Go Commentary: Won Seongjin vs Shi Yue – 17th LG Cup Final

This is the second game of the 17th LG Cup final, between Won Seongjin 9p and Shi Yue 5p.

Shi Yue won the first game, and the LG Cup final is a best of three match, so he only had to win this game to win the LG Cup.

Won Seongjin

Won Seongjin’s currently ranked #6 in Korea.

He won the 16th Samsung Cup in 2011, defeating Gu Li in the final.

It was very sensational at the time, because it was Won’s first international final and he beat Gu Li 2-1.

This was his second time in an international final, and possibly his last.

He knew he’d have to join the navy to complete two years of compulsory military service after this final.



Shi Yue (left) and Won Seongjin review their game at the final of the 17th LG Cup.


Shi Yue


Shi Yue 9 dan.

On the other hand, Shi Yue is ranked #5 in China.

His career in international tournaments so far hasn’t been that impressive, but he defeated many strong Korean players in this LG Cup.

He knocked out Lee Sedol 9p in the second round of the main tournament, and he beat Na Hyun 2p and Kang Dongyun 9p, in the quarter final and semifinal respectively. And now he was in the final.

This was Shi’s first time in and international final, so it was a very good opportunity for both players.

Contrasting Go styles

Their styles of play are quite different. Won likes solid, thick games and he’s good at attacking.

His nickname is ‘Won (one) punch’ because of his skill at landing a knockout blow.

He’s played in many important games, compared to Shi, so many Korean Baduk fans expected him to win this time.

On the other hand, Shi likes territorial games, but his game is well balanced at the same time.

It’s hard to find the weakness in his style, and this is his strong point.

Shi plays even better when he’s coming from behind, so it’s difficult to win a game against him.

Commented game record

Won Seongjin vs Shi Yue


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 for the review Mr. Younggil.

    I happy Shi won and preferred his style of play. I think some people have the perception that at top level play styles which consist in mostly regular and balanced looking moves are no longer suitable for the ‘high-fighting’ style of ‘contemporary go.’ Assuming Shi’s journey to winning the LG Cup is veritable, then I think it gives hope to this kind of play and that at the top level there’s still room for a broad range of styles.

  2. Very interesting, thank you for your comments. Shi’s style must be very instructive for amateur players that don’t have the deep reading abilities of the top notch fighters. Of course Shi has that reading ability too, but he chooses moves that we mortals can understand too, and wins with them. Once I studied the games of Otake Hideo, uneventful, but so good if you looked a bit deeper into them. Is the same true for Shi?

    Kind regards,

  3. I have to say that in china, Shi Yue is famous for his fighting skills and some people even believe that he is stronger than Gu Li in terms of fighting. It seems that Shi plays simple and regular moves, but maybe only his opponent can feel his strong pressure.

  4. Re fighting, here is an interesting game Chen Yaoye vs. Shi Yue. I was astounded by the conclusion of the game. To my very naive eyes I thought there was a very passive quality to Shi’s moves, especially in the opening… But look at the result.


  5. thanks for the review Mr younggil. Very instructive for us. As always.

  6. Thank you very much Mr. Younggil!
    Very good review – as always 🙂

  7. I found it very interesting that the c18 reverse sente was bigger than say a shimari in lower left.