The main tournament of the 16th LG Cup kicked off on June 12 2011 in Seoul, Korea, with the obligatory lavish opening reception.
There have been several early surprises and, going into the quarter finals, Lee Changho 9p is the only contender with a solid track record in international Go tournaments.
The players draw… fans?
In recent times, tournaments have tried to outdo each other in coming up with novel ways to decide pairings. The 16th LG Cup was no exception. Players were asked to pick out paper fans to determine the draw.
The two players who selected fans with the same numbers inscribed on them would play each other in the first round.
Round one serves up some unexpected results
Round one, on June 13 2011, saw several of the tournament favourites get knocked out.
Round two – expect the unexpected
Round two took place on June 15 2011, and decided the quarter final line up. Given the high level of the field, more top players were eliminated.
Title holder Piao Wenyao goes out
In particular, Piao Wenyao, who won the 15th LG Cup, lost to young gun Kim Jiseok. Xie He, continued his good form and knocked out Park Younghun. Xie He maintained a 71% winning rate in Chinese domestic tournaments throughout 2010 and is worth keeping an eye on.
Iyama Yuta takes on Lee Changho
Perhaps the most anticipated match was Iyama Yuta’s game with Lee Changho. Iyama has been in good form recently. At the end of April he won the Judan in Japan. He followed this up by defeating both Gu Li and Lee Sedol in the recent Bosai Cup. Many people saw this as a breakthrough for Iyama.
On the other hand, Lee Changho – the Stone Buddha – is never easy to beat. He is a baduk legend and his fans have eagerly awaited his return to form in recent years.
It’s too early to say whether Lee is back, but his victories over Gu Li and now Iyama (in 102 moves) are giving his fans new hope.
The final results for the round of 16 in the 16th LG Cup
- Kim Jiseok 7p defeated Piao Wenyao 9p
- Qiu Jun 8p defeated Choi Cheolhan 9p
- Won Seongjin 9p defeated Zhou Heyang 9p
- Jiang Weijie 5p defeated Mok Jinseok 9p
- Chen Shiyuan 9p defeated Park Seunghwa 4p
- Lee Changho 9p defeated Iyama Yuma 9p
- Xie He 7p defeated Park Younghun 9p
- Heo Youngho 9p defeated Park Jungsang 9p
The quarter finals will be played in November 2011 where Heo will play Xie, Lee will play Chen, Won will play Jiang and Qiu will play Kim.
In the tradition of the LG Cup, the final will be held in February 2012.
It will be interesting to see whether the Stone Buddha can show a thing or two to the much younger players who’ve made it to the final rounds.
Game record: Iyama Yuta vs Lee Changho
Gallery of photos from the 16th LG Cup
Are you surprised?
Have these results surprised you? They certainly surprised me. I’d love to hear what you think about them, leave your comments below.