American Go E-Journal » Lee Sedol

2010′s Top 20 Professional Go Players

Saturday May 12, 2012

For those of you who like to follow the professional go scene, An Younggil 8P (r) recently finished writing a year-long series of articles for GoGameGuru profiling the top 20 professional go players of 2010. Throughout the series, Younggil goes well beyond the usual historical details to write about players’ personalities and go styles, as well as recounting his own meetings with many of them. Younggil’s intention was to introduce his professional colleagues to a Western audience as humans, rather than just pro go players. He also shares many insights into the life of a professional go player and the go scene in Korea. It makes fascinating reading for any serious go fan.
The full list of bios includes: Lee SedolKong JiePark JunghwanChoi CheolhanKang DongyunHeo YounghoGu LiXie HeWon SeongjinLi ZheZhou RuiyangTuo JiaxiLee ChanghoQiu JunKim JiseokWang XiCho HanseungChen YaoyePark Younghun and Lee Younggu.

photo: Kong Jie (left) and Lee Sedol play in the final of the 23rd Fujitsu Cup (2010). 

Lee Sedol Wins GS Caltex Cup; Chen Yaoye Holds Tianyuan; BC Card Cup Finals Begin

Thursday May 10, 2012

May isn’t just a big month for US go players. The temperature is rising on the international go scene too. On May 4, Chen Yaoye 9P defended his Chinese Tianyuan (Tengen) title against up-and-coming player, Zhou Hexi 4P. Zhou faced off a strong field to top the 26th Tianyuan qualifiers for the second year in a row, but once again fell to Chen, who has now held the Tianyuan for four consecutive years. Meanwhile in Korea, Lee Sedol 9P fought back from a 2-1 disadvantage to defeat Park Younghun 9P in the (best of five) 17th GS Caltex Cup. Lee took home a cool $60,000 for his trouble. The finals of the 4th BC Card Cup start tomorrow (May 11 in the US), with Korea’s Baek Hongseok 9P set to take on China’s Dang Yifei 4P. China dominated the earlier rounds of the tournament, but Baek managed to fight his way through to the final, defeating Zhou Ruiyang 5P and Hu Yaoyu 8P along the way. 17 year old Dang Yifei’s run has been no less impressive. En route to the final, Dang defeated Lee Sedol 9P, Park Younghun 9P and Piao Wenyao 9P, among others. Both players are competing for their first international title.

Coming up very soon:

  • The 33rd World Amateur Go Championship is just getting started in Guangzhou, China. Expect updates from the E-Journal team very soon.
  • The 4th BC Card Cup finals start tomorrow. Watch them live on Baduk TV. The coverage for game 1 starts at 11:30pm, May 11, US EDT.
  • The 67th Japanese Honinbo title match starts on May 15 in Kyoto, Japan.
  • This being an Olympic year – the (quadrennial) Ing Cup will begin on May 23 in Taiwan.
    For more details, see the professional Go calendar at Go Game Guru.

- David Ormerod, GoGameGuru; Photo: 17 year old Dang Yifei 4P (right) plays Piao Wenyao 9P.

Lee Sedol Adds Chunlan Cup to His Trophy Case

Sunday July 3, 2011

Korea’s Lee Sedol 9P (l) has added the Chunlan Cup to his already stuffed trophy case. Lee had never won the Chunlan before and the 8th annual edition – a best-of-three international tournament — began June 27 with Lee defeating China’s Xie He 7P by resignation after a hard fight. Xie, playing black, evened the score on June 29 in a second-round game that’s already been the subject of much discussion because the players created a new pattern in the top right, starting with Lee’s move 18. Lee held white again in the deciding match on June 30. Despite losing Game Two, he tried the new move again and his perseverance paid off as he won the game and the tournament. Lee now adds his first win in the Chunlan Cup to his already impressive record.

For those interested in the new joseki, see An Younggil’s Game 3 commentary.

- Jingning, based on her original reports on the 8th Chunlan Cup at Go Game Guru.

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Iyama Yuta Wins Bosai Cup for Japan

Wednesday May 18, 2011

Iyama Yuta 9P has surprised many in the Go world, defeating first Lee Sedol 9P and then Gu Li 9P, to bring the Bosai Cup home for Japan.

The 1st Bosai Cup was an invitational even held in Chongqing, China. The format is similar to the Super Meijin, with one player from each of China, Japan and Korea being invited. Three matches were played to determine the winner.

In the first match, Iyama beat Lee in 205 moves, to take his place in the final. Gu then knocked Lee out of the competition and challenged Iyama. On May 18, Iyama continued his good form, winning the tournament in 208 moves.

Is this the final step in Iyama Yuta’s rise to the top? Japanese go players and Iyama’s fans around the world certainly have something to celebrate today. Congratulations Iyama Yuta!

For more details, visit: Iyama Yuta defeats Gu Li, Japan wins Bosai Cup at Go Game Guru.

- David Ormerod; compiled from the reports on Go Game Guru. Photo: Iyama Yuta 9P on top of the world, receives the Bosai Cup.

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Iyama Yuta defeats Lee Sedol

Monday May 16, 2011

This year’s Chongqing International Golden Buddha Mountain Tourism and Cultural Festival (in China) features a three-way invitational tournament between the world’s top pros. The tournament is being called the Bosai Cup and Korea’s Lee Sedol 9P, China’s Gu Li 9P and Japan’s Iyama Yuta 9P are competing. These three are facing one another in a series of three exhibition games. Gu drew a bye in the first round, so Lee and Iyama played today (May 16 2011).

Iyama beat Lee by resignation and took the first spot in the final. In a rematch of last month’s 3rd BC Card, Gu will play Lee for the second spot in the final. The match starts at 1:00pm, May 17, Beijing time (1:00am US Eastern Time) and will be replayed live on Cyberoro. The May 18 match will be replayed the following day, also starting at 1:00pm Beijing time.

Can Iyama Yuta bring a win home for Japan?

- Jingning; based on her report Lee Sedol, Iyama Yuta and Gu Li go head-to-head at Go Game Guru, which includes the game record. Photo: (from left) Lee Sedol, Gu Li and Iyama Yuta.

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Lee Sedol Prevails in 5-Match Battle to Win BC Card Cup

Monday May 2, 2011

Lee Sedol 9P has won the 3rd BC Card Cup World Baduk Championship, defending his title against Gu Li 9P, in an exciting five-match showdown.

At press-time last week, the E-Journal reported that the 3rd BC Card Cup final was tied at one all. What an exciting week fans of professional go have had since then!

Lee pulled ahead in Game Three, staging a surprise reversal after Gu led for most of the game. Gu, playing white, made a small overplay in the late middle game, invading black’s position at the top with move 146. Lee met this with unrelenting force and an iron will. He managed to kill all of white’s invading stones, bringing himself back into the game and going on to win by half a point.

Game Four was the most complicated of the series, opening with a new and fiendishly difficult variation in the lower right. The fighting spread from there and didn’t stop for the whole game. Many assumed the game was over and that Lee had won the title when he took a decided advantage at move 134. However, Gu kept fighting and pulled off an even more amazing reversal with his brilliant play from move 173 onwards. Be sure to check out An Younggil 8P’s commentary.

Given the preceding games, there was a lot of excitement around the fifth and final match. The game itself was relatively peaceful and, unfortunately for Gu, Lee took the lead after Gu misjudged a ko around move 70. After this, Lee demonstrated how to win a won game, trading his way around Gu’s strong challenges and leading things into the endgame. Gu resigned after all his opportunities to reverse the game had been eliminated, giving Lee Sedol his second consecutive win in the BC Card Cup. This also resolves the deadlock in the head-to-head record between these players, with the record now tilting in Lee’s favor at 14-13.

- David Ormerod; compiled from the collected reports on the BC Card Cup at Go Game Guru. Photo: (from left) Lee Sedol, Rui Naiwei, Jujo Jiang and Gu Li review Game Four of the final.

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Lee Sedol Evens Score With Gu Li in BC Card Cup Final

Monday April 25, 2011

The finals of the 3rd BC Card Cup started this week, with Lee Sedol 9P of Korea facing off against Gu Li 9P of China.

Lee is the defending champion, and qualified for the finals by beating up-and-coming countryman Park Junghwan 9P. Meanwhile, Gu defeated Heo Yeongho 8P to challenge Lee in the final. The first two matches were played on April 23-24 and the score is currently tied at one game apiece, with Lee evening the score in the second game.

This leaves many go fans waiting in suspense to see how the match continues, with the head-to-head record between these two players deadlocked at 12-12. Even the readers at Go Game Guru are evenly divided over who will win the final, with a poll about the outcome split at 50/50 at press-time.

Lee Sedol was in high spirits at the pre-final press conference and banquet in Seoul, admitting to the media that he was no match for Gu when it came to drinking. After Game Two, Lee said that he was lucky to win, after an unsatisfactory opening and that Gu must have made a miscalculation in the middle game. The next game will be on April 26.

- Jingning; based on her report 3rd BC Card Cup: One win apiece in the final at Go Game Guru, which includes the game records.

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