Last 16 in the 17th Samsung Cup

After all the excitement over the last few days, the group stage of the 17th Samsung Cup finally concluded on September 6, 2012.

Cho U (9 dan, left) plays Lee Sedol for the last ticket out of Group F.

16 players progressed to the knockout phase.

The final 16

As you already know, Gu Li 9p and Lee Sedol 9p made it through Group F after quite a bit of drama.

The other Korean players still in with a chance are Choi Cheolhan 9p, Park Junghwan 9p, Kang Dongyun 9p, An Kukhyun 3p, Baek Hongseok 9p and the defending champion, Won Seongjin 9p.

Chen Yaoye 9p, Shi Yue 5p, Li Qincheng 1p, Tuo Jiaxi 3p, Fan Tingyu 3p, Mi Yuting 4p and Zhong Wenjing 5p are flying the flag for China.

A game between two veterans

Following a nail biting game between two stalwarts, Komatsu Hideki 9p narrowly defeated China’s Rui Naiwei 9p with a half point win.

Komatsu Hideki (9 dan, left) inched through ahead of Rui Naiwei (9 dan) in a 1/2 point game.

Komatsu will keep Japan’s hopes alive, as only last remaining Japanese player in the competition.

The round of 16 draw

Funny man, Won Seongjin 9 dan, the defending champion.

The next round will take place in October 2012. The draw is as follows:

Won Seongjin has promised fans that, should he succeed in defending his title, he will celebrate by dancing ‘Gangnam Style’… whatever that is

Who are you going for?

Who are you supporting in the 17th Samsung Cup? Do you want to see Won Seongjin dance Gangnam Style? Leave a comment below.

The Samsung Cup

The Samsung Cup first started in 1996 and uses a rather convoluted draw. Though, arguably, it is fairer than a straight knockout format.

The 32 players in the main draw are split into 8 groups of 4. Players must win two games in order to proceed from the first stage; two players from each group will advance to the knockout stage.

In some ways it’s similar to the group stage of the FIFA World Cup, except that only two wins are necessary to continue.

The round of 16 and the quarter finals are played as a straight knockout.

The semifinals and the final are played as a best of three matches.

Samsung is a well known Korean conglomerate.

17th Samsung Cup photos

Game records

Lee Sedol vs Cho U


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Rui Naiwei vs Komatsu Hideki


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


An Kukhyun vs Xie He


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


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About Jing

Jing likes writing, and can occasionally be convinced to play a game of Go. Even though she doesn't play Go as often as she once did, she still enjoys following the professional Go scene and writing about it on Go Game Guru.

You can follow Go Game Guru on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Youtube.


  1. For sure Lee sedol but my favorite is Fan Tingyu . Go Fan tingyu !!!!

  2. Personally, i support japan with Komatsu sensei 9 Dan . It would be so great to have a japanese winner. By the, how can you explain that japanese players were absolute leaders in the go world until the 90′ and that they are now litterally destructed by the chinese and korean players ? Does the golden age of the great go masters ( Kitani sensei students and the others) have passed, or does the insei in china and korea have just a more intensive formation ?
    Thanks for your consideration.

    • Hi Simon,

      The Japanese domestic circuit pays well enough for pros to make a decent living without taking part in many international tournaments. Indeed, some Japanese domestic tournaments pay more than international ones.

      Also, most young players in Korea and China basically have to make the decision to try to turn pro in primary school. After which, they take up intensive training and leave the standard school system. In contrast, most Japanese children continue their education and study Go after school or on weekends. Arguably, this is better for everyone except the lucky handful that make it to the top.

      I think the top Japanese players like Iyama, Yamashita and Cho U (who is actually Taiwanese but turned pro and plays in Japan) are strong enough to go all the way. Cho would have probably progressed through the group stage had he not drawn the group with Lee and Gu. It’s difficult when there are so many more strong Korean and Chinese pros.

  3. I love Gu Li’s style and want to see him play all the way to the top!

  4. I wanna see Won Seongjin dancing this 🙂 He’ll become Youtube star for sure

  5. it’s hard for me to understand move 146 in Cho U’s game

    • David Ormerod says:

      Me too. It’s quite a strong move in itself because it separates black’s groups, but after white loses the ko in the top left, it ends up looking strange.

  6. Isn’t it An Sunjoon who’ve won the Price Information Cup this year? It’s not An Kukhyun..

    • That’s right, thanks. Until recently they were both 安三段, so I got them mixed up in my head 😳

  7. A big Gu Li fan here. I love Lee Sedol also. Yes, I love some continuity in the game.

    • You must be hoping for a Gu v Lee final? 🙂
      It was interesting how strong Lee was after his break but he seems to have lost some of his dominance recently. Maybe it’s due to fatigue?

  8. I want to see some Gangnam Style! In fact, I think Won should dance like that no matter whether he wins or not . . . actually, scratch that: Whoever wins should have to dance Gangnam Style or forfeit the prize money.

  9. im a big fan of GULI..
    number 4 of course..
    but i also want to see won dance XD

    • Good thing Gu is not superstitious like Ma Xiaochun was. Back in the day, if Ma drew an unlucky number, it would really affect his game!

  10. By the way, is it only me or does Won looks like he’s already getting ready to break out his dance moves in the photo above? 😀

  11. Just for fun, some guesses.

    + = Favored
    ++ = Highly favored

    Gu Li+ vs An Kukhyun
    Chen Yaoye++ vs Baek Hongseok
    Shi Yue++ vs Kang Dongyun
    Tuo Jiaxi vs Won Seongjin++
    Mi Yuting vs Choi Cheolhan+
    Zhong Wenjing vs Park Junghwan+
    Li Qincheng vs Lee Sedol+
    Fan Tingyu++ vs Komatsu Hideki

    • David Ormerod says:

      We’ll have to see how you go. I mostly agree with you, but we’ll mix it up a bit for fun. Here are mine:

      Gu Li+ vs An Kukhyun
      Chen Yaoye vs +Baek Hongseok
      Shi Yue vs +Kang Dongyun
      Tuo Jiaxi vs Won Seongjin+
      Mi Yuting+ vs Choi Cheolhan
      Zhong Wenjing vs Park Junghwan+
      Li Qincheng vs Lee Sedol+
      Fan Tingyu+ vs Komatsu Hideki

      One day, when we have the time to run it, I want to make a part of the site where you can pick the winners each week and eventually win a prize if you do well :).

      In Australia this is called ‘tipping’ and it’s a popular activity for football fans, but apparently that term’s not used (or well understood) in other parts of the world? What else would you call that?

      • betting?

        • David Ormerod says:

          It’s like betting, but without necessarily wagering any money. It’s just for fun and lots of workplaces will have a competition running in the office. Betting is more serious, so we usually tend to differentiate.

          Maybe in other countries people don’t think there’s a difference then? Australians tend to gamble too much… 😐

      • This is done a lot in US for college basketball tournaments. In March, it seems like about 20% of the country has a bracket filled out in hopes that they can guess which teams will give the biggest upsets and make their way to the championship game.

  12. So, I go on:
    Gu Li+ vs An Kukhyun
    Chen Yaoye+ vs Baek Hongseok
    Shi Yue+ vs Kang Dongyun
    Tuo Jiaxi vs Won Seongjin+
    Mi Yuting vs Choi Cheolhan+
    Zhong Wenjing vs Park Junghwan+
    Li Qincheng vs Lee Sedol+
    Fan Tingyu+ vs Komatsu Hideki

  13. Lee Sedol rulz!