Lee Sedol wins his 4th Asian TV Cup title – 27th Asian TV Cup

Lee Sedol 9p defeated Park Junghwan 9p in the final of the the 27th Asian TV Cup, on August 28, 2015.

The final was played in Seoul, Korea, and Lee won by resignation after 207 moves.

Lee Sedol played wonderfully against Park Junghwan in the final, and added a 4th Asian TV Cup to his international record.

Park Junghwan 9 dan (left) and Lee Sedol 9 dan at the 27th Asian TV Cup final.

Park Junghwan 9 dan (left) and Lee Sedol 9 dan at the 27th Asian TV Cup final.

Lee Sedol’s comeback

Lee Sedol won the 19th Asian TV Cup, defeating Chen Yaoye 9p in 2007, and he won again the following year, defeating Cho Hanseung 9p.

Lee Sedol 9 dan won his 4th Asian TV Cup.

Lee Sedol won his 4th Asian TV Cup title.

In 2008, both Lee Sedol and Cho Hanseung donated their prize money to the Sichuan earthquake relief fun.

In 2014, Lee defeated Kono Rin 9p in the final, and it was his 3rd Asian TV Cup title.

In 2009, just before the 21st Asian TV Cup, Lee decided to retire. The final against Kong Jie 9p was his last game before his retirement.

At an interview before the final, he said tearfully, “this will be the last game of my career in Korea.”

However, at this year’s event he recalled that time and said, “I was so depressed and I couldn’t concentrate because of the conflict with the Korean Baduk Association and my retirement. I lost the game too.”

“This is the same venue as in 2009, and now I have good memories of this place and I’m very happy about that.”

Lee decided to make a comeback after taking a 6 month break, and he soon recovered his strength and sense of play. This was very fortunate for Go fans, including myself, who enjoy watching Lee’s dynamic and insightful style of play.

Park Junghwan’s defeat

Meanwhile, this was Park Junghwan’s 2nd Asian TV Cup final.

Park Junghwan 9dan was the runner up.

Park Junghwan 9 dan was the runner up at the 27th Asian TV Cup.

He was in the final of 25th Asian TV Cup in 2013, but he lost to Iyama Yuta 9p and it was a painful defeat for him.

That’s because Park and Iyama were ranked #1, in Korea and Japan respectively, at the time.

Many of his fans in Korea were disappointed when he lost to Iyama.

This time, he defeated Liao Xingwen 5p and Lee Donghoon 5p to proceed to the final, but his run was stopped by Lee Sedol.

The head to head record between Lee Sedol and Park Junghwan is 13-6 in Lee’s favor, including this final.

It looks like Park still hasn’t overtaken Lee, even though Park’s been ranked #1 in Korea for nearly two years now.

At a post-game interview, Park said “I wanted to play a good game without worrying about the result, but I couldn’t do so. I’ll study hard and I hope to meet Lee in another final soon.”

The Chinese and Japanese contenders

Ichiriki Ryo 7 dan (left) and Yang Dingxin 3 dan at the 27th Asian TV Cup, 1st round.

Ichiriki Ryo 7 dan (left) and Yang Dingxin 3 dan at the 27th Asian TV Cup.

All the Japanese players in this event were eliminated at an early stage.

Iyama Yuta won the tournament in 2013, and Kono Rin came 2nd in 2014, but this year’s results weren’t satisfactory for the Japanese players.

Ida Atsushi 8p and Ichiriki Ryo 7p were also defeated, by Lee Donghoon 5p and Yang Dingxin 3p respectively.

China’s representatives didn’t fare much better. Yang Dingxin won his 1st round game, but he lost to Lee Sedol in the semifinals.

Meanwhile, Liao Xingwen 5p was defeated by Park Junghwan in round 1.

Kong Jie 9p has won the Asian TV Cup three times in a row, from 2009 to 2011, but somehow Chinese players haven’t done well in this lightning tournament since then.

The Asian TV Cup

The Asian TV Cup is a lightning Go tournament open to the winners and runners up of domestic Chinese, Japanese and Korean lightning tournaments.

The name ‘Asian TV’ came about because the domestic lightning tournaments were all sponsored by local broadcasting stations – CCTV, NHK and KBS respectively.

However, in 2013, China spoiled the party by changing the sponsor of their qualifying tournament to CITIC Bank.

Beijing, Tokyo and Seoul take turns as tournament hosts.

The previous year’s winner is seeded into the semifinals while the other six players battle it out for the three remaining semifinal places.

The players receive 10 minutes main time and 30 seconds byo-yomi for their games.

Yang-Dingxin 3 dan (left) and Lee Sedol 9 dan at the 27th Asian TV Cup, semifinals.

Yang-Dingxin 3 dan (left) and Lee Sedol 9 dan at the 27th Asian TV Cup semifinals.

Game records

Lee Sedol vs Park Junghwan


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Lee Sedol vs Yang Dingxin


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Lee Donghoon vs Park Junghwan


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Yang Dingxin vs Ichiriki Ryo


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. Congrats to Lee Sedol. Nice to see the “old man” in good shape.
    In the final, why didn’t Park capture with 135, and extended instead?
    There must be a direct tactical reason, but I can’t see it. How do whites four stones on the left survive, if black captures?

    • If B captures, W can atari the three stones, hane at B9, throw-in to shorten libs (or D7 if B E7), and B is dead.

      • Sry, I still don’t see it.

        • Oh whoops it seems a little more complicated than I had thought.
          So after white plays B9 and black blocks, white can atari at d7, and then f12 g11 b12 b13 c13 e13 b11. Then black lives with a9 b15 b10 a14 b6. But the problem is that b5 for white is sente against the corner, so while black can live, white can then e2 to kill the corner.

    • Younggil An says:

      That’s a good question Stefan, and thanks very much odnihs for your correct response for White.

      As odnihs explained, Black will live inside, but that won’t be as good as the actual game, so Lee didn’t take a stone with 135. 🙂

  2. Flagellator1974 says:

    Error in the result of the final game screen: B+R, not W+R.

  3. Lee Sedol vs Yang Dingxin is pretty remarkable to me. Such tricky group battles. I was especially impressed by the extension at h11. It looks so useless. But it was designed to be just right when w counters at g18. The resignation was also awesome. The group doesn’t look *that* dead to my poor amateur eyes. 🙂
    Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems to me that Lee Sedol will strongly prefer to play the more surprising of two viable alternatives – a sign that he has regained his enthusiasm for the game.

    • Younggil An says:

      Yes, that game is quite interesting and exciting to watch.

      Black 55 doesn’t look important or big, but that erases White’s potential over the center and aiming for a counter like Black 61.

      White can live when White resigned, but Black will play J9 to capture White’s three stones in the center next, and Black will be winning comfortably.

      I agree that it seems as if he regained his enthusiasm for the game lately. 🙂