LG Cup

Overview: 

LG Cup is a major international Go tournament that has been held annually since 1997. It is the successor to Korea's domestic Kiwang tournament and it is often referred to as "LG Cup World Kiwang Tournament". The organiser is Chosun Ilbo (조선일보), one of Korea's largest media groups. The sponsor is LG Corporation. It is not to be confused with the domestic Korean LG Cup (also know as LG Refined Oil Cup, discontinued).

Tournament Format: 

A knockout format has always been used - 31 players in term 1, 24 players in term 2-9, and 32 players since term 10. The finals are best-of-3 (were best-of-5 before 2006). Each year since term 10, half of the seats are decided via a preliminary tournament. Two seats are reserved for the winner and runner-up of previous term. The rest are allocated to top Asian players (Korea 6, Japan 4, China 3,and Chinese Taipei 1). European and American representatives were present before 2006, but have disappeared due to the loss of their reserved seats and the introduction of highly competitive preliminary tournament.

Prize Money: 
As of term 18, the prizes are (in Korean Won): winner: 300,000,000; runner-up: 100,000,000; losers in semi-final: 24,000,000; losers in round 3: 14,000,000; losers in round 2: 7,000,000; losers in round 1: 4,000,000; preliminary qualifiers: 2,000,000. There's also prize money for winning the earlier preliminary rounds, but barely enough to cover the cost of travelling for players outside Korea.
Time System: 
Three hours each, followed by 1-minute 'byoyomi' (changed to 40-second byoyomi in term 18). There is no lunch break.
Ruleset and Komi: 
Korean rule with 6.5 point komi (was 5.5 in term 1 and 2).
Key Players, Events and Statistics: 

The almighty Lee Changho won the title 4 times and entered the final 7 times in total. Past titles went to a big pool of players, including Zhou Junxun, who secured the only international title for Taiwan in year 2007. The strong recovery of Chinese professional Go in recent years is evident in this event as China secured six consecutive wins. While almost all Korean professionals participate the preliminary tournaments, China and Japan only send selected players, mainly for cost reasons. Despite being outnumbered, China has done really well in these preliminary tournaments, partly because only established players and promising new talents are sent to compete. Japan, on the other hand, has a dismal record, as indicated in the table below showing the number of qualifiers.

Term
China
Korea
Japan
Chinese Taipei
10
9
5
2
0
11
6
7
2
1
12
6
9
1
0
13
7
9
0
0
14
7/49
9
0
0
15
11/55
5/224
0/49
0/15
16
5
11
0
0
17
12/55
4
0
0
18
8/81
8/230
0/36
0/18
19
12/87
4/224
0/23
0/13
20
7/93
5/215
0/13
0/19
21 11 5 0/7 0/22
Historical Results: 

Term

Year

Winner

Score

Runner-up

Game Records

1

1997

Lee Changho

3-0

Yoo Changhyuk

2

1998

O Rissei

3-2

Yoo Changhyuk

3

1999

Lee Changho

3-0

Ma Xiaochun

4

2000

Yu Bin

3-1

Yoo Changhyuk

5

2001

Lee Changho

3-2

Lee Sedol

6

2002

Yoo Changhyuk

3-2

Cho Hunhyun

7

2003

Lee Sedol

3-1

Lee Changho

8

2004

Lee Changho

3-1

Mok Jinseok

9

2005

Cho U

3-1

Yu Bin

10

2006

Gu Li

3-2

Chen Yaoye

11

2007

Zhou Junxun

2-1

Hu Yaoyu

12

2008

Lee Sedol

2-1

Han Sanghoon

13

2009

Gu Li

2-0

Lee Sedol

14

2010

Kong Jie

2-0

Lee Changho

15

2011

Piao Wenyao

2-0

Kong Jie

16

2012

Jiang Weijie

2-0

Lee Changho

17

2013

Shi Yue

2-0

Weon Seongjin

18

2014

Tuo Jiaxi

2-1

Zhou Ruiyang

19

2015

Park Junghwan

2-1

Kim Jiseok

20

2016

Kang Dongyun

2-1

Park Yeonghun

21

Go4Go Collection Note: 
Go4Go has complete records of main tournament games, plus a small number of preliminary tournament games.