A relatively peaceful game
When compared to game four (commentary of game 4 here), game five was relatively peaceful. Even though Lee and Gu still played the incredibly sharp game for which they are both well known, the game was more positional and less tactical than earlier games in the title series. Lee Sedol in particular demonstrated a very flexible style in this game and it seemed like Gu couldn’t land a punch at times.
When Gu misjudged a ko around move 70 and Lee offered to trade by ignoring his ko threat, Gu backed down and returned to defending his group at the top. With this, Lee won the ko and kept sente, leaving Gu with an unsatisfactory result.
Lee Sedol demonstrates how to play when winning
Once Lee (black) was ahead, he displayed a remarkably calm, yet not slack style and made several trades in dealing with Gu’s strong attacks. This kind of calm play, while on the cusp of winning another world championship, shows why he is number one in the world.
From move 125 onwards, Lee started playing very steady moves, and tried to lead things into the endgame. This put the pressure on Gu to try something risky. Although Lee’s lead wasn’t large, he managed to play consistently and hold on to his advantage. Watching Lee’s calm play made you feel there was no way Gu could win, and in the end it turned out he couldn’t.
The head to head record tilts in Lee’s favour
Win this win, the head to head record between Lee and Gu stands at 14-13 in Lee’s favour. Despite that, Gu Li also played an impressive tournament. Let’s hope that these two great players can have many more encounters in the future.
It also seems like Go Game Guru readers voted correctly on the whole. Here are the final results of our poll:
- Lee Sedol (54%, 55 Votes)
- Gu Li (46%, 48 Votes)
Game five: Lee Sedol vs Gu Li
More photos from the match