After all the excitement over the last few days, the group stage of 2013 Samsung Cup finally concluded on September 5, 2013.
16 players progressed through the group stage to the knockout phase.
This included 11 players from China, and just 5 players from Korea. Japan’s players were all eliminated in the group stage.
The group stage
The first two players (bolded) proceeded to the round of 16 from the following groups:
The group stage started on September 3 and the games were played over three days.
Here’s some news and highlights from each group.
Lee Minjin wasn’t able to join her group because she went into labor on the first day of the group stage.
Seo Bongsoo, who’s over 60 now, had a big lead against Wu Guangya, but he couldn’t maintain his concentration until the end and lost by 5.5 points.
Both Chinese players (Qiu Jun and Li Xuanhao) defeated the two Korean players.
Fan Yunruo lost against Kang Dongyun in the first game, but he had his revenge in the third game.
In the group stage of the Samsung Cup, two players can play again in the third round if they’re both on a 1-1 score.
Ke Jie, who’s the top prospect for the future, lost against Choi Cheolhan in the first game, but defeated him when they met again in the third round.
Tuo Jiaxi, who’s currently ranked #2 in China, was eliminated.
Ahn Seongjun defeated Chang Hao in the third game to proceed on to the round of 16.
Chen and Lee were paired to play again in the round of 16.
Komatsu Hideki defeated the USA’s Eric Lui in the first game, but he couldn’t win against Chen or Lee.
There was a new division in the preliminary rounds this year called the ‘World Division’ – for players from outside of the current big Go nations.
Eric Lui (US) defeated Ben Lockhart (US) in the final of the preliminaries, and Lui was able to join the main tournament of the Samsung Cup, as a US representative, for the first time.
Seo Bongsu and Komatsu Hideki qualified qualified for the group stage through the seniors’ division.
Komatsu also made it through to the round of 16 last year, but he wasn’t able to repeat that performance this year after finding himself in Group G with Lee Sedol and Chen Yaoye.
Seo Bongsu was winning his first game against Wu Guangya, but the game was reversed in the endgame.
Seo and Wu played again in the third round but, once again, Seo couldn’t maintain his lead until the end.
In the women’s division of the preliminary finals, Lee Minjin and O Junga defeated Wang Chenxing and Cho Youyin respectively.
However, Lee Minjin wasn’t able to play in the group stage in the end, because she gave birth on the first day of play. She’s got a beautiful baby daughter instead.
The round of 16 draw
The next round will take place on October 8 and 10, 2013. The draw is as follows:
- Lee Sedol 9p vs Chen Yaoye 9p
- Gu Li 9p vs Ahn Seongjun 5p
- Qiu Jun 9p vs Gu Lingyi 5p
- Park Junghwan 9p vs Zhou Ruiyang 9p
- Shi Yue 9p vs Ke Jie 3p
- Wu Guangya 6p vs Li Xuanhao 3p
- Kim Jiseok 9p vs Fan Yunruo 4p, and
- Park Younghun 9p vs Tang Weixing 3p.
The Samsung Cup
The Samsung Cup first started in 1996 and uses a rather convoluted draw. Though, arguably, it is 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 knockout stage.
In some ways it’s similar to the group stage of the FIFA World Cup, except that only two wins are necessary to continue.
The round of 16 and the quarter finals are played as a straight knockout.
The semifinals and the final are played as a best of three matches.
Samsung is a well known Korean conglomerate.
2013 or 18th Samsung Cup?
This year is the 18th iteration of the Samsung Cup, but the official name of the tournament is the 2013 Samsung Cup.
Since Samsung has switched to naming the tournament using the year (they actually started doing this is 2012), Go Game Guru will switch to the new names too, from now on.