Friday, February 27, 2009

Korea Won Nongshim Cup

The 10th Nongshim Cup has end.

In the last game, Lee Sedol from Korea beat Gu Li from China.

Lee played white in this game and Gu Li took black. The game was a fighting game since the beginning. A capturing race started at move 23, when black tried to attack white's weak group. Lee managed to alive after he cut black's group with move 80.
Board condition up to move 80

It's Lee's turn to attack with move 146, after he successfully invaded black's moyo and put one of black's group in danger. Black's combination from move 143-148 was amazing. Black created threat to alive and at the same time created a ko fight in the corner, which he won it.

After a long battle, white won the game by 3.5 points.
Gu Li (left) vs. Lee Sedol (right)

With this, Korea has won 8 out of 10 times, while China and Japan both has won this tournament once.

Friday, February 20, 2009

China Down To Last Player

After a won from Takao Shinji, Chang Hao from China was defeated by Korea's #1 player, Lee Sedol.

This time, Chang Hao played as white and Lee Sedol played as black.
Chang Hao (left) vs. Lee Sedol (right)

My first question of the game came from Chang Hao's move at move 20, which is disadvantageous due to black's advantageous ladder. Perhaps Chang Hao wanted to play a threatening ladder breaker move later, but didn't get the opportunity to.
Game progress is up to move 75

The battle began after Lee played move 27. The battle in the right side is difficult for both side, but in the end, Chang Hao able to save the big group, however I think the game is still better for Lee, since he gained some thickness to the center.

The second fight started at move 100, when Chang Hao, again, try to survive inside Lee Sedol's moyo. In the end. Chang Hao able to connect the group to his upper right corner, but Lee took sente in exchange.

Chang Hao resigned in move 169, after he failed to kill Lee's group in the left side.

With this, China is down to Gu Li, while Korea still have the two Lee.

Japan Lost Nongshim Cup

The third stage of 10th Nongshim Cup was started February 17.

Japan's last player, the current Judan title holder, Takao Shinji lost to China's captain, Chang Hao.

Takao Shinji (left) vs. Chang Hao (right)

Taking white, Takao Shinji resigned at move 207. I think the gap is about 15 points on the board.

The game's progress is up to move 72

The opening is quite unique. White 18 is a modern and rare answer to the 2 spaces high pincer.
Chang Hao's answer at move 25 is a new answer (which I personally think is not a good answer). Usually black will answer at K4 instead of N2. However, I think the opening is slightly better for black.

The three captains. From left to right: Takao Shinji, Lee Changho, Chang Hao. As usual, Lee doesn't smile :)

With this lost, Japan's eliminated from the cup. Next is Chang Hao vs. Lee Sedol.