Go Commentary: Gu Li vs Park Junghwan – 2013 Samsung Cup

This is game 2 from the 2013 Samsung Cup group stage.

The game was played between Gu Li 9p and Park Junghwan 9p on September 4, 2013, in Shanghai, China.

Park Junghwan 9 dan (left) and Gu Li 9 dan at the 2013 Samsung Cup

Park Junghwan 9 dan (left) and Gu Li 9 dan at the 2013 Samsung Cup

Group stage

Gu Li and Park Junghwan were both in group H, along with Yuki Satoshi 9p and Liao Xingwen 5p.

Both Gu and Park defeated Yuki and Liao respectively in game 1 of the group stage and the winner of this game would proceed to the round of 16. Meanwhile, the loser of this game had to win one more game to go on to the next round.

Gu Li

Gu Li was ranked #5 in China, and he was in good form at the time. He became a father just before this game and I have no doubt that he was very happy to meet his daughter.

Gu Li 9 dan at the 2013 Samsung Cup

Gu Li 9 dan at the 2013 Samsung Cup

He married Lu Wenyang on January 1, 2013. Lu is a renowned gymnast, who won a silver medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Lu gave birth to a daughter on August 29, and that was just a week before this game. This was Gu’s first official game after the birth of his daughter.

2012 Samsung Cup final

Gu was in the final of the 2012 Samsung Cup, but he certainly wouldn’t have good memories of that match. He faced Lee Sedol 9p in the final, and was defeated 2-1.

The two games which Gu lost were decided by only half a point, and he missed so many chances to win in those games.

The 2012 Samsung Cup final was the starting point for the MLily Gu vs Lee Jubango. Ni Zhanggen, the president of the MLily, is a big fan of Gu, and he couldn’t believe that Gu lost against Lee Sedol.

Ni regarded Gu to be stronger than Lee, but Gu lost because of bad luck. A year after the 2012 Samsung Cup final, both Gu and Lee agreed with the Jubango and it began in January 2014.

Park Junghwan

On the other hand, Park Junghwan was ranked #1 in Korea at the time. He won the 31st KBS Cup, 14th Maxim Cup and 9th Price Information Cup in 2013.

Park Junghwan 9 dan at the 2013 Samsung Cup

Park Junghwan 9 dan at the 2013 Samsung Cup

However, he wasn’t satisfied with that because he’d lost in the finals of a couple of international tournaments.

In the 7th Ing Cup final, Park played against Fan Tingyu 3p in early 2013. Many Go fans expected Park to win easily because Fan Tingyu wasn’t yet well known.

However, Park was defeated 3-1 and the Korean media and his fans were shocked. In addition, he was defeated by Iyama Yuta 9p in the 25th Asian TV Cup final too.

It was very sensational at the time, because it had been a long time since Japanese players won an international tournament.

All the major international tournaments were won by Chinese players in 2013, and it was already apparent that this Samsung Cup was the last chance for a Korean player to win an international tournament in 2013 when this game was played.

Let’s have a look at the game 2 from the 2013 Samsung Cup group stage.

Commented game record

Gu Li vs Park Junghwan

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