Olé olé! 2nd Olleh Cup enters quarter finals

On September 15 2011, Kim Kiyong 6p defeated Choi Cheolhan 9p, in a surprise upset, to reach the quarter finals of the 2nd Olleh KT Cup.

Kim Kiyong (9 dan), defeated Choi Cheolhan (9 dan) to reach the quarter finals.

Kim now joins the other quarter finalists; Park Junghwan 9p, Lee Sedol 9p, Kim Jiseok 7p, Kang Dongyun 9p and Heo Youngho 9p, who defeated Park Jungsang 9p, Kim Junghyun 3p, Baek Hongseok 8p, Mok Jinseok 9p and Kim Seongjae 4p respectively.

There are two more matches to be played in the preliminary round knockout. On September 23 Cho Hanseung 9p plays Lee Younggu 8p. Lee Changho 9p will face Kang Yootaek 4p two days later on the 25th.

About the Olleh KT Cup

The Olleh KT Cup is a televised tournament in which the top 100 Korean professionals compete. The winner of last year’s inaugural tournament was Lee Sedol.

The sponsor, Olleh KT, is a Korean Telecommunications company. They’re ostensibly called ‘Olleh’ because it spells ‘hello’ backwards :). And I suppose the word ‘hello’ spells communication.

The mascots of the Olleh KT Cup.


How the Olleh KT Cup preliminary tournament works

There are several preliminary rounds, leading up to a final knockout tournament with a best of 5 games final. The preliminary rounds are rather convoluted, like other Korean tournaments (such as the Samsung Cup).

Here’s how it works:

Park Junghwan (9 dan), 2nd Olleh Cup quarter finalist.

1. The top 100 players are seeded by current ranking.

2. The bottom players 48 are paired in a knockout round. 24 players progress and the losers are eliminated.

3. The 24 winners from the first round are paired against the next 24 lowest seeded players. Once again, only 24 proceed.

4. The draw is folded, pitting the 24 players who’ve survived so far against one another. 12 players will progress. The top 28 players haven’t played any games so far.

5. The 12 players who’ve made it through are paired against the next 12 players (from the group of 28), once again in a knockout. The top 16 players still haven’t played.

6. Seeds 5 to 16 enter the knockout to compete with the 12 players who won the last round. The 12 who win progress to the round of 16.

7. Round of 16: The top 4 seeded enter the pool, along with the remaining 12 from the last round. 8 players progress to the quarter finals.

8. Quarter finals.

9. Semi finals.

10. Final – best of 5 games.

Get ready for the quarter finals

The next round is the quarter finals, where the top Korean pros will be pitted against one another on live TV!

Until next time then. You say goodbye and I say hello!

Lee Sedol (9 dan), can he make it two in a row?


Game record: Kim Kiyong vs Choi Cheolhan


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Game record: Park Junghwan vs Park Jungsang


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. Two rather blood thirsty affairs, worth while replaying a few times. Thank you for showing. Looking forward to the next stages, hope the top too is in a fighting frame of mind: do leisurely played games lose nowadays?

    • I suspect the short time limit (1 hour main time and 3 times 40 byo yomi seconds ) together with games being televised mean that players feel pressured to do something spectacular. Certainly more entertaining for the audience but not sure if it necessarily equates to a better game?

  2. And I thought all these pro games being broadcast on Tygem with “elloh” and a bunch of other gibberish in the title were some Asian font problem that meant hello ended up backwards, but actually it is called that!

    • I actually thought the same thing when I first saw the name. I guess it’s like the West with their upside down Asian characters printed on tshirts!

  3. It seems the price for the tournament is missed, or it’s not claimed yet? Anyway, I love every single pro tournament, best wishes for all players. 🙂

    • The total prize pool is 700,000,000 Won and the winner receives 100,000,000 Won. To give you some perspective, that’s the same winner’s prize as Myeongin, the Korean equivalent of Meijin.

      • … which is 460 000 euro and 630 000 dollars, which is about
        * 1/3 of what the US Open winner in tennis gets and
        * 1/2 of what the US Open winner in golf gets
        * equal to what the winner of the Tour de France gets

        In my town, you can buy a nice house in the centre for that money. It’s also the price of a Mercedes SLR Mc Laren.

        • David Ormerod says:

          Heheh, that’s a lot of money and it definitely puts things into perspective Dieter. Of course, the winner ‘only’ gets 1/7th of that, but it’s still at least 60,000 Euro or 85,000 USD. Not bad for a few games if you’re seeded into the final rounds :).