Korean Go is strong even at ‘number three’. South Korea’s No. 3 go player, Byun Sang-il 9-dan (26-photo), is one win away from winning his first major world title. Byun Sang-il defeated China’s Li Xuanhao 9-dan in 219 moves in the first game of the third round of the finals of the 14th Chunlan Bae World Professional Go Championship at the Hyatt Hotel in Chongqing, China, on Sunday.
The tournament was held in Li’s hometown of Chongqing. The hosts, China, deliberately chose this location to give Liu a strong boost.
Byun Sang-il had been preparing for the final by playing real-life matches with Shin Shin-seo 9 dan and Park Jung-hwan 9 dan. The two knights were evenly matched, with Li Xuanhao also defeating Shin Dongseo in the quarterfinals 먹튀검증.
After a favorable start, Byun Sang-il’s win rate was over 90% at one point, but two crucial mistakes at the midway point tipped the balance slightly in Li Xuanhao’s favor. The next few games were very close, with neither side gaining an advantage. However, as Li Xuanhao made some unfortunate moves in the closing stages, Byun Sang-il regained the momentum and never allowed any more upsets to occur.
Byun Sang-il has been ranked third for a long time, behind Shin Shin-seo and Park Jung-hwan, but unlike those two, he has never won a world title. Therefore, his preparation for the Chunran Bae was different than ever.
After defeating Kisun, Byun Sang-il will take a day off before playing the second game on the 19th. With this victory, the head-to-head record between the two knights is now 2-3. In Game 2, Byun Sang-il plays white. Li Xuanhao hasn’t won a single game with black this year.