Baduk : Competing for Love

Baduk : Competing for Love

by jesse

by jesse

Throughout the drama, Taek had to play several rounds of figurative Baduk matches and overcome all his opponents in order to win Deoksun’s heart. Like Dongryong, many people doubted that he could win them all; But after 13 long episodes of Baduk, Taek finally emerged victorious.

BadukTheory1A

Throughout the drama, Taek had to play several rounds of figurative Baduk matches and overcome all his opponents in order to win Deoksun’s heart. Like Dongryong, many people doubted that he could win them all; But after 13 long episodes of Baduk, Taek finally emerged victorious.

BadukTheory1A

Handicap of 6 Episodes

In a Baduk game, a handicap is given to offset the strength difference between players of different ranks. The aim is to level the playing field, and allow both players to have equal chances of winning.

The rank difference is a guide to how many handicap stones should be given. As a general rule, each rank represents the value of one stone. Since Choi Taek was 6-dan, he was given a handicap of 6 stones, i.e. 6 episodes. This explains why he only made his first move at the end of episode 6, when he asked Deoksun out for a movie date.

BadukTheory1B

This meant that, even in Dukseon’s heart, Taek was a 6-dan. He had an advantage because he was special to her right from the start.

Episodes 3-6: Taek (white) vs Sunwoo (black)

His first opponent was Sunwoo, and he played black against Taek. The clue was in Deoksun’s diary. When she gave him a chocolate bar in episode 2, this was what she wrote: At the hour when everything is draped in darkness, and therefore, becomes a lonelier time. At this time, when the world is asleep, my feelings for you cannot seem to become still with the night. They say that feelings are for expressing. That’s why I have to become brave and let these words escape my lips…

She wrote in a literary manner, so something was lost in translation there. Here is a more literal translation: “Like one clothed in black, night makes me lonely. In this moment when the world is asleep, my yearning for you keeps me awake. Love needs to be expressed, that’s why I’m gathering my courage to…”

BadukTheory1C

Even though he could win, Sunwoo chose to resign. According to Baduk rules, before the end of a game, a player may resign by playing a stone he captured from the opponent. For example, Taek resigned the match against his mentor in episode 12 by placing a white captured stone on the board as shown below.

BadukTheory_mobile

Sunwoo was the first to exit the husband game when he decided to confess to Bora. At that time, he was wearing a black coat, which he removed for Bora, revealing a white t-shirt underneath. He was supposed to play a black stone, but he resigned by placing a white stone on the board instead.

BadukTheory1E_MOBILE

 

Episodes 11-14: Taek (white) vs Junghwan (black)

Next, Taek played against Junghwan, where he played white and Junghwan played black. Black went first, which explained why in all the parallel scenes between Junghwan-Deoksun and Taek-Deoksun, Junghwan always went first (even the children dressed in dark and light colors).

Poster1

Poster2A

Junghwan’s arc with Deoksun began in episode 11, after he told Deoksun not to go for the blind date, but because he failed to clear up the pink shirt misunderstanding, his game ended in episode 14 by the time Deoksun sat down with Dongryong at the stairs and asked him, “Why won’t anyone like me?”

BadukTheory1F_mobile

Just then, Taek appeared – he had bought pizza for everyone. In episode 6, as Taek was packing for the World Baduk Championships in China, Dongryong said this to him:

Dongryong: You’ll probably be on your way home tomorrow after you lose the first round. Right? I’m not just saying this to mess around. There are just some things in this world that aren’t possible. Don’t give people false hopes. And just come back and buy us some pizza. There’s a new spot that opened up in Jongro.

Taek: What’ll you do if I win?

BadukTheory1G_mobile

Afterwards, in episode 15, this was what Taek’s opponent said after resigning the game:

Opponent: Maybe if I put this stone here first, I wouldn’t have lost.
Taek: Yes.
Opponent: How does it look?
Taek: It seems that black has the advantage, a little bit.
Opponent: And here, I thought that I had the advantage.

If Junghwan hadn’t hesitated, maybe he wouldn’t have lost. He thought he had the advantage – after all, Taek had a handicap of 6 episodes.

 

Episodes 7-19: Taek (black) vs Deoksun (white)

Finally, Taek played against our star rookie in love, Deoksun. This time round, she played white. Deoksun was often seen wearing white tops, with black polka dots, which represented the black stones she had captured.

Black went first; hence Taek was wearing black when he made his first move during the first snow. Also, remember how Taek kept looking up at the snow falling down? Maybe the snow represented tiny white baduk stones falling from the sky; it was Deoksun beckoning him to make the first move.

BadukTheory1H_mobile

BadukTheory1i_mobile

Taek had a curse – he was weak against newbies. In episode 4, he was defeated by a newcomer, Park Joon Young, in merely 123 moves. The news reported: Choi Taek was disadvantaged from the beginning and seemed to give up halfway. On hindsight, Taek suffered the most in this match. He played a long and strenuous match that lasted 6 years, and even seemed to have given up mid-way. He had no idea how close he was to victory before the time jump.

BadukTheory3_mobile

The match against Deoksun began at the end of episode 6. In episodes 12 and 15, the two shoulder rests placed her in the state of atari, where she still has one liberty left. In episode 19, Taek ‘captured’ Deoksun by taking away all her three liberties, as illustrated below, with a passionate kiss in his hotel room.
liberties

 

 

Episode 19 was aptly entitled “You Did Your Very Best”. According to the handicap logic, Taek made his first move at the end of episode 6, which means that he played from episodes 7 to 19, and that makes 13 episodes.

Ep20

Mr Lee: Master Choi is done. He’ll be out soon. It took 13 hours today.
Deoksun: 13 hours?
Mr Lee: He’s nearly dead right now. I feel sorry for him. He still won though. He beat him, in the end. He suffered, but it was all worth it.
Deoksun: What?
Mr Lee: His girlfriend came to wait for him.

 

 

Handicap of 6 Episodes

In a Baduk game, a handicap is given to offset the strength difference between players of different ranks. The aim is to level the playing field, and allow both players to have equal chances of winning.

The rank difference is a guide to how many handicap stones should be given. As a general rule, each rank represents the value of one stone. Since Choi Taek was 6-dan, he was given a handicap of 6 stones, i.e. 6 episodes. This explains why he only made his first move at the end of ep 6, when he asked Deoksun out for a movie date. This meant that, even in Deoksun’s heart, Taek was a 6-dan. He had an advantage because he was special to her right from the start.

Episodes 3-6: Taek (white) vs Sunwoo (black)

His first opponent was Sunwoo, and he played black against Taek. The clue was in Deoksun’s diary. When she gave him a chocolate bar in episode 2, this was what she wrote: At the hour when everything is draped in darkness, and therefore, becomes a lonelier time. At this time, when the world is asleep, my feelings for you cannot seem to become still with the night. They say that feelings are for expressing. That’s why I have to become brave and let these words escape my lips…

She wrote in a literary manner, so something was lost in translation there. Here is a more literal translation: “Like one clothed in black, night makes me lonely. In this moment when the world is asleep, my yearning for you keeps me awake. Love needs to be expressed, that’s why I’m gathering my courage to…”

Even though he could win, Sunwoo chose to resign. According to Baduk rules, before the end of a game, a player may resign by playing a stone he captured from the opponent. For example, Taek resigned the match against his mentor in episode 12 by placing a white captured stone on the board as shown below:

BadukTheory1D

Sunwoo was the first to exit the husband game when he decided to confess to Bora. At that time, he was wearing a black coat, which he removed for Bora, revealing a white t-shirt underneath. He was supposed to play a black stone, but he resigned by placing a white stone on the board instead.

BadukTheory1E

 

Episodes 11-14: Taek (white) vs Junghwan (black)

Next, Taek played against Junghwan, where he played white and Junghwan played black. Black went first, which explained why in all the parallel scenes between Junghwan-Deoksun and Taek-Deoksun, Junghwan always went first (even the children dressed in dark and light colors).

Poster1

Junghwan’s arc with Deoksun began in episode 11, after he told Deoksun not to go for the blind date; But because he failed to clear up the pink shirt misunderstanding, his game ended in episode 14 by the time Deoksun sat down with Dongryong at the stairs and asked him, “Why won’t anyone like me?”

BadukTheory1F

Just then, Taek appeared – he had bought pizza for everyone. In episode 6, as Taek was packing for the World Baduk Championships in China, Dongryong said this to him:

Dong Ryong: You’ll probably be on your way home tomorrow after you lose the first round. Right? I’m not just saying this to mess around. There are just some things in this world that aren’t possible. Don’t give people false hopes. And just come back and buy us some pizza. There’s a new spot that opened up in Jongro.

Taek: What’ll you do if I win?

BadukTheory1G

Afterwards, in episode 15, this was what Taek’s opponent said after resigning the game:

Opponent: Maybe if I put this stone here first, I wouldn’t have lost.
Taek: Yes.
Opponent: How does it look?
Taek: It seems that black has the advantage, a little bit.
Opponent: And here, I thought that I had the advantage.

If Junghwan hadn’t hesitated, maybe he wouldn’t have lost. He thought he had the advantage – after all, Taek had a handicap of 6 episodes.

 

Episode 7-19: Taek (black) vs Deoksun (white)

Finally, Taek played against our star rookie in love, Deoksun. This time round, she played white. Deoksun was often seen wearing white tops, with black polka dots, which represented the black stones she had captured.

Black went first; hence Taek was wearing black when he made his first move during the first snow. Also, remember how Taek kept looking up at the snow falling down? Maybe the snow represented tiny white baduk stones falling from the sky; it was Deoksun beckoning him to make the first move.

BadukTheory1H

BadukTheory1i

Taek had a curse – he was weak against newbies. In episode 4, he was defeated by a newcomer, Park Joon Young, in merely 123 moves. The news reported: Choi Taek was disadvantaged from the beginning and seemed to give up halfway. On hindsight, Taek suffered the most in this match. He played a long and strenuous match that lasted 6 years, and even seemed to have given up mid-way. He had no idea how close he was to victory before the time jump.

BadukTheory3

The match against Deoksun began at the end of episode 6. In episodes 12 and 15, the two shoulder rests placed her in the state of atari, where she still has one liberty left. In episode 19, Taek ‘captured’ Deoksun by taking away all her three liberties, as illustrated below, with a passionate kiss in his hotel room.

liberties

 

 

Episode 19 was aptly entitled “You Did Your Very Best”. According to the handicap logic, Taek made his first move at the end of episode 6, which means that he played from episodes 7 to 19, and that makes 13 episodes.

Ep20

Mr Lee: Master Choi is done. He’ll be out soon. It took 13 hours today.
Deoksun: 13 hours?
Mr Lee: He’s nearly dead right now. I feel sorry for him. He still won though. He beat him, in the end. He suffered, but it was all worth it.
Deoksun: What?
Mr Lee: His girlfriend came to wait for him.

 

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