2013 Samsung Cup group stage wrap up

After all the excitement over the last few days, the group stage of 2013 Samsung Cupย finally concluded on September 5, 2013.

16 players progressed through the group stage to the knockout phase.

This included 11 players from China, and just 5 players from Korea. Japan’s players were all eliminated in the group stage.


The Group Stage of the 2013 Samsung Cup.

The group stage

The first two players (bolded) proceeded to the round of 16 from the following groups:

A: Tang Weixing 3p, Wu Guangya 6p, Seo Bongsu 9p and Lee Minjin 7p

B: Qiu Jun 9p, Li Xuanhao 3p, Song Taegon 9p and Han Wonggyu 5p

C: Gu Lingyi 5p, Fan Yunruo 4p, Kang Dongyun 9p and Takao Shinji 9p

D: Kim Jiseok 9p, Ke Jie 3p, Choi Cheolhan 9p and Tuo Jiaxi 3p

E: Shi Yue 9p, Ahn Seongjun 5p, Chang Hao 9p and O Junga 2p

F: Park Younghun 9p, Zhou Ruiyang 9p, Niu Yutian 7p and Cho Hanseung 9p

G: Chen Yaoye 9p, Lee Sedol 9p, Komatsu Hideki 9p and Eric Lui (USA, amateur), and

H: Park Junghwan 9p, Gu Li 9p, Liao Xingwen 5p and Yuki Satoshi 9p.


Proceeding to the knockout stage: 14 of the players who progressed to the round of 16 at the 2013 Samsung Cup.

The group stage started on September 3 and the games were played over three days.

Here’s some news and highlights from each group.

Group A

Lee Minjin wasn’t able to join her group because she went into labor on the first day of the group stage.

Seo Bongsoo, who’s over 60 now, had a big lead against Wu Guangya, but he couldn’t maintain his concentration until the end and lost by 5.5 points.

Group B

Both Chinese players (Qiu Jun and Li Xuanhao) defeated the two Korean players.


Qiu Jun 9 dan (left) and Li Xuanhao 3p both proceeded through Group B.

Group C

Fan Yunruo lost against Kang Dongyun in the first game, but he had his revenge in the third game.

In the group stage of the Samsung Cup, two players can play again in the third round if they’re both on a 1-1 score.

Group D

Ke Jie, who’s the top prospect for the future, lost against Choi Cheolhan in the first game, but defeated him when they met again in the third round.

Tuo Jiaxi, who’s currently ranked #2 in China, was eliminated.


Kim Jiseok 9 dan came out on top in Group D.

Group E

Ahn Seongjun defeated Chang Hao in the third game to proceed on to the round of 16.


Ahn Seongjun 5 dan (left) and O Junga 2 dan faced off in Group E.

Group F

Park Younghun and Zhou Ruiyang survived without any trouble.


Park Younghun 9 dan (left) and Zhou Ruiyang 9 dan proceeded smoothly through Group F.

Group G

Chen Yaoye defeated Lee Sedol in the first game, but both of them progressed through the group stage.

Chen and Lee were paired to play again in the round of 16.

Komatsu Hideki defeated the USA’s Eric Lui in the first game, but he couldn’t win against Chen or Lee.


Lee Sedol 9 dan (left) and Eric Lui (USA) played in Group G.

Group H

Park Junghwan (currently ranked #1 in Korea) and Gu Li (ranked #5 in China) proceeded to the next round.


Park Junghwan 9 dan (left) and Gu Li 9 dan have both progressed to the knockout stage.


World Division

There was a new division in the preliminary rounds this year called the ‘World Division’ – for players from outside of the current big Go nations.

Eric Lui (US) defeated Ben Lockhart (US) in the final of the preliminaries, and Lui was able to join the main tournament of the Samsung Cup, as a US representative, for the first time.


Ben Lockhart represented the USA in the world division of the preliminary rounds.

Seniors’ Division

Seo Bongsu and Komatsu Hideki qualified qualified for the group stage through the seniors’ division.

Komatsu also made it through to the round of 16 last year, but he wasn’t able to repeat that performance this year after finding himself in Group G with Lee Sedol and Chen Yaoye.


Komatsu Hideki 9 dan (left) – pictured here playing Chen Yaoye 9 dan – qualified through the seniors’ division.

Seo Bongsu was winning his first game against Wu Guangya, but the game was reversed in the endgame.

Seo and Wu played again in the third round but, once again, Seo couldn’t maintain his lead until the end.

Women’s Division

In the women’s division of the preliminary finals, Lee Minjin and O Junga defeated Wang Chenxing and Cho Youyin respectively.

However, Lee Minjin wasn’t able to play in the group stage in the end, because she gave birth on the first day of play. She’s got a beautiful baby daughter instead.


Lee Minjin 7 dan (left) playing Xie Yimin 9 dan in the women’s division. Lee qualified for the group stage but couldn’t compete because her baby was due.

The round of 16 draw

The next round will take place on October 8 and 10, 2013. The draw is as follows:

  • Lee Sedol 9p vs Chen Yaoye 9p
  • Gu Li 9p vs Ahn Seongjun 5p
  • Qiu Jun 9p vs Gu Lingyi 5p
  • Park Junghwan 9p vs Zhou Ruiyang 9p
  • Shi Yue 9p vs Ke Jie 3p
  • Wu Guangya 6p vs Li Xuanhao 3p
  • Kim Jiseok 9p vs Fan Yunruo 4p, and
  • Park Younghun 9p vs Tang Weixing 3p.

Chen Yaoye drawing his pairing for the round of 16: “What do you mean I have to play Lee Sedol again!?”

The Samsung Cup

Theย Samsung Cupย first started in 1996 and uses a rather convoluted draw. Though, arguably, it is 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 to the knockout stage.

In some ways it’s similar to the group stage of the FIFA World Cup, except that only two wins are necessary to continue.

The round of 16 and the quarter finals are played as a straight knockout.

The semifinals and the final are played as a best of three matches.

Samsung is a well known Korean conglomerate.

2013 or 18th Samsung Cup?

This year is the 18th iteration of the Samsung Cup, but the official name of the tournament is the 2013 Samsung Cup.

Since Samsung has switched to naming the tournament using the year (they actually started doing this is 2012), Go Game Guru will switch to the new names too, from now on.

2013 Samsung Cup photos

Game records

Lee Sedol vs Chen Yaoye


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Gu Li vs Park Junghwan


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Kim Jiseok vs Choi Cheolhan


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Eric Lui vs Komatsu Hideki


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Related Articles

About Younggil An

Younggil is an 8 dan professional Go player with the Korean Baduk Association. He qualified as a professional in 1997 and won an award for winning 18 consecutive professional matches the following year. After completing compulsory military service, Younggil left Korea in 2008, to teach and promote the game Go overseas. Younggil now lives in Sydney, Australia, and is one of the founders of Go Game Guru. On Friday evenings, Younggil is usually at the Sydney Go Club, where he gives weekly lessons and plays simultaneous games.

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


  1. One of Mr. Seo’s games against Wu had 392 moves and 58 ko captures! I think it’s very impressive that he played the way he did considering his age. Him and Mr. Cho Hunhyun just turned 60 this past Feb. and Mar., so happy birthday to them! I hope to see Mr. Cho break 2,000 wins.

    Mr. Park Younghun seems to be having a better year so far. Has something changed?

    Also. Mr. Kim Jiseok is having a very good record this year, but other than the 18th GS Caltex Cup he doesn’t seem to be making it very far into as many of the Korean titles as would be expected. It’s very strange. Mr. Park Junghwan seems to be his nemesis this year, winning at least 3-1. They might play again in the Chunwon semi-finals.

    Eric Lui went all out against Mr. Komatsu!

    • Younggil An says:

      You seem to know everything about the current scene of Go world.
      Yes, right. Seo’s play was very impressive.
      Park Younghun’s style of play has recently changed a bit. His play is more active and lively than it was before, and it turns out well. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Quite some interesting and bloodthirsty games! Gu Li losing a big group, and what to say about the game Kim Jiseok wins against Choi Cheolhan: these games are so different from the Shusaku and Shuwa games. Thank you for showing!

    Kind regards,

  3. great update thanks

  4. Thanks for these news and games. It was really interesting to read and know.

    That’s one of the reasons I like GGG so much ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Dear Sensei,
    Where were Kong Jie, Fan Tingyu, Iyama Yuuta and Cho U ?
    We know Weon Seongjin is in the army, but them…
    Please help ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Younggil An says:

      I was also wondering about that. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Fan Tingyu was defeated by Ke Jie at the preliminary round, and Kong Jie, Iyama Yuta and Cho U didn’t participate this Samsung Cup.

  6. I find it funny that Erik is considered as an amateur, but on the other and the difference between him and mr komatsu is obvious. I feel not many chances for him…

  7. http://senseis.xmp.net/?EricLui

    I guess that if you have seen this person play, it’s hard to still think of him as an amateur. Still, as above link points out, he is an amateur go player in the common sense, i.e. not affiliated as a professional to any established organization.

  8. Hi all, Eric Lui is a professional player. He is one of the two first “western pro’s”.


  9. wait… that’s Andy Liu… ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Anonymous says:

    Hello, this question’s a bit (a lot) late in the day, but in the why didn’t black play 27 at S7 first in the Lui-Lee game, because the result up to 62 doesn’t seem nice for black to me. If black played at S7, wouldn’t white play at S8 and then play at O4?

    • Younggil An says:

      Thanks for the question, and it isn’t late. ๐Ÿ™‚
      If Black plays at S7 for B27, White will jump out toward the center.
      The result up to W62 was still playable for Black, it looks like he made a mistake in the middle game.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ah, I can understand that black wouldn’t want to “just let” white go into the center and chose to fight it out– pulling out all the stops*.

        Thanks, it looked like Lui put up a brave fight against Komatsu 9p!

        *trying you’re absolute best