Go Commentary: Xie Erhao vs Li Kang – 1st Bailing Cup

This game is from the quarter finals of the 1st Bailing Cup.

It’s between Li Kang 6p and Xie Erhao 1p.

Xie Erhao

Xie Erhao 1 dan at the 1st Bailing Cup.

Xie Erhao was born in 1998, and became a pro in 2011.

This is Xie’s first international tournament, but he already beat Yamashita Keigo 9p from Japan and Kim Hyunchan 2p from Korea before this game.

Li Kang

Li Kang was born in 1987, and became a pro in 1998.

Li Kang 6 dan at the 17th LG Cup.

He won second place in the 4th Qiwang title in 2008 and he made it to the quarter finals of the 17th LG Cup this year.

He’s currently ranked number 27 in China.

Let’s have a look at the game. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

Commented game record

Xie Erhao vs Li Kang


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


More photos

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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. Thanks Younggil. Really nice comentary, its awesome that one single move that seems normal is actually a losing move. And that happens all the time!!
    Amazing young boy this Xie. So, is he on the final? what kind of game are they playing? best of 3? best of 5?

    Thank you.

  2. Thank you for the nice commentary. 🙂

    Regarding the exchange at p4, is it always a must in this kind of shape? (without black’s peep). Because I learnt that it is usually a bad exchange in early game.

    Also, was the actual game’s result of sacrificing the q10 stone ok for white?(if white played correctly) black seems to have gained a lot on the right side.

    • An Younggil 8p says:

      Good questions!
      In general, p4 is unusual, but it should be ok in this game. It’s because black17 seems to be good though it’s rarely played.
      Actually, it’d still be favorable for black after white sacrifices the q10, but it’d surely be better for white than the actual game.

  3. Hi in var 2 for White at move 170, then again var 2 at 172 of that branch, you state at move 175 “Black easily captures white’s cutting stones”. That is true, but it is not even necessary as Black also has a connect-and-die at D13. So it would be kind of silly for White to let Black connect in sente, given those two options.

    Thanks for a great review!

    • David Ormerod says:

      Thanks Dieter, that’s an error introduced by me.

      Usually Younggil sends me these commentaries and I do some minor editing and add basic variations to make the game easier to follow for people who don’t eat and breathe tesuji problems.

      In this case, I didn’t have much time and carelessly added that sequence just before publishing. I’ve deleted it now. Thanks for spotting it.

  4. Thanks for the excelent review Mr younggil. Very instructive to me.

  5. Very interesting review, thank you. Interesting that such an early move can have such far-reaching consequences, P4 does not seem like an obvious choice to me.

  6. thank you Mr.younggil for this commentary. just 13 years old , it’s incredible . I hope he can win this tournament 🙂

  7. Wonderful commentary again, Mr. Younggil. I would very much like to see more of your commentaries. In fact, even as a high dan level player myself, I would gladly pay for your commentaries. Thank you!

  8. I was looking at new Dr Bai Taei new ranking and discovered Xie Erhao was #34.
    “Wasn’t him the impressive young boy Gogameguru talked about ?” and yes 🙂

    Maybe we will heard more about him soon.

  9. Younggil An says:

    Thanks for the comment.
    Yes, we’ll hear more about him soon for sure. 🙂

  10. Flagellator1974 says:

    This game is beautiful, clear and transparent! I love replay it again and again. And thank you for the commentary Mr. Younggil!

  11. Please can you say would it be mistake if black played C14 instead of F17? It would be my choice because of open left side.

    Great game, it’s amazing that so young people can play so strong.
    I am very grateful to you for so many great comments <3

    • PS. move 91

      • Younggil An says:

        That’s a good question Darek.

        Approaching from the left side at C14 is actually more common, and there’s no problem. Some pros might choose the same way as you suggested.

        It looks like Xie Erhao (Black) wanted to attack White’s K17 with approaching at 91, and that’s what his style of play.

        Since he was very young (14 year old boy), that’s understandable he preferred fighting rather than playing solidly and calmly. 🙂