Go Commentary: Park Junghwan vs Kim Jiseok – 19th LG Cup

This is game 3 from the 19th LG Cup final.

The game was played between Park Junghwan 9p and Kim Jiseok 9p on February 12, 2015, in Gangneung, Gangwon-do, Korea.

Kim Jiseok 9 dan (left) and Park Junghwan 9 dan at the 19th LG Cup final.

Kim Jiseok 9 dan (left) and Park Junghwan 9 dan at the 19th LG Cup final.

Park Junghwan

Park Junghwan is currently ranked #1 in Korea, and he’s also #1 in the world according to Dr Bai Taeil’s rating system, which is used by the Korean Baduk Association.

Even though he hadn’t won any international titles since the 24th Fujitsu Cup in 2011, his results in international matches have been still remarkable.

Park defeated Li Weiqing 1p, Tang Weixing 9p, Chen Yaoye 9p and Park Younghun 9p to proceed to the final in this LG Cup.

Park’s style of play isn’t easy to describe. That’s because he plays very flexibly and his moves are well balanced between the power and skill. He’s not very good at attacking, and this seems to be his only weakness so far.

Kim Jiseok

On the other hand, Kim Jiseok is ranked #2 in Korea, and he’s also #2 in the world according to Dr Bai Taeil’s rating system, just behind Park Junghwan.

His 2014 individual record in international matches has been near perfect, at 15 wins and 1 loss. He was only defeated by Qiu Jun 9p in the quarter finals of the 2nd Bailing Cup.

In this LG Cup, Kim defeated Zhou Ruiyang 9p, Li Zhe 6p, Tuo Jiaxi 9p, who was the defending champion, and Choi Cheolhan 9p en route to the final.

Kim’s style of play is quite different to Park Junghwan’s. Kim’s moves are sharper and stronger in my opinion, and he’s good at attacking as well. However, the opening is his weak point, and his endgame is not as perfect as Park’s.

Typical games between Park and Kim

When they play together, Park is generally ahead in the opening, and Kim fights very hard to catch up in the middle game.

If Kim reverses the game by fighting, he’ll struggle again in the endgame, but when Park maintains his lead, he’ll win without significant trouble in the endgame.

So far, the latter case has been more common,  and some people say Park is Kim’s natural enemy. The head to head record between these two, before this game, was 17-6 in Park’s favor.

If Kim wants to become #1, he’ll have to surpass Park one day. This final was a great opportunity to do so.

Reviewing the game. Those bowls are what we're selling.

Kim Jiseok (left) and Park Junghwan review their game together.

The beautiful Go bowls used in this LG Cup final were traditional Korean lacquerware Go Bowls.

Let’s have a look at game 3 of the 19th LG Cup final…

Commented game record

Park Junghwan vs Kim Jiseok

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