American Go E-Journal » Korea

KPMC 2015: Eric Lui on Camaraderie and Pure Joy

Monday December 21, 2015

This week we’ll present extended coverage of the Korean World Amateur Championships (KPMC; click here for our winner’s report on December 8). Below you’ll find U.S. rep Eric Lui’s delightful reminiscence of the event, where he went undefeated for five rounds, losing only to champion China in the final (Ben Lockhart did the same thing last year, except his final round loss was to Korea). Tomorrow we will have a Q&A with Eric about the event, and finally we will present a brief review of his 5th round game against Hong Kong.

by Eric Lui, U.S. representative to the 2015 Korean World Amateur Championships2015.12.20_Eric-Lui-KPMC

It’s been nine years since I participated in the first Korea Prime Minister’s Cup. My memories of the occasion as a whole are dim at best, but I can still recall a few fragments of the extravagant outdoor opening ceremony, and the completely bonkers closing ceremony that had players and local Korean folk holding hands and running in circles around the plaza square into the night.

Turn the clock forward and it’s time for the 10th Korea Prime Minister’s Cup, held in Seoul’s Gangnam district. While the first KPMC was lavish in style and grand in execution, the 10th edition thrived on the strength of its organizers, a charismatic and multilingual group who couldn’t have been more welcoming. The genuine camaraderie among the players and organizers produced a truly festive atmosphere.

Before each round, music played from a large boombox at the front of the stage. In particular, a rousing rendition of Chicago’s hit song “If You Leave Me Now” put me in a whimsical mood before my important fifth-round match against the player from Hong Kong. If only Peter Cetera were there, he would finally be able to cite definitive proof to any naysayers who claim that his music has yet to reach an international audience. “You see?” He might say, pointing vigorously to a video feed. “I made it!”

The standout performer this time was Cristian Pop of Romania, who, in a first-round heavyweight clash, defeated Japan’s Dr. Shinichiro Osawa, a neurosurgeon and former teacher of the star player Ichiriki Ryo 7p. Pop would go on to finish 3rd. My last-round defeat at the hands of China’s top-rated amateur Hu Yuqing, the tournament winner, landed me in 4th place on SOS. Hu has terrorized the amateur go world for well over a decade, and, playing in his 6th (!) KPMC at the raw age of 34, shows no signs of slowing down.

The closing ceremony was well-attended with VIPs such as Seo Bongsoo 9p, chief referee, Kim Seungjun 9p, Lee Hajin 3p, secretary of IGF, and Martin Stiassny, president of EGF. The highlights featured a male performer, clad in headgear with a long wavy band attached to the brim, executing aerial cartwheels around a circle in a breathtaking display of athleticism and artistry, and a moving interpretation of Secret Garden’s iconic “Song from a Secret Garden” by a quartet on traditional Korean instruments including a vertical fiddle, a bamboo flute, and a long zither.

The next day was the traditional sightseeing day and the first snow of the season. Later that night, while walking in downtown Myeongdong, Seoul’s premier shopping district, clutching bags filled with cosmetics and various beauty products, it crossed my mind that in less than half a day, I would be on my way to the airport and this trip would become just a memory.

When we reached the end of the street, I looked back, shivering slightly in the freezing cold, and took it all in: the bright lights, buildings that seemed to touch the sky, hustle and bustle in a world I didn’t understand, and felt strangely at ease.

In that moment, I saw myself four days ago, sleep-deprived and slightly haggard upon arrival. I recalled the interesting conversations, laughter, and failed attempts at procuring more food. I thought of the first time I participated in this tournament, so eager and determined to prove something.

I felt pure joy at having had the opportunity to play in this tournament again, and a twinge of regret about all the pictures I had forgotten to take, yet I took solace knowing that others would not have done the same.

I remembered standing on an outdoor patio at Tokyo Narita Airport, watching from a distance as a plane barreled down the runway and took off into the sky, my hopes and dreams soaring with it, and I smiled inwardly as I realized how much there was to look forward to.

And then the moment was gone. I heard a voice, and a sudden gust of wind brought me back to earth. Following a few steps behind a small crowd into a donut shop, I rubbed my hands together in anticipation of warmth.

Tomorrowa Q&A with Eric about the 2015 KPMC.

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Korean Go News: Park Jeonghwan Defeats Cho Hanseung in Kuksu; Gyeongbuk Wins Cheonnam in Samdasu Amateur City League Cup

Monday December 21, 2015

Park Jeonghwan Defeats Cho Hanseung in Kuksu: The finalists in the 59th Kuksu — Park Jeonghwan and Cho Hanseung — are the 2015.12.21_park-jeonghwan-rightsame as last year and defending champion Park is looking to repeat the previous result as well. Park, playing White, forced Cho to resign after 178 moves. “Black had a lot of territory in the beginning, so it didn’t look good,” Park said in an interview, “but after the middle game White’s territory increased significantly, and I was fine.” The second round in the best-of-three match will be next year in January.

2015.12.21_samdasu-cupGyeongbuk Wins Samdasu Amateur City League Cup: The question of which city is the strongest in all of South Korea was decided on December 9th when the two finalist cities, Cheonnam and Gyeongbok, faced off in their final match in Jeju, South Korea. Kyeongbok defeated Kyeongnam on the 20th of November in the Baduk TV studios in Seoul to join Cheonnam in the finals. The tournament began with 12 different teams from different cities/regions in South Korea. Each team has four members who all face off; each team earns points by winning, and whichever team has more points by the end wins.  This way, the teams play out all four games, even if the first three people lose, the result of the last game can decide the whole match.   The Gyeongbuk team was comprised of Park Gangsu, Song Yesul, Park Yeongjin, Yi Cheolju and Park Seonggyun.
- Jonathan Hop

 

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Categories: Korea
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China’s Yuqing Hu Wins Korean Prime Minister’s Cup; Europe’s Christian Pop is 3rd & U.S.’ Eric Lui is 4th

Tuesday December 8, 2015

China’s Yuqing Hu won the 10th Korean Prime Minister’s Cup (KPMC), held November 22-27 in Seoul. Hu (left) topped a field of 55 countries. Heesu2015.12.09_kpmc-winners Kim (right) of Korea was second, Christian Pop of Romania took third place, Eric Lui of the U.S. took 4th place with a 5-1 record, and Shinichiro Osawa of Japan was fifth. At 5-0, Lui played for the championship in round 6 against China with both players undefeated, the first time an American has played in the deciding game of an international tournament. This is the second time a Chinese player has won the KPMC; Korea has won seven times and Taiwan has won once. Complete results can be downloaded from the European Go Federation’s report.

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Categories: Korea
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Gu Li Dominates Second Round of the Nongshim Cup

Saturday December 5, 2015

Choi Cheolhan 9P, the third player from Team Korea, defeated China’s Wu Guangya 6P (who stopped Ichiriki Ryo’s winning streak at the end of2015.12.05_Gu-Li-Nongshim-Cup-1 Round 1) and Japan’s Ida Atsushi 8P to get the second round of the Nongshim Cup underway November 27 to December 1 in Busan, Korea. Then Choi ran into Gu Li 9P (Team China), who took an early lead and never let go. Gu then beat Japan’s Kono Rin 9P and Korea’s Park Junghwan 9P to extend his winning streak to three. The final round will be played in Shanghai, China, where play resumes on March 1, 2016. Thanks to Gu Li’s dominating performance during this round, China still has three players – Gu Li 9P, Lian Xiao 7P and Ke Jie 9P, while Japan has two, Murakawa Daisuke 8P and Iyama Yuta 9P and Lee Sedol is the last man standing for Korea.
- Adapted from a report on Go Game Guru which includes game records and more photos.

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Categories: China,Japan,Korea
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Lee Sedol 9P to face Ke Jie 9P in MLily Cup Final

Thursday November 26, 2015

Lee Sedol 9P (right) defeated Ahn Seongjun 6P and Ke Jie 9P (left) beat Park Younghun 9P in the semifinals of the second MLily Cup, played November 22-252015.11.26_Ke-Jie-Lee-Sedol-MLily-Cup-t-150x150 in Hefei, China. The Ke Jie-Park Younghun showdown — relayed live on the AGA’s YouTube channel with commentary by Myungwan Kim 9P — was one of the most interesting matches of the year.

Ke Jie is ranked #1 in China, is virtually undefeated as White in 2015 and proceeded to the final of the 2015 Samsung Cup in early November by defeating Lee Sedol. Meanwhile, Park Younghun is in his second heyday in 2015. He’s ranked #3 in Korea, and he proceeded to the final of 20th LG Cup by defeating Tuo Jiaxi 9p about only a week ago.

Lee Sedol is currently ranked #2 in Korea, and Ahn Seongjun is ranked #7. 

Click here for more analysis, photos, game records and game commentary by Younggil An 8P on Go Game Guru.

- Go Game Guru
Update (12/24): Ke is not, as originally reported, undefeated this year on white; in fact he has lost twice.

 

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Categories: China,Japan,Korea
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MLily Semifinal Showdown Tonight: Park Younghoon 9P vs Ke Jie 9P Live on AGA Youtube Channel

Tuesday November 24, 2015

Ke Jie 9P lost Game 2 of the MLily Cup semifinal against Park Younghoon 9P Monday night, setting up a decisive Game 3 showdown that will be2015.11.24_mlily-semifinal broadcast Tuesday night. Myungwan Kim 9P will provide live English commentary on the AGA’s Youtube Channel starting at 7P PST (10P EST).

 

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Categories: China,Korea
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Ke Jie Wins Samsung Cup Semifinal

Tuesday November 3, 2015

[link]

Ke Jie 9p beat Lee Sedol 9p by resignation, a second win in two days to win the 2015 Samsung Cup semifinal.  The much anticipated contest between the young Chinese star, #2 in the world, and Korean great Lee, secures for Ke a spot in the Samsung final match with its prize of approximately $300,000 first prize.

The match was the subject of a live streaming commentary Tuesday night by Myungwan Kim 9p. Kim’s in-depth analysis of the game, anchored by E-Journal broadcaster Andrew Jackson 4d, was followed by nearly 150 players on the AGA’s YouTube channel despite extending beyond midnight on the East Coast. “I love the sound the commentary makes as it sails way over my head,” said Cement12293. “We’re living in the future: live pro go commentary in English!” said joby morey. The game was also broadcast on KGS.

In addition to Myungwan Kim in Los Angeles and Andrew Jackson in Seattle, the AGA’s E-Journal broadcast team included Dennis Wheeler (also in Seattle) and Steve Colburn in Rochester, New York. Xiaocheng Hu did the graphics for the video stream.
- Chris Garlock

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Categories: Korea
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AGA Channels to Broadcast Samsung Cup Semi Game 2 Tuesday Night

Monday November 2, 2015

Myungwan Kim 9p will provide live streaming commentary again Tuesday night for the second round in the Samsung Cup semifinal match 2015.11.02_Ke Jie-Lee Sedol-Samsung-YouTubebetween Ke Jie and Lee Sedol. Along with E-Journal broadcaster Andrew Jackson, Kim commented Game 1 on Monday night, attracting an engaged and enthusiastic online audience. Tuesday night’s stream will be on the AGA’s official YouTube channel and official Twitch channel, as well as on KGS, beginning at 7:30PM PST (10:30p EST).
SGF record for game 1 of Ke Jie v. Lee Sedol

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Categories: Korea
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Samsung Cup Semifinals to be Broadcast Monday with Live English Commentary on AGA Channels

Saturday October 31, 2015

The upcoming Samsung Cup semifinal match between Ke Jie and Lee Sedol has the go world buzzing. Ke Jie (right), regarded as the strongest player in2015.11.01_Ke Jie-Lee Sedol-samsung-semi China today and currently rated #2 in the world, will face Lee Sedol (left), #3 worldwide, Monday in their best-of-three match. The two players have never before met in tournament play, and the Samsung Cup is one of the most prestigious international titles, with a grand prize of over $250,000 USD.

Myungwan Kim 9p will provide live commentary for English-speaking players via the AGA’s official YouTube channel and official Twitch channel. Kim says hundreds of thousands will watch the event in Korea alone, and a large audience is expected in China as well. “These could be the best games of the year,” he says.

The games are scheduled for Monday, Nov. 2, Tuesday, Nov. 3, and Wednesday, Nov. 4 (if necessary). Video commentary will begin at 7:30PM PST (10:30p EST) each day.
- Andrew Jackson

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Your Move/Readers Write: Where Was Ben?

Tuesday August 18, 2015

Where Was Ben? “I enjoyed reading your story about Lockhart’s win,” writes Ted Terpstra. “But the story failed to say where the competition 2015.08.18_ben-lockhartwas held and where the next round will be. It is always interesting to read where our American players are playing.”
The prelim was in Seoul, Korea; the next stage starts on 9/7 in Beijing, China.
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