Shi Yue’s international breakthrough – 17th LG Cup champion

On February 20, 2013, Shi Yue ended the 17th LG Cup early, defeating Won Seongjin 9p in two straight games.

Dangerously strong


Shi Yue (5 dan, left) plays Won Seongjin (9 dan) in the final of the 17th LG Cup.

Coming into this final, Shi’s game seemed to be dangerously strong against the Korean style.

His record in 2012 was 17-2 against Korean pros – ‌including a win against Lee Sedol in the 2nd round of this tournament.

These games were no different. Shi skillfully parried Won’s severe attacks, never giving him a chance to land the famed ‘Won punch’.

All this despite having never won a major domestic title in China. His only domestic title to date was the Xinren Wang (Rookies’ Cup) in 2009.

‘Exclusive’ interview

In a riveting post match interview, Shi revealed that he likes walking and watching TV (hopefully not at the same time), and that he’s currently single.

To be fair to Shi, he was just answering the questions he was asked. 🙂

In addition, Shi said he studies Go for 6-7 hours every day.


Shi Yue 9 dan.

Shi Yue celebrates a decade in style

Interestingly, this win comes 10 years after Shi turned pro. Not a bad way to toast a decade!

Based on the Chinese Go Association promotion rules, Shi Yue will be promoted straight to 9p for winning an international title.


Imminent victory: Shi Yue, after playing the winning move.

China on a roll

With Shi’s win, China has now won five consecutive LG Cups and eclipsed Korea’s previous record of four consecutive wins (the 5th-8th LG Cups).

No doubt the Korean players will be eager to start their campaign to reclaim the title in the 18th LG Cup.

About the LG Cup

The LG Cup is a major international Go tournament. It started in 1996 and the prize money is currently 250 million Won (about $230,000 USD at the time of writing).

The main draw of 32 players is part invitational, comprising of 5 Korean players, 5 Chinese players, 4 Japanese players, 1 Taiwanese player and including the previous year’s winner and runner up.

The rest of the main draw is determined through a preliminary tournament. The format is single knockout, with the final played as a best of 3 games.

The tournament is sponsored by LG Electronics, a multinational consumer electronics company whose headquarters are in South Korea.

17th LG Cup photos

Game records

Shi Yue vs Won Seongjin – Game 1


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Won Seongjin vs Shi Yue – Game 2


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. Devin Flake says:

    Shi Yue has an interesting style of play 🙂

    • David Ormerod says:

      Yes, the second game was particularly interesting. Black seemed to be getting everything he wanted for awhile, but white won 🙂

  2. Something wrong with that web app: I can’t tell where the stones are being played.

    • David Ormerod says:

      Are you using Google Chrome? If so, try updating to the latest version or testing the site in another browser, because there were problems with some older versions that were fixed in the newer ones.

      If you’re not, and there are still problems, please email us with more details.

      Thanks Blake

      • Hi David,

        i’ve the same problem with the web app and use the newest google version.
        Shi Yue sems to be very good at handling weak stones?
        Maybe its worth a review by Master An Younggil 8p 🙂

        • David Ormerod says:

          So it seems that this problem has reappeared in the newest version of Chrome :(.

          I couldn’t figure out how to fix it last time (despite spending a lot of time on it) and noticed that it was also happening on other sites that use EidoGo. When the newer version of Chrome came out and it was fixed, I assumed that Google had fixed a bug in Chrome.

          Does anyone have any ideas about whether it’s possible to fix this problem from our end?

        • David Ormerod says:

          Oh, and regarding the game, I thought the same thing and mentioned it to Younggil, but he was already looking at the game 🙂

  3. That second game had a very weird feeling to me. White just kept slowly crawling around the board (all those pushes on the top side he answered so softly, felt good for black), and then c18 reverse sente simply sacrificing d13, and slow solid k17 again (though I did think black might have jumped out in answer to j16 pincer to attack the pincer using the wall instead of taking corner). Then more sacrifice and slow pushing around on the left side, and then suddenly, resign!

    • David Ormerod says:

      That was my impression too. White had the kind of position that would be very hard for me to play. N6 seemed to be appropriate given that white’s position on the right was open on both sides, but I’d still prefer to play black.

      I expected black to jump at F15 too (when white pincered) and I still can’t really see what’s wrong with it. Black’s result in the game wasn’t bad either though.

      The play in the lower left was interesting too. Black F4 is often dangerous (I expected black D4 instead), because white C5 and the possible cut are annoying. In this case maybe Won thought black could handle the potential cut with the turn at F3 though?

  4. John Mangual says:

    These games are very unique. It’s hard for me to tell why both games are over. In the second game it looks like 7 stones get captured. In the 1st game, I can’t tell what’s alive up top.

  5. Hi David,

    please don’t worry about that app thing. Its easy to download your games and view them in a sgf editor.
    This 2nd game is a miracle for me … but i like white k17 somehow.

  6. Both games seemed unusual to me.
    In the first game I couldn’t believe b actually survived with both groups in the top left.
    And in the 2nd game w seemed to be too obstinate in immediately destroying anything that b built – but it worked …
    17-2 is an amazing record though, that makes it impossible to talk about luck.
    For us amateurs, the pressure is usually on the side that’s beeing attacked.
    But Shi Yue actually seems to put huge pressure on the attacker to justify his investments in the attack.

  7. I can only see 120 moves for game 2 but in fact more than 180 moves were played. I don’t know why it is and suspect some people may actually thought black resigned at move 120.

    • I sure thought it ended after 120 moves, since that’s all that are here. Couldn’t figure out why it ended….

      • I had the same problem.
        Then I thought “professional resignation”.
        Now I feel doubly foolish.

    • Oops, sorry guys. That was the game record that was available a few hours after the match finished, but it seems like it was amended to 180 moves later. I’m not sure what happened there.

      I’ve replaced the sgf for game 2 with the complete one, thanks A.L.

  8. EidoGo does not like it in Google Chrome when the page is resized. To fix, set the page back to the normal size and refresh. Once you start placing stones you can resize the page again and the stones will stay aligned.

  9. As linked to in the article above, Mr. Younggil did a commentary over one of Shi Yue’s games last August:

    Thank-you for the nice Shi Yue photos.

    • This Shi – Lee game is one of the most sensational of 2012. Great to have it commented.

      Kind regards,

  10. My own sense of w’s (shi yue) play was that it was very serene. Even passive somehow. Of course this impression is clearly deceptive, but it’s very interesting how he just kind of lets his opponent do the work for him. It reminds me of the idea of jiu-jitsu and judo where the idea seems to be to use your opponent’s strength against them.