Lee Sedol - Gu Li, third encounter

  Difficulty: Intermediate   Keywords: Game commentary
Moves 1 to 10  

This is the third encounter between the young rivals Lee Sedol (Black) and Gu Li (White) and the third one in 2004. It is also the first time they meet in the Samsung Cup, in the semi-final.

EdIV?: Isn't this the second game from the 2004 semi-final?

The right side is the Chinese opening and its development will dominate the board.

Moves 11 to 20  

B3 attacks the seemingly heavy stones. It is probably instructive for amateurs to see how White pressures the corner.

Moves 21 to 30  

W10 is a surprisingly severe move. Suddenly Black's corner doesn't look that healthy.

Moves 31 to 40  

A struggle to get ahead occurs in the centre.

Moves 41 to 50  

W4 makes eyespace at the top. One can wonder whether Black should have played here earlier, at the expense of central influence.

Moves 51 to 60  

B1 is a strange move: the ladder does not work, so one would expect this move at a instead. W6 uses the time spent on that central stone to capture the corner.

Moves 61 to 70  

When Lee invades the corner at B7 one is under the impression that he already must throw the game into complexity, so he is behind. It is a good reading exercise to see what happens if Black tries to reduce White to one eye at a. It's a capturing race involving a potential double ko. I assume Lee prefers to keept that aji for later.

Moves 71 to 80  

Complicated fighting occurs at the top. White is aware of the aji all the time.

Moves 81 to 90  
Moves 91 to 100  
Moves 101 to 110  

At W10 White takes care of the aji. B5 shows more signs of despair. Despite Black's central thickness, White has little to fear on the board. With the big cash in the pocket he can afford to play conservatively.

Moves 111 to 120  

W4 is a thick move. It removes the aji of having only one eye and thus allows White to fight hands free in the moyo. Of course, B3 was double purpose and Black attacks the lower left. But White has good shape there and it is not easy to attack these stones, it seems.

Moves 121 to 130  

Now White can approach at W6 without too much sorrow, thanks to the escape route towards the circled points.

Moves 131 to 140  
Moves 141 to 150  

With an elegant sacrifice maneuver, the bottom becomes another big white territory. White is cruising.

Moves 151 to 160  
Moves 161 to 170  

W8 calmly connects.

Moves 171 to 172  

B1 cuts off a stone but the centre is small. Black resigns.

Lee Sedol - Gu Li, third encounter last edited by on March 21, 2016 - 15:46
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