All 24 players play through preliminaries, until 8 players with the best record are given automatic advancement to the second round. The other 16 play against each other in the first round. The format is a single knockout, with 5.5 komi. The time limit is 3 hours' thinking time, and the winner's purse is 15,000,000 Yen ($142,000). Up until this point, only three people have ever defended their title, Lee Sedol, Cho Hunhyun and Takemiya Masaki. Kang Dongyun was the defending Champion, but lost in the 2010 playoffs in the quarter-finals to Qiu Jun by half a point with the Black stones. The other three semi-finalists are Lee Sedol, Kong Jie and Piao Wenyao. The semifinal and final would be held on the 3rd and 5th of July.