Korean pros dominate 2nd MLily Cup – Round of 16 and quarter final wrap up

The round of 16 and the quarter finals of the 2nd MLily Cup took place on August 30 and September 1, 2015, in Guangzhou, China.

It was a showdown between China and Korea, with Japanese and Taiwanese players eliminated in earlier rounds.

Defeating a natural enemy

Zhou Ruiyang 9p defeated Park Junghwan 9p in a very meaningful victory for Zhou.

Zhou Ruiyang 9dan defeats natural enemy Park Junghwan 9p

Zhou Ruiyang 9 dan (left) defeats natural enemy Park Junghwan 9 dan at the 2nd MLily Cup

Their head to head record before this game stood at 8-1 in Park’s favor, which is very unbalanced between world champion players.

However, Zhou’s excellent sabaki in this game was a tour de force and he was able to overcome his natural enemy.

Upset of the round

Ahn Seongjun 6p caused a stir by unexpectedly upsetting Chinese heavyweight, Tuo Jiaxi 9p.

An Sungjoon 6 dan (left) upsets world champion, Tuo Jiaxi 9 dan (right) at the 2nd MLily Cup

An Sungjoon 6 dan (left) upsets world champion, Tuo Jiaxi 9 dan at the 2nd MLily Cup

Other round of 16 games

Lee Sedol 9p and Park Younghun 9p easily defeated their respective opponents, Ding Hao 2p and Chinese veteran, Chang Hao 9p.

Rong Yi 4p defeated Kim Sedong 5p by a half a point in the only game not decided by resignation.

Tang Weixing 9p, Ke Jie 9p and Xie Ke 1p were too good for fellow countrymen, Li Qincheng 1p, Wang Zejin 3p and Wu Guangya 6p.

Quarter finals

After a brief day’s respite, eight remaining players regrouped to vie for a spot in the semifinal.

Ahn Seongjun 6p continued his run by defeating China’s Xie Ke 1p.

An will take on Lee Sedol 9p, who ended Tang Weixing’s hopes to proceed to the quarter finals.

An Sungjoon 6 dan (left) delighted to take on Lee Sedol 9 dan (right) in the 2nd MLily Cup semifinal

An Sungjoon 6 dan (left) delighted to take on Lee Sedol 9 dan in the 2nd MLily Cup semifinal

Park Younghun 9p halted Zhou Ruiyang’s run in fine form.

Park will face China’s sole hope in the semifinal, Ke Jie 9p, who bested Rong Yi 4p.

Ke Jie 9 dan (left) will take on Park Younghun 9 dan (right) in the semifinals of the 2nd MLily Cup

Ke Jie 9 dan (left) will take on Park Younghun 9 dan (right) in the semifinals of the 2nd MLily Cup

MLily Cup

The MLily Cup is a biennial international Go tournament, which started in 2013 and is sponsored by MLily Meng Baihe – a mattress and bedding company.

It’s intended that it will alternate with the (also biennial) Bailing Cup, every other year.

The draw consists of 16 seeded players from China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan and 48 players from preliminary rounds, including 4 women and 4 amateurs.

Each player receives 2 hours thinking time and 5 x 1 minute byo-yomi. The main time is increased to 3 hours each for the final. The semifinals are played as best of three matches and the final is a best of five match.

The winner receives 1.8 million RMB (about $290,000 USD at the time of writing) and the runner up receives 600,000 RMB. This puts the tournament in the same league as the Bailing Cup and Samsung Cup, in terms of prize money.

The official name, ‘MLily Meng Baihe Cup World Go Open Tournament’ (try saying that 10 times) uses the sponsor’s double barrel English and Chinese names.

The Chinese name, 梦百合 Meng (=dream) Baihe (=lilies), translates literally to ‘dream of lilies’. A looser, but more natural translation would be something like ‘sweet dreams’. This explains the somewhat cryptic ‘MLily’ moniker.

Game records

Zhou Ruiyang vs Park Junghwan

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Tuo Jiaxi vs Ahn Seongjun

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Tang Weixing vs Lee Sedol

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Park Younghun vs Zhou Ruiyang

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Xie Ke vs Ahn Seongjun

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Ke Jie vs Rong Yi

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