Go Commentary: Choi Cheolhan vs Lee Sedol – 17th Samsung Cup

This is the second game of the semifinal match between Lee Sedol 9p and Choi Cheolhan 9p at the 17th Samsung Cup.

Lee Sedol (9 dan, left) and Choi Cheolhan (9 dan) review their game at the 17th Samsung Cup.

The semifinals of the Samsung Cup are played as a best of three match.

A crucial game

Lee Sedol won the first game, so if he wins this one he’ll proceed to the final.

At the time when this game was played, Lee Sedol was ranked #2 in Korea (behind Park Junghwan) and Choi Cheolhan was ranked #3.

In the quarter finals, Lee beat Chen Yaoye and Choi beat Fan Tingyu.

Lee and Choi’s head to head record

Lee and Choi have played 42 games together so far, and their head to head record stands at 25-17 in Lee’s favor.

Commented game record

Choi Cheolhan 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. Thank you. Recently lee sedol seems to be invincible 🙂

  2. emeraldemon says:

    Thanks for posting this, a very entertaining game! I always look forward to these commentaries.

  3. Dear Mr Younggil,

    I really do thank you for this review. I mentionned this game earlier as i felt astonished by the Black 65 D13 tsuke. I am very grateful you took some of your time to comment this game.
    After the failure, and even if i am more inclined to appreciate Lee Sedol style, i was amazed about the dedication and the willpower of Choi Cheolhan. Even if it might seem desperate, i appreciated the fighting spirit and the “never surrender” game he played after such backfire…

    Again, all my gratefulness about this comment. And many thanks to anyone (^^) that has suggested you this game to comment.

  4. This is a really a great game again, by Lee Sedol, and Choi Cheolhan too. All those swaps, and interesting ko fights, mind boggling. Thank you for your comments, and the proposed choices.

    Kind regards,

  5. Thanks Mr Younggil! I had learnt a lot from your comments! Could it be said that Lee Sedol has not an agressive style?

  6. These commented games always make my day, thanks so much for the effort! 🙂

  7. Thanks for those commented games! I really appreciate them, they contain a lot of useful knowledge for amateur players, keep going!

    I have also 2 comments concerning this game:
    1) Is move 10 some kind of probing move before deciding how to play in upper-left corner? If so, how would white play if black pincered the kakari?
    2) Is the order of moves 28/30/32 important for white? Couldn’t Lee Sedol play P8 ommiting H16?

    • An Younggil 8p says:

      Thanks for your concern.
      1) It depends on what kind of pincer. If black pincers shortly, white would still answer at 12 and come into the corner. If the pincer is further, white would consider of double approach.
      2) Lee could do that, but he might have wanted to make it sure. White doesn’t need to omit 28.

  8. great comments

  9. Thanks!!!