On August 24 2011, Go professionals from China, Japan and Korea gathered in Beijing for the main tournament of the 16th Samsung Cup.
How the draw works in the Samsung Cup
The Samsung Cup draw is convoluted, though arguably fairer than a straight knockout format. The 32 players in the main draw are split into 8 groups of 4.
Players must win two games in order to proceed from the first stage; two players from each group will advance to the round of 16. In some ways it’s similar to the group stage of the FIFA World Cup, except that only two wins are necessary to continue.
An example of the draw
Here’s an example:
Anna vs Bai: Anna wins.
Chris vs Dosaku: Dosaku wins.
Then winners play each other and losers play each other:
Anna vs Dosaku: Dosaku wins and proceeds to next round.
Bai vs Chris: Bai wins and Chris is eliminated.
Anna vs Bai: Anna wins and goes through to next round.
Day one of the 16th Samsung Cup
One of the most anticipated games was the match up between China’s Gu Li 9p and Korea’s Park Jieun 9p, one of the strongest female players. Gu defeated Park, though not until after Park made Gu decidedly nervous.
The other female player in the draw, Chinese youngster and double silver medallist from last year’s Asian Games, Song Ronghui 5p, put up a strong fight against Korea’s Kim Jiseok 7p. Unfortunately for Song, Kim eventually won the game by resignation.
Stay tuned as the first stage continues…