The semifinals of the 18th LG Cup were played on November 13, 2013, at the Paradise Hotel in Incheon, Korea.
Zhou Ruiyang: 1st Bailing Cup Winner
Zhou also defeated Li Qincheng 2p in the quarter finals – which were played on November 11.
The result was sensational at the time, because the majority of Go fans expected Chen to win, due to his excellent form.
Zhou was ranked #1 in China at the end of 2010, and he maintained the top ranking for a year.
Back then, many people thought there was something wrong with the ranking system, because Zhou’s results in international matches had been relatively average.
However, his results improved throughout 2012, and now he’s on track to win his 2nd international title!
Tuo Jiaxi: First international final
His game against Lee Sedol was very impressive.
Tuo took the lead in the early stages of the middle game, and he maintained it until the end without significant trouble.
Lee Sedol couldn’t find any good chances to reverse the game, and many Go fans were astonished by Tuo’s powerful style of play.
Tuo defeated Takao Shinji 9p in the quarter finals, on November 11, and defeated Li Zhe in the semifinals.
Tuo was ranked #1 in China from April~May 2013. He also didn’t do very well in international tournaments at the time, but his results in domestic matches were remarkable.
Many people also questioned Tuo’s #1 rank, but he’s proved himself at this LG Cup.
The LG Cup Final
Zhou Ruiyang and Tuo Jiaxi already played in the final of the 1st Luoyang Longmen Qisheng (Chinese Kisei) earlier this year.
It was a brand new tournament, with the largest prize money of the domestic Chinese titles (600,000 RMB).
In the best of five final of the Qisheng, Tuo won the first two games, but Zhou won the next three games to take the title in a reverse sweep.
It must have been a painful moment for Tuo, but this final is a good chance for him to take his revenge.
Tuo Jiaxi is currently ranked #5 in China, and Zhou Ruiyang is #7. They were both born in 1991, and they’re good rivals.
Both of them are in very good form these days, so it’s hard to predict who will have the advantage in the final.
The finals will be played on February 10, 12 and 13, 2014, and the venue is yet to be decided.
The Quarter Finals
The quarter finals were played on November 11.
There were six players from China and two from Japan. None of the Korean players survived the round of 16.
The two Japanese were Iyama Yuta 9p and Takao Shinji 9p.
Their study group, named ‘Go 碁 Japan’, was established by top Japanese players just before the main tournament of this year’s LG Cup, and their improved results in the round of 32 and the round of 16 were noticeable.
Iyama Yuta meets Chen Yaoye
In the quarter finals, Iyama Yuta and Chen Yaoye’s game was the most exciting match. Iyama currently holds six of the seven major titles in Japan, and Chen is currently ranked #2 in China.
The opening of the game was interesting. The players created a brand new pattern in the bottom right corner, and the result was favorable for black (Chen).
White 82 was a mistake, and Chen’s 87 and 89 were a very good combination. Iyama was in trouble, and he chose to make a big trade, but the result was good for black and Iyama couldn’t catch up again after that.
In the end, black won by resignation after 209 moves. Chen showed his solid and powerful style throughout the game.
Meanwhile, Takao Shinji was defeated by Tuo Jiaxi, who won by 4.5 points after 275 moves.
Even if they didn’t proceed further this time, their results are good enough to motivate Japanese players to perform better on the international Go scene in the future.
In another game, Li Zhe 6p defeated Xia Chenkun 2p by resignation, in 286 moves.
Quarter Final Results
Here are the full results from the quarter finals:
- Chen Yaoye 9p defeated Iyama Yuta 9p
- Tuo Jiaxi 3p defeated Takao Shinji 9p
- Li Zhe 6p defeated Xia Chenkun 2p
- and Zhou Ruiyang 9p defeated Li Qincheng 2p.
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 $235,000 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.