Lee Sedol Retires

Thanks. I didn’t remember that fact. So maybe Lee Sedol found the KBA’s overall efforts inadequate. There was another sexual misconduct scandal in which a Go player installed a spy camera in a women’s bathroom. Maybe there were other incidents that contributed to a larger pattern. Whatever the general situation was, it motivated fifty women Go players to send the KBA a joint statement about it. So maybe Lee Sedol reacted more to the totality of circumstances.


So the plot thickens then? We now have the AI story as well as the KBA money situation, and now a sexual harassment situation as well. Seems to me that the KBA is fighting off several different things at once. I can’t be sure of what is going on for sure with only what has been said here as a reference, but it does seem to me that this is quickly becoming a far more complex situation than we had expected, or indeed wanted.

It makes me sad that such things have to blight the world of Go, to be honest, but it was inevitable that this kind of tabloid nonsense would eventually come to the modern world of GO.

In regards to what @Mulsiphix1 said about the lying and so on, I agree entirely with his stance on lying. Lying can indeed take on many forms, and with the way that information was presented, to omit the other factors in this, is tantamount to lying, by omission.


It would seem that the circumstances around Lee Sedol’s retirement are a bit messier and unpleasant than initial appearances. I wish this thread was more about a tribute to his career rather than the unfortunate affairs that played a role in ending it.

For me, one of the first ways (and I think probably the first) that I heard of Lee Sedol was his famous broken ladder game:

I think it is wonderful for showing what can be possible with go.


To be fair, that’s exactly what the first 40-50ish comments here were until a handful of posts from a different thread were moved here that were talking about the western media reporting he was leaving because ai was too strong.


I don’t think Go has anything to do with this situation. People doing things to other people, people speaking up about those things, other people supporting those who are speaking up, other people trying to cover up or minimalize claims being made, etc… These same individuals might all enjoy bike riding, video games, crossword puzzles, picnics on the beach, etc… But those activities have nothing to do with the heart of the matter being discussed here.


One of my favorite quotes is “All evil needs to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” If Lee Sedol is in fact retiring partially because of how the KBA is mishandling these sexual harassment/rape cases, then it is further proof of what a good man he is <3.


Another great part of Lee’s career was his rivalry with Gu Li, which reached its pinnacle in a jubango (10-game challenge match) in 2014.

It was a real joy following this jubango through GoGameGuru’s coverage. Although GoGameGuru is now unfortunately defunct (and its domain name has been taken over by a spammer), I was able to find the old coverage archived on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine:

This page contains working links to other archived pages, two for each game (one to announce the result and a second to provide more detailed commentary). The videos were behind a paywall (BadukTV), so those are not archived and probably not available anymore.

The people behind GoGameGuru also published a book that thoroughly analyzes the jubango as well as covering the other games between Lee Sedol and Gu Li: https://senseis.xmp.net/?Relentless

Edited to add: there is also this YouTube video that they released to promote the jubango


Hey all.

I’ve asked a few Korean female Go pros to comment on Yike Weiqi’s allegation over there on FB, and Cho Hye-yeon said Lee Sedols retirement has NOTHING to do with “the association’s slow pace in dealing with a sexual harassment case” as Yike Weiqi had alleged.

I’ve also asked Yike Weiqi for sources for their allegation, but no answer yet, and I’ve edited my above comment to reflect this new information (resp. lack thereof).

So … please accept my apology, I shouldn’t have posted that screenshot here, given that it was just a rumour. I simply assumed they’d be much better informed than I am.

Oh, and because it was asked: Yike Weiqi is, to my knowledge, a Chinese Go server.


That is awesome. Thank you for sharing S_Alexander!

One thing I love about Lee is when he stares at the board. He always has a “thinking” face that has become iconic for me. While so many of us see a game of Go, I am convinced that his penetrating gaze sees endless possibilities, variations, and potential. Literally his face could sell me on starting Go, if I wasn’t already enthralled :hugs:

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Forget the Go board, Nakamura Sumire stares directly into her opponents soul


Is this just this one picture, or does she seriously stare down the people she plays against?


In the videos I’ve seen of her playing, this is what she looks like ~80% of the time.


Learn Korean with promotional videos.

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Wow, so she only spends ~20% of the time looking at the board? Although, maybe she has great peripheral vision.


Hey, if you’re an old player, you might remember go9dan.com created with support from Lee Sedol to promote go. Of course, the project failed and nothing came out of it.

But in 2013 there was Lee Sedol vs AGA-Europe Pro 10 game series (with floating handicap). Kind of Jubango.

White Black Date Handi Result and link
1 Sedol Lee Andy Liu 26 Jan 2013 Even W+R
2 Gansheng Shi Sedol Lee 2 Feb 2013 Even B+R
3 Sedol Lee Catalin Taranu 17 Feb 2013 No komi W+R
4 Sedol Lee Andy Liu 24 Feb 2013 No komi W+R
5 Sedol Lee Gansheng Shi 2 Mar 2013 Rev. komi 3.5 W+3.5
6 Sedol Lee Catalin Taranu 10 Mar 2013 Rev. komi 3.5 W+T
7 Sedol Lee Andy Liu 16 March 2013 2 Stones W+6.5
8 Sedol Lee Gansheng Shi 13 April 2013 2 Stones W+T
9 N/A
10 N/A

The 10 game match between Sedol Lee and three Western pros, Catalin Taranu, Gansheng Shi and Andy Liu, has been called after eight fascinating games, as the Western pros were “out of the money.”


  1. https://web.archive.org/web/20130612082419/http://www.go9dan.com/Home/Promotion/4
  2. https://lifein19x19.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=7750

Poll, did you know about this Lee Sedol’s match against Western pros?

  • Yes, I knew about this.
  • No, this is new to me.

0 voters


About the Nakamura photo. Is that an actual staredown? It seems to have a furtive quality. Possibly she’s seeking reassurance, and it’s not clear to me that she’s getting it. Of course I’m just looking at a still photo. Seeing it live would reveal much more I would think.

It’s just something players do. I think we look at the opponents to try to figure out what are they thinking about the position. Some players snipe glimpses, some look openly. If you remember, when Lee Sedol played AlphaGo he also looked at Aja Huang even though it makes no difference. For some it may be psychological weapon also. With Sumire it’s funnier because she’s small and cute.



Something for chess people



Well, seeing is believing. Great photos. My heart goes out to the opponent in the third photo. For his sake I’m hoping it’s just muscle stiffness, but it sure doesn’t look good.


I wish I could award your post more somehow. This is one of the best posts I have ever read on this site. The pictures and it’s place in this conversation are just PERFECT!!! This had made my day. Thank you so much for sharing S_Alexander :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: