Chinese Go rising star Ding Hao (23), a 9-ranked player, has reached the top of the Samsung Go podium.
Ding Hao won the final three games of the 2023 Samsung Firewood World Go Masters at the Samsung Firewood Global Campus in Goyang City, Gyeonggi-do, on Aug. 28 after a fierce 300-move battle with Sheng Hao 9th dan.
If a counting had been done after both pieces had finished, Ding Hao would have won the game, but Sheldon conceded defeat and was disqualified.
Ding Hao, who improved his overall record to 2-1, won his first career Samsung Cultivation title.
Ding Hao, a 2000-born professional knight who is the same age as Shin Shin-seo (23), has established himself as a new face of Chinese go by winning two major world titles after winning the LG Cup in February.
Ding Hao, who was seeded nationally and made his first appearance at the Samsung Hwa Jaehyup, defeated four Korean knights – Hong Sung-ji 9-dan, Kim Seung-jin 4-dan, and Kim Myung-hoon and Park Jung-hwan 9-dan – in the round of 32 to reach the final.
“I wasn’t feeling well during the tournament, so it was an unexpected victory,” said Ding Hao, who also defeated his country’s senior Sheng Hao in the final.
“I was most impressed with my match against Park Jung-hwan,” he said, “I made a mistake at the beginning, but I managed to pull it off. I think I was lucky because such opportunities are rare.”
After the 28th edition of the tournament, South Korea has won the most titles with 14, followed by China with 12 and Japan with two.
Samsung Hwajaejae won 300 million won, and the runner-up took home 100 million won.
Meanwhile, after today’s final, Sheilhao will not return to China, but will travel to Busan, South Korea, to face Korea’s third-ranked Won Sung-jin 9-dan in Game 5 of the second round of the 25th Nongshim Shin Ramen Bae World Go Championship on Tuesday.
Sheilhao won three straight games in the first round of the tournament in Beijing, China, last October. 파워볼