Samsung Cup

Overview: 

Samsung Cup is a major international tournament established in 1996. Its full name is Samsung Cup World Open Baduk Championship. It is organised by Hanguk Kiwon and sponsored by the insurance subsidiary of Samsung.

Tournament Format: 

Samsung Cup used to be a knockout tournament for 32 players with about half of the players selected from a preliminary tournament open to professional players worldwide. It went through a number of reforms over the years. The present form described below was first introduced in term 14.

The tournament starts with a preliminary event. Players are divided in 19 groups (including 2 groups for women only, 2 groups for senior players (45+) and 1 'world' group to accommodate players outside the major Go playing countries). The 19 group winners are joined by 13 seated players (6 Korean, 4 Chinese, 2 Japanese and 1 wild-card player) to enter the main tournament.

During the main tournament, 32 players are divided in 8 groups. Each group of 4 players play a mini 3-rounds double-elimination tournament. i.e. players must win two games in order to advance - which is considered by some people fairer than a straight knockout format. From the round of 16 the tournament resumes a normal knockout format. Both the semi-finals and the final are best-of-3 matches.

Prize Money: 
Winner: 300,000,000 KRW; runner-up: 100,000,000 KRW.
Time System: 
2 hours main time for each player followed by 1 minute byoyomi (5 opportunities to go beyond 1 minute). Samsung also introduced a special rule in 2010 to abolish lunch breaks.
Ruleset and Komi: 
Korean rule with 6.5-point komi.
Key Players, Events and Statistics: 
  • Lee Sedol was Samsung Cup winner 4 times; Lee Changho was the winner for three consecutive years.
  • Wild card allocation history - 1st: Kim In & Rin Kaiho; 2nd: Hong Taesun & Chen Zude; 3rd: Cho Namchul & Fujisawa Hideyuki; 4th: Cho Sonjin; 5th: Wang Runan; 6th: Rui Naiwei; 7th: Takemiya Masaki; 8th: Cho Chikun; 9th: Nie Weiping; 10th: Yoda Norimoto; 11th: Seo Bongsoo; 12th: Ma Xiaochun; 13th: Kobayashi Koichi; 14th: Cho Hunhyun; 15th: Yoo Changhyuk; 16th: Lee Changho; 17th: Nie Weiping; 18th: Chang Hao; 19th: Lee Changho; 20th: Lee Changho; 21st: Gu Li; 22nd: Hei Jiajia.
  • Wild cards have been given to players that have made significant contributions to Go, whose best times are past. However Cho Sonjin and Cho Chikun took their chances nicely, both entering the final and Cho Chikun actually won the title in 2003.
  • As with the LG cup, China and Korea have enjoyed most successful preliminary campaigns over the years and Japan's share has been very small reflecting its poor performance at international scene. Taiwan (officially playing as Chinese Taipei) has started making some impact in recent years. The introduction of a 'world' group guarantees a seat for western players.
  • Statistics of preliminary tournaments:

      Number attended Number qualified
    Term KR CN JP TW Others Total KR CN JP TW Others Total
    6 163 23 43 23 1 244 8 5 3 0 0 16
    7 173 35 72 14 0 298 6 10 0 0 0 16
    8 170 36 49 11 0 270 9 7 0 0 0 16
    9 177 35 61 17 0 295 9 7 0 0 0 16
    10 176 40 60 16 0 296 10 4 2 0 0 16
    11 184 42 54 14 1 299 8 7 1 0 0 16
    12 195 41 58 14 0 308 10 5 1 0 0 16
    13 202 51 47 19 0 319 6 10 0 0 0 16
    14 206 53 27 13 10 309 8 7 0 0 0 15
    15 221 56 34 9 0 308 11 7 1 0 0 19
    16 202 62 28 19 0 311 10 9 0 0 0 19
    17 220 65 26 17 0 328 6 12 1 0 0 19
    18 204 89 30 13 9 345 6 11 1 0 1 19
    19 220 88 25 16 12 361 5 11 1 1 1 19
    20 190 89 6 11 12 308 8 7 1 2 1 19
    21 191 84 21 21 12 329 3 14 1 0 1 19
    22 231 88 27 20 12 378 9 8 1 0 1 19

     

Historical Results: 

Term

Year

Winner

Score

Runner-up

Game Records

1

1996

Yoda Norimoto

2-1

Yoo Changhyuk

2

1997

Lee Changho

3-0

Kobayashi Satoru

3

1998

Lee Changho

3-2

Ma Xiaochun

4

1999

Lee Changho

3-0

Cho Sonjin

5

2000

Yoo Changhyuk

3-1

Yamada Kimio

6

2001

Cho Hunhyun

2-1

Chang Hao

7

2002

Cho Hunhyun

2-0

Wang Lei (b)

8

2003

Cho Chikun

2-1

Park Yeonghun

9

2004

Lee Sedol

2-0

Wang Xi

10

2005

Luo Xihe

2-1

Lee Changho

11

2006

Chang Hao

2-0

Lee Changho

12

2007

Lee Sedol

2-1

Park Yeonghun

13

2008

Lee Sedol

2-0

Kong Jie

14

2009

Kong Jie

2-0

Qiu Jun

15

2010

Gu Li

2-1

Heo Yongho

16

2011

Weon Seongjin

2-1

Gu Li

17

2012

Lee Sedol

2-1

Gu Li

18

2013

Tang Weixing

2-0

Lee Sedol

19

2014

Kim Jiseok

2-0

Tang Weixing

20

2015

Ke Jie

2-0

Shi Yue

21

2016

Ke Jie

2-1

Tuo Jiaxi

Go4Go Collection Note: 
Go4Go has almost complete collection of main tournament games (except a few group-stage games in term 14). Go4Go also has a number of preliminary tournament games.