18th LG Cup: Japan fights on, Korea knocked out

After a brief day’s respite, the 16 remaining players in the 18th LG Cup returned to battle on June 12, 2013.

Korea knocked out early


Lee Sedol 9 dan (right) was knocked out by Tuo Jiaxi 3 dan.

For the first time in the history of the LG Cup, there are no Koreans in the quarter final line-up.

Korean fans are left in shock and there will be a lot of soul searching in the coming weeks amongst players.

Fans had high hopes for Lee Sedol 9p, but Tuo Jiaxi 3p dashed their hopes and stopped Lee short – in a game with a very unusual opening.

Japan on a roll

Japan continues their charge through the draw. Two of the Japanese players, Iyama Yuta 9p and Takao Shinji 9p, made it through, while Kono Rin 9p was defeated by Chen Yaoye 9p.


Team Japan (from left, clockwise): Kono Rin, Takao Shinji, Yamashiro Hiroshi, Iyama Yuta and Hane Naoki.

This is the first time Japanese players have made it through to the quarter finals of the LG Cup since 2008, when Kono Rin did so.

If Iyama or Takao manages to win the 18th LG Cup, it will be Japan’s first victory in this tournament since Cho U (who was born in Taiwan) won it in 2005.

China dominates the draw

There are six Chinese players still in the draw. The most notable is Li Zhe 6p, who is making an amazing comeback from his sabbatical, storming his way to the quarter final.

Chen, Tuo and Li will be joined by their countrymen, Zhou Ruiyang 9p, Li Qincheng 1p and Xia Chenkun 2p.

The two youngsters, Xia Chenkun and Li Qincheng, could turn out to be the dark horses in this competition, as China has some frighteningly strong children coming through the ranks.


Team China (from left): Yu Bin, Li Zhe, Zhou Ruiyang and Xia Chenkun.

Round of 16 results

Here are the full results from the round of 16:

  • Chen Yaoye 9p (Chn) defeated Kono Rin 9p (Jpn)
  • Takao Shinji 9p (Jpn) defeated Guo Yuzheng 3p (Chn)
  • Li Qincheng 1p (Chn) defeated Mok Jinseok 9p (Kor)
  • Li Zhe 6p (Chn) defeated Ahn Hyoungjun 4p (Kor)
  • Tuo Jiaxi 3p (Chn) defeated Lee Sedol 9p (Kor)
  • Zhou Ruiyang 9p (Chn) defeated Ahn Joyoung 9p (Kor)
  • Iyama Yuta 9p (Jpn) defeated Lee Younggu 9p (Kor)
  • Xia Chenkun 2p (Chn) defeated Kim Seongjin 2p (Kor)

Quarter final pairings

The pairings for the quarter finals are:

  • Chen Yaoye 9p (Chn) vs Iyama Yuta 9p (Jpn)
  • Takao Shinji 9p (Jpn) vs Tuo Jiaxi 3p (Chn)
  • Li Zhe (Chn) 6p vs Xia Chenkun 2p (Chn)
  • Zhou Ruiyang 9p (Chn) vs Li Chenqing 1p (Chn)

The next round


18th LG Cup quarter finalists (from left): Chen Yaoye, Iyama Yuta, Tuo Jiaxi, Takao Shinji, Li Zhe, Xia Chenkun, Li Qincheng and Zhou Ruiyang.

Unfortunately for Go fans, the quarter finals and semifinals won’t be played until November. If you can’t wait until then, never fear because next week has two amazing matches in store.

Iyama Yuta and Takao Shinji will be fighting it out on the domestic Japanese circuit, in the 4th game of the Honinbo (June 17 and 18). Takao currently leads 2-1.

Meanwhile, on the international scene, Chen Yaoye will be hoping to take the Chunlan Cup from Lee Sedol and win his first major international title, with game 1 also on June 17.

See the Pro Go Calendar for more details.

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 photos

Game records

Tuo Jiaxi vs Lee Sedol


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Lee Younggu vs Iyama Yuta


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Takao Shinji vs Guo Yuzheng


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Chen Yaoye vs Kono Rin


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.

You can follow Go Game Guru on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Youtube.


  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank you jing ,very good arcticle . Very suprising about korean players but i’m happy for japan.
    In two days i will be in korea and i hope to see korean players hahaha.

    • Don’t be too surprised if you spot any players in Korea – I spotted Jiang Weijie and Zhou Ruiyang at Beijing airport last year but didn’t manage to grab them for a photo before they disappeared into the black hole that is airport security check 🙂

  2. Oliver X says:

    How is the score in Lee Younggu vs Iyama Yuta W+1.5? Isn’t there a giant dead black group on the board at the end?

    • moboy78 says:

      It’s actually a seki. White can’t fill in the inside liberties without giving black a shape he can live with.

  3. What if 168 at 173 for Kono Rin?
    Is that not enough, or is 168 a game-losing blunder?

    • An Younggil 8p says:

      W168 wasn’t a mistake. Black was already winning by a few points, and it seemed like Kono Rin was about to resign the game by then.

  4. A question about Lee Sedol’s game: what is the status of upper right group in the beginning of the game? W plays R16 quite late making the group alive but what about before that? Would it die if b hanes from T15 or does T19 change situation somehow?

    • An Younggil 8p says:

      I’m gonna explain about the variations from white’s coming into 3-3, and you’ll soon see a game commentary of the game. 🙂

  5. Can Mr. Younggil provide the commentary to Li Zhe’s game? I like the way he plays but find his go really difficult to understand; maybe Mr. Younggil can make sense of it.