Tuo Jiaxi seizes his first international title – 18th LG Cup

The last game of the 18th LG Cup final was played on February 13, 2014, at Seoul National University, in Korea.

Tuo Jiaxi’s first international title


Tuo Jiaxi wins his first international title and earns a promotion to 9 dan at the 18th LG Cup.

Tuo Jiaxi 3p defeated Zhou Ruiyang 9p, with a 2-1 score, after winning game 3 by resignation.

This is Tuo’s first international title!

According to the Chinese promotion rules, Tuo will now be promoted to the rank of 9p (9 dan pro).

The final game

After 254 moves, the game was actually finished, but Zhou resigned. If he hadn’t resigned, white would have won by 2.5 points.

It was a very interesting game, right from the beginning.

The first fight started on the right side with 22, and the result up to 42 seemed to be slightly better for black (Zhou Ruiyang).

After white’s (Tuo Jiaxi’s) invasion at 46, the battle resumed. The result up to 63 was still playable for black.


Tuo Jiaxi 3 dan (left) captured the group in Zhou Ruiyang 9 dan’s lower left corner, to reverse the game.

Black 75 looked questionable, and the game was reversed after white 100.

White 110 and 112 were nice tesuji, and white took the lead.

White 140 and 142 were also good moves, after which black was in trouble. Up to 158, white was clearly winning.

White 160 was careless, and black caught up again, but Tuo still maintained a small lead.

Tuo’s endgame was perfect, so Zhou didn’t get any further chances to catch up.

The players


Zhou Ruiyang (foreground) and Tuo Jiaxi arrive at the venue for the match.

Zhou Ruiyang is ranked #5, and Tuo Jiaxi is #6 in China, as of February 2014.

They both were born in 1991.

Zhou defeated Tuo in the final of Luoyang Longmen Qisheng (Chinese Kisei) in 2013, with a score of 3-2.

Tuo started out leading the series 2-0, but Zhou clawed his way back to win the title in a reverse sweep.

However, Tuo had his revenge in today’s 18th LG Cup final.

Earlier in the match

Game 1

Tuo (playing white) won game 1 of the final by 1.5 points, after 274 moves. He was behind, but he staged a reversal in the endgame.

Game 2


Zhou Ruiyang (left) fought back to tie the match, in game 2 against Tuo Jiaxi.

Zhou fought back in game game 2 to tie the series at 1-1. He won by resignation after 208 moves.

Zhou got off to a nice start in the opening, and maintained his lead throughout the middle game.

Tuo had one good chance, to attack white’s group at the top, but he made a mistake. He couldn’t find any other opportunities to catch up afterwards.

The LG Cup

The LG Cup is a major international Go tournament. It started in 1996 and the prize money is currently 300 million Won. The runner up receives 100 million Won.

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.

The time limit is in the final is 3 hours and 5 x 40 sec byo-yomi for each player.

18th LG Cup photos

Game records

Zhou Ruiyang vs Tuo Jiaxi – Game 1


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Zhou Ruiyang vs Tuo Jiaxi – Game 2


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


Zhou Ruiyang vs Tuo Jiaxi – Game 3


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. Looking at Game 2, I count black as being ahead, but I’m assuming that Tuo Jiaxi resigned because one of his groups was going to die. What’s White’s followup after black at H13?

    • Younggil An says:

      Tuo Jiaxi resigned because he thought he was losing. If black plays at H13, white would hane at C14, and then cut at B7. Black could also connect with N10, so the center group was safe. Black was slightly winning on the board, but couldn’t pay the komi, so he resigned.

  2. In the 2 picture they look like 0ver 30 years old.
    But yeah nice game, that was interesting, if u beat 9d u become one

  3. Mark Davidson says:

    In game 1 it seems that W was ahead 95 1/2 to 90.

  4. Mark Davidson says:

    10 minutes later, I realized I missed the 2 captured White stones on L 9 and L 10 (that add 4 to Black).

    • Younggil An says:

      Yes, it’s easy to miss counting captured stones when you count. That’s good you eventually realized the missing points. 🙂

  5. In game 3, my thoughts are:
    – at move 43, few of us would probably resist to close the territory at the top with a move at G12 for example; it’s hard to see where White will get compensation; his central group doesn’t even look strong; so it’s a bit of a surprise that Black chooses to approach the lower left instead
    – after the 44-45 exchange, White has 3 ways to reduce the top, now that there is aji from “below” too, so he switches to the lower side, but I don’t understand why he picks the more difficult lower right; after 63 it looks like White still has to do the hard work
    – 67 looks like a thank you move ?
    – up until 109 I feel like White is turning the tables; his stones are working together well now and 109 is a bit of a humiliating way to live in gote
    – the fact that Black needs to reinforce inside after White’s 120, is probably decisive. Next, 122 reduces the black territory while expanding his own moyo. I guess at this stage White is comfortably ahead.
    – still they carry on for a long time, so the difference may not have been that big
    When I first looked at this game, I wondered how Black could lose after having what seemed to be “big territory” against “no thickness”. It was instructive to see White play.

    • Younggil An says:

      Thanks for sharing your thought about the game 3 Dieter.
      Yes, the opening was good for black, and it looks like black was already winning with the huge territory at the top, but Tuo showed how to play for white to win this sort of game.
      Thanks for your comment. 🙂