American Go E-Journal » Korea

Korean Women’s Baduk League update

Tuesday August 30, 2022

Report by Edward Zhang, Capital Go Club

Team Segwipo (Jeju island)

Team Segwipo (Jeju island), ranked #1 in the Korean Women’s Baduk League, will advance directly to the finals on September 21-23. The teams ranked 2-4 will compete in best-of-three playoffs on September 14; the playoffs will be live on BadukTV.

In the Korean Women’s Baduk League, eight teams play a double round-robin and each match has one regular game and two fast games. After 13 of 14 rounds, the top three teams are Segwipo (Jeju island) with an 11-2 record, and Suncheon Bay and Samcheok Marine, both with 8-5 records.

The league has been well organized and it’s very competitive. Through BadukTV and Youtube, the players showcase their talents in the game, and characters in the after-game interviews. It is a bit of surprise that the team with the world’s current #1 woman player, Choi Jung, just ranks 5th and there is a risk of missing the playoffs. That’s as surprising as if Lebron James’ Lakers missed the NBA playoffs.

R13 match on August 18, Photo from BadukTV
(Yoonyoung Kim in orange team shirt facing the camera)

In the playoffs, No.3 and No.4 play first, and then the winner meets No.2 in the semi-final. The team prizes are: $41,000 (55,000,000 won) for first place, $26,000 for second, $19,000 for third and $11,000 for fourth.

The player who wins the League MVP award – determined by fan and press voting — receives an additional $26,000. The top five individual performers are Cho Seung-ah (11-2), Choi Jung (11-2), Kim Yoonyoung (9-3), Kim Chae-young and Oh Yoojin (both at 9-4). Kim Yoonyoung, who just moved back to Korea in 2021 after living in Canada for a few years, is clearly a dark horse to help her team dominate in the league.

Share
Categories: Korea,Main Page
Share

Korea Go Report: The year so far in stats

Monday August 1, 2022

by Daniela Trinks, Korea correspondent for the E-Journal

First Half of 2022 Stats

A statistical summary of the results of the first half of this year was announced. Shin Jinseo was crowned Korea’s number one Go player as he topped several categories: the most wins, the highest winning percentage, the most consecutive wins, and the highest gross income. The only category he didn’t top was the number of games played. The breakdown of the stats is as follows:

Most wins

Shin Jinseo led this category with 49 wins, followed by Kang Dongyoon (43 wins). Placed third were Park Jeonghwan 9p, and Kim Eunji 3p (15-year-old female player) with 40 wins each.Table

Description automatically generated

Table: Top 10 players with most number of wins (as of June 2022).

Highest winning rate

Shin Jinseo 9p produced an impressive winning rate of nearly 90%, followed by Shim Jaeik 5p (85.7%) and Kim Myunghoon 9p (76.3%). Only players who played at least 18 games were included in this table. The only female player on the list is Kim Chaeyoung 7p whose winning rate of 70% earned her a joint 9th place.

Table: Top 10 winning rates of players with at least 18 games played (as of June 2022).A picture containing text, receipt

Description automatically generated

Winning streak

The list of the longest winning streak is topped by Shin Jinseo with 18 wins, followed by senior player Yoo Changhyuk 9p (17) and Kang Dongyoon 9p (16).

Table. Top 5 players with longest winning streak (as of June 2022).

Top earners

Not surprisingly, Shin Jinseo 9p also earned the highest prize money, which was more than USD 600,000 in the first half of this year. Second-placed Park Jeonghwan earned USD 250,000, which is less than half of Shin’s total sum. The top female player, Choi Jeong, earned USD 80,000, ranking her 7th on the list of top earners.

  

Table. Top 10 players with highest prize money (as of June 2022).

Most games played

The list of most games was topped by Won Seongjin 9p with 60 games, followed by Kim Eunji 3p with 59 games, and Kang Dongyoon with 58 games. Shin Jinseo 9p ranked fourth on the list because he was seeded in most of the tournaments and therefore did not play the qualifiers.

Table. Top 10 players who played most games in 2022 (as of June 2022).

Monthly Korean ranking

The table below shows the top ten players in Korea by month. There was no change in the top 3 ranks throughout the six months with Shin Jinseo, Park Jeonghwan, and Byun Sangil ranking 1-3 respectively.

Table. Top 10 players in the Korean ranking list from January to June 2022.A screenshot of a computer

Description automatically generated with low confidence

Title winners

The table below lists the title winners of Korean and international Go tournaments. Both Shin Jinseo and Park Jeonghwan won two competitions each. The last column shows the result of the title match.

A screenshot of a computer

Description automatically generated with low confidence

Table. Title winners of Korean and international Go tournaments as of June 2022. All except the indicated players are from South Korea.

Share
Categories: Korea,Main Page
Share

Korea Go Report: Kim Hyemin wins 9th Daeju Cup, 400 KBA pros & more

Saturday July 23, 2022

photo: 9th Daeju Cup winner Kim Hyemin 9p (left) and runner-up Lee Minjin 8p. Courtesy of Han Changkyu/Hangame

by Daniela Trinks, Korea correspondent for the E-Journal

Kim Hyemin wins 9th Daeju Cup

The Daeju Cup is a national senior tournament limited to male players above 50 and female players above 30 years. The 9th edition ended this year with an all-female final between Kim Hyemin 9p and Lee Minjin 8p. Both players are well known to be best friends, yet the final turned out to be a long intense battle. Kim Hyemin who was due to give birth to her second child ten days later, showed outstanding fighting spirit and won the 2-hour match after 226 moves. She took home 15M KRW ($11,600), while Lee Minjin won 5 Million KRW ($3,900). 

Shin Jinseo’s LG Cup Victory NFT

In May, a limited edition of Non-fungible tokens (NFT) was issued to commemorate Shin Jinseo’s victory in the LG Cup earlier this year. In total, 361 NFTs were offered for sale on OpenSea. Lee Kyungho was the Korean artist in charge of transforming Shin Jinseo’s kifu into digital artwork. The first game of the finals was a dramatic comeback victory in which the A.I. had predicted a 1% winning rate for Shin at one point. 

Number of KBA professionals reaches 400

The 57th women’s pro qualifiers took place in Seoul, and in the end, Ko Yunseo (18), Kim Heesoo (17), and Lee Nakyung (13) placed first to third respectively and became pro. With this, the total number of professional players affiliated with the Korea Baduk Association (KBA) increased to 400 (322 male, 78 female). Including retired and deceased professionals, the total adds up to 502. Since the founding of the KBA in 1945, the number of professional players has exceeded 100 in 1990, 200 in 2005, and 300 in 2015. In the past, becoming a pro was limited to two persons per year. However, with time this number has increased to 20 because the pathway to becoming a pro has expanded to include things like female qualifiers, country-side qualifiers, young talent qualifiers, and amateur results in international pro championships. However, this approach has raised a few eyebrows because most tournaments are won by the top 10 players, leaving a majority of the pros with no source of income. Therefore, most of them resort to teaching, broadcasting, coaching, refereeing, or publishing to make ends meet.  

51st National Junior Sports Festival

The Go event of the 51st National Youth Sports Festival was held from May 28th to 29th in Gumi. It was organized by the Korea Sports Council and the Korea Baduk Association, with sponsorship from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Ministry of Education, and the Korea Sports Promotion Foundation and hosted by the Gyeongsangbuk province. 17,889 participants from 17 cities and provinces across the country took part in 36 different sport events, 201 of them were Go players who competed in four divisions in single-elimination tournaments: male U16, female U16, male U13 and female U13. All the matches were 3-player team games. The time limit was 30 minutes, followed by 3 periods of 30 seconds byoyomi. The third place was not determined, so the losers of both semi-finals received a bronze medal each. In addition to the team medal winners, best player awards were given in each division. 

Table

Description automatically generated with medium confidence

Table: Final standings of the Go event of the 51st National Youth Sports Festival.

Shin Jinseo wins Sawpalcosanol League

Shin Minjun (left) and Shin Jinseo at the prize ceremony of the Sawpalcosanol Best Player Competition. Courtesy of Kim Sookwang/Cyberoro

The Sawpalcosanol Best Player Competition is a new league tournament which began in 2020 and named after one of the sponsor’s (Infobell) products. Besides the line-up of top players, the relatively long time limit is quite unique in Korea: each player had a basic time of 2 hours, and 3 periods of 30 seconds. 

In the first edition, the top eight players in Korea contested. Shin Jinseo (6:1) and Park Jeonghwan (5:2) topped the league to meet again in the best-of-5 final, which Shin swept 3:0. In the second edition, there were qualifiers to determine four players, who joined four seeded players and a wild card to compete in the league. Park Jeonghwan swept the league 8:0 to become the title challenger. Shin Jinseo managed to defend his title narrowly by 3:2. 

The third edition saw Shin Minjun and Byun Sangil finishing the league 7:1, followed by Park Jeonghwan, Kang Dongyoon, and the wild card Lee Changseok with a 5:3 result. In the title match, Shin Jinseo won against challenger Shin Minjun 3:1 to retain his crown, making him the winner of all three editions of the Sawpalcosanol League. The winner’s purse was 70M KRW ($54,000), and the runner-up received 20M KRW ($15,500).

Table. 3rd Sawpalcosanol Best-of-5 title matchTable

Description automatically generated

Yoo Changhyuk wins 3rd Shinan International Senior Championship

2021 & 2022 Winner Yoo Changhyuk 9p (left) and runner-up O Meien 9p. Courtesy of Han Changkyu/Hangame.

The “1004 Islands Shinan Senior Baduk Championship” was played online this year. The Korean players travelled to the sponsor’s province Shinan, whereas the foreign participants played from their respective countries. While the first edition held in 2019 included team and individual competitions, after a break the championship returned in 2021 as a solely individual competition. The participation is limited to players above 50, however, this year each country was allowed to send one player above 45 (Lee Changho, Chang Hao, Takao Shinji) but none of them made it to the semi-finals. As you can see in the list below, the majority of participants are living Go legends who won domestic and international titles in their prime.

South Korea: Cho Hoonhyun, Seo Bongsoo, Yoo Changhyuk, Lee Changho, Choi Kyubyeong, Kim Soojang, Kim Chanwoo, Kim Yeonghwan

Japan: Kobayashi Koichi, Takao Shinji, Takemiya Masaki, O Meien, O Rissei

China: Yu Bin, Chang Hao, Cao Dayuan

The results of all three editions are shown in the table. Despite the new rule for the U50 wild cards, this year’s title match saw the same finalists as last year, and Yoo Changhyuk 9p managed to win the title two times in a row. He received 30M KRW ($23,300), while O Meien 9p got 15M KRW ($11,600).Text

Description automatically generated

Table: Results of the Shinan International Senior Go Championships 2019-2022.

Chinese dominate at World A.I. Go Championship

From June 18th to 20th, the 1st Gangwon Province World A.I. Go Championship took place in a hybrid format: 18 A.I. programs competed online, while about 100 human Go fans took part in face-to-face side events. This new international competition was organized by the Korean Baduk Association and sponsored by the Gangwon Province and Pyeongchang County. Among the 18 A.I. programs, 11 were from China, four from Japan, two from Korea, and one from Australia. Four Chinese programs advanced to the semi-finals, and YILEGO defeated ChaoRanGo 2:1 to win the title and prize money of 20M KRW ($15,500). The runner-up received 10M KRW ($7,800), and the joint third-placed WUWEIGo and DaPangGo took home 5M KRW ($3,900) each. More information on the championship results and A.I. developers can be found here

17th Korean Prime Minister’s Cup announced

After two years of online competitions, the 17th edition of the Korean Prime Minister’s Cup (KPMC) will return face-to-face. It will be held from September 24th to 30th in South Korea’s six-largest city, Gwangju. Meanwhile, the Korean representative was chosen in a k.o.-tournament among 90 players. Kim Jeongseon, who ranks second in the Korean amateur list, will represent Korea.

Share
Categories: Korea,Main Page
Share

Korea Go Report: KB Baduk League Season 2021-22

Sunday June 26, 2022

by Daniela Trinks, Korea correspondent for the E-Journal

After seven months of intense competition between nine teams, the 2021-2022 season of the major Korean Go League came to an end in May. Below are some key features and highlights of the season.
The KB Baduk League was named after its title sponsor Kookmin Bank (KB). It is the biggest professional Go tournament in Korea in terms of the number of games played and prize money. The 2021-22 season featured nine teams, and each was named after its sponsor (see table).

The qualifiers were held in October 2021. The regular season began in November 2021 and ended in April 2022 which was then followed by the play-in tournament and postseason. Only the top five teams plus the sponsor’s pick advanced to the play-in tournament and postseason. Different from most other professional go competitions held in Korea, all players received a participation fee for each game played during the regular season. The winner got 3 million KRW ($2,300) and the loser 600,000 KRW ($500).
A new team called Youwho participated and was coached by Han Haewon 3p, who is the first female coach in the history of the KB League. Furthermore, the thinking time of one hour per player, and a byoyomi of 30 seconds 3 times was unified for all five games, in contrast to previous seasons which had two different thinking limits. Lastly, all games per round were played concurrently.
The regular season was a double league which consisted of 18 rounds, 72 team matches, and 360 games. It ended with Suryeohan Hapcheon in the first place, followed by Posco Chemical. Both teams scored 10 wins out of 16 matches and shared the same number of board points (BP), however, Suryeohan Hapcheon had a better head-to-head score (2:0).

Table: KB Baduk League Season 2021-22: Final standings of the regular season.

Ace player Shin Jinseo’s team, Celltrion, placed only 6th in the regular season. However, they managed to rise like a phoenix by winning the play-in tournament against fifth-placed team Baduk Mecca Uijeongbu and then defeated three more higher-ranked teams in the postseason to reach the finals. In the finals, Celltrion fell short against the eventual league winner, team Suryeohan Hapcheon.

Figure: Play-in Tournament andPostseason of the KB Baduk League 2021-2022

Remarkably, Shin Jinseo succeeded in winning all his games in the regular season, the play-in tournament, and the postseason, resulting in a perfect score of 27:0 which is a new record in the history of the Korean Go League. During the prize-giving ceremony, the top five teams were honored, and individual awards were given to Shin Jinseo (MVP, Most Wins) and Ko Keuntae (Best Coach) as listed below.
KB Baduk League Champion: Team Suryeohan Hapcheong (200M KRW = $155,000)
Runner-up: Team Celltrion (100M KRW = $78,000)
3rd Place: Team Posco Medical (50M KRW = $39,000)
4th Place: Team Com2usTygem (25M KRW = $19,000)
5th Place: Team Kixx (15M KRW = $12,000)
MVP Award: Shin Jinseo (Celltrion) (10M KRW = $7,800)
Most-Win Award: Shin Jinseo (Celltrion) (5M KRW = $3,900)
Best Coach Award: Ko Keuntae (Suryeohan Hapcheong) (25M KRW=$19,000)

Photo: Suryeohan Hapcheon won the KB Baduk League 2021-22. Photo courtesy of KBA.

KB Future’s Baduk League Season 2021-22
The KB Future’s League is the minor league among the two KB leagues. Both leagues share the title sponsor, teams, and the coaches; however, the team members are different. Rising stars in the KB Future’s League get the opportunity to play as reserve players in the KB Baduk League. The minor league has only three games per round, and the games are much faster: 10 minutes basic time plus 40 seconds byoyomi 5 times. Also, the game fees (win 450,000 KRW = $350, loss 200,000 KRW=$155), prize money, and notoriety that comes with winning the league are lower.

Photo: KB Future’s Baduk League Champion 2021-22 team Suryeohan Hapcheon. Photo courtesy of Han Changkyu (Hangame).

This year, team Suryeohan Hapcheon achieved the double champion title by winning both KB Leagues. Surprisingly, team Celltrion also came in second – just like in the KB Baduk League. The final standings, players, and coaches are shown in the table. The award for most wins was given to three players who won 12 out of 16 games (75%). Below is the list of the winners and the prize money.

KB Future’s Baduk League Champion: Team Suryeohan Hapcheon (30M KRW = $23,300)
Runner-up: Team Celltrion (12M KRW = $9,300)
3rd Place: Team Posco Chemical (6M KRW = $4,650)
Most-Win Award: Lee Hyunho 6p, Lee Wondo 8p, Wi Taewoong 5p (3M KRW = $2,300 split equally)

Table: Final standings of the KB Future’s Baduk League 2021-22.
Share
Categories: Korea,Main Page
Share

Korea Go Report: KBA and University of Seoul Sign Agreement on Digital Go Education and Go Globalization; 27th LG Cup Qualifications

Sunday May 22, 2022

by Daniela Trinks, Korea correspondent for the E-Journal

KBA and University of Seoul Sign Agreement on Digital Go Education and Go Globalization
The Korean Baduk Association (KBA) and the University of Seoul have agreed to cooperate with the aim of creating a metaverse and an A.I.-based platform for Go education. The business agreement focuses on the development of Go contents using Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT), research on Go educational methods to vitalize Go education, and the implementation of a Go meta world using metaverse space. The president of the University of Seoul, Seo Soontaek commented, “We expect that the A.I.-based Go education platform to be developed through the business agreement will play a leading role in the domestic and overseas Go education market and contribute to the expansion and globalization of Go.” KBA Secretary-General Yang Jaeho added, “We have tried to spread Go globally, such as the United States, Europe, and South East Asia, but we faced difficulties due to the lack of a Go educational system. I hope we can develop together with the University of Seoul a great Go educational program and spread Go around the world.” 

27th LG Cup Qualifications
The 24 participants of the 27th LG Cup were determined via seeds, qualifiers, and a wild card. Among them, 13 Korean players were selected which included five seeds (Shin Jinseo, Park Jeonghwan, Byun Sangil, Shin Minjun, and Kim Myeonghoon), seven qualifiers (Cho Hanseung, Kim Jiseok, Won Seongjin, Park Hamin, Park Jinsol, Seol Hyunjun, and Park Geonho), and one wild card (Kang Dongyun). Kang Dongyun, currently ranked 8 in the Korean ranking list, was the highest ranked player among the eliminated players of the Korean qualifiers and has won the 20th LG Cup in 2016. Veteran Cho Hanseung (40) qualified for the first time in nine years. His best achievement in the LG Cup was reaching the semifinals in the 7th, 9th, and 11th editions.Meanwhile, seven players from China will participate, namely: Yang Dingxin, Ke Jie, and Mi Yuting (seeded), while Shi Yue, Ding Hao, Gu Zihao, and Zhao Chenyu qualified. Furthermore, Shibano Toramaru and Yu Zhengqi were seeded, while Sada Atsushi qualified from Japan. In addition, Wang Yuanjun from Chinese Taipei will also join, completing the round of 24. The main tournament will begin on May 29th and 30th, followed by the round of 16 on June 1st. The quarter-finals and semi-finals will take place in November, and the finals are set for February next year.

Share
Categories: Korea,Main Page
Share

Korea Go Report: First Hoban Women’s Team Cup Kicks off; Park Jeonghwan wins 23rd Maxim Coffee Cup

Saturday May 21, 2022

by Daniela Trinks, Korea correspondent for the E-Journal

Team Korea (l-r): Oh Yujin, Heo Seohyun, Choi Jeong, Lee Seulju & Kim Chaeyoung.
Photo courtesy Cyberoro.
The Hoban Cup starts May 22nd, with one game at 2pm (KST) every day until 28th.

First Hoban Women’s Team Cup Kicks off
The opening ceremony of the 1st Hoban Seoul Newspapers International Women’s Paewang Cup was held in the Riverside Hotel in Seoul on May 12th. In this new tournament, three female teams compete in the win-and-continue format. Team Korea consists of Choi Jeong 9p and Oh Yujin 9p (ranking seeds), Kim Chaeyoung 7p (sponsor’s wild card), as well as teenagers Heo Seohyun 3p (19) and Lee Seulju 1p (16) who won the qualifiers. They will compete against Yu Zhiying 7p, Zhou Hongyu 6p, Lu Minquan 6p, Le He 5p, and Wu Yiming 3p from China, and Xie Yimin 7p, Suzuki Ayumi 7p, Fujisawa Rina 5p, Ueno Asami 4p, and Nakamura Sumire 2p from Japan.
After Ueno Asami’s recent victory in the 2022 Senko Cup World Women Championship in April, she commented that the difference in strength between the female players of the strongest Go nations has reduced. In an interview, Choi Jeong agreed with her assessment, adding that she is eagerly looking forward to fierce competition in the new Hoban Cup. The first stage of seven games will be played from 22nd to 28th of May, one game a day. Maybe some fans want to cheer their favorite female players during the live broadcasts. In round 1, Wu Yiming 3p (15) from China will face the youngest participant, 13-year-old Nakamura Sumire 2p from Japan. The winner of that match will play against Lee Seulju 1p (16) from Korea.

Park Jeonghwan wins 23rd Maxim Coffee Cup

Extra caffeine, please: Park Jeonghwan celebrates Maxim Coffee Cup win

The Maxim Coffee Cup is a domestic tournament restricted to 9 dan players, it is sponsored by the Korean instant coffee giant Maxim Coffee. The main tournament started with the round of 32 which included strong players such as last year’s winner Kim Jiseok, and the runner-up Lee Jihyun. Also present were Lee Changho who received one of the sponsor’s wild cards and the top-ranked players Shin Jinseo, Park Jeonghwan, Lee Donghoon, Byun Sangil, Shin Minjun, Won Seongjin. 

Shin Jinseo surprisingly was knocked out in the round of 16 by Yoon Yunsang. The final was a repeat of the Wooseul-Bongju title match held in March between Park Jeonghwan and Lee Donghoon. On the way to the finals, Park Jeonghwan defeated Choi Jeong, Park Seunghwa, Kim Jiseok, and Shin Minjun, while Lee Donghoon defeated Kim Hyemin, Choi Cheolhan, Yoon Junsang, and Lee Younggu. The allotted time was 10 minutes, followed by a byoyomi of 40 seconds three times. Park Jeonghwan defeated Lee Donghoon 2:0 in the best-of-three final match. In a post-match interview Park said, “I think it worked well for me to put my mind at ease and do my best in each game. I’m weak at fast games, so I prepared more this time. Before the final, Kang Dongyun 9p sparred with me, and thanks to that, I was able to win.” The winner’s purse was 50 million KRW ($39,000) and the runner-up took home 20 million KRW ($15,500). Park Jeonghwan has now won the Maxim title for the fourth time following his victories in the 13th, 14th, and 18th editions. Coincidently, the Maxim Coffee title is also the fourth title he is holding currently.

Tomorrow: KBA and University of Seoul Sign Agreement on Digital Go Education and Go Globalization; 27th LG Cup Qualifications

Share
Categories: Korea,Main Page
Share

Korea Go Report: Pair Go World Cup & Friendship Dream Match; Asian Games Postponed

Monday May 16, 2022

by Daniela Trinks, Korea correspondent for the E-Journal

The Pair Go World Cup 2022 was held in Japan under the auspices of the Japan Pair Go Association and the World Pair Go Association. It consisted of three main events: the Pair Go Friendship Dream Match, the International Pair Go Online Tournament, and the Japanese Professional Pair Go Championship 2022 which were held both in-person and online.
In the Pair Go Friendship Dream Match, 16 pairs of players- Japan (7), China (4), South Korea (4), and Chinese Taipei (1)- made up of top-ranked pros, legends, and young pros participated. The organizers came up with the refreshing idea of hybrid matches – while the players placed their moves on the board in their respective countries, they faced two amateurs who placed the opponent’s moves. In addition, videos of the players were broadcast live, so they could see each other (see photo). For the fans, it was a special experience because they could watch the pros playing on the board and see the opponents’ reactions concurrently – just like in an in-person match. In the pictures, you can see Japan’s Yoshihara Yukari 6p and Cho Chikun 9p playing South Korea’s Park Jieun 9p and Cho Hoonhyun 9p. After a spectacular roller-coaster match, Yoshihara & Cho emerged as victors. Since it was a friendship event, most pairs played only one game regardless of the outcome and no overall winner was declared. The players, results, and game records can be found here.

Pair Go Friendship Dream Match 2022. Photo courtesy of Nihon Kiin and KBaduk.

Pair Go Friendship Dream Match 2022
In the International Pair Go Online Tournament, two teams from Japan, Europe, and North America together with a team each from Africa, China, Oceania, South America, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand, competed on Pandanet IGS. The South Korean team, made up of Lee Rubee 6d & Heo Youngrak 2p (photo below left), won the tournament undefeated followed by the team China. They repeated the success they had in the 30th International Amateur Pair Go Championship held in 2020. Heo Youngrak became a pro in July 2021 but had qualified prior for the 2021 Amateur Pair Go Championship which was postponed due to the pandemic. The third-fourth place match between Japan and Thailand was won by Japan, placing Japan third and Thailand fourth. For further information, check the link here.

19th Asian Games Postponed, Top Go Nations’ Player Selections Nearly Complete
The Hangzhou Asian Games scheduled for September 2022 was postponed to 2023 due to Covid-19. On the day of this announcement, the months-long qualification process to select six male and four female players to represent Korea came to an end. The successful male candidates are Shin Jinseo 9p, Park Jeonghwan 9p, Byun Sangil 9p, Kim Myunghoon 8p, Shin Minjun 9p, and Lee Jihyun 9p. Meanwhile, the female team consists of Choi Jeong 9p, Oh Yujin 9p, Kim Chaeyoung 7p, and Kim Eunji 2p. The male team consists of the 1-3, 7, 10, and 12th national-ranked players, whereas the female team has the four strongest players (as of May). The players’ age ranges from 14-year-old (Kim Eunji) to 29-year-old (Lee Jihyun and Park Jeonghwan). The selected players will compete with other Asian teams in three competitions: the 5-player male team event, the 3-player female team event, and the male individual event (2 players).
Meanwhile, the player selections for the Chinese, Japanese, and Chinese Taipei teams are almost complete, as shown in the table below. The line-up for each country is impressive, and fierce competition can be expected. It will also be interesting to see how the teams from fast-growing amateur Go nations Thailand, Vietnam, and Singapore fare against the “Big-4”. Furthermore, Indonesia and Malaysia now have pros affiliated with the Nihon Kiin (as reported here) who might partake in the games. So, we can await exciting match-ups next year.

Table: Selected players for the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022. * Nihon Kiin affiliated Taiwanese player
Share
Categories: Korea,Main Page
Share

Yoonyoung Kim 8P back in Korea’s Top 5

Saturday April 9, 2022

Per a recent report by the Korean Baduk Association, which regularly updates professional player ratings, Shin Jin-seo 9P has been No. 1 in the among Korean professional rankings for 27 months. Popular go teacher and Asian Games gold medalist Yoonyoung Kim 8P ascended to #5 after going 3-1 in the recent Daeju Cup.

As a new mom, Kim says she enjoys a balanced life juggling family, tournaments and teaching. Speaking of promoting go via Twitch streaming, where she has 3,600 followers, she said “I hope to meet many of you over there.” 

She and her husband temporarily moved from Canada to Korea a year ago and in January, Kim defeated Jung dongsik 6P, Cha Sukwun 8P and Kim Chanwoo 6P to make the final 16. Her fourth match was broadcast live on TV on Feb. 11. The Daeju Cup, which invites men over 50 and women over 30, has a top prize of 15 million Won ($12,400 USD).

Report by Edward Zhang, Capital Go Club

Share
Categories: Korea,Main Page
Share

Korea Go Report: Park Jeonghwan first Wooseul-Bongjo League champion; 7th Future Star Rookie Championship; Award for ‘Baduk’ magazine; International Women’s Team Go Cup announced; Jubango under discussion; KBF elects new president Seo Hyoseok

Tuesday April 5, 2022

by Daniela Trinks, Korea correspondent for the E-Journal

Park Jeonghwan first Wooseul-Bongjo League champion
The Wooseul-Bongjo Korean Baduk Association Championship, a.k.a. Wooseul-Bongjo League is a new domestic tournament established last year. It was named after one of the sponsor Infobell’s products. The qualifiers took place in three stages, from February to August 2021, to select ten players who joined the seeds Shin Jinseo and Park Jeonghwan in the two parallel leagues. The league games began in August 2021 with a thinking time of 90 minutes and five periods of 40 seconds byoyomi.
Ranked #1 and #2 on the Korean rating list since January 2020, Shin Jinseo 9p and Park Jeonghwan 9p were expected to win their respective leagues and meet in the final; however, Lee Donghoon 9p pulled a surprise by defeating all five players in the Wooseul League. Meanwhile, Park Jeonghwan went undefeated in the Bongjo League. From February 20th to March 8th, the two league winners met in the best-of-five finals. Park swept the first three games and became the first Wooseul-Bongjo League champion. This is Park’s first domestic title in two years.
The final Wooseul-Bongjo ranks shown in the table were determined after matches between the same-ranked players in each league. The total prize money was 250 million KRW ($205,000), including 50 million KRW ($41,000) and 20 million KRW ($16,000) for the 1st and 2nd placed players. The prize money for the 3rd to 12th place ranged from 4 million to 10 million KRW.

7th Future Star Park Shinyoung 2p (left) and runner-up Han Woojin 3p. Photo courtesy of Han Chankyu/Hangame.

7th Future Star Rookie Championship
The Future Star Rookie Championship, a national tournament, was launched in 2015 with the help of Mok Jinseok 9p and some individual sponsors. This year, Han Woojin 3p and Park Shinyoung 2p advanced to the finals. Han Woojin (16) became a pro in 2019 and was promoted to 2 dan and 3 dan in 2020 and 2021, respectively. His winning rate in 2022 was an astonishing 77.4% which elevated him to rank #58 on the Korean rating list. The other finalist was Park Shinyoung (19) who started his professional career last year. Even though he was lower in rank (#92), he had a better winning rate (78.3%) than Han Woojin 3p in 2022.
In the final, both rookie pros showed high ambitions to win their first title and had a fierce fight from the very beginning. In the early opening, Park Shinyoung started a ko with Black 33, after creating ko threats in the lower right corner. As the proverb says, “There are no ko threats in the opening”, Black ignored White’s ko threat, and KataGo’s winning rate jumped to 85% proving his judgment right. He managed to maintain his lead until his mistake, Black 111, turned the match into a close game. When Han tried to capture a black group with White 122, he missed a big chance and allowed Black to regain his advantage. White should have defended his group at 127 instead. Due to the thinking time of 2 hours, and byoyomi of 1 minute 3 times, a long match was expected, however, it ended rather quickly after 2.5 hours. Park won the first title match in his career by resignation after 131 moves. The winner’s purse was 10 million KRW ($8,200), and the runner-up received 5 million KRW ($4,100).

Award for ‘Baduk’ magazine
The Korean Magazine Association selected the monthly magazine ’Baduk’ as an “Excellent Content Magazine” in the category of sports, hobbies, and leisure. The annual award comes with a publication subsidy from the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism. ’Baduk’ is published by the Korean Baduk Association. This is the sixth award for the magazine.
It is the only Go magazine in South Korea with a 54-year history dating back to August 1967 when the first edition called ‘Baduk World’ came out. It was later renamed ’Baduk’ in 1969. The 657th 2022 April issue took pride in putting the award banner on its cover.

International Women’s Team Go Cup announced
The Korean Hoban Women’s Go Championship has been transformed into an international team women’s Go tournament, combined with a revival of the defunct Paewang title. The official name of the new competition is “Hoban Cup Seoul Shinmun Paewang World Women’s Baduk Championship”. It is sponsored by the Hoban Group and co-hosted by the Seoul Shinmun and the Korean Baduk Association. The Seoul Shinmun has been published since 1904 and is known as the oldest daily newspaper in South Korea.
This is the first international women’s Go tournament hosted by South Korea since 2011. In the past, South Korea hosted the Bohae Cup (1994-1998), and the Jeong Kwan Jang Cup (2002-2011). Currently, there are only a few world women’s Go championships held, with the majority not opened during the pandemic. China hosts the Wu Qingyuan Cup (also known as Go Seigen Cup), the Bingsheng Cup, the Huang Longshi Cup, and the Tiantai Mountain Cup, while Japan hosts the Senko Cup.
The new tournament is modeled after the Nongshim Cup with teams consisting of five female players from China, Japan, and South Korea who will compete in a “win-and-continue” format. The first stage of seven games is scheduled for May 22nd to 28th, while the second stage will be held in October. The total prize money is 300 Million KRW ($246,000) with the winning team taking home 100 Million KRW ($82,000). In addition, there is an incentive of 2 Million KRW ($1,600) for a 3-win streak, as well as for each additional win thereafter.

Jubango under discussion
At the end of March, the Korean Baduk Association has proposed a jubango between the #1 ranked players of China and South Korea, Ke Jie (24) and Shin Jinseo (22). The match would not only be a good opportunity for the Go development in both countries, but also for promoting Go worldwide. KBA’s proposal stated face-to-face games and that the entire USD 1 Million prize would go to the winner. While both players expressed their interest in such a spectacular event, the Chinese Weiqi Association has yet to respond to the proposal. When the last jubango took place in 2014 between Lee Sedol 9p and Gu Li 9p, it gained worldwide attention among Go fans.

KBF president Seo Hyoseok (right). Photo courtesy of Seo Hyoseok.

KBF elects new president Seo Hyoseok
The Korean Baduk Federation (KBF), the national amateur Go organization, elected Seo Hyoseok (76) as its 8th president. He is known as a passionate amateur 6 dan who has been playing Go for 60 years. He has served as an advisor to the KBF and as a director of the Korean Baduk Association (KBA). The owner of Pyunkang Oriental Medicine Clinic has been sponsoring Go activities generously, such as the international Pyunkang Cup and since 2016 the Pyungkang Cup Senior Baduk League.
Concerned with the lack of publicity, he stepped forward and wrote in March an article for a Korean newspaper titled “Let’s teach Go for children’s happy future” in which he emphasized the educational benefits of Go. In his inauguration speech, Seo said, “There was a time when we saw a Korean Go population of 15 million, but now there are only 7 million. As the president, I will do my best to help Go regain its former popularity and grow beyond that.”

Share
Categories: Korea,Main Page
Share

Korea Go Report: 15-year-old Wins First Title 9 Months after Becoming Pro; Team China wins 1st Uijeongbu International Rookie Team Championship

Thursday March 10, 2022

By Daniela Trinks, Korea correspondent for the E-Journal

Pro newbies Kim Hyoyoung 1p (left) and Kim Minseo 1p. Photo courtesy of Han Changkyu/Hangame.

15-year-old Wins First Title 9 Months after Becoming Pro
The 1st Mediheal Millenium Women’s Go Championship was won by 15-year-old Kim Hyoyoung 1p who became pro just nine months prior on April 29th, 2021. The sponsor Mediheal is a Korean-based international cosmetic company. The championship was open to female players born in 2000 or later. 15 pros and one amateur competed in the double-elimination round of 16. Amateur Ko Misoo (20) defied all expectations by defeating three pros before she was toppled by Kim Hyoyoung 1p in the semi-finals. It was a 135-minute battle of 264 moves which the teen pro barely won by half a point.

In the final, which took place on February 4th, Kim Hyoyoung 1p encountered another newcomer: 14-year-old Kim Minseo 1p, who became pro seven months prior and is currently the youngest among the 393 pros affiliated with the Korean Baduk Association. Each player had a thinking time of 30 minutes plus byoyomi of 40 seconds 3 times. Kim Hyoyoung took home 5 million KRW ($4,200) and Kim Minseo 3 million KRW ($2,500).

The Winner Rookie Team from China (from left: Zhou Hongyu 6p, TuXiaoyu 6p, Wang Xinghao 6p). Photo courtesy of Kim Sookwang/Cyberoro.

Team China wins 1st Uijeongbu International Rookie Team Championship
The Ujieongbu Cup is a new tournament sponsored by Uijeongbu city (Korea) where a Go stadium is being built. A team each from China, Chinese Taipei, Japan, and South Korea competed. Each team consisted of two male and one female player born in 2002 or later as shown in the table below. From March 3rd to 5th three rounds of round-robin were played online with a thinking time of 1 hour and a byoyomi of 40 seconds three times. The second table shows the final standings. Check out the game records to get a peek into the ability of new rising Go stars. The prize money was 40 Million KRW ($32,000) for the victorious team China, 15 Million KRW ($12,000) for team Korea which placed second, and 10 Million KRW ($8,000) each for teams Chinese Taipei and Japan who came in third and fourth, respectively.

Share
Categories: Korea,Main Page
Share