The 16th Samsung Cup begins

On August 24 2011, Go professionals from China, Japan and Korea gathered in Beijing for the main tournament of the 16th Samsung Cup.

Playing Lee Sedol (9 dan, facing) is hard enough, but Jen Youngkyu (5 dan) had to look at a huge banner of him too. There is a banner for each former Samsung Cup winner.

Some had won a spot in the main draw by playing through preliminaries, others were seeded based on last year’s performance. Lee Changho 9p of Korea received this year’s wildcard.

How the draw works in the Samsung Cup

The Samsung Cup draw is convoluted, though arguably fairer than a straight knockout format. The 32 players in the main draw are split into 8 groups of 4.

Players must win two games in order to proceed from the first stage; two players from each group will advance┬áto the round of 16. In some ways it’s similar to the group stage of the FIFA World Cup, except that only two wins are necessary to continue.

An example of the draw

Here’s an example:
Anna vs Bai: Anna wins.
Chris vs Dosaku: Dosaku wins.
Then winners play each other and losers play each other:
Anna vs Dosaku: Dosaku wins and proceeds to next round.
Bai vs Chris: Bai wins and Chris is eliminated.
Anna vs Bai: Anna wins and goes through to next round.

Day one of the 16th Samsung Cup

After one day’s play, there have already been some exciting games. China’s Li Zhe 6p defeated the recent 24th Fujitsu Cup winner, Park Junghwan 9p of Korea.

Li Zhe (6 dan, left) plays Park Junghwan (9 dan).

One of the most anticipated games was the match up between China’s Gu Li 9p and Korea’s Park Jieun 9p, one of the strongest female players. Gu defeated Park, though not until after Park made Gu decidedly nervous.

Park Jieun (9 dan, right) gives Gu Li (9 dan) a run for his money.

The other female player in the draw, Chinese youngster and double silver medallist from last year’s Asian Games, Song Ronghui 5p, put up a strong fight against Korea’s Kim Jiseok 7p. Unfortunately for Song, Kim eventually won the game by resignation.

Song Ronghui (5 dan) during her game with Kim Jiseok (7 dan).

Stay tuned as the first stage continues…

Game record: Li Zhe vs Park Junghwan


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Game record: Gu Li vs Park Jieun


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Game record: Song Ronghui vs Kim Jiseok


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


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About Jing

Jing likes writing, and can occasionally be convinced to play a game of Go. Even though she doesn't play Go as often as she once did, she still enjoys following the professional Go scene and writing about it on Go Game Guru.

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  1. Lol @ decidedly nervous. What made you say that? Did Gu Li sweat like in a manga?

  2. LionelLAT says:

    What a breath-taking post! I really appreciate GoGameGuru, keep going! ­čÖé

  3. Michael W says:

    Thanks for the multiple game records! Posts like these give me something new to study for a week.

    • You’re welcome. Younggil will probably comment on some games later on the in the tournament.

  4. Hi more Game records of the tournaments are in
    Also i really like the preliminary system of this tournament :).

  5. there was a particularly strong group where they had Park Junghwan, Piao Wenyao, Chen Yaoye and Li Zhe.

    Unfortunately 2 of these great players had to go. i think there match ups are decided randomly so this was just a matter of luck.

    here you can see the whole table:

    good article!

  6. I’ve got high hopes for tonight’s game with Gu Li Vs. Kong Jie. It’s been a disappointing year to cheer for Gu Li so far…

    • Gu Li recently beat both Kong Jie and Piao Wenyao to win the Jinli Champion of Champions. It’s hard to win everything when you’re playing in everything!