship match.

Iyama, a rising star in Japanese professional Go, won Saturday's game after Cho conceded defeat in the final stages.

At the age of 23, Iyama is the youngest holder of four of the seven major titles — Honinbo, Tengen, Judan, Gosei.

Cho has been holding the Oza title for four straight years since 2008 and will be awarded the life-time title of Honorary Oza if he wins this year's title match. The honorary title is accorded to players who win a title tournament five times in a row.

However, Cho, who lost the first game in Taipei on Thursday by 7.5 points, could yield his title to Iyama if he is defeated at the third game to be held Nov. 22 in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan.

There is only one Honorary Oza in the history of the Oza title tournament since its inception in 1952, which is accorded to Masao Kato, the late chairman of the Nihon Ki-in.

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