Go Commentary: An Jungki vs Chen Yaoye – 20th LG Cup

This game is from the round of 32 of the 20th LG Cup.

The game was played between An Jungki 5d amateur and Chen Yaoye 9p on June 8, 2015, in Kangwon, Korea.

An Jungki 5 dan amateur (left) and Chen Yaoye 9 dan at the 20th LG Cup.

An Jungki 5 dan amateur (left) and Chen Yaoye 9 dan at the 20th LG Cup.

Chen Yaoye

Chen Yaoye is currently ranked #6 in China.

He’s held the Tianyuan title for seven years in a row now. He defeated Mi Yiting 9p in April 2015, and it was his most recent defense of the title.

Chen won the 9th Chunlan Cup in 2013 defeating Lee Sedol 9p, but he hasn’t won any other international titles since then. However, he’s still regarded as one of the best players in the world.

Chen Yaoye 9 dan with his children fans at the reception party.

Chen Yaoye 9 dan with his children fans at the 20th LG Cup.

Chen has generally performed well in the LG Cup. He reached the final of the 10th LG Cup in 2006 and it was his first international title match.

Even though he lost to Gu Li 9p, it wasn’t bad for a 16 year old boy.

In 2013, Chen was in the semifinals of the 18th LG Cup, but he was defeated by Zhou Ruiyang 9p.

He went to semifinals of the 10th Chunlan Cup, but he lost to Zhou Ruiyang again. In the 3rd place playoff, he defeated Kim Jiseok 9p and took the 3rd place on June 1, 2015.

An Jungki

An Jungki was born in 1997, and he’s yeongusaeng (Korean insei) at the moment.

He’s ranked #6 in the yeongusaeng, but he had a chance to participate the preliminaries of this LG Cup, because a few amateur players are invited to participate.

An Jungki 5 dan amateur at the reception party of 20th LG Cup.

An Jungki 5 dan amateur at the reception party of 20th LG Cup.

He defeated Zhu Yuanhao 4p (ranked #39 in China), Liao Yuanhe 2p, An Joyoung 9p in the preliminaries.

In the final of the preliminaries, he faced Kim Seungjae 6p, who is ranked #10 in Korea, and An defeated Kim to progress to the main tournament.

He was the first amateur player who survived the preliminaries in the history of the LG Cup, so it was already quite amazing.

In an interview, after An won the final of the preliminaries, he said that he hoped to play against Chen Yaoye in the main tournament.

That’s because he likes Chen’s style of play and his special sense of haengma, even though An likes fighting.

Anyway, let’s have a look at the game.

Commented game record

An Jungki vs Chen Yaoye


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


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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. badgoblin says:

    It is amazing that top amateur insei in Korea are competitive with top rated pros. Something seems wrong with the promotion system when a top amateur can defeat top 10 professionals.

    • Younggil An says:

      Yes, I thought so.

      Many Korean Go fans insist that Korean Baduk Association must let him to become a pro immediately, since he already defeated top level pros.

      I agree that, because that’s even quite hard for normal pros to proceed on the main tournament of an international tournament.

  2. What an amazing performance from An. I felt a very strong sense of security and calm in his moves, it looks like he manages to give life to his stones so easily.

    If he’s this strong at such a young age I can’t wait to see how he’ll be a few years down the line. Let’s hope he keeps this up.

    • Younggil An says:

      Yes, right. The problem is that if he has to stay in yeongusaeng for a while, that would stop him to improve and develop his potential.

      That’s why becoming a pro in one’s early age is important, and he will have more chances to train and compete with stronger players.

  3. An’s level in this game is way above amateur 5 dan – at least compared to a western grading system – and I should know! 🙂 It is one thing catching out a pro in a game with one or two unexpected moves, but An’s level in this game seemed consistently high.

    Realistically, how does 5 dan amateur normally in Korea compare to 5dan in Europes or the U.S.? Is it just stronger or is An’s grading well behind the curve?

  4. yes, I fully agree with Hippo, that’s not amateur 5 dan level. To be honest, no amateur 5 dan would have a real chance against a professional 9 dan at least not on even terms that is without any handicap. Nevertheless he played very well!

    • Younggil An says:

      You’re right. As sevenoaks already mentioned, he’s far above 5 dan level. However, we can’t call him a 6 dan or 7 dan in Korea because he hasn’t won any amateur tournament. To tell the truth, he hasn’t got any chances to win, because he’s not allowed to participate as a yeongusaeng (Korean insei).

      He’s already quite high level pro, so we can’t compare with Western 5 dan or normal Korean 5 dan.

  5. stephen says:

    Hi Younggil:

    thanks for your comments.

    can you tell when the next month’s go tourament in Sydney will be on ?


  6. So Hikaru no Go is real!

  7. Move 10: I wonder why you wrote that splitting at 8 is necessary now since then white doesn’t answer for black R12 and R8.

    BTW. I try to understand opening theory deeper but sometimes I think that some opening moves are mainly a question of fashion that is still changing. This year some move may be ,,the best one” but just year later becomes ”bad” and unfashionable, because some famous player began to play differently.