Fujitsu Cup - 2007

Park Yeonghun defeats Lee Changho in Fujitsu final

Fujitsu Cup is one of the oldest and best known international Go tournaments.

The final tournament is played in a KO system, with 16 players entering the first round, the then the 8 winners meet 8 seeded players in the second round. See the official tournament page for the photos of all 24 finalists from this year.


Park Yeonghun won the final game by 1.5 points - so Lee Changho lost a big chance to comeback as a leader on the international scene.

Here is the game record from the final, with some variations found on the Cyberoro Go server (no comments though). Either download the SGF file or replay it in the applet below.


They said that July 7th 2007 (07-07-07) is a very lucky day (since number 7 alone is considered lucky). It was indeed a lucky day for the Korean Go, but not so for the Japanese Go: the semifinals of Fujitsu saw 2 Korean players winning against 2 Japanese players, so the final will be all Korean.

Park Yeonghun defeated Yoda Norimoto by half a point, while Lee Changho defeated Cho U by resignation.

Here is the game record between Lee Changho and Cho U, with some variations found on the Cyberoro Go server (no comments though). Either download the SGF file or replay it in the applet below.

The final will be played on July 9th.

First round

The first round was played on April 14th. The most interesting games (for me) from the first round were the ones were non-Asian players met Asian professional (from Europe came Svetlana Shishkina 1 dan pro (in Korea), from North America - Jie Lie 9 dan amateur, and from South America: Fernando Aguilar, 6 dan amateur). All three of them lost in this first round and were eliminated from the tournament, unfortunately.

For some reason I find the games between amateurs and professionals fascinating, so I mostly watched Aguilar's and Jie Li's ones. Both of them have a history of defeating professional players!

Official matches between amateurs and professionals are unfair both ways: they are unfair for the amateur player, because the professional player has so much more experience and is playing Go for a living, but they are also unfair for the professional player because of the psychological pressure involved: there is nothing special if the amateur loses, actually that is 99% the expected result, while it's such a painful outcome for the professional to lose...

Yoda Norimoto vs. Jie Li

Yoda Sensei is one of the top Japanese players that have good results internationally as well.

Jie Li is the top amateur player in the US - and he recently won the NAMT match against Feng Yun 9 dan pro.

Judging from the game record, Jie Li didn't make Yoda sweat too much: Yoda won comfortably by 11.5 points.

The game started with Black taking very solid territory, and White building a large moyo on the upper side; part of that resulted in White territory when Black reduced from the center. White is now behind in territory, but has a lot of thickness in the upper side, so he is trying to make use of that thickness by attacking the Black invader in the center. See diagram 1 for the sequence that shaped the middle game.

Dia. 1

Move 92 of Jie Li looks to me like a losing move - see diagram 2 below. The intention behind it is to have Black answer A, so White can peep at B next and keep pressure on the Black group in the center (note that Black cannot play C instead of A, because White D would make miai the cuts at A and E).

The trouble is that Black doesn't need to defend - he actually counterattacked by pushing through White's stones.

Dia. 2

Black 93, etc, in diagram 3 pushed through the opening in White's position, and once Black played 107 the game is effectively over: Black made about 11 points of profit in the center, with what used to be his only weak group - which is interestingly the amount by which Black won the game in the end. After 107, Black has no trouble wrapping up the rest of the game.

Dia. 3

Nakamura Shinya vs. Fernando Aguilar

Nakamura Shinya is 8 dan professional at the Kansai branch of Nihon Ki-in (that is different from Kansai Ki-in, by the way).

Fernando Aguilar has defeated two professional player in a row in rounds 1 and 2 of the 2002 International Oza tournament - that is arguably the best result of an amateur player in the history of Go!

In this game Fernando Aguilar made a slow start: he let Black take a very large territory on the left side - see diagram 4.

Dia. 4

Then he lost some more territory in the exchanges in the upper left - see diagram 5.

Dia. 5

He played steadily waiting for a chance to get back into the game - and played a daring move with White 108 in diagram 6.

Dia. 6

White managed to invade Black's main territory - but Black is still leading in territory after that.

Dia. 7

Then White launched the last challenge with White 170 - threatening to kill a huge Black group (while ignoring Black's last ko-threatening move - the triangle marked stone in the upper-left)..

Dia. 8

A ko fighted started, and an interesting exchange of groups took place - Black recaptured his lower-left territory, but on a much larger scale, while White captured Black's upper-right corner. Black delivered next the finishing blow by killing yet another group of White's, with Black 191 in the lower-right in diagram 9.

This was an exciting looking game, with a lot of fighting - but it looks to me as if Black's win was never in danger in this game.

Dia. 9

Yokota Shigeaki vs. Svetlana Shikshina

Yokota Shigeaki is 9 dan professional at Kansai Ki-in.

Svetlana Shikshina was born in Russia, and she became 1 dan professional by recommandation, in Korea, a few years ago.