Baduk TV English: Won Seongjin vs Park Younghun – Searching for Exquisite Games: Episode 30

Searching for Exquisite Games is a Baduk TV series that reviews some of the best games of Go from the last few decades. The commentators are Yoon Seonghyun 9p and Shim Wooseop 7d.

Episode 30 looks at game 5 from the 38th Myeongin, played on November 11, 2010. Won Seongjin plays black and Park Younghun plays white.

Won Seongjin vs Park Younghun

Video: Won Seongjin vs Park Younghun

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Transcript of the video

Translated by Oh Chimin 7d for

Edited by David Ormerod 5d

Searching for Exquisite Games: Episode 30.

Hello! Today we'll review a game played by two rivals.

These two players have become stronger together from in early age.

This game was played between Park Younghun 9p and Won Seongjin 9p.

Along with Choi Cheolhan 9p, the three players are rivals.

Let's meet today's guest.

Hello! My name is Jang Sooyoung, and I'm a 9 dan professional player.

Q. Which game would you like to recommend?

The last game from the final of the 38th Myeongin.

[Ed: The Myeongin is the Korean Meijin title.]

Q. How would you define the word 'rivals'?

Both players need to be at a similar level, but one also has to be determined to defeat the other player.

That's is my definition of rivals.

Q. Could you please summarize the game for us?

Park's skillful management of the game is prominent throughout.

Q. Why did you choose this game?

Both players played well. However, Park's sabaki at the top was exquisite.

That's why I'm recommending this game.

Jang is a well known commentator.

He chose a game between two young players.

'The Three Cows' have performed very well on the domestic Go scene.

[Ed: All three players were born in the Chinese year of the Ox - hence 'cows']

In addition, they've won several international Go championships.

However, Won emerged a bit later than the other two.

Park and Choi started winning national and international competitions earlier.

On the one hand, he'd have been worried. And on the other hand, it would have been motivating for Won.

The two players' early success would have stimulated Won as well.

At this crucial stage, the two players met one another.

Park's strong point is that he enjoys his games, no matter who his opponents are.

In contrast, Won's style is stable and tenacious.

Though, lately, Won's been following Park's example.

This was the final round of the championship. Let's have a look.

Won Seongjin plays black, Park Younghun plays white.

The HighOne Resort Myeongin Cup is the biggest domestic Korean championship.

This was the game that would decide the winner.

Leading up to this match, they both had two wins and two losses.

They'd be very used to one another's style of play.

In the last Myeongin, Won lost to Lee Changho 9p.

Therefore, his desire for a win should have been stronger than Park's.

Won secured the bottom right corner.

In response, Park approached.

Recently, this two space low pincer has been thoroughly investigated by pros.

There are several reasons why you shouldn't miss this game.

I was fortunate to be able to review this game with Lee Sedol 9p, Lee Changho 9p, and Choi Cheolhan 9p.

That's amazing! The top Korean players were all together.

They came up with many exquisite variations together and I'll show them to you.

In that case, I should focus on this game as well.

In response to the double approach, Won attached.

Isn't that the strongest response?

Yes, but it can be very complicated for amateur players.

If you don't like it, I recommend this attachment.

Then white will invade at 3-3 and hane.

Black shouldn't capture white's stone, because this atari is painful.

If this stone were on the third line, black could attach here and it would be playable.

But this variation is better for white, so black needs another move.

In general, black extends, then white connects here.

After that, black cuts white.

White shouldn't miss this atari.

Then he tenukis and extends here. It's a normal progression.

It's a lot simpler.

Is this classified as a joseki?

Yes, this joseki has been played in the Nongshim Cup.

If you like fighting though, you might prefer to play as in the actual game.

Once you learn about it, you'll be able to use it in actual games.

Your opponent will find it hard to deal with.

It's quite complicated for me too, so I'll aim to master the joseki this time.

The 3-3 invasion and the hane are a practical combination.

It becomes tricky when white encloses black here.

This is reasonably well known as a basic variation.

Here are white's weaknesses.

However, black has to be aware of the aji in the corner.

Let's see how they played.

Won exposed white's weak points.

In the actual game, Won pushed again, then captured this stone.

After white's connection, black cut here.

This is the actual progression from the game.

According to the observers, there was a better move for white.

What was it?

We investigated this joseki for about 20 minutes.

The final conclusion was that blocking here wasn't the best move.

Lee Sedol asserted that white should have moved out first.

In the actual game, Won captured the stone and there was no aji anymore.

I think black has to capture these stones.

It looks like a bad exchange, but white should come out again.

Black has to block here.

When white encloses this area, black must defend his weakness.

He has no time to counter.

Inevitably, black has to play here.

Then white ataris and black's shape doesn't look so nice.

It's too early for white to defend his cutting points.

This attachment is a nice tesuji.

Black can't cut like this.

If he does so, white can atari and connect up.

This atari is also painful for black.

Then, with this hane, white takes the corner.

Even though there are some cutting points, white can still pressure black like this.

It's too submissive to just capture these three stones.

So, after the atari, black needs to extend.

White can't atari and capture, so he should connect.

After that, black captures this white stone.

If white ataris, black can tenuki.

Does that mean the atari isn't sente now?

Right, but this attachment is an interesting move now.

Initially, I thought it was just an endgame play, but the top players had a different idea.

It has something to do with the life and death of black's corner.

After white plays at 1-2, black has to decide between two possible answers.

In terms of points, this extension is better.

For example, white can't rescue his stone in sente anymore.

Instead, he'll connect here.

Then black has to cut first.

After exchanging the atari, white will attach.

Defending here should be sente, because white's group isn't alive yet.

But here's the difference.

In this case, white will atari here instead of living.

It's huge.

What if black tries to capture white's group like this?

Then white will capture this stone first.

After that, this is a forcing move.

If white connects up, black doesn't have two eyes either [Ed: So it's a seki].

If black ataris instead, it's completely different.

Even if black tenukis after white's atari, this group already has two eyes.

Black has miai.

But if black extends at 1-2, this group only has one eye.

It's a big difference.

So this attachment is an asking move.

If black extends, it becomes a seki.

To avoid that, black has to atari, losing some points.

Since this cut is powerful, white has to defend.

Instead of the tiger's mouth, the observers thought that this attachment was better.

What about this weak point?

In this case, white gives up this stone.

In exchange, white can capture black's two stones.

It's true that this ponnuki is thick.

On the other hand, this exchange is bad for black.

In addition, white's corner exchange is profitable, so white's ok.

Later on, white can atari here and look after his stones.

And he can also sacrifice them if black attacks.

Many observers argued that this variation was better for white.

Even though it's complicated, moving this stone out was reasonable in this situation.

This attachment shows excellent timing, indeed.

Yes, playing the asking move before the defending is good timing.

If black extends, white connects here.

If black captures these stones, white attaches and sacrifices the left group.

Depending on black's moves, white can change his strategy.

Black has to cut because he can't hane here.

White will crosscut and automatically defend his cutting point.

It's a delicate variation.

However, Park didn't choose to play like this.

After this move the potential to play the interesting variation disappeared.

But the previous variation was the result of a 20 minute investigation by five top players.

Therefore, it's hard to just come up with it in an actual game.

Black captured this stone and settled down.

White had to defend his cutting point.

When black cut, white couldn't give up his group.

White captured this black stone.

There's an interesting move here.

But the players didn't play it.

Here's an example.

In the game, Won connected here.

Even though it makes an empty triangle, black can consider this.

Well, white has to atari to save his cutting stones from the ladder.

Yes, this move aims at the ladder.

If white ataris here, black extends here to capture white's right side group.

It isn't alive yet!

White can't cut, because of the ladder. How about this clamp?

That's white's only aim.

But black will keep attacking this group.

After the extension, black can block here.

Doesn't black have a weaknesses here?

Yes, this is white's hope.

But if black attaches, white can't go on attacking black.

If white can't do anything there, his entire group will die.

White has very few liberties.

Because these three stones have a weakness, white can't attack black.

So white's clamp doesn't work.

Then isn't it a disaster?

When I asked them about this variation, the players said white would've sacrificed this group.

This is a forcing move.

This connection is sente too, because of black's weakness in the corner.

Really? Isn't the corner safe already?

No, this move is a great tesuji!

Well, white has miai to live.

Indeed. If black looks after his corner, white will also live.

Therefore, black has to answer.

Both moves are sente.

Even though white can't connect immediately, he can attach first and see how black answers.

If black responds, then white can connect.

If black ensures the capture, then white hanes here.

There's a lot of aji, so black wouldn't be very happy.

At first, black's empty triangle looked like a wonderful move.

But since white can play many forcing moves like this, black's territory isn't that big.

In conclusion, the empty triangle is conceivable, but a better result isn't guaranteed.

There were many fascinating moves hidden here.

It's quite complicated.

In order to capture white, this empty triangle is the move.

In the actual game, Won focused on thickness.

Park had to answer, then Won moved his stone out.

These two stones were too big to abandon.

Park looked after this group first.

After that, he took care of this group too.

Won's next move changed the flow of the game.

He played here, but this move was criticized by the observers.

Wasn't that big? It prevented white's forcing move.

He didn't want white to play here in sente.

Because of this atari, black can't attach.

So black has to connect, then any move around here will be sente.

This jump kills the whole group.

Then white's moyo looks very thick. Wasn't it worth a move?

It was big, but this point was pivotal for both sides.

If you compare these moves, you can easily see the difference.

Since black's bottom area is solid, white's four stones can be attacked severely.

Well, this move is powerful, indeed.

Though big in terms of points, the corner was already safe.

At such an early stage, it's important to take the initiative.

It's better than taking points for the sake of upcoming battles.

However, Won sought territory here.

Was he affected by Park's territory oriented style?

Possibly, but this move was a golden opportunity!

So white played there instead of black.

This looks a bit peculiar. Maybe Won had been aiming at this move.

Locally, it's a vital point. If white comes out, black can hane and cut white.

That's no good. So Park attached here.

If black hanes, white can connect here naturally.

Black can't manage both areas at the same time.

The previous hane, and this attachment become bad exchanges.

Black has to capture this stone, but white will hane.

So Won bumped. If white answers here, then black can hane.

Therefore, Park extended here.

This exchange was profitable for white, and it shows how profound Park's reading is.

In the actual game, Won jumped and Park played a knight's move.

If white attaches here later on, everyone would hane, not bump.

White can't cut here.

Because of white's cutting point, it would be an overplay.

But since Park exchanged these moves at the right moment, it worked.

If black hanes, white can connect and gain sente.

Therefore, this attachment was a skillful move by Park.

Up to here, they reached a compromise.

They're both talented players.

Park's been able to memorize a kifu (a game record) very quickly, ever since he was an insei.

And Won's reading is outstanding.

One of Won's teachers asserted that Won would one day beat Lee Changho 9p.

His talent was already famous, before he became a pro.

His nickname is 'Won (one) Punch', and his power is formidable.

Even though black was playing strong moves, it wasn't as powerful as the previous variation.

Anyway, Won kept pushing.

Black's moves are decisive.

These stones all stood in a row.

Let's look at the actual progression first.

After this atari, black couldn't block here.

White will atari and extend.

It's hard for black to attack white's two stones.

They can't be captured. In addition, here's a cutting point.

So black had to let white connect up.

Lee Sedol was strongly opposed to this result.

Wasn't black very solid? Or did he allow white to get too many points?

Yes, white acquired a lot of points, with good shape.

Even though this area was thick, it was uncertain whether black could make points there.

Lee's suggestion received good feedback from the other observers.

In terms of fighting spirit, black should atari and play as in the actual game.

But if he can't separate white like that, he should look for another move.

Lee said this extension would be better.

White can't connect.

After cutting here, black can atari and split white.

It's terrible for white.

So he has to defend his cutting point.

After that, black can play here and separate white.

If white encloses the corner, black can play a forcing move here.

According to Lee, it was more urgent to separate white than to build a moyo in the center.

It'd be more efficient.

The extension is like making one step back and two steps forwards.

It's interesting that a patient move can interrupt white's flow at the bottom.

If black can't block here, this atari isn't a good idea.

Eventually, white connected his stones.

We thought it was a natural sequence, but Lee's analysis was precise.

In order to expand his moyo, Won threatened white's group.

Playing a knight's move would be too submissive.

So Park kosumied. If black blocks, white connects with a tiger's mouth.

Won knew what Park's plan was, so he extended.

After this move, the game became complicated.

The focus was on black's attack and the center.

Both players faced a crucial situation. Let's take a break.

Today's rivals are Won Seongjin 9p and Park Younghun 9p.

Since the beginning, interesting variations have appeared.

Black could've taken the lead in the fuseki, but he missed a pivotal point.

As a result, the opening was more successful for Park (white).

At the bottom, even though black could have separated white, he missed it.

That's why Won persevered at the top.

This extension was reasonable.

If black lets white connect, this sequence can be expected.

Isn't black's moyo large?

If white extends like this, black will approach and it's fine.

But white will go further.

Even if black separates white, there's space to extend.

It'll be ok for white as long as he can save his group.

And due to weak points within black's area, it's hard to capture white.

And black doesn't have many points.

On the other hand, white has plenty of points at the top and the bottom.

Even if this were a proper move, it wouldn't be pragmatic.

And it isn't Won's style.

In other words, black couldn't afford to play softly.

So Won played this move and that's more in keeping with his style.

From Won's point of view, he needs to take the initiative in the middle game.

Because Park's endgame is superb.

At this point, this atari was meaningful.

Once I understood the meaning of this move, I was surprised.

I realized how deep Park's reading is.

Black had to connect here of course.

This exchange was well timed.

It was a battle of reading.

This cut was obvious and inevitable.

Even though black's position was thin, Won had an aim.

After the atari, Park came out.

White captured this stone.

Won had prepared for this move since much earlier.

White had no choice but to cut.

If white hanes below, there's a vital point here.

If black plays here, white's in trouble.

So this cut was inevitable.

It seems like white's group has been cut off.

This kosumi looks interesting.

It was an excellent move!

If black extends, white will capture these stones.

Black has to attach, and these stones are dead.

After the kosumi, Park extended here, and Won connected.

Then white had to answer again!

If black plays here, white's stones die.

It's a one move difference.

Why didn't white capture like this? He could've saved one move.

But in this case, black won't just connect like this.

First, this tiger's mouth is a forcing move.

After that, black connects here.

White has to separate black.

But white has very few liberties!

White dies.

Not only can black connect, he can also attack and capture white!

Even if white gives up these three stones, he still can't capture black.

Above all, they're dead.

This kosumi was an exquisite move!

He'd have seen this move when he extended here.

Instead of this extension, this kosumi was the move to play.

However, we'll see the effect of this atari later.

Their reading was fantastic.

In such an urgent situation, just capturing these stones is nonsense.

Black will capture the whole group.

Of course, black has to save these stones.

After that, white makes miai of these two points.

Can't black resist somehow?

Yes, that attachment is the only move to avoid the net.

If black just plays here, white will simply capture these stones.

So this attachment enables black to escape.

Then white has to bump here, aiming at the net again.

And black resists by cutting here.

If white comes out, black pushes.

Black keeps pushing.

These moves prevent white from attaching here.

If white captures, black pinches.

Is white in trouble?

It's a ko.

This is too big. There are no ko threats that are big enough.

So white can't come out like this.

If white ataris, black will counter atari.

After the atari, black's weakness on the right is gone.

And this group can escape.

However, black will capture white's group at the top.

And the problem is that, white has to come back here.

This area is still unresolved.

Because of the attachment tesuji, white's atari and extension doesn't work.

But Park discovered a better move.

Their moves around here were breathtaking.

White's next move was a wonderful tesuji.

This attachment was so great!

Black couldn't come out here.

White will break through like this. This exchange works well.

Black's group is in danger.

Inevitably, black had to connect here.

Park bumped, aiming at the cutting point.

After that, Won ataried.

It was a mistake. He'd misjudged something.

This tiger's mouth is the proper answer.

If white tenukis, black will play here and separate white.

So white has to capture these stones, then black also captures white.

After that exchange, white will secure the corner.

What do you think of the result?

According to Lee Changho 9p, black wouldn't lose any points from this trade.

However, he added something.

Previously, black was trying to expand the center.

But after these trades, its potential was greatly reduced.

Well, black already exchanged the center for white's territory at the bottom.

Even though black got more points at the top, it wouldn't be successful for black.

In conclusion, it'd be hard for black to pay the komi.

Despite playing the right move, black's situation wouldn't be very good.

But, in the actual game, Won ataried, then Park counter-ataried here.

As soon as white cut, black's three stones died.

After that, Won captured white's six stones at the top.

Won expected white to block here and secure the corner like this.

But, instead of that, white suddenly cut here.

Of course, Won had to atari.

Then white captured.

In doing so, white secured many points in the center.

Look at black's position.

Even though white can't capture that group, any move around here will be sente.

There are many forcing moves.

So Park's cut was a very powerful move.

Black couldn't approach the corner deeply, because of the bad aji.

The aji is scary.

In response, white attached here.

After white played here, black would have felt like extending.

That move is tempting, indeed.

But there's no answer after this tesuji.

Black has to be careful of the aji.

Black can't come out.

And he can't connect here either.

Then white will attach.

Because of this attachment, black dies.

Therefore, white was able to play strong moves without reservation.

Won eventually had to fall back.

Now Park played this forcing move.

After that, he blocked here.

Even though these exchanges were profitable for black,

He couldn't complete his moyo properly.

In addition, white made many points by capturing black's stones.

Even if black hadn't made a mistake, he'd still have been behind.

But, due to the additional damage in the center, white took control of the game.

These two areas weren't decided yet.

Won tried to develop his moyo first.

When Won haned, Park tenukied and split black's moyo.

These stones were in danger.

After this atari, Won attached.

It was the strongest response.

He intended to make a ko.

Black had several ko threats on the board.

Won made a threat in the center.

Instead of connecting, Park haned - it was a ko threat too.

If white ataris, he can get enough compensation.

White didn't need to capture black. Erasing black's moyo would be enough.

Therefore, the ko wasn't that powerful.

Does that mean that black had to answer?

Yes, he had to continue the ko.

After winning the ko, black still had to attack white.

This atari was another threat.

Black couldn't afford to lose the ko.

After that, Park defended his weakness as a ko threat.

Each of white's moves was profitable.

Black couldn't respond to all of white's moves.

So Won had to finish the ko.

I thought white would atari, but he tenukied.

Well, that would be big but, after this exchange, blocking here is sente.

Therefore, this extension is huge.

So Park played here, and it was worth about 20 points.

After that, black ataried and connected.

In doing so, he enclosed this area.

In response, white kosumied.

Because of the weakness to the right, black couldn't attach here.

He couldn't cut white.

Well, that's no good.

That's why Park was able to tenuki and play here.

With the kosumi, white successfully connected.

Black made a ko on the left.

By winning the ko, he gained some points there.

But white managed his group without any problems.

In addition, he gained profit in the bottom left and extended here.

Let's assess the position now.

White has 30 points at the bottom.

15 points in the center, 5 points on the right, and 13 points in the top left.

White has 70 points in total, including komi.

In the top right, black has just over 15 points.

20 points in the bottom right, 10 points on the left, and 13 points at the top.

In terms of territory, white was leading by about 10 points.

Which means black had to make more than 15 points in the center.

But there were weaknesses there.

Up to here, white had played well, so he was leading.

Black's hope was the center.

But if white can enlarge his territory by playing a knight's move like this.

We should count that as well.

The game was nearing its end. Let's look at the endgame.

Rather than developing the center, black tried to reduce white's moyo.

Park bumped.

If white had haned, black would have bumped there too.

But Park played at that point first.

Even though black erased the center a bit, his corner was also reduced.

In addition, white made some more points at the bottom.

Park's sensitive towards territory.

Before this game, the score was 2-2.

A loss in this sort of game would depress a player more than usual.

Yes, because this game would decide the winner.

In addition, it was a game against a rival.

The mental damage would be doubled.

Rivals are generally a source of motivation.

When they're young, one's good performance will pressure the other to improve.

Choi Myonghun 9p is my rival.

When he got an award, I should have applauded and celebrated for him.

But, for some reason, I couldn't mask my face.

Recently, it's become much easier.

That's a pro's character.

Their expectations of others are usually similar.

Even though a player doesn't intend to think about the rivalry,

The media designates them as rivals and talks about it all the time.

So it's impossible to let it go.

It can be be a good tool if one utilizes the rivalry for motivation.

On the other hand, it can be stressful, if not harmful.

The final shape of the game was established. Black couldn't play on both sides.

Black managed well at the bottom.

But white played on the left side.

As a result, black couldn't expect much from this area.

Instead of defending, Won countered!

If white answers, black can capture white's single stone more efficiently.

I don't think white would let the center swell though.

Won is one of the players in the Nongshim Cup team.

Along with Lee Changho, his role for a win is crucial.

White wouldn't just answer on the left.

These two stones are light, so white could sacrifice them, depending on the situation.

There are many black stones in this area.

White haned.

I think white intended to counter-atari if black ataried.

So did he want to break through into the center?

Even though it was a narrow space, they were both trying to find the best moves.

If black ataris, black's previous move will be damaged.

So Won attached there.

It removed the potential counter-atari, but I think there was another move for white.

If white connects, black will also connect and attack white.

But this move was good.

When black cut, white was able to connect along the first line.

Then the value of white's two stones became smaller.

Before that, black could've haned and reduced white's corner.

After white connected, his territory got bigger.

Nevertheless, black's center was getting larger too.

That's right.

260 moves, white (Park Younghun 9p) wins by resignation

Q. How would you define an exquisite game?

Previously, it was said that a game was exquisite if there were no mistakes by either player.

I think the concept of an exquisite game has changed recently.

If an outstanding aspect such as brilliant reading, an amazing move move, or precise positional judgment is seen...

If players play such games, I think they are exquisite.

These players are two of the 'three calves'.

I think they're now grown up.

Recently, there have been many promising players coming up behind them.

So they've had to work hard to maintain their positions at the top.

To encourage the two players, I chose this game.

I hope that you'll cheer them up.

Their rivalry has made them become top players.

However, Won would have been greatly depressed by this loss.

In contrast, Park would have felt overjoyed.

Some people said Park was in slump during that period.

He became a world champion at an early age, and was heralded the future 'post Lee Changho' champion.

He was considered to be a rival to Lee Sedol.

So many Go fans expected a lot from him.

Even though his did well, his performance didn't meet people's expectations.

He'd have wanted the win more because many people said he was in a slump.

As for Won, he was behind compared to Park and Choi Cheolhan 9p.

He'd have wanted to make up for that and improve his reputation by winning this match.

They both exerted themselves to the full, so all of the games were excellent.

They can continue to compete with one other and improve together.

Won becoming a representative on the Nongshim Cup team is a good example.

That brings us to the end of today's episode.

Thank you!

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