The Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance World Baduk Master, also known as the Samsung Cup, is one of the most prestigious world class tournaments. It gathers in Korea 32 top players, usually selected by their ranking or through a national selection process.
This year, the main tournament will kick off on November 15th.
Andrii Kravets 1p, the 2023 European Go Champion, has been awarded a wild card to participate in the tournament.
Last year, the Samsung Cup was won by Shin Jinseo after defeating Choi Jeong in the final, who marked history as the first female player to advance to the final of a major world go tournament.This marks the first time in four years that players from countries other than South Korea, China, Japan, and Taiwan have advanced to the main tournament. The World Baduk Masters used to have a unified qualification process until 2019 before introducing a country-based quarterfinal format starting in 2020, effectively discontinuing the World Jo (wild card) for players from non-Asian countries.
A spokesperson for the tournament's sponsor, Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance, stated, "By inviting European Champion Andrii Kravets on a wild card, we hope to recapture the global celebration that we had before the COVID-19 era when we could see a diverse range of players in the main tournament."
- extract from the Korean press release
The event was also still impacted by COVID-19, as players played in the same room but online.
How will it go for Andrii?Considering the strong line-up, we can only hope for Andrii to advance as far as possible in this tournament and write a new page in history!
Two scenarios are possible, according to Andrii:
a) Either he can get a nice draw and be paired with a player not ranked in the top 10 or 20 and therefore have a chance to continue (a veteran player like Lee Changho 9p or Yoda Norimoto 9p? Although it seems that this year Yoda Norimoto, the Japanese veteran, played in the Korean League and made quite a strong impression on Korean fans!)
b) Otherwise, we can expect a game against a player like Shin Jinseo 9p or Gu Zihao 9p, where there'd be less pressure about the result!
Here is some more information about the players and the tournament (thanks to the Korean side for the information!). We will follow all the developments closely!
--- UPDATES ---
At the opening ceremony, each player had to come on stage and take a number, deciding of their place on the tournament table. Andrii got paired with...Park Junghwan 9p, one of the best players of the world, often considered as Shin Jinseo's rival!
The game was played at 4am CET and broadcasted on Tygem. Andrii put up a good fight and managed to keep up a very decent play, but eventually resigned, as Park Junghwan had more points. This is the end of the tournament for Andrii, but we surely hope this event won't be the last at this level for European players!
You can take a look at the in-depth eview of Andrii's game and the game between Lee Changho (9p) and Shin Minjun (9p) of the Samsung Cup on the EGF Twitch thanks to Ali Jabarin 2p and Tanguy Le Calvé 1p! 3h of pleasure ;)
Games and broadcast info
- All games and results you can find here:
- Many games are covered (in Korean) on
2023 Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance World Baduk Masters
Schedule & settings
Draw Ceremony: November 15, 2023
[Korea is 8 hours ahead of CET, so probably in the night of the 14th or early on the 15th in Europe]
Round of 32: November 16-17, 2023.
Round of 16: November 19-20, 2023.
Quarterfinals: November 21-22, 2023.
Semifinals: November 23-24, 2023.
Finals (Best of 3 games): November 25-28, 2023 (with a rest day on November 26).
Games are played as a direct knockout until the final. Each player is given 2 hours of main time, with 5 periods of 1-minute byo-yomi.
All games are broadcasted on TYGEM go server, some are also broadcasted on Baduk TV on youtube.
This competition features a total of 32 participants: 17 from South Korea, 9 from China, 4 from Japan, 1 from Taiwan and 1 from the Europe.
South Korea (17 players):
Shin Jinseo, Choi Jeong, Byun Sangil, Kim Myonghoon 9p (all national seeds)
Park Junghwan, Shin Minjun, An Sungjoon 9p, Kang Woohyuk 7p (all national selection)
Lee Changho, Kang Dongyun, Hong Seongji, Kim Junghyun, Han Wonggyu 9p, An Jungkii, Kim Eunji 7p, Kim Nuri, Kim Seungjin 4p (all national selection).
From China (9 players):
Gu Zihao and Ding Hao 9p,
along with qualifiers Lian Xiao, Huang Yunsong, Xu Jiayang, Wang Xinghao, Xie Erhao, Tan Xiao 9p and Zhou Hongyu 7p (all national selection).
Surprisingly, Ke Jie 9p didn’t manage to qualify!
From Japan (4 players):
Japan is represented by top players Iyama Yuta and Hsu Chia-yuan 9p (both national seeds), as well as qualifiers Yoda Norimoto 9p and Motoki Katsuya 8p.
For the sake of history, we should note that Yoda Norimoto is not only the oldest of the players, but he also won the Samsung Cup in the early days, in 1996!
From Taiwan (1 player):
Taiwan's representative is Xu Haohong 9p, the gold medalist in the men's individual event at the Asian Games 2023.
From Europe (1 player):
Europe is represented by the Ukrainian player Andrii Kravets 1p, 2023 European Champion, who received a wildcard entry.
The total prize money for the 2023 Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance World Baduk Masters tournament is 300 million KRW for the champion and 100 million KRW for the runner-up (approx. 213,000 EUR and 71,000 EUR, respectively).