There must’ve been some in the Korean camp who were nervous today. Around the middle of last week there were five remaining players in the 9th Jeongganjang Cup (an international women’s Go team tournament). Four of those players were flying the Korean standard, while one lonely player was still standing in the Chinese corner. There was just one catch, one slight complication… That lone Chinese representative was the Iron Lady herself, Rui Naiwei 9p.
Rui Naiwei routs the Korean team
Maybe there were those who still thought the odds looked pretty good for Korea, but by the end of the weekend Rui had cut swathe straight through the Korean team. Kim Miri 1p, Lee Hajin 3p and Park Jiyeon 2p all fought valiantly, yet fell to the more experienced sword of Rui. Perhaps Rui, who has been in good form lately, was just too strong?
Park Jieun fights back for Korea
With only two players left in the fray, it became a one on one fight for the title. Korea’s last woman standing was Park Jieun 9p. If anyone was going to hold the title for Korea, it was Park.
Black (Rui) played an aggressive, large scale opening, while white (Park) played a comparatively solid and territorial game. After just 46 moves the shape of the game had been more or less decided. It started slowly at first, with white playing a reducing move against black’s large framework on the right and black attacking indirectly at the top, preparing for the complicated battle to come.
Both players go all out
Less than 20 moves later that battle had begun, with both players trading tit for tat and black initiating a strong attack against white’s group in the center. As the fighting spread from the right side to the left side of the board, one of black’s dragons became embroiled in the battle. The game began to resemble so many of Rui’s as black continued to attack relentlessly. And yet, white landed successive blows with a well timed probe at move 118 and strong counter punch at move 122. White had a lot of territory and it began to look like black was in trouble.
Rui concedes defeat, Korea wins the 9th Jeongganjang Cup
When white captured a ko at move 144, fighting spirit propelled black to follow through with the ko threat. White quickly followed up with a nice combination that captured a clump of black stones, making all of her groups invincible. Black, on the other hand, was left with two weak groups still needing attention. After 160 moves Rui resigned and the Korean women’s team won their fourth Jeongganjang Cup.
A team effort
Let’s not forget that these kinds of tournaments are a team effort. Congratulations to the whole Korean women’s baduk team for winning this tournament for the second year in a row. These kinds of tournaments are like a war of attrition and all of the players have played a part in wearing the opponent down. A special mention needs to go to Moon Dowon 2p, who set a new record by winning seven consecutive matches as the first batter up for Korea. She single-handedly reduced the Japanese team to one player and the Chinese team to two. Her performance was probably the biggest surprise of this tournament and her many new fans will be watching her in the future.
The whole story: 9th Jeongganjang Cup
There’s been quite a lot written by the Go blogging community about this particular tournament. Here are some of our other articles about the 9th Jeongganjang Cup. And here is An Younggil’s commentary of the 9th Jeongganjang Cup final (this game).
To highlight some other Go bloggers and let you enjoy the story as it unfolded, here are some links that you might be interested in:
- Lee Hajin’s photos from her match on Saturday, March 26
- Just Play Go’s coverage of Moon Dowon’s seven game winning streak
- Unlimited Go’s frequent reports on the 9th Jeongganjang Cup
- The 9th Jeongganjang Cup on The First Path
The game record
Would this story be complete without the game record? I don’t think so.