Korea wins 4th Zhaoshang Cup by a whisker

The 4th Zhaoshang Cup was played on March 21 and 23, 2014, in Hangzhou, China.


An hour glass full of ‘Go stones’ is started at the opening ceremony of the 4th Zhaoshang Cup.

Teams China and Korea competed in a seven board team tournament of the top players from the two countries.

Round 1 was held on March 21 and Team Korea won 4-3 against Team China.

Round 2 took place on March 23 and Team China came back with a 4-3 win or their own.

Almost a tie

This resulted in a tie, with a total score of 7-7 over the two day event.

To resolve the tie and decide a winner, the result from the captains’ match was used as a tie breaker (according to the tournament rules).


Shi Yue 9 dan (left) plays Park Junghwan 9 dan play the captains’ match.

Park Junghwan 9p represented team Korea as captain and Shi Yue 9p played as captain for team China. Both Park and Shi are both currently ranked #1 in their own countries.

Park won his game against Shi, which meant that Team Korea won the 4th Zhaoshang Cup by a whisker.

Echoes of 2013

Last year, at the 3rd Zhaoshang Cup, there were five boards and the match was also tied (at 5-5). Like this year, the captains’ match was used as a tie breaker and Korea won after Kim Jiseok 9p defeated Fan Tingyu 9p.

Lee Sedol meets Gu Li

There was an interesting match in round 2. Gu Li 9p and Lee Sedol 9p played one another, and Gu Li won the game by resignation after 162 moves.

Lee and Gu are going to play the 3rd game of their jubango this Sunday (March 30), so this game was something of a prelude for them. Hopefully this win will serve to bolster Gu’s confidence, as he currently trails 0-2 in their ten game match.

It also provides another exciting game record for fans of these two players.


Gu Li 9 dan (left) and Lee Sedol 9 dan’s match at the 4th Zhaoshang Cup served as a nice interlude in the MLily Gu vs Lee Jubango.

Park Junghwan vs Shi Yue

The captains’ match between Park Junghwan and Shi Yue was the most important game in this competition. It was much more important than a normal game.

Park lost to Shi in the final of the Nongshim Cup about a month ago and their head to head record stood at 5-1 in Shi’s favor. Because of that, many Go fans expected that Shi would win again, but Park prevailed this time.

Positive news for Korean baduk

All the players who represented Team China are world champions, but only three of Korea’s members are world champions. Despite this, they were able to tie the match at 7-7 and eventually win the competition.

This is positive news for the Korean baduk world, and should help the players to regain some much needed confidence against China’s top players.


Team Korea receive the winner’s check, along with personalized caricatures for each player.

An unusual tournament

All 14 games in this tournament ended in resignation, which is very unusual. I thinks that’s because the players played more aggressively, and less cautiously, possibly because it was a team competition.

When I reviewed the game records, I could see many complicated games. The games generally seemed more complicated than those seen in other individual tournaments or the Nongshim Cup. You might feel that too if you review the games from this tournament.

It looks like there are more and more new international events and tournaments being established and held in China. That’s because they’ve been doing very well for the last few years, but I still think it will be more fun and interesting if top Korean and Japanese players can compete on an equal footing.

Team China won the 1st Zhaoshang Cup with a 7-3 score, and they also won the 2nd (6-4). However, Team Korea won the 3rd (5-5, captain’s win) and 4th by (7-7, captain’s win) to make the overall record in this tournament a tie.

The number of players on each team was increased from five to seven this year, but I’m not sure whether they’ll continue with this arrangement next year.

Detailed 4th Zhaoshang Cup results


Team Korea Color Result Color Team China
Round 1
Park Junghwan 9p (W) O X (B) Zhou Ruiyang 9p
Kim Jiseok 9p (B) X O (W) Fan Tingyu 9p
Na Hyun 3p (W) O X (B) Chen Yaoye 9p
Byun Sangil 3p (B) O X (W) Gu Li 9p
Lee Sedol 9p (W) O X (B) Mi Yuting 9p
Lee Jihyun 4p (B) X O (W) Tang Weixing 9p
Choi Cheolhan 9p (W) X O (B) Shi Yue 9p
Round 2
Park Junghwan 9p (B) O X (W) Shi Yue 9p
Kim Jiseok 9p (W) O X (B) Zhou Ruiyang 9p
Na Hyun 3p (B) O X (W) Fan Tingyu 9p
Byun Sangil 3p (W) X O (B) Chen Yaoye 9p
Lee Sedol 9p (B) X O (W) Gu Li 9p
Lee Jihyun 4p (W) X O (B) Mi Yuting 9p
Choi Cheolhan 9p (B) X O (W) Tang Weixing 9p


The Zhaoshang Cup

The Zhaoshang Cup is an annual team tournament between China and Korea, which started in 2011. Each country sends a team to play a multi-board match, with two games each over two days.

For the first three years of tournament, there were five boards. In 2014, the number of boards increased to seven.

The time limit for games in the Zhaoshang Cup is 2 hours and 45 minutes, with 5 x 1 minute byo-yomi for each player.

The prize money for the winning team is 1,000,000 RMB (approximately $161,000 USD at the time of writing). The losing team receives 500,000 RMB.

4th Zhaoshang Cup photos

Game records

Park Junghwan vs Shi Yue


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Lee Sedol vs Gu Li


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Kim Jiseok vs Fan Tingyu


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Related Articles

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. I know Park won the game but, could Black not play Q6 instead of R6?

    Or Black R3 instead of Q3?

    Was White C9 too greedy?
    Did White need to play Q9 instead of protecting F15 or playing L17?

    I feel like White had a stronger opening, don’t understand how he lost!

    • Younggil An says:

      You’ve got many questions!
      Black could play at Q6 instead of R6, and R3 for Q3 is also available. It depends on the players’ preference.
      White C9 looks alright, and the opening seems to be playable for him.
      Q9 was necessary because Black can cut and extend at S7 and S8.
      As you said, White had a nice opening, but Park’s second half of the game was excellent, and he could reversed the game in the middle game while attacking the center group.

      • Anonymous says:

        Park’s game is very interesting.Can you commented game?

        • Younggil An says:

          I’m sorry, but I don’t think I’ll do for that game. It’s going to be hard, because there’ll be newer games.

  2. The very first moves in Gu Li – Lee Sedol game are interesting as Lee changed his fuseki (compared to first jubango game) and directly splitted on left instead of playing mini-fuseki.

    It looks like he analyzed the first jubango and decided he should try it next time 🙂

    We also retrieved a lot of variation you showed in your commentary about top left, and that’s very interesting.

    • Younggil An says:

      You’re right. It looks like Lee tried to start with different opening for the game 3 of their Jubango. We’ll soon see which opening Lee will choose at the very next game. 🙂

      • They still have a game to play before jubango no ? For Chunlan Cup. It might be another test !

        • Younggil An says:

          You’re right. They’re going to play again tomorrow.
          I feel odd to see them playing each other 3 games a week. 🙂

  3. goseigen says:

    Why not c10 instead of ogeima at move 27? I think Park tried more than the obvious move but still is the move in the game really better

    • Younggil An says:

      What do you mean of the 27 for C10? I can’t get it. 27 in Park’s game was necessary to save his corner stones.

      • goseigen says:

        Sorry i mean move 45

        • Younggil An says:

          I see. Extending at C10 for B45 is a good idea. Maybe Park wanted White to answer the corner, and he’d even make a better position on the left side. Shi didn’t answer in the actual game though.
          In the opening, there’re many possibilities, and you can choose one what you prefer the most. 🙂

  4. nice article 😀