Although the MLily Cup final won’t be played until later this year it’s already clear that a Chinese player will be champion. That’s because China claimed all eight quarterfinal places at the first MLily Cup on August 9. Only two Korean players, Choi Cheolhan 9p and Cho Hanseung 9p, (left) and one Japanese player, Yuki Satoshi 9p, made it into the final 16, and all fell to Chinese challengers.
Morale is especially low in Korea as the same circumstances occurred at the 18th LG Cup when Lee Sedol 9p was defeated by Tuo Jiaxi 3p in the second round. In the MLily Cup, Lee was defeated in the second round by seventeen-year-old Mi Yuting 4p. While sharp, young up-and-comers like Mi are one reason China has been slicing up the competition lately, “speculation in Korea is that the ever increasing prevalence of lightning games…is making it harder for their players to compete in these (relatively slower) international matches.”
Among the MLily Cup’s final eight are the formidable Gu Li 9p and Zhou Ruiyang 9p. Considered one of the top players in the world, Gu’s unique style (described as “romantic” by Go Game Guru) makes him especially elusive while Zhou has consistently been one of China’s top players since 2005. In the August 11 quarterfinals, Mi Yuting defeated Dang Yifei, Zhou Ruiyang defeated Lian Xiao, Gu Li defeated Wang Lei and Wang Xi defeated Wu Guangyya. Gu Li will play Zhou Ruiyang and Wang Xi will play Mi Yuting in the semifinals in September 2013. The semifinals will be best of three matches and the final will be best of five. The exact date for the final hasn’t been decided yet.
- Annalia Linnan, based on a longer article on Go Game Guru which includes photos and game records; photo courtesy of Go Game Guru