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Cho Nam-chul

Cho Namchul
Hangul 조남철
Hanja 趙南哲
Born November 30, 1923
Buan, South Korea
Teacher Kitani Minoru
Rank 9 dan
Affiliation Hanguk Kiwon

Cho Namchul (November 30, 1923 - July 2, 2006, alternately Cho Namcheol) was a professional Go player (Baduk in Korean). He died of natural causes in Seoul at the age of 83.


Cho was born in a farming village in Buan, North Jeolla Province. In 1934, Japanese professional Kitani Minoru visited Korea and played with ten-year-old Cho, who deeply impressed the great master. He went to Japan in 1937 to study go as Kitani's first insei, or live-in student. In 1943, he returned to South Korea and played a key role in the founding of the Hanguk Kiwon. It wasn't until 1983, that he would be awarded 9 dan, but for most of the 1950s and 1960s, he won the vast majority of national tournaments.

He is known as the founder of Korean modern Go. Namchul is also the uncle of the top Japanese Go title holder Cho Chikun.

After his death, he was honored by the president of Korea with a medal and floral tribute.

Titles & runner-ups

Ranks #5 in total amount of titles in Korea.

Title Years Held
Current 9
Guksu 1956-1964
Defunct 13
Myungin 1968, 1970
Chaegowi 1959-1962, 1964, 1965, 1966
Paewang 1959-1962
Title Years Lost
Current 7
Wangwi 1966, 1969, 1970, 1972
Guksu 1965, 1968, 1970
Defunct 4
Myungin 1971, 1974
Paewang 1970
Chaegowi 1967