Archive for February, 2009

Kisei Title: 3:2 for Yamashita

Thursday, February 26th, 2009
Yamashita Keigo won game 5 of the Kisei title by 5.5 points, bringing the score of the best-of-seven final to 3:2. He’s just one win away from defending his title against Yoda Norimoto.
Kisei 2009, game 5

Here is the game record.

You can see all games so far here. More photos here. Next game will be played on March 11th and 12th.

Gu Li Won LG Cup

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009
Gu Li won the second game of the LG Cup final against Lee Sedol, thus winning this top international competition.
Lee Sedol vs Gu Li, LG Cup 2009, game 2
Here is the game record of this second and last game of the final.
To qualify for the final, Gu Li defeated Mok Jinseok 9p of Korea, Won Sungjin 9p of China, Kim Hyeongwoo 3p of Korea and Lee Changho 9p of Korea. This must have also been “sweet revenge” for Gu Li, as he lost to Lee Sedol in Nongshim Cup last week, thus ruining China’s chances to win that competition. Also a pretty rare opportunity to see Gu Li’s smile – he’s usually looking so serious!
Gu Li happy after winning LG Cup 2009
More photos from the match here, here, here, here, here and here. Video from the match here.

Kisei Title, Game 5

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009
The first day of the 5th game of the Kisei title final starts today. Title holder Yamashita Keigo and challenger Yoda Norimoto are tied 2:2 after the first four games. Yamashita plays black in this game.
Kisei title 2009, game 5
Kisei title 2009, game 5
Funny photo taken the day before the match started: the two players are “testing” the goban:
Kisei title 2009, game 5
Check the official match page for game progress and photos of the players and of the game venue.

Gu Li Wins First Game in LG Cup Final Against Lee Sedol

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

The LG Cup finalists this year are Lee Sedol of Korea and Gu Li of China. The two have played together very recently: only four days ago Lee Sedol won against Gu Li in the Nongshim Cup.

The LG Cup final consists of a best-of-three match, with 3 hours thinking time.

Gu Li won the first game, played today (February 23rd). Second game will be played in two days.

LG Cup 2009

Here is the game record.


“I hate people who don’t play joseki”

Saturday, February 21st, 2009
A recent thread on caught my attention: someone is describing a particular sequence from their game where their opponent departed from the pattern that the poster was familiar with, and that resulted in his frustration: “I hate people who don’t play joseki.”.  Another attitude I heard in my old Go club is something like: “I love to play big central moyos, like Takemiya, but at this club it’s just impossible: people keep playing stupid little moves and keep entering my moyo from all directions!”. Both are understandable attitudes: one reads several Go books, spends many hours studying joseki, professional games, etc, just to find out that that knowledge can prove useless in some circumstances. Both attitudes suffer from the same problem: superficial understanding of Go, and “wishful thinking”, hoping the opponent to answer in a particular way. If they don’t, we are at a loss about how to continue… Joseki are in a sense like “cheating”: learning some patterns in advance, to gain time and to make sure we don’t make “too big a mistake” in the beginning of the game. That’s all there is to them. Also, to make things even more frustrating, they change all the time… Come middle game, similar situations occur, just like in the beginning: weak groups fighing each other for eye-space and thickness. But this time we have no joseki books to help us, we’re on our own. So it’s better to think we’re on our own from the very beginning of the game, and joseki are just there to help us in some cases. Don’t let the joseki be your master, but the other way around. My advice is to study joseki in order to understand the principles behind them: direction of play, tesuji, weak groups and strong groups. Just don’t get too attached to them.  

Kisei Title: Yoda Wins Game 4, Evens the Score 2:2

Friday, February 20th, 2009

Yoda Norimoto, the challenger in this year’s Kisei title, won game 4. The score is now 2:2, and the fate of the title game will be decided in the last 3 games.

Next game will be played on February 25th and 26th.

Yoda Norimoto, Kisei challenger

Here is the game record.


Korea Wins Nongshim Cup

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

Nongshim Cup return to Korea this year, after Lee Sedol’s win against the last standing member of the Chinese team, Gu Li.

Nongshim Cup final 2009

Last year it was China who won, when Chang Hao defeated Park Yeonghun of Korea.

This game between Lee Sedol and Gu Li has even deeper meanings for the two of them, as they going to play each other a best-of-three match in the final of the international LG Cup in just a few days (Feb 23-26).

Here is the final game. Lee Sedol, playing white, defeated Gu Li by 3.5 points.


Kisei Game 4

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009
Kisei game 4 started today. Yamashita Keigo, the title holder, leads 2:1 so far. Yoda Norimoto, the challenger, has to win this game to really stay in the game, since it is psychologically very hard to recover from 3:1 (and statistically unlikely).
Kisei 2009, game 4

China Down to One Player in Nongshim Cup

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Lee Sedol defeated Chang Hao in Nongshim Cup.

China’s last player, Gu Li, will have to defeat both Lee Sedol and Lee Changho to win the tournament for his country. Next game tonight (US time, or tomorrow, Feb 19th in Korea).

Nongshim Cup


Japan Eliminated from Nongshim Cup

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009
Takao Shinji, the last standing player from the Japanese team in the Nongshim Cup, lost yesterday to Chang Hao of China:

Nongshim Cup

Nongshim Cup


Here are the 3 team captains: Takao Shinji from Japan, Lee Changho from Korea, and Chang Hao from China:

Nongshim Cup