Lee Sedol wins 17th GS Caltex Cup

Lee Sedol 9p defeated Park Younghun 9p in the 5th and deciding game of the 17th GS Caltex Cup finals, on May 6, 2012.

Lee Sedol 9 dan continues to expand his trophy cabinet.

No sure thing

Lee won the first game on April 25, but Park responded by winning games 2 and 3 on April 30 and May 1, making Lee’s fans nervous.

Lee, unruffled as always, equaled the scored at 2-2 on May 5, taking away Park’s hopes of an early win.

He followed up with another win the next day to claim the Cup.

GS Caltex Cup

The GS Caltex Cup is one of the most generously sponsored Korean domestic Go tournaments, with the winner taking away 70 million Won (approximately $60,000 USD).

Until 2004, when LG restructured into LG and GS, the tournament was known as the Korean LG Cup.

Park Younghun (9 dan, left) plays Lee Sedol (9 dan).

Professionals play in a knockout format with the final decided by the best of 5 matches. The tournament structure has changed several times over the years.

Up until the 15th year, the tournament was played with a challenger facing the defending title holder. The challenger has been decided by both round robin and single knockout formats.

GS Caltex is a South Korean oil and energy company.

Lee Sedol and Park Younghun

Park Younghun reviews the third game with Lee Sedol.

Lee and Park are no strangers to the GS Caltex Cup, both having won this tournament twice in previous years.

Lee won the tournament in 2001 and 2006 and Park in 2007 and 2008.

Congratulations Lee Sedol!

17th GS Caltex Cup Photos

Game records

Lee Sedol vs Park Younghun – Game 1


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Park Younghun vs Lee Sedol – Game 2


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Lee Sedol vs Park Younghun – Game 3


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Park Younghun vs Lee Sedol – Game 4


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Lee Sedol vs Park Younghun – Game 5


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.

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  1. Frédéric says:

    Thank you jing, you are very fast for pro news 🙂 . My favorite game is the fourth , because white is so fast in the opening. What is your favorite game ?

    • I like the first game. It was a bit unusual and the fighting was interesting :P. The fourth game is nice too. Lee always seems to have something up his sleeve when he has to win.

  2. Very interesting match. It seems that Park has the advantage if he has the opportunity to create a few firm groups, while Lee has his forte when he can create one or more vague-like spheres of influence, after which fierce fighting and huge swaps determine the outcome in his favour. The choice of fuseki then is very important, I wonder whether these fast games give one the opportunity to work this out satisfactorily. Thank you for showing! And I saw one or two of these games on Baduk TV, very nice to see where they play fast and where they take their time, and great to grasp the atmosphere, the excitement. You have a wonderful website!

    Kind regards,

    • Glad to hear you’re enjoying Baduk TV Paul! There’s been a lot of work going into it behind the scenes.

      Park is one the best (maybe the best?) out of current pros when playing the endgame. It suits him to simplify the game and head for an early endgame when he can, like classic Lee Changho style.

      Lee Sedol, as most people know already, is just the opposite. It’s interesting to see a clash between these different styles.

      Younggil said recently in one of his commentaries that there’s some controversy in Korea at the moment because the games are too fast and it means there isn’t enough time to be creative in the opening. Did you see that? It would put the pressure on players to save their time for the middle game.

      I think it was this one: http://gogameguru.com/go-commentary-mi-yuting-lee-changho-4th-bc-card-cup/

  3. Game 4, move 213: My first thought was, “WTF is this?”, and my second thought was a little worse – could anyone explain this move? I don’t understand it at all, from my point of view it’s not sente, doesn’t make points, doesn’t really create aji or fix anything.

    • David Ormerod says:

      It makes a second eye though and it’s more efficient than making two eyes at the top, in terms of points and endgame.

      If black doesn’t do anything (or say black saves some stones with P16), white O18 and then white L15 are both sente. If B P16, W O17, N18, L15, K15, H15.

      After that M16 & N16 are miai, and M19 & O19 are also miai. So it looks like black would die.

  4. Philip says:

    Wow: Game 1, Move 29

  5. Game 4, Move 37! When I see a professional play a move like this, I know I still have a lot to learn about Go. Why did he play Move 37? Is that really a better move than something around G3? If it were me, I’d be playing more 3rd- and 4th-row moves.