South Korea’s last bastion of go, 9th dan Park Jung-hwan, suffered a heartbreaking defeat at Samsung Hwa Jae-gyup.
On the second day of the quarterfinals of the 2023 Samsung Fireworks World Go Masters at the Samsung Fireworks Global Campus in Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do, Korea, Park was defeated by China’s Ding Hao 9th dan in 195 moves.
With this, South Korea has been eliminated from the tournament altogether.
China’s Ding Hao advanced to the final after Xie Shenghao the day before and won the Samsung Flower Planting Championship for the third time in three years after 2020.
Park Jung-hwan, the 2021 winner of the event, suffered a heartbreaking defeat after failing to protect two clear leads on the day.
Park took advantage of his opponent’s mistake on the right side of the board in the early game, but the advantage was quickly eroded by a series of loose moves.
In the middlegame, Park took advantage of Ding Hao’s overcrowding on the left flank to take a clear lead, with the AI’s predicted win rate exceeding 90%.
However, Ding Hao’s fierce defense prevented Park from landing a decisive blow, and he missed as he tried to forcefully grab his opponent’s pieces.
After missing both the left and center black hemp, Park was forced to throw a stone.
With Park’s loss in the semifinals, South Korea lost the Samsung Hwajaejae championship to China.
China clinched its 12th overall title.
South Korea is still ahead of China with 14 career titles.
The finals between Dinghao and Shenghao will be held in three rounds over 25-28 days.
The prize money for the Samsung Flower Cultivation championship is 300 million won, and the runner-up prize is 100 million won.
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