Tuesday, September 4, 2007

An interview with Chang Hao, 9-dan

The Chinese City League is not yet finished (Editors note: The final round was played on August,25. Chang Hao lost his game to Liu Xing, 7-dan, but his team still won the tournament), but you already showed an outstanding result by winning 9 games straight. What do you think about your achievement?

I take part in Chinese League every year and it was not the first successful league I played. During the 2nd League I also won 9 games from 10, by losing only to Xie He, 7-dan.

Your score in the previous Chinese League was not good. Did you prepare well this time?

I cannot feel any difference. This time I was just luckier. After losing the first game to Lee Sedol, 9-dan, the member of the Guizhou team, the position of our team was difficult and it was necessary to play every game seriously.

What do you think about the recent shape of Lee Changho, 9-dan?

He is still the strongest one in the world. His recent score is not so good, if we
compare it with his past results, but we can see that his score is still outstanding, if we compare it with the score of any other master in the world

What is the main weak point of his Go?

His endgame is getting weaker. He was the strongest endgame skill holder of the past and won lot of his games by 0.5 points. Nowadays he is often losing his games in endgame

Can we say that Lee Sedol, 9-dan is not much weaker than Lee Changho, 9-dan?

Do you really think so? Lee Changho, 9-dan won more than 20 World Go Championships and I bet that nobody will be able to break his record in next 10 years. Lee Sedol, 9-dan is a difficult opponent for Lee Changho, because of his aggressive playing style, but we cannot say that Lee Sedol, 9-dan is stronger, if you look at his results with other players.

You won the Samsung World Go Championship in the beginning of the year, but later you was not able to win any important tournaments. What was the reason?

I spend all my power in Samsung cup. You may know that it's hard to play many tournaments straight. It’s necessary to find a goal and reach it. I don’t feel that I am getting weaker. Please wait for my next goal!

Will you try to win the Samsung cup again? ( Editors note: The first round will be played tomorrow)

Yes, I will make my best. This time there are not many Chinese players in the main tournament, so the task will be harder (Editors note: 9 Chinese will take part in Samsung cup this year and last time they had 11 players in the main tournament)

Alexander Dinerchtein

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