Lee Sedol and Xie He one all in the 8th Chunlan Cup

On June 27 2011, the finals of the 8th Chunlan Cup kicked off with a best of three games between Lee Sedol 9p of Korea and Xie He 7p of China.

Lee takes game one

Lee Sedol (9 dan) deep in thought

Lee won the first match on June 27, playing black. Black, took the lead in the first game, after an early exchange in the lower left. The second half of the game was complicated and as often happens under such circumstances, Lee prevailed.

Xie evens the score

Xie answered today by winning the second match, also with black. Lee played an unusual pattern in the top right, which lead to an interesting game.

[Update: Lee played the same new pattern again in game three. Here’s Younggil’s commentary of game three of the 8th Chunlan Cup which also shows the new move]

Lee Sedol (9 dan, left) vs Xie He (7 dan)

Both players have performed impressively on route to this final playoff, winning all of their games by resignation. Xie defeated Heo Youngho 8p, Cho Chikun 9p and Iyama Yuta 9p. Lee, on the other hand, faced Gu Lingyi 5p, Wang Xi 9p and Sun Tengyu 7p.

The elusive Chunlan Cup

Xie He (7 dan) looking for a breakthrough on the international scene

The third and final match will be played tomorrow. Xie has come agonisingly close to winning this title in the past, finishing third in the 6th Chunlan Cup. Xie’s fans in China have been waiting for his first international title for some years now. Perhaps his time has finally come?

Lee’s best previous result has been a quarter final finish (also in the 6th Chunlan Cup). This is surprising, given that Lee has won just about every other major international Go tournament.

Perhaps Chunlan will be as elusive to Lee as Roland Garros was to Sampras? Let’s find out tomorrow!

Game record: Lee Sedol vs Xie He


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Game record Xie He vs Lee Sedol


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. elementc says:

    I rooting for Xie He on this one.

  2. I wonder what the joseki for the upper right corner is supposed to be. It seems white got the disadvantage after black took advantage of the ladder.

    • David Ormerod says:

      Yes, I agree, but it’s very complicated. I thought white would play the loose ladder/net with L15 at L14. Lee must’ve thought that was too thin, but at least then there’s no ladder to worry about.

  3. elementc says:

    As usual, whichever guy I want to win loses. 🙁

    • I know! It’s a shame for Xie, but I guess Lee has nearly completed his trophy cabinet at least…

  4. DanielTom says:

    In Game 2 is O16 a new move? P17 instead is joseki. I think W’s plan was greedy

    • David Ormerod says:

      O16 has been played at least once before by Luo Xihe. It’s an interesting idea because it aims to avoid black’s O16 and eventual seal in at O14 after white plays the normal P17. Lee played it again in the third game (and won), so maybe we have a new joseki?

  5. It’s funny because I research this uncommon joseki family just earlier this year and now see it in high-profile match. If it becomes popular, I will experience much more amusement.