Thursday, June 4, 2009

Lee Sedol taking a break??

An interview with Lee Sanghun, Lee Sedol's brother

Lee Sanghun, 7-dan pro is the brother of Lee Sedol. He is the owner of the so called Lee Sedol-Lee Sanghun Baduk School, which is currently in best 5 in Korea by number of students.

Is it true, that Lee Sedol decided to take a break?
Yes, that's true. Yesterday (June1) we visited Korean Baduk Association and signed necessary papers. Lee Sedol wanted to retire and stop playing official tournaments at all, but later we decided to make a break instead

1.5 years is a long time. Will this break damage his Go skills?
It's hard to say. He will not stop studying Go and every day he will visit our school. We have enough sparring partners here

What was the main reason of this break?
There are lots of unsolved problems now with the Korean Baduk Association. Lee Sedol is in big pressure, so he cannot play Go as well as usual. It's bad to skip official games and it’s also strange to lose them by playing non-seriously. So, we decided to start a break

Can we say that Hankuk Kiwon became very angry because of Lee Sedol's decision to ignore the Korean Baduk League?
It's not our fault. Long time ago we discussed this tournament and made a decision to take part if Hankuk Kiwon can create more than 8 teams (A.D.: Right now they have only 7 teams, instead of 8 they had last year). So, it must not be a big surprise for Hankuk Kiwon, that he refused – they were informed long time ago.

What do you think about the problem with game records copyrights?
Lee Sedol has the opinion, that game records must have copyrights of the masters, who played them, and not the Korean Baduk Association. So he refused to sign the paper. Maybe he is wrong, so probably he will sigh this paper in future, as other professionals did before.

Can you tell us his future plans?
Now he must finish his World Championships – Fujitsu and TV Asia cups. If he enters the final of the Fujitsu cup, he will still take part in local tournaments till July. But I afraid that he cannot show good results in such a difficult situation.

Do you want to say something to Lee Sedol's fans?
Yes, we are very sorry. I know that there are lots of fans in Korea, who like his Go. He will try to study hard for keeping his current level, so you will have a chance to see his good victories in near future!

Translated from korean by Alexander Dinerchtein