Go Commentary: Kim Jiseok vs Tang Weixing – 2014 Samsung Cup

This is game 2 from the 2014 Samsung Cup final.

The game was played between Kim Jiseok 9p and Tang Weixing 9p, on December 10, 2014, in Xian, China.

Tang Weixing 9 dan (left) and Kim Jiseok 9 dan at the 2014 Samsung Cup final

Tang Weixing 9 dan (left) and Kim Jiseok 9 dan at the 2014 Samsung Cup final

Kim takes an early lead

Kim Jiseok 9p won game 1 of the final. Tang was ahead at the beginning of the endgame, but he made a couple of mistakes and lost the game.

It was very unusual to see the endgame mistakes from Tang, because he’s generally good at endgame. Anyway, it was unfortunate for Tang, and Kim had a nice start in this final.

Head to head record

The head to head record before this final was 3-1 for Kim’s favor.

However, Kim’s losing game was in the quarter final of the 2013 Samsung Cup, and eventually Tang won his first international title with defeating Lee Sedol by 2-0 in the final.

In the group stage of round of 32, Kim and Tang already played each other, and Kim won that game. Tang had to play one more game, and he defeated Choi Cheolhan 9p to proceed to the round of 16.

Earlier in the Samsung Cup

Tang defeated Murakawa Daisuke 8p and Kang Dongyun 9p in the round of 16 and quarter finals respectively, and he defeated Park Junghwan 9p in the semifinals by 2-1.

On the other hand, Kim defeated Rui Naiwei 9p and Rong Yi 4p in the round of 16 and quarter finals respectively, and he defeated Shi Yue 9p in the semifinals by 2-0.

Both Kim and Tang defeated the #1 players from China and Korea in the semifinals, and this final was expected as a very interesting match.

Tang was aiming to win the Samsung Cup again as the defending champion. Meanwhile, it was the first time for Kim to be in the final of an international tournament.

Let’s have a look at game 2 of the 2014 Samsung Cup final.

Commented game record

Kim Jiseok vs Tang Weixing


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. Something is bugged.. I can’t see the move 63 B Q17 … the stone is invisible through the game :/

    • David Ormerod says:

      Thanks for letting us know Filip, we’ve fixed it. If you’ve already visited the page before, you might have to make your browser do a hard refresh of the cache by pushing Ctrl+F5 or Ctrl+R (Cmd+R on Mac). This will make it download the new (fixed) SGF instead of loading the old one with the problem from your browser cache.

      For anyone who’s interested, there was a weird thing in the SGF where it said TR[kc:kd] instead of TR[kc][kd] for marking the two triangled stones on move 63. This might have happened because a different editor was used when making the commentary, so we’ll be sure to always use CGoban 3 from now on 🙂

  2. Lucian Corlan says:

    Thank you for such an inspiring review – it makes me appreciate this game more. Congratulations to Kim Jiseok, it was a long time coming 🙂

    • Younggil An says:

      Thanks Lucian for your comment. Yes, it took a long time for Kim to win, and I hope to see him winning another title soon. 🙂

  3. Gil Dogon says:

    Great commentary on a very fighting spirit game !
    For a change I think the W 88 mistake, is relatively easy to understand, as it seems the kind of moves I tend to make being too greedy. While the simple geta of P6 is honte … I do wonder why Tang made it, maybe he thought that W was still behind after the sequence you showed for W88 at P6.

    I am not sure I agree/understand about you explanation of B 99 as greedy for the endgame only. As it turned out it was crucial for attacking / de-stabilizing W corner. It was indeed a very fighting spirit move, but maybe it was an unnecessary risky and complicated strategy for Black who was simply leading, again a mistake I tend to make a lot as an amateur.

    The end all-out fight starting after W 136 was just tremendous and complicated with lots of unintuitive tesujis, way above my level, but still very enjoyable to follow and appreciate by your very helpful commentary and analysis. Thanks.

    • Younggil An says:

      Yes, White 88 was easier to understand why is wasn’t right, but Black 99 was actually more advanced. When I was watching the game live, I thought Black 99 was a very good exchange before coming back to 101. However, Tang showed his great skill from White 102.

      That’d be hard to follow and understand after White 136, because the fighting was intense and complicated with many possible variations. However, you can still enjoy watching the game with many nice moves and tesuji. 🙂

  4. Thanks for this commentary game, mr Younggil. I have one question: at move 27, is posible for black to play near at k17 or maybe o17?

    • Younggil An says:

      That’s a good question.

      K17 is possible for Black instead of Black 27, but O17 isn’t a good idea in this opening. That’s because if Black plays O17 instead, White will play at around F17, and White’s position in the top left will become greater.

      In this sort of moyo game, you’d better reduce or limit your opponent’s big framework as soon as possible before it’s too big and deep to invade. As we can see in the game, exchanging Black 27 and White 28 was beneficial for Black.

  5. Thank you for such a great explanation Mr. Younggil. This was an amazing game and I’m grateful for your review, otherwise I wouldn’t have had a chance understanding it.

  6. Thank you for this great review.

    I didn’t really understood what forced Black to take gote with 21 and 23. Was it because the G2 descent was sente and unbearable for him to allow ?

  7. Tim/g2 isnt sente but it is absolutely huge both in terms of thickness and territory. Many pros wouldve tenukied after atari at least but KJS likes to play thick in the opening and never hurries. I’m 9d Tygem player but I also wouldve been tempted to play tenuki. I like watching KJS’s recent games because he really puts emphasis on making thick solid shapes in the opening which I still often overlook. Becuase of 23, even after white 26, moves like 33 is powerful and black has no problem reducing white’s moyo. Choice of 28 instead of more one space low pincer or more agrressive plays like D17 is also influenced by 23.

    • Younggil An says:

      You’re right that Black 23 looked slow, but it was very important and it affect the left side greatly.

      Recently, Kim Jiseok is playing smoothly and win easily against other top pros. He doesn’t hurry, but chooses solid moves instead. That helps him to fight even better in battles, and his positional judgement is great as well.