3rd BC Card Cup: Lee Sedol wins!

Lee Sedol 9p has taken the 3rd BC Card Cup World Baduk Championship for a second year in a row, defeating Gu Li 9p with three wins to two.

Lee Sedol (9 dan) wins the 3rd BC Card Cup World Baduk Championship

A relatively peaceful game

When compared to game four (commentary of game 4 here), game five was relatively peaceful. Even though Lee and Gu still played the incredibly sharp game for which they are both well known, the game was more positional and less tactical than earlier games in the title series. Lee Sedol in particular demonstrated a very flexible style in this game and it seemed like Gu couldn’t land a punch at times.

When Gu misjudged a ko around move 70 and Lee offered to trade by ignoring his ko threat, Gu backed down and returned to defending his group at the top. With this, Lee won the ko and kept sente, leaving Gu with an unsatisfactory result.

Lee Sedol demonstrates how to play when winning

Once Lee (black) was ahead, he displayed a remarkably calm, yet not slack style and made several trades in dealing with Gu’s strong attacks. This kind of calm play, while on the cusp of winning another world championship, shows why he is number one in the world.

From move 125 onwards, Lee started playing very steady moves, and tried to lead things into the endgame. This put the pressure on Gu to try something risky. Although Lee’s lead wasn’t large, he managed to play consistently and hold on to his advantage. Watching Lee’s calm play made you feel there was no way Gu could win, and in the end it turned out he couldn’t.

A disappointing result after an impressive tournament by Gu Li (9 dan)

The head to head record tilts in Lee’s favour

Win this win, the head to head record between Lee and Gu stands at 14-13 in Lee’s favour. Despite that, Gu Li also played an impressive tournament. Let’s hope that these two great players can have many more encounters in the future.

It also seems like Go Game Guru readers voted correctly on the whole. Here are the final results of our poll:

  • Lee Sedol (54%, 55 Votes)
  • Gu Li (46%, 48 Votes)

Game five: Lee Sedol vs Gu Li

Younggil has commented game 5 here.


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


More photos from the match

Gu Li (left) vs Lee Sedol in the final game of the 3rd BC Card Cup


Lee Sedol plays a move


Lee Sedol concentrating

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About David Ormerod

David is a Go enthusiast who’s played the game for more than a decade. He likes learning, teaching, playing and writing about the game Go. He's taught thousands of people to play Go, both online and in person at schools, public Go demonstrations and Go clubs. David is a 5 dan amateur Go player who competed in the World Amateur Go Championships prior to starting Go Game Guru. He's also the editor of Go Game Guru.

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  1. *Dancing*

      • Sixko, you seem very interested in Lee Sedol’s nickname so I thought I’d elaborate for you. As far as I know, Lee is called ‘The Wolf’ in China because of his history of terrorizing Chinese players. Some cruel people even called Chang Hao ‘The Lamb’ for awhile after he had a bad run against Lee…

        • Thank you Jing.

          As a sports fan I’ve generally been interested in learning more about my favorite players, including nicknames. Despite my earlier comments ‘The Wolf’ is probably the best nickname I’ve heard for Lee – having seen more photographs of him in action, so to speak. With a slight tweak for personal use ‘The Happy Wolf’ it’s perfect.

          Lee Sedol is my favorite player, he probably always will be. I admire him very much, not just for the game he plays, but also for the man he is.

          Can’t really comment on people calling Chang Hao ‘The Lamb’ – well not anything nice anyway.

        • Hmmm, looking at this thread today, almost 24 hours after my initial attempt to respond to Jing’s response to my comment I saw that my response her had not posted. So I made the May 5, 2011 at 1:35 am attempt and, as soon as I did word press post dated the earlier one: May 4, 2011 at 3:21 am. Very strange indeed.

          • David Ormerod says:

            It sounds like something to do with your browser cache. Did you try forcing it to refresh the whole page or clearing your cache?

            We’re using a lot of caching at the moment, both client side and server side – to try to improve performance. Also the duplicate comment thing is there to help stop spambots, which copy other peoples’ comments and add links to their own site. Sorry about that.

            • Thanks David.
              Thought my cache was cleared on that last try, may be wrong.

              • David Ormerod says:

                No problem sixko. Thanks for mentioning it and do let us know if it keeps happening.