Mi Yuting wins his first world championship – 1st MLily Cup

On December 6, 2013, the 1st MLily Cup saw the crowning of a new world Champion and China’s newest 9 dan, Mi Yuting 9p.

Winning a world championship is hard work!


Winners are grinners: Mi Yuting won the 1st MLily Cup and was promoted straight to 9 dan.

Mi certainly had his work cut out for him on his journey towards this breakthrough win.

He defeated Lee Sedol 9p, Kang Dongyun 9p, Kong Jie 9p, Dang Yifei 4p and Wang Xi 9p (2-1 in the semifinal) to earn his place in the final.

The end of Gu’s runner-up streak?

Since Gu’s astonishing run of seven wins out of seven appearances in international finals, which ended with the Samsung Cup in 2010, Gu has finished as runner-up three times.

Gu won the first game, of this best of five final, at the end of November.


Gu Li 9 dan in the final of the 1st MLily Cup.

This gave Gu’s fans hope – perhaps Gu could finally put an end to his string of second place finishes?

Mi cool, calm and lethal

Unfazed, Mi won the next three matches on December 2, 4 and 6, 2013 to quash Gu’s hopes.


Mi Yuting ponders his next move: Game 4 of the 1st MLily Cup final.

Fortunately for fans of Gu, the first match of the MLily Gu vs Lee Jubango is just over a month away.

Records remain safe

And for the Go record buffs out there, at 17 years and 11 months, Mi didn’t break any records with this win.

Lee Changho is still the youngest player to have won an international title and Fan Tingyu is the youngest to have been promoted to 9p.

But what a way to start your 18th birthday celebrations! Mi also took home a cool 1.8 million RMB (approximately $300,000 USD at the time of writing) for his troubles.

Congratulations Mi!


Mi Yuting and Gu Li receive their oversized prize money. On the far left is Ni Zhanggen, the president of MLily and a big Go fan!

Commentary on a game of your choice

An Younggil has kindly agreed comment a game of our readers’ choice!

To let us know which game from the final you’d like to see commented, just leave a comment below.

The MLily Cup

The MLily Cup is a biennial international Go tournament, which started in 2013 and is sponsored by MLily Meng Baihe – a mattress and bedding company.

It’s intended that it will alternate with the (also biennial) Bailing Cup, every other year.

The draw consists of 14 seeded players from China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan and 50 players from preliminary rounds, including 4 women and 4 amateurs.

This tournament is quite slow by international standards, with time settings of 3 hours main time and 5 x 1 minute byo-yomi. The semifinals are played as best of three matches and the final is a best of five match.

The winner receives 1.8 million RMB (about $300,000 USD at the time of writing) and the runner up receives 600,000 RMB. This puts the tournament in the same league as the Bailing Cup and Samsung Cup, in terms of prize money.

The official name, ‘MLily Meng Baihe Cup World Go Open Tournament’ (try saying that quickly 10 ten times) uses the sponsor’s double barrel English and Chinese names.

The Chinese name, 梦百合 Meng (=dream) Baihe (=lilies), translates literally to ‘dream of lilies’. A looser, but more natural translation would be something like ‘sweet dreams’. This explains the somewhat cryptic ‘MLily’ moniker.

1st MLily Cup photos

Game records

Gu Li vs Mi Yuting – Game 1


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Mi Yuting vs Gu Li – Game 2


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Gu Li vs Mi Yuting – Game 3


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Mi Yuting vs Gu Li – Game 4


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. i would like if game 2 will be commented….=)

  2. Thank you Mr. An Younggil! I would love to see a commentary of game 4.

  3. First, congratulations, Mi Yuting! Beating strong opponents in, to me, beautiful and exciting games, is a world class performance. Then, thank you MLily, for giving the players enough time to really think. If a game should last a day, why not make the best of it, and three hours each to start with is great.

    From the final, game 3 stroke me as very interesting, as it seems Mi took the initiative from the start on, hardly ever giving it away: quite impressive, and most certainly not easy. Maybe instructive to show how Mi did this?

    Kind regards,

  4. game1

  5. Robert Gilman says:

    Game 2 gets my vote.

  6. thiago rêgo says:

    Game 2

  7. Wow, game 2 and 4 were similar for so long in the beginning! I would love to see commentary of moves 19-23. What was Gu Li trying to change? Why did Mi change plan when he did?

  8. Game 2 gets my vote as well, in particular because of the variation of the chinese opening at move 21 as well as the ko later on in the bottom left staring with move 183.

  9. Thank you Mr. An Younggil!
    Very nice games, my congratulations to the winner, Mi Yuting!
    Difficult choice though… game 1 or 4 are my favourites but i like 1 a bit more.

  10. From Hamburg says:

    Vote: Game 2 🙂

  11. It somehow feels to me that Gu Li is never quite 100% serious, *unless* he’s playing Lee Sedol. Against all other opponents he seems to be prone to play “I wonder if he can handle this” moves. Or is it just my imagination?
    I would love a short comment on why Mi Yuting deviated in game 4. After all, usually the loser of the older game is the one to play something different.

    • I’ve seen this before though. Me too I would think it’s for the loser to come up with an improvement. Maybe it’s a psychological game. When you see that the opponent plays on with the same flow regardless earlier loss, you may start thinking they’ve prepared something, so you better deviate first and make them think twice.

    • Younggil An says:

      I agree to Dieter. That’s an interesting opinion Stefan. I don’t think Gu Li played not seriously, but maybe it’s possible that he could do his really best when he plays against Lee Sedol. 🙂

  12. Commentary of game 4, please 🙂

  13. My votes are tied between 1, 2 and 3. Who are we to choose? 🙂

    What interests me most is the fact that the winner wears T-shirts. Were far from traditional dress these days. Is there some kind of style break with the youngsters? I think it could do good to the game getting rid of the dress code.

    • Not sure about the t-shirt.
      Gu Li is one of my favorite players. To me, he doesn’t deserve showing up in a suit and losing against a young (dress-)punk in t-shirt, baggy pants and sandals. Ofcourse, there is no turning back the time, and the young players are naturally starting to take center stage. But still.

      • I have to take back the baggy pants.
        That was only for the draw of the semis.
        And Mi Yuting probably also didnt wear sandals during the games, although the photos dont show it. So I have to take back most my dresscode nagging. Looks like the sponsors were even more uptight about it than me 🙂

      • Many, many years ago, at the Dutch chess championships, a player appeared in a yellow outfit. Some other players were offended, but one commented that as long as clothes are clean and whole there should be no problem. Mi’s outfit looks quite OK to me, no offence intended I guess, probably he didn’t give it a second thought. After all it is about the game on the board, not about some fashion statement.

        Kind regards,

    • The t-shirt looks like an official one – it has the sponsor and tournament names printed on it. No doubt the sponsor was happy for Mi to be their walking billboard! 🙂

  14. Vote for game 1: fantastic move 48 and nice furikawaris

  15. I would love to see a commentary on game 2. The moves in the top left are quite hard to follow for me. Also the moves on the lower side are very interesting.

  16. It is probably because my reading is off, but I am really puzzled about M11 (move 170) in game 4 : it seems to only remove liberties to white. Wouldn’t L2 solve the problem instead ?

    Or is this move played with a more important global objective in mind ?


  17. All 4 games were wonderful, but I would prefer to see a commentary of the 4th game, as the concluding one.

  18. My vote goes to game 2.
    I felt that it was very tight till the end and very interesting.

    Game 1 was also surprisingly close, and also interesting, but I think that since Mi won, it’s more appropriate to review one of his won games.

    Thank you very much for the initiative!

  19. Kitty Thailand says:

    I am prefer game 4. It’s exciting game. I think white advantageous but made some mistakes(more than my knowledge to know which move). It’s worth to learn.

  20. Game 2 please!

  21. Wow! All four of these games are beautiful. As for which to review, I would prefer one of the first two. The first one has many very surprising and stunning moves, and the second one because of the interesting similarity with the fourth.

  22. Vote: Game 2

  23. The 3rd and 4th game repeat the fuseki from the first two, so it will be interesting to see what the players learn from their previous meeting. I am voting for commentaryy of game 3 or 4.

  24. I vote for game 3. I think Mi play wonderfully from the start to the end . Game 2 is interesting too , seem to be the most exciting of the series. In game 4 it seem that Gu try to create “the mess ” which is his specialty but Mi handle it very well.Any way any game commented will be fine for me and i think Mi is really a dangerous figther indeed!

  25. happysocks says:

    Thanks for the write up Jing. 🙂

    Vote: Game 1

  26. I vote for game 4, thank you!

  27. happysocks says:

    Thanks Jing! They’re a delight for dancing (as anyone can see). And everyone really should have a pair of these… But I’d most enjoy seeing Takemiya sensei take em for a spin. Let us never forget his great advice: Go is like The Dance!

  28. I vote for the 4 game, thank you!

  29. I would like to see a commentary of last game, thanks.

  30. The first game please, the opening just seems so weird to me. So I want to know why they played like they did.

  31. Game 1 :)))))))

  32. Game 1 :))))))

  33. Younggil An says:

    Thanks for the vote.
    I calculated by myself, and see that both the game 2 and 4 are most popular. So I’ll review those two games soon.
    Happy New Year everyone! 🙂

  34. Hi An.
    when are you posts commented games(game 2 and game 4)?

  35. Anonymous says:

    i had wait too,