The main tournament of the 18th LG Cup started on June 10 at the Lakai Sandpine resort in Kangnung, Kangwon Do, Korea.
32 players competed in this round, and there were many sensational games, especially those of Japanese players.
A Japanese resurgence?
There were only four players from Japan in the main tournament, but three of them won their first round games.
In recent years, it’s been quite rare to see Japanese players in the second round of the main tournament, so I’m happy to see more of Japanese players appearing again now.
If they can continue to do better in international tournaments, and become more competitive with China and Korea again, the Go world will surely become more interesting and fun to watch.
Go 碁 Japan
I recently heard that a study group named ‘Go 碁 Japan’ was established by top Japanese players, and I hope that it will give them more motivation to study together and share their knowledge with one another.
Lee Sedol carries the banner for Korea
Many top ranked Korean players were eliminated in this round, including: Park Junghwan 9p (#2 in Korea), Kim Jiseok 9p (#3), Choi Cheolhan 9p (#4), Kang Dongyun 9p (#5), Cho Hanseung 9p (#6) and Park Younghun 9p (#9).
Lee Sedol 9p is the only remaining player who ranks among Korea’s top 10, and many Korean Go fans are in a panic about these results.
China’s top 3 still in play
However, other top Chinese players remain in contention. In particular, Tuo Jiaxi 3p (#1 in China), Chen Yaoye 9p (#2), Zhou Ruiyang 9p (#3) are still in play (note: these ranks are based on the rankings released in May 2013).
Notable absences and appearances
Won Seongjin 9p, the runner up from the 17th LG Cup, can’t participate this time because he’s currently in the navy for the compulsory military service (as is Baek Hongseok 9p, who won the 4th BC Card Cup).
It also seems that Li Zhe 6p is back on the international scene and is in good form.
Li was one of China’s top players in recent years, but hasn’t been seen as often lately because he’s been studying philosophy at Beijing University.
The round of 16
This leaves us with seven players from China, six from Korea and three from Japan in the upcoming round of 16.
Lee Sedol and Tuo Jiaxi have been paired for the round of 16 and are both currently the #1 ranked players in their countries.
[Correction: based on the most recently released rankings, Tuo Jiaxi is #3 in China at the moment. He held the #1 spot in May 2013.]
Their game promises to be among the most interesting in the next round, but let’s also watch out for the emerging new stars and team Japan in this tournament (see the full results and pairings for the round of 16 below).
Watch the round of 16 live on Baduk TV
The live broadcast for the round of 16 will start at:
- 1:00pm, June 12, 2013 (Korean Standard Time)
- 4:00am, June 12 (GMT/UTC)
- 12:00am, June 12 (US Eastern Daylight Savings Time)
The LG Cup
The LG Cup is a major international Go tournament. It started in 1996 and the prize money is currently 250 million Won (approx $220,000 USD at the time of writing).
The main draw of 32 players is part invitational, comprising of 5 Korean players, 5 Chinese players, 4 Japanese players, 1 Taiwanese player and including the previous year’s winner and runner up.
The rest of the main draw is determined through a preliminary tournament. The format is single knockout, with the final played as a best of 3 games.
The tournament is sponsored by LG Electronics, a multinational consumer electronics company whose headquarters are in South Korea.
18th LG Cup results and pairings
Round of 32 results
Here are the full results for the round of 32 and the players’ head to head records against one another (including these games).
- Kim Seongjin 2p (Kor) defeated Gu Li 9p (Chn) (Kim 1-0)
- Li Zhe 6p (Chn) defeated Kang Dongyun 9p (Kor) (1-1)
- Iyama Yuta 9p (Jpn) defeated Zhang Tao 3p (Chn) (Iyama 1-0)
- Zhou Ruiyang 9p (Chn) defeated Choi Cheolhan 9p (Kor) (Choi 6-2)
- Takao Shinji 9p (Jpn) defeated Hong Seongji 8p (Kor) (Takao 1-0)
- Kono Rin 9p (Jpn) defeated Fan Tingyu 9p (Chn) (Kono 1-0)
- Mok Jinseok 9p (Kor) defeated Hane Naoki 9p (Jpn) (Mok 3-0)
- Lee Sedol 9p (Kor) defeated Xie Erhao 1p (Chn) (Lee 1-0)
- Li Qincheng 1p (Chn) defeated Park Younghun 9p (Kor) (Li 2-0)
- Guo Yuzheng 3p (Chn) defeated Cho Hanseung 9p (Kor) (Guo 1-0)
- Xia Chenkun 2p (Chn) defeated Kim Jiseok 9p (Kor) (Xia 1-0)
- Tuo Jiaxi 3p (Chn) defeated Lee Changho 9p (Kor) (Lee 2-1)
- Lee Younggu 9p (Kor) defeated Xiao Zhenghao 8p (Tpe) (Lee 2-0)
- Ahn Hyoungjun 4p (Kor) defeated Shi Yue 9p (Chn) (Ahn 1-0)
- Ahn Joyoung 9p (Kor) defeated Han Yizhou 2p (Chn) (Ahn 1-0)
- Chen Yaoye 9p (Chn) defeated Park Junghwan 9p (Kor) (Chen 9-4)
Round of 16 pairings
Here are the pairings for the next round:
- Chen Yaoye 9p (Chn) vs Kono Rin 9p (Jpn)
- Guo Yuzheng 3p (Chn) vs Takao Shinji 9p (Jpn)
- Li Qincheng 1p (Chn) vs Mok Jinseok 9p (Kor)
- Li Zhe 6p (Chn) vs Ahn Hyoungjun 4p (Kor)
- Tuo Jiaxi 3p (Chn) vs Lee Sedol 9p (Kor)
- Zhou Ruiyang 9p (Chn) vs Ahn Joyoung 9p (Kor)
- Lee Younggu 9p (Kor) vs Iyama Yuta 9p (Jpn)
- Xia Chenkun 2p (Chn) vs Kim Seongjin 2p (Kor)