Since Lee Sedol won the first two games, he should have had a psychological advantage going into this one.
However, the mood of the series changed shortly before this game took place.
The 4th Zhaoshang Cup
One week earlier, there was another game between Gu Li and Lee Sedol at the 4th Zhaoshang Cup and Gu Li won.
When I was watching that game, I felt that Lee was in poor form, and I thought that perhaps he was saving his energy and stamina for this jubango game.
When Lee isn’t in good form, he rushes and plays thin, territorial moves instead of solid moves that emphasize power. If you look at that game, you’ll feel that Lee’s play was different from these jubango games.
The Zhaoshang Cup is a team competition and neither player would have cared about the winning or losing as much as they usually do. However, there was another game shortly afterwards which changed the flow of this match.
The 16th Chunlan Cup
The Round of 16 at the 10th Chunlan Cup took place just two day before this game. Gu and Lee were paired to play together once again (based on drawing lots). And this game was different.
Both players did their best and you could feel their fighting spirit from the beginning until the very end of the game.
Gu Li took the lead, after making a big trade on the right side, and maintained it throughout most of the game. Lee Sedol caught up near the end, with his characteristic fierce and powerful moves, and almost reversed the game.
However, Gu managed to hold on to the smallest of leads amidst the chaos. Lee knew that he was losing by half a point, and that there was no way to catch up, so he resigned.
Gu Li restores his confidence
Winning those two games seemed to restore Gu Li’s confidence, and relieve the mental pressure he felt about playing Lee Sedol in this match.
On the other hand, Lee Sedol suffered some psychological damage in losing that game and the bad news for him was that he only had one day to recover and calm his mind before this game.
Some pundits said that Lee was only concentrating this jubango, and that if he won this game the earlier losses would soon be forgotten.
We’re writing a book about this match
This commentary, and others, will form the basis for our Go book about Lee Sedol and Gu Li’s jubango.
The actual book will contain a more extensive commentary of this game, but you can regard what you see below as a draft (learn more).
Please help us to make our first Go book as good as possible. There are several ways you can help us to improve the commentary below:
- Ask questions about the game – if anything is unclear, please let us know so we can explain it better!
- Point out any mistakes, even minor typos – our first draft is below, because this is going to be a book, even small mistakes need to be fixed.
- Tell your friends and ask them to help too.
The rules of the game
The time limit for these games is 3 hours and 55 minutes, with 1 minute x 5 times byo-yomi. It’s traditional to subtract 5 minutes from the 4 hour total, because of the 5 x 1 minute periods.
There’s no lunch break scheduled for these games, but food is provided and the players are free to get up and eat whenever they want, throughout the game.
Anyway, let’s have a look at game 3 this 10 game match.