Go Commentary: Choi Cheolhan vs Park Junghwan – 13th Maxim Cup

This is the second game of the 13th Maxim Cup final. It’s between Choi Cheolhan 9p and Park Junghwan 9p.

Park Junghwan (9 dan, left) and Choi Cheolhan (9 dan) review the game.

Park Junghwan won the first game and only had to win this game to win the title.

For Choi Cheolhan, he still has to win two games in a row to win at this point.

Maxim Cup

The Maxim Cup is a 9 dan only invitational tournament in Korea. Choi won the Maxim Cup twice, in 2009 and 2010.

This is the first time Park has participated in the Maxim Cup, as he only became 9p at the end of 2010.

Let’s have a look at the game…

Commented game record

Choi Cheolhan vs Park Junghwan


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. Flandre says:

    Oh, a game of my favourite player, nice. It’s regrettable that Choi lost because of just one mistake. Well, things happen in fast games…
    Thanks for your commentary, it helped a lot to understand how all this fighting went throughout the game.

  2. DanielTom says:

    Thanks for this great commentary.
    I agree with Flandre, Choi played such a powerful game… It’s painful to lose in just 1 move.
    I have a question about the new move (R16). In the variation you showed (S16 instead of P15), would it give White more points if he defended at T15 (instead of S18) after Black P15?
    Thank you again!

    • An Younggil 8p says:

      Good question.
      Yes, you’re right. W S18 is also possible, then B’d have two good options. One is making the corner seki with B T17, W S17, T18, Q19, S19, S18 later, or just blocking at T14.

  3. Interesting game indeed, with the commentary and the choice options now and then it is instructive too: thank you very much!

    If you are behind you have to play aggressively: you stated it again here, and it is some common knowledge, common sense. Is this because it is better, or “only” because then you put pressure on your opponent, hoping to induce mistakes, like in this game? If the former, then aggressive play would also be better when you are ahead: or is it “just” unnecessary risky, in that it may be yourself who makes the mistake? I always hope that the right answer is that the more aggressive, the more pressure, the better, also objectively, despite the risk of own mistakes. That would make the games of my favourite player Lee Sedol about the best games, along them being very entertaining.

    Kind regards,

    • An Younggil 8p says:

      Hmm, it’s not easy to explain.
      If you’re winning a game, you don’t need to play aggressively because you’re winning anyway. However, if you’re losing, you have to change the mood or the situation to win. You may induce your opponents’ mistakes even if some wouldn’t like this idea. 🙂
      The point is this. It’s risky to play aggressively, but when you’re losing, it’s better than losing games safely. 😀

  4. jangalf says:

    thanks Mr younggil, very intresting game. Park is one of my favorites.

  5. Uberdude says:

    I could tell Choi lost before scrolling down to the game just from his slumped posture, face-on-hand, in the picture!

  6. Very enjoyable review. Poor Choi, he must feel terrible after a game like this. On the one hand, I can understand that fast games are very enjoyable for fans to watch on TV because there is little waiting time between the moves. On the other, I feel like the game records that are left behind suffer in quality. I wish there would be some additional slower games in Korea like in the old days.

    In China, the Chinese League games give ample thinking time for the players and they can feel free to think deeply and meditate on their moves. The Korean league is basically a fast game with 10 min 30 sec/5 byo. How can the players give 100% during this very limited thinking time? I have a lot of sympathy for Korean players in this regard.

    • An Younggil 8p says:

      You’re right. Many Korean go fans point that out. I agree to your opinion, but I don’t know how to solve this problem.
      It’s hard to go back to the long games period since the Baduk TV has launched.

      • Byung Soo Lee says:

        Thank you for the helpful review!

        By the way, I enjoy watching the slow games more because as an amateur, even a slow game is hard to keep up with… However, based on what you are saying, it must be that I am in the minority and most people prefer watching fast games.

  7. Moonscar says:

    Hi all.
    This is a spectacular commented game.
    The mistake really killed it at the end, like others said.
    Choi is an interesting player.
    I’ve never managed to fully grasp some of the concepts that go’s into choi’s games… it’s like art.

  8. Wimblegon says:

    Thank you very much Mr. Younggil, with commentaries like these you’re surely making the learning process of go much easier and enjoyable. It is a pity that Choi lost, I really like his offensive playstyle.