Go Commentary: Kim Jiseok vs Gu Li – 3rd BC Card Cup

Gu Li (9 dan - left) and Kim Jiseok (7 dan) review the game

This was one of the most exciting and complicated games so far in the 3rd BC Card Cup. The game was played between Kim Jiseok 7p of Korea and Gu Li 9p of China. After winning this match, Gu Li is the last player from China in the semi finals. The other three players are from Korea. Both players are well known as infighters, and it shows in this game. Gu Li’s career so far is far better than Kim Jiseok’s, but Kim is far younger and is a rising star in Korea. Enjoy the game!

Commented game record

Kim Jiseok vs Gu Li – 3rd BC Card Cup


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


What do you think?

What did you think of this game? Who are you following in this year’s BC Card Cup?

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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. Exciting game, no doub, but i expected many more of the commenter, and 8p, come on! Why so perplex? Why could you give us so many hints about Rui´s and park´s final (9p both of them)? I know these two male master are like semi gods, but i also think an 8p (like Kim, by the way… or not?) could very well show us, simple mortals, a little bit of that divinity, and not simply “O!, wow! and so forth…

    • Ramez, that is Younggil’s way of being modest. Did you look at the variations? When the numbers appear on the Go board you can click on them to look at the alternative moves he gives. If there’s a specific move or position you wanted to know more about, why not ask a question here?

      • Glad to meet you, Jing. Of course I know what numbers means, but I compare the Younggil´s job about Rui´s and Park´s final and it´s extrange to me the fewest hints in regard to the male grand master game we are talking about. First I replayed the female one and because of Younggil´s illustrative and varied comments I was very expecting about the male one, but… Then is it easiest to understand semi goddesses than semi gods?

    • Anonymous says:

      And to answer your question, it is definitely easier for Younggil to understand this game than female’s game especially because these pros are in the top 20 or 30 while park and Rui are probable not even top 100 in the world. Not for long though!

  2. Yes, I agree that An Younggil’s frequent stumped and vague comments aren’t helpful for anyone. If the game is so confusing for him, then he should choose a game where he can make useful comments, otherwise it’s not a good use of time for anyone.

  3. VincentV says:

    You have to remember that this game is on a very high level. Being able to follow a high-ranking Pro’s thoughts is remarkable. And so is is Younggils review.

    Also a game-analysis or review isn’t really supposed to serve you all answers on a silver plate. It’s just as important to analyse the game yourself. See if you can get a grasp on why certain shapes, moves and sequences are played, but also understand why others are inferior. With that in mind I think Younggils review is just fine.

  4. scwizard says:

    Younggil did a good job, its just that Gu Li and Kim Jiseok’s levels are extraordinary. We’re very lucky to have english commentary provided for free by a strong professional, but you have to realize that he is human (unlike Gu Li :P) so there are limits.

    And I disagree most with those saying that he should only review easier games. If people only reviewed games that they could understand, games like this would never get reviewed. So while Younggil doesn’t fully understand this game, he’s extremely well qualified to review it.

  5. The important thing to realise is that reviewing a game isn’t so much a question of the strength of the players as it is function of the game itself. This particular game is one of the most complex I’ve ever seen and for Younggil to give more precise comments at a level of accuracy he is comfortable with would take a very significant investment of time and effort on his part. I’d never expect him to do that for free to be honest.

    Also, look at it this way. This is a game where both top level players had 4h each to think about the game and read things (that includes their opponent’s time, during which they also read). This means it’s unreasonable to expect sensible comments without spending at least that much time on the game, certainly more. But that’s not the end of it! When Gu Li plays a move, it doesn’t have to be correct. When you explain his move, or why another one is a better option, even an option at all, you MUST be justified.

    Those who aren’t satisfied with this review should keep that in mind and look at the game in question. Being 8p or even being Lee Sedol doesn’t mean you can gloss over this game and wing a few sequences as comments, it means that given a significant number of hours, you can confidently say your comments are exact and true, but you still might have missed something a colleague might see.

    • Actually, just an afterthought. I looked at the review again and honestly, Younggil gives way more comments than I can handle without a headache trying to make sense of them myself. I have no complaints with how much content is there, including some precise moves.

  6. Zhou Ruiyang (ranked #1 in China currently) also gave live comments on a Chinese site at that day. I watched it, his variation diagrams were always different from the game, and he said “this game makes my head swim”. An Younggil is honest.

    This game can be classified as famous game in recent years, it has many ingenious moves.

  7. 고맙습니다, 안 선생님!

  8. This is a great fighting game, to be compared to the game between Gu Li and Iyama Yuuta: that game too left me wondering what was going on. Coming back to this Kim Jiseok versus Gu Li game: has either of the players commented on the game? The game being difficult to understand even by other professionals makes it very special to me, a secret only to be unveiled by a few: great!

    Kind regards,

  9. aboutthegame says:

    Why does white play Q19, is that so big (less than 20 points)? how about just jumping to r13?

    • An Younggil 8p says:

      Q19 is far bigger than it looks. If B takes W’s three stones, B’d become safe and strong. So Q19 is the biggest move on the board. 🙂

  10. Michael Brown says:

    After looking at this game, I started crying….because it’s so beautiful.

  11. Flagellator1974 says:

    “Oh, this ko hasn’t finished yet. I almost forgot about it. It’s really hard to follow this game, but it might still interest you.”

    Mr Younggil’s commentary are so full of life and nice!! I’m a fan of it all.

    • Younggil An says:

      Haha, thanks for your kind note.
      I feel this commentary was a bit funny when I look it back again. 🙂

  12. Hi mr younggil , what a game !!!!!
    These days i’m studying Gu li and lee sedol and this game is very high level. Even if the commentaries are not perfect i always like it and specially because i can get something like a new jugseok or even an idea like the jump white 14 . Thank you Mr younggil 🙂

    • Younggil An says:

      Thanks for your cheerful comment, and I’m glad to hear that you learned a lot from this game.

      Their moves in this game were so wonderful and sophisticated. 🙂

  13. cuongtran says:

    4 ko game between Lee Sedol and Gu Li is very complicated too