Kang Dongyun and Park Younghun to meet in 20th LG Cup final

 

Kang Dongyun 9p and Park Younghun 9p proceed to the final of the 20th LG Cup.

The quarter finals and semifinals of the 20th LG Cup took place on November 16 and 18, 2015, in Gangwon, Korea.

Two Korean players to meet in the final

Kang Dongyun 9p and Park Younghun 9p defeated Shi Yue 9p and Tuo Jiaxi 9p in the semifinals respectively.

The game between Kang Dongyun and Shi Yue was very exciting and spectacular along with the huge life and death situation over the center. Shi took the lead after a big trade in the center, but Kang magically reversed the game with a two step late ko.

Meanwhile, Park Younghun had a nice opening aginst Tuo Jiaxi, and he leaded the game in his pace with his exquisite haengma.

Tuo started to play aggressively afterwards, but Park maintained his lead through the middle game, and there were no chances for Tuo in the endgame against Park.

The final will be played on early January, 2015, Korea.

Park Younghun 9 dan (left) and Kang Dongyun 9 dan at an interview after their semifinals.

Park Younghun 9 dan (left) and Kang Dongyun 9 dan at an interview after their semifinals.

Shi Yue

Shi Yue 9 dan (left) and Kin Jiseok 9 dan, reviewing the game from the quarter finals.

Shi Yue 9 dan (left) and Kin Jiseok 9 dan, reviewing the game from the quarter finals.

Shi Yue is ranked #2 in China, handing over the #. 1 position to Ke Jie 9p a couple of months ago.

Recently, he defeated Tang Weixing 9p in the semifinal of the 2015 Samsung Cup by 2-1 to proceeded to the final.

His opponent in the final is none other than Ke Jie, so the match will determine the first player who has won international Go tournaments more than once after Gu Li 9p.

In Korea, he is widely known as an enthusiastic reader of Chinese classical books. In contrast, his style of play is very fierce, making him one of the most aggressive players in the world.

He defeated Kim Jiseok 9p in the quarter finals, but he lost to Kang Dongyun in the semifinals.

Kang Dongyun

Kang Dongyun 9 dan (left) and Ke Jie 9 dan in the quarter finals.

Kang Dongyun 9 dan (left) and Ke Jie 9 dan in the quarter finals.

Kang Dongyun 9p is ranked #4 in Korea, and he defeated the Chinese #1 player Ke Jie at the quarter finals.

As mentioned in the previous article, Ke Jie has been undefeated as white in his official games this year.

However, in the game against Kang Dongyun, he chose to play Black although he had the right to select his preferred color.

Despite complicated battles throughout the game, Kang managed to maintain his lead by a small margin until Ke resigned.

Kang Dongyun’s victory was meaningful in that he checked Ke’s unstoppable pace in the international Go scene.

Park Younghun

Park Younghun 9 dan (left) and Yo Seiki 7 dan at the quarter finals.

Park Younghun 9 dan (left) and Yo Seiki 7 dan at the quarter finals.

Park Younghun is ranked #3 in Korea overtaking players like Kim Jiseok 9p and Kang Dongyun 9p.

He has performed very well in recent international tournaments.

He defeated Chang Hao 9p and Zhou Ruiyang 9p to proceed to the semifinals of the 2nd MLily Cup in early September.

At his young age, he quited playing as an Insei, and participated in amateur tournaments with a number of victories.

His rank is the highest among the ‘baby cow trio’ which refers to Park Younghun, Won Seongjin, and Choi Cheolhan 9p, all of whom were born in 1985; the year of cow in zodiac.

Park has been known as the endgame master after Lee Changho 9p.

Tuo Jiaxi

Won Seongjin 9 dan (left) and Tuo Jiaxi 9 dan at the quarter finals.

Won Seongjin 9 dan (left) and Tuo Jiaxi 9 dan at the quarter finals.

Tuo Jiaxi is ranked #6 in China and the winner of the 18th LG Cup in 2014.

He also won several domestic tournaments in China.

He seems to prefer unsettled fighting games and he is strong at close combat rather than peaceful game.

He showed his power at fighting against Won Seongjin 9p in the quarter finals.

However, there weren’t any good places for him to show his strength against Park Younghun in territorial game in the semifinals.

Results of the quarter finals

The quarterfinal matches had a lot of interesting viewpoints.

First, it represents current trends in the international Go scene well.

Three pairs of Korean and Chinese players ran into each other, and it shows that the competition between the two countries is even.

Yo Seiki (Taiwanese name – Yu Zhengqi) 7p was the only Japanese player, but he wasn’t able to overcome Park Younghun.

All of the three games drew a lot of attention of Go fans as they are all top players in their countries.

Kang Dongyun, Shi Yue and Tuo Jiaxi defeated Ke Jie, Kim Jiseok and Won Seongjin respectively.

LG Cup

The LG Cup is a major international Go tournament. It started in 1996 and the prize money is currently 300 million Won (approximately $270,000 USD at the time of writing). The runner up receives 100 million Won.

The main draw of 32 players is part invitational, comprising of 5 Korean players, 5 Chinese players, 4 Japanese players, 1 Taiwanese player and including the previous year’s winner and runner up.

The rest of the main draw is determined through a preliminary tournament. The format is single knockout, with the final played as a best of three games.

The tournament is sponsored by LG Electronics, a multinational consumer electronics company whose headquarters are in South Korea.

Game records

Kang Dongyun vs Shi Yue – Semifinals

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Kang Dongyun 9 dan (left) and Shi Yue 9 dan at the semifinals from the 20th LG Cup.

Kang Dongyun 9 dan (left) and Shi Yue 9 dan at the semifinals from the 20th LG Cup.

Park Younghun vs Tuo Jiaxi – Semifinals

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Park Younghun 9 dan (left) and Tuo Jiaxi 9 dan at the semifinals from the 20th LG Cup.

Park Younghun 9 dan (left) and Tuo Jiaxi 9 dan at the semifinals from the 20th LG Cup.

Ke Jie vs Kang Dongyun – Quarter Finals

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Shi Yue vs Kim Jiseok – Quarter Finals

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Tuo Jiaxi vs Won Seongjin – Quarter Finals

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Yo Seiki vs Park Younghun – Quarter Finals

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