Go Commentary: Gu Li vs Lee Sedol – Jubango – Game 6

This is game 6 of the MLily Gu vs Lee Jubango.

Lee Sedol won first two games, but Gu Li won the next two, to tie the series at 2-2. Then Lee won game 5, taking a 3-2 lead.


Lee Sedol 9 dan (left) and Gu Li 9 dan at game 6 of the MLily Gu vs Lee Jubango.

There was a two month break between games 5 and 6, because of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Chinese people like football as much as Go, so the sponsor decided not to schedule a game in June.

Because Gu lost a ‘won’ game in game 5, he must have been under great pressure from the Chinese media and fans.

We saw earlier that Lee didn’t play very well in game 4, which was played in Lee’s home town in Korea.

The weight of expectations from the Korean media and fans put Lee under significant pressure, because they all expected Lee to win the game for sure.

Game 4 wasn’t typical of Lee’s style and he lost the game relatively easily.

This game was more important for Gu, because winning it would tie the series at 3-3. However, it would have been hard for Gu to focus only on the game because of the external pressure. I think that could have made him nervous and distracted.

Anyway, let’s have a look at game 6 of the MLily Gu vs Lee Jubango.

We’re writing a book about this match

This commentary, and others, will form the basis for our Go book about Lee Sedol and Gu Li’s jubango. The actual book will contain a more extensive commentary of this game, but you can regard what you see below as a draft (learn more). Please help us to make our first Go book as good as possible. There are several ways you can help us to improve the commentary below:

  1. Ask questions about the game – if anything is unclear, please let us know so we can explain it better!
  2. Point out any mistakes, even minor typos – our first draft is below. Because this is going to be a book, even small mistakes need to be fixed.
  3. Tell your friends and ask them to help too.

The rules of the game

The time limit for these games is 3 hours and 55 minutes, with 1 minute x 5 times byo-yomi. It’s traditional to subtract 5 minutes from the 4 hour total, because of the 5 x 1 minute periods. There’s no lunch break scheduled for these games, but food is provided and the players are free to get up and eat whenever they want, throughout the game. Let’s have a look at the game 5 of the 10 game match between Lee Sedol 9p and Gu Li 9p.

Commented game record

Gu Li vs Lee Sedol – Game 6


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. Wonderful commentary – really looking forward to the book! I especially like the mentions of things beyond just the game, like how you describe Sedol’s endgame style compared with Lee Changho’s.

    A few typos:

    – There’s a typo in the variation of W34 at ‘2’
    – W62 it says “with at”
    – In the variation of B65 at ‘4’, it says “cuttin”
    – In the final comments on the last move of the game, 2nd-to-last paragraph it says “which we haven’t in discussed.”

    In general, there are times where you write something like “Black’s hane at Black 45”, where I would recommend losing the redundancy and writing either “the hane at Black 45” or “Black’s hane at 45”.

    Good luck with the book!


    • Younggil An says:

      Thanks Will for your correction and the suggestion.

      We’ll correct the typo and think about the writing style. 🙂

  2. Hi thanks for the review.
    I wanted to know which is the program that you uses for uploading the match it looks really great.


    • Josh Hoak says:

      Thanks! The Go-Viewer is called Glift. What you see here is a simple wordpress-plugin wrapper around the JavaScript library. It looks like Club Tengen (http://clubtengen.cl/) is running heroku+rails, so the raw JavaScript would be more applicable. Check out http://www.gliftgo.com if you want to see a bunch of code samples.

  3. With the mistakes in the complicated fighting, this game was especially hard to comment. But it’s a great job again.
    Did the players have trouble because of the thin air?
    Tommorow will be even worse in that respect, maybe the y should use oxygen masks.

    • Younggil An says:

      Thanks for your kind comment Stefan.

      The trouble of the thin air was happened in game 5, but not this game.

      It looks as if they didn’t use any oxygen masks in the game 7, which was played today.

  4. Glift looks really nice. Just read the commentary on my iPad without any glitches or problems.

  5. Xavier Combelle says:

    Fantastic comment and game

    The thing I specially like in comment it’s to know who is ahead in different variation because as I’m just a 2 kyu it’s often very hard to know that by myself

    • Younggil An says:

      Thanks for you comment.

      Yes, it can be pretty hard to know who’s better in different variations by yourself. I’d be happy if you learned something new about positional judgement and counting from this commentary. 🙂

  6. Hi.

    In your comment you suggested 157 at C14. If C19 and A17 in response, you give a sequence ending in black living at C13, saying the game would be reversed. But I have tried the yose, and I am not sure why.

    White, I assume, continues with F16 E16; G17 J18; then R2 etc in sente and white can still link at B6 and cut at J12: is black really ahead after komi? I am missing something probably… but I cannot see what 🙂

    • Younggil An says:

      That’s a good question Hippo.

      Yes, you’re right that the game is still very close. White F 16 is a good move, and the game is very close in deed. Black can play at E1 in sente, and he can also expect some extra points in the lower center area, but he should still try harder.

      I’m not sure if Black is really winning afterwards, but it’s close enough.

  7. “Attaching to weak stones, like White did with White 62…”
    It’s much better to write:
    “Attaching to weak stones, as White did with White 62 …”

  8. Hi Younggil and All at GoGameGuru,

    Thank you for your coverage of this series. I am learning so much and am grateful for the opportunity to do so. I found this one especially clear and helpful for following the progress of the game. Really great commentary!

    Since you asked for fussy corrections I have three.

    Move 5: ” This opening is still very popular these days.” This contains a redundancy – Still very popular/these days. Finding the best way to allude to the myriad changes in the opening theory over time is not so easy. I believe you meant something like such a basic formation has withstood the test of time.

    Move 8: For my taste you are overusing the word popular, especially since these are such great players. Again, it is difficult to find the right way to express how patterns and moves come in and out of fashion.

    Move 124: “Actually, endgame is also one of the strongest aspects of Lee Sedol’s game, but his endgame style is completely different to (from) Lee Changho’s.” I believe the proper preposition here is from.

    Thank you again for your efforts. I depend on them as part of my learning.

    David Holland

    • Younggil An says:

      Thanks David so much for your detailed explanation.

      I’m happy to hear that you learned a lot from those games and I appreciate your time and effort too. 🙂

  9. Queries (for the book at least):
    1) you say move 20 was questionable but what is the alternative and reasoning?
    2) move 24 same comment
    3) The analysis of move 35-39 is excellent. Likewise 62, 65 etc. – moves like 65 are normally a total mystery to us amateurs! 🙂 I could go on… just keep it up! 🙂

    I can find no real problems with the use of English, but I haven’t scanned the entire text. Very good and readable in my opinion, and I actually taught English for a short while… anyway the important thing is the Go/Baduk, which is great. Useful knowledge on fuseki and post joseki follow-ups (oh yes, hyphenate that!), and great explanation of some of those arcane pro moves. As always your attention to detail is unequalled.

    • Younggil An says:

      Thanks Hippo again for your questions and the kind words.

      Here’re my answers to your questions.
      1) White could develop the top area as you can see in the variation for White 20.
      2) White could play at L15 instead of White 24.

      I hope you enjoy the game more with the commentary and thanks for your help and support.

  10. Flagellator1974 says:

    “The game became slightly better for White at this point, because of Black’s overplays at Black C and Black D.”

    Is this so right? “Overplays” and not “overplay”? Good to know because my english is not that good.

  11. Flagellator1974 says:

    W62 was the move, sorry.

  12. Flagellator1974 says:

    W102: Head butting at White 102 was the proper move. If Black continues with A, White can block at B and Black’s lower left group with (??) be trapped.

    • Younggil An says:

      Thanks Flagellator for your pointing out the typo.

      I’ll check if ‘Overplays’ is also alright. I’ll change the ‘with’ to ‘will’. Thanks! 🙂

  13. Flagellator1974 says:

    You did your best with this commentary. Congratulations!

  14. Flagellator1974 says:

    Move 173: “a” 😉

  15. In the comment on variation 2.1 from move 28 “Extending at White 1 is also possible. Black might try to a group on the left side up to Black 8, and it’s another game.” there’s a word missing – “Black might try to build a group on the left side” maybe?

    I like the Glift viewer (mostly because it’s bigger – my eyes are not so good these days).

    • Comment on variation 2 at move 45 “Black had another chance to simply the game by connecting at Black 1.” simply should be simplify?

    • Younggil An says:

      Thanks Andy for your correction.

      Yes, they all need to be corrected. Thanks a lot for your help. 🙂

  16. I’m a native English speaker, and as I really do appreciate gogameguru I’m happy to join in and help proofreading.
    I very much agree with Will Lockhart’s comment about writing “the hane at Black 45” or “Black’s hane at 45” instead of “Black’s hane at Black 45”. However I think that if you use the former construction then it should be a lower-case “b” because in this case “black” is an adjective. So it would be: “the hane at black 45”.
    I disagree with all three of David Holland’s comments. I think the sentences he criticizes are fine in the current version.
    Here are a few more things I noticed. I’ve tried not to mention typos that have already been reported.
    Variation, move 67: “Knight’s move is normally a nice style of attacking, but not in this game.” => “A knight’s move is normally a nice way of attacking, but not in this position.” Also, you could have “an effective” instead of “a nice”.
    Variation, move 69: “Black’s two stones in the lower right corner are still fine, because A and B are miai for him next.” => Either:
    “Black’s two stones in the lower right corner are still fine, because he has A and B as miai to help them.”
    , or:
    “Black’s two stones in the lower right corner are still fine, because A and B are miai.”
    Variation, move 89: “Black can still cut white’s marked stones” => “Black can still cut White’s marked stones” (uppercase W).
    Move 98: “By the way, jumping to White 98 was a very nice haengma and the game was better for White now.”: You can get rid of “By the way, ”, so it would be “White 98 was a…”. An alternative is to write in the present tense; I prefer putting it like this: “White 98 is a very nice haengma and the game is better for White now.”. You can leave the next sentence as is, in the past tense.
    I haven’t gone through the entire commentary yet, so I may send more things at some point.

    • Younggil An says:

      Thanks Malcolm so much for your really long and details correction. It was the most detailed correction ever. 🙂

      I’ll correct them all for the books for sure, and I really appreciate your concerns and kindness.

  17. Flagellator1974 says:
  18. Flagellator1974 says:

    Thank you for your help, good luck with Glift!

  19. Anonymous says:

    How do I look at different variations?

    • Younggil An says:

      What do you mean? You can simply click number 2 or 3, and you’ll see the following variations.