Lee and Gu faced one another in Chengdu – the capital city of Sichuan, China – having traveled straight there after their game at the 10th Chunlan Cup two days earlier.
The only game that mattered
After Lee won game 2 of this jubango in February, he led the 10 game match 2-0.
Since Gu lost game 2 in regrettable circumstances, many Go fans reasonably surmised that Lee would have the psychological advantage going into the third game today.
However, over the last week, Lee and Gu have played three games together. Not only is this very unusual, but it may have helped to restore Gu’s confidence.
Because of this, it’s hard to say who had the momentum going into today’s game. Some commentators argued that Lee was saving his energy for the jubango, but perhaps that’s because they were rooting for Lee.
We do know one thing for sure though; that today’s game was the only one that really mattered to both players. And Gu Li won.
Good news for Go fans
This is, of course, good news for all Go fans – except perhaps the most die hard Lee Sedol fans. A close score increases the likelihood that we’ll be able to enjoy all 10 games.
It also makes the series more exciting to follow.
An Younggil’s brief game analysis
Black 17 was an interesting attachment, and the first fight started there. The result up to 31 was a bit better for White (Gu Li), because he became very thick and powerful at the top.
White 36 was an unusual move, and a big fight began when Black responded at 37. It was very complicated, and the result up to 61 was playable for both.
Black 63 was a severe response to White’s attachment at 62 and the trade up to 71 looked playable for Black, but it was actually an even result.
White 78 and 82 were a nice combination, and the invasion at 86 was painful for Black, because White’s influence at the top was too strong.
Black 87 and 89 were questionable, and White 90 showed Gu Li’s nice sense of play. Black 91 was an another questionable move, and White executed a nice counter-attack with 92 and 94.
White established a solid lead with 102, but Lee started to catch up again with 113 and 115. White 116 and 124 were slack, and Lee caught up through to 144.
However, Black 147 was a big mistake, and the game became difficult for Black again. And when White played at 162, the game became desperate for Black.
White 178 was a big mistake too, but Gu stayed calm with 182 and maintained his lead.
Black 185 was the last losing move for Lee. It should have been played at 186 instead. Black couldn’t find any more chances to catch up after White 188 and Lee Sedol resigned soon afterwards.
It was a very interesting game to watch, but both players seemed to make more mistakes than they usually do. That could be because it was a very complicated game, but they also they seemed to lose focus at some points in the game.
Recently, both Lee and Gu have played quite a lot of games and they had very little time to rest before today’s game. I think they both seem exhausted and neither player is in their best form at the moment.
Both players will work hard to recover and get back into shape – physically and mentally – in time for game 4.
More commentary to follow soon
Reviewing the game in detail will take more time, but Younggil will be back soon with his full commentary of game 3.
Game 4 will be held in Korea, on April 27, 2014.
While you’re waiting, you can review all our articles about the match on our Gu Li vs Lee Sedol Jubango page.
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The MLily Gu vs Lee Jubango
Two of the world’s top Go players, Lee Sedol and Gu Li, will play a jubango throughout 2014, to decide which of them is the stronger player.
A jubango is a 10 game match between two players. The term originates from the Japanese language and has been imported into English language Go parlance. The first player to win six games wins the match.
Lee Sedol vs Gu Li
David Ormerod, with Younggil An and Jingning Xue