Go Commentary: Chen Yaoye vs Lee Sedol – 9th Chunlan Cup Final

This is the last game from the final of the 9th Chunlan Cup, played between Lee Sedol 9p and Chen Yaoye 9p.

Chen won the first game of the final, but Lee made it tie with game two, and this was the deciding game.


Chen Yaoye 9 dan (left) and Lee Sedol 9 dan review game 3 of the 9th Chunlan Cup final.

Lee Sedol

Lee Sedol was ranked #1 in Korea (at the time), and he’s already won 13 international titles in his career to date.

However, lately he’s been in a slump, and his winning percentage has dropped to just 50% this year. Many of his fans worry that his games aren’t as powerful or spectacular as they used to be.

Chen Yaoye

On the other hand, Chen Yaoye is ranked #2 in China. This is Chen’s fourth attempt at an international final, and he seems to be in a good shape these days.

He defeated Lee smoothly in the first game, and was winning the second game as well, until the end of middle game. Unfortunately, he made an simple mistake and his big group died.

Many Go fans expected that Chen would suffer from a psychological shock after that game, and that Lee would have the advantage in this final game. That’s because Go is a mental game, and it can sometimes be hard to concentrate on the game after the trauma of a bad loss.

Lee and Chen had played five games together before this final, and their head to head record stood at 4-1 in Lee’s favor.

Let’s see the final game from the 9th Chunlan Cup.

Commented game record

Chen Yaoye vs Lee Sedol


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. awesome review as usual, sir Younggil! thanks!

  2. Nice comment

  3. Mario Aguero says:

    Nice game! and even more enjoyable with such magnificent comments!! Thanks!

  4. I don’t understand move 52 – could someone elaborate?

    • Younggil An says:

      If white ataris at H2, you’ll see a variation about that. White can save one more liberty with the move 52.

  5. Thank-you for the nice commentary Mr. Younggil

  6. move 52 was to avoid snapback

    • Anonymous says:

      What do you mean by snapback, could you pls write out the sequence?

      • Younggil An says:

        Actually, white didn’t worry about the snapback, but less liberty. You can see the variation for white 52 at H2.

        • Andrew Simons says:

          It’s funny that just today I played a rengo game at the EGC with Kim Seungjun 9p and Diana Koszegi 1p and lost a semeai by 1 liberty because I missed the connection like move 52 here to save a liberty.

  7. Thanks
    Have a good day^^

  8. great review! thanks!

  9. What a fantastic game, totally uncomprehensible to me when I replayed it the first time. Thank you very much for your enlightening comments, now I understand that I will never totally understand it. Lee and Chen were at their peak, I guess, with Chen being the better one right now.

    Kind regards,

  10. Juan Burgos says:

    Thank you for those wonderful comments.

    I couldn’t understand what happens if white plays 125 in N8? Isn’t there a ko?

    • Younggil An says:

      You’re right, it’s a ko. However, black has a ko threat at J7, but white doesn’t have any. That’s why white didn’t play at N8. You can see that white didn’t make it ko in the game even if white could do that.