This autographed go board came to Baduk Club from an antique shop in Hadano City.
The board was signed by the 9dan professional player Cho Chikun (趙治勲). At the top he has inscribed Abundance (豊汀) in beautiful calligraphy. It is actually a bit difficult to make out what he wrote at the top, it does resemble 豊巧 which is a popular calligraphy choice (Fertility), or even 豊功 or 豊江 but those wouldn't make much sense. According to Wikipedia his original name was 豊衍 (ほうえん) and he was renamed at age 1 or 2, so we think this is a clever way for him to point to that.
Cho Chikun is one of the greatest players of our time, with 76 titles in his career. In fact, he won over 60% of his 125 title matches, earning many nicknames including "The 7th Game Demon." He retains the title 25th Honorary Honinbo, on account of having won that tournament more than ten times. The autograph is in excellent shape, and it is visually clear that cleanings of the underside have avoided the inked sections. We have provided a collage of previous autographs he has done, this shows the high quality of this particular autograph as well as its authenticity.
The board will be accompanied by 28 weekly newspaper columns about Cho Chikun, dating from 2020 and 2021. The series covers interesting episodes (some as far back as 60 years ago) in his long career, along with illustrative photos. The full scan of the 28-page set is available here (please note it is a large file, about 50mb). Unfortunately our scanner light is very bright it is shines through the newspaper to reveal print on the opposite side, so these actually appear much better in person. The first column is available in the photo set, as well as a collage of snippits from the other columns to give you a quick sense of the contents.
The board itself is from a slow-growing tree with gorgeous heartwood. It has most of the hallmarks of Katsura, with high density, tight grain pattern, and an orange heartwood that is a consistent color across the entire board. It is a Kiura cut, the most preferred style for a Plain-sawn board. This cutting style shows off the growth rings of the tree on the ends where the players will sit, and the sides of the board will have straight lines. Soft heartwood ripples appear on the underside and the playing surface, giving the impression of wind on water. The grid is the traditional raised-lacquer style.
The corners and edges look excellent. It is in amazing shape, without major flaws and the minor issues have been included in the photographs. The board is quite heavy, weighing in at about 16.6 kilograms. The board may be Matsu (pine), but the high density points to Katsura. It stands 30cm tall with the legs on.
Bundling this order with bowls and stones is possible, please use the Chat Widget if you have questions.
FedEx International Priority shipping from Japan (to almost everywhere) is already included in the purchase price. This service reduces the shipping time to only 5 business days, so your items will spend less time in transit and are less likely arrive with damage.
It is possible to downgrade to Surface shipping (to save about $120), but you would do so at your own risk. The legs would be shipped separately and the two packages would take up 3 months in transit with Japan Post. If you want to make this change, please confirm that your country accepts Japan Post parcels, then contact us with the Chat Widget. Be prepared for some judgmental scoffs.
In either case, please allow up to 1 week for us to pack your order and complete the Customs forms, then you will receive a shipping notification from Shopify with your tracking number(s).