Baek Hongseok wins 4th BC Card Cup

On May 16, 2012, much to the delight of Korean Go fans, Baek Hongseok 9p defeated Dang Yifei 4p of China to win the 4th BC Card Cup 3 games to 1.

A promising start for Dang

Baek Hongseok 9 dan, winner of the 4th BC Card Cup World Baduk Championship.

Dang started well, winning the first game on May 12.

For much of the second game on the following day, it seemed that he would win again and seize a 2-0 lead.

Sensing the championship slipping away, Baek dug his heels in.

Turning point

When black invaded white’s top left area in game 2, Baek saw his chance and started an attack that would decide the game. Baek won the second game to equal the score at 1-1.


From this point on, there was no stopping Baek. Returning refreshed from a rest day, Baek won game 3 on May 15.

Dang Yifei (4 dan, left) and Baek Hongseok review the third game.

The game on May 16 was Dang’s last chance to stay in the title match. However, he lost by half a point against Baek’s thick play.

Congratulations to Baek Hongseok on his first major international win and Dang Yifei on his impressive performance in reaching the finals.

A bittersweet victory

Baek, who’s 25, has to complete his military service in Korea now, so we might not see his face again for a couple of years. We will surely see more of 17 year old Dang Yifei, who’s only just getting started, in the near future.

More photos from the 4th BC Card Cup

Baek Hongseok.

Dang Yifei.

A commemorative Go board signed by the players. Dang Yifei's signature is on the left and Baek Hongseok's is on the right.

About the BC Card Cup

The BC Card Cup is an international Go tournament sponsored by BC Card, Korea’s largest credit card company. The inaugural tournament was held in 2009.

The format is a single knockout of 64 players: 3 from Korea, 2 from China, 2 from Japan, 1 from Taiwan, 2 wild cards (chosen by the Korean Baduk Association) and 54 players who qualify through the preliminary rounds.

Game records

Baek Hongseok vs Dang Yifei – Game 1


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Dang Yifei vs Baek Hongseok – Game 2


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Baek Hongseok vs Dang Yifei – Game 3


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Dang Yifei vs Baek Hongseok – Game 4


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. ah, i’m a little bit sad

    • It is sad for Dang and Chinese Weiqi fans. The poor thing seemed to be holding back tears after he lost the third game and I don’t blame him.

      As they say though, there can only be one. This was perhaps Baek’s last chance to shine, so I’m happy for him that he won. Dang will hopefully have many more chances like this in the future.

  2. Byung Soo Lee says:

    Dang Yifei was strong (sharp!!!) but a little too inexperienced and folded in the later stages of the games. Baek took advantage of this quite well.

    I imagine that Dang will be back on this stage soon. Apparently, he is not as well-regarded in China as Mi Yuting or Fan Tingyu, but perhaps he will win a world title before they do. The experience he had in this tournament will help a lot.

    As for Baek, it was sad to hear in the post-game interview that he has to join the army next year. He said that he was treating this year as his “last” because of that. He obviously knows that he won’t be the same player after military service.

    • I agree, Dang Yifei seems as strong as any of them in the middle game. He’s still so young though and this experience will help him get stronger at a mental (rather than technical) level.

      Any Go player would know what it feels like to lose a game that you fight so hard for. In a five game match, being able to control your emotions right until the end of the game can make all the difference.

      Even though he lost, he’ll be stronger now. Let’s see what he does next :).

      P.S. About your other comment on the military service exemption (, Younggil said that originally in the 90’s the Ing Cup, Fujitsu Cup and Tongyang Securities Cup were the three international titles that a player could win to get exemption. Of those three, only the Ing Cup remains and none of the new international tournaments were added to the list. But that doesn’t really matter now because Baduk was recategorized as a sport (rather than an art) for some reason and only the Olympics and Asian Games count for sports.

      It’s a sad situation, but I suppose that’s one of the costs of having to maintain a military in South Korea. It must affect people in all sorts of occupations, but probably professional Go players feel it even more than a lot of others.

  3. I stayed up again to watch the game, 12:30 a.m. to 4:30; so exciting! I can’t count very well, so I didn’t understand why they rearranged the board at the end. I mean, pros counting like that? But then I saw on that it was a half point game. Thank you, gogameguru and Baduk TV!

    • Usually pros count anyway as a formality and, I suppose, to make sure. It doesn’t mean they don’t know who won already.

      Did you know we setup on demand replays for Baduk TV precisely so people wouldn’t have to stay up all night watching? You can get some free sample videos here:

      …and browse the current library here:

      I know it’s not the same as watching it live, but it still captures the excitement and teaches you a lot at the same time.

  4. balakirev says:

    I don’t know why, since I’m not related to Dang in any way, but I just felt so bitter as if someone punched me in my stomach when I saw that Dang lost…. but 0.5 points.

    That must’ve been painful.

    • David Ormerod says:

      Yeah. I guess we all get emotionally invested in the games when we choose someone to follow. It does make things more exciting though :). If his recent games are any indication, Dang will be back soon.

  5. aboutthegame says:

    very nice games 🙂 thank you all for sharing this stuff with us!
    I have a question. Would be nice if I got an answer. So, how about w move50. If that move is placed at Q14 (and not at P14 like in the game).
    What would you like about that? Black can´t cut white but is that move too slow? 🙂

    • David Ormerod says:

      I’m guessing you mean game 4?

      I thought about that too. If black already had a stone at Q17, then white Q14 would definitely be the shape move. In this case it’s a bit different though.

      White wants to use his thick position on the left side to attack. So I think white was more interested in getting a move in at Q9, because it also acts as a ladder breaker later on (when white plays H3 and G2).

      If white had played P14 at Q14, I doubt black would’ve responded at Q17, because it doesn’t leave anything to look forward to. Black probably would’ve played R9 instead and that simplifies things for black by creating a territory game. I don’t think white would like that prospect.

      Younggil’s going to comment game 4, so he might also have something to say about this too.

  6. Byung Soo Lee says:

    I read some interesting stuff about Dang Yifei on Tygem, but I don’t know if any of it is actually true. However, it might be worth investigating if you know enough Chinese to crawl the Chinese web.

    What was written:
    1) Dang ran away from home once.
    2) He also quit go a for a bit (for as long as 2 years?–It wasn’t clear).
    3) His father nearly brought down the Chinese Tygem servers by logging on using Dang’s ID and giving out T-money (fake Tygem currency used for betting on games) during the title matches.

    He might have quite an interesting life story. The fact that he was flying under the radar makes a lot of sense if it is true that he spent some time away from go. Will there be any occasion for the your crack team to investigate this?

    • balakirev says:

      if you have links, i can attempt to read it.

      • Byung Soo Lee says:

        Unfortunately, I don’t have any links. I read this on the Korean Tygem web site and it wasn’t very detailed. I was wondering if there was more detailed (and perhaps more accurate) information available on a Chinese web site, but I can’t read (or type) Chinese. 🙁

    • That’s quite interesting, Byung Soo. We’ll have a dig around to see what else there is on Dang – he sounds like quite a character.

      Here’s what we know about him so far (I was going to write more about this if Dang won). Dang was addicted to Gomoku (five in a row) as a child and would play for up to 5 hours at a time on his computer. His parents decided Go might be more challenging for Dang and sent him off to learn Go. For some reason, Dang went through more Go teachers than the Von Trapp children did with governesses. Among his list of teachers are Ma Xiaochun and Nie Weiping.

      • balakirev says:

        Oh really! I was addicted to gomoku during highschool ;D where did you get the info about gomoku?

        • Leonid Entin says:

          You can see the trace of this addiction in his game. )) In Game 1 White built a nice keima grid at e10 g11 j12 l13 f13 h14. In gomoku such grid is very effective for defense but I’ve never seen it to such extent in Go before.