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By Wang Mengru  (

08:15, December 13, 2012

Chinese Go master Chen Zude dies

Chen Zude, a master of Chinese Go (or weiqi, an ancient form of Chinese chess) died on the night of Nov.1 at Peking Union Medical College Hospital in Beijing after battling pancreatic cancer. He was 68.

Chen, born in Shanghai, began to learn the game at the age of seven. He was among the first professional Go players after the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949. Chen won three national championship titles in 1962, 1964 and 1974 and was the leading player of his generation.

On Sept 27, 1963, Chen defeated Masao Sugiuchi of Japan, who had the highest Go ranking of 9 dan, and became the first Chinese citizen to beat Japan's highest-ranked player. He later created Chinese fuseki, a Go opening pattern that has hugely influenced the game’s top players across China and Japan.

Chen was diagnosed with gastric cancer in 1980 but recovered after a long struggle. He was awarded the 9 dan rank in 1982 and wrote his autobiography “Go Beyond Yourself,” which earned him a People's Literature Award in 1994.

Chen was the first president of China Qiyuan, the nation's official agency responsible for board and card games, from 1992 to 2003, and launched the Chinese professional Go league. He later made frequent appearances in competitions, playing his last professional game on Dec 21, 2010.

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