Thursday, March 27, 2008

An interview with Seo Bongsu, 9-dan

An interview with Seo Bongsu, 9-dan, who will take part in King of King’'s Tournament on Tygem Go server, using his real name.

There are 32 players in total, and only one of them Seo Bongsu, 9-dan decided to show his face and play under his real name. The winner of this tournament will get $30.000, the runner up will receive $10.000.

Seo-sabonim, can you please describe us your current life?
Recently I play Go on Tygem Go server all day long. Also long time ago I decided to learn how to play on saxophone and I am taking lessons from my friend now. I thought, that it’s easy to use it, but actually it’s necessary to put a lot of efforts for creating any sound. The only sound I can create now is "Piiik…"

Why did you decide to play in King of King’s Tournament under your real name?
I know that almost all players, who will take part in this event are professionals. It’s good that I can learn something from them – it’s the main goal I have

When did you start to play Go on Tygem?
About 2 months ago. I reached 9-dan exactly in 2-months

What do you think about internet Go?
It’s interesting! Also, it’s interesting to observe games, because they are usually fast. I was a beginner few months ago. I made mouse slips often and was angry every time, when my opponents escape or write bad words about myself. Nowadays I am getting more experience and I don’t pay much attention on such things

It’s possible to choose opponents from 4 countries: Korea, China, Japan and Taiwan. Which players do you play more?
Usually I play in Chinese Room. My opponents are quite strong and it’s hard for me to keep a good score. I heard, that most of Chinese 9-dans on Tygem are professionals, so it’s not surprising that they beat me easily

Do you remember the nicknames of the opponents, you played?
Yes, of course. I have to remember them, so I can take revenge in future. Also I wrote 5 names of players with bad manners and attached this paper near my computer. I will never play them again!

What do you think about your chances in King of King’s Tournament?
They depend on pairing luck. I know, that there are lots of participants, who are stronger than me. I can finish the tournament quickly, if I meet them in first rounds

It’s a 5th King of King’s Tournament , but you are the first professional, who will take part in this event under his real name. Can we say, that it’s easier to play, if people don’t know you?
Yes, it’s true, but I will play for getting pleasure, first of all

Translated from korean by Alexander Dinerchtein

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

An interview with Lee Sedol, 9-dan, the winner of the LG World Go Championship

Lee Sedol, 9-dan won the final match against Han Sanghun, 2-dan with 2-1 score on February, 28

Congratulations! What do you think about the 3rd game of the match?
I was behind in the opening. I allowed him to take so many points. I got my lead in the middle game. Later Han, 2-dan had some chances of changing the situation, but he did not use them.

How about the first two games?
They were hard for me in the beginning too. I played bad fusekis and I am not satisfied of my play in general.

What can you say about your opponent?
His Go is very thick and solid. It’s not surprising, that recently he is showing very good results.

Will he enter the Top group of Korean players soon?
Hmmm. It’s hard to say. Right now he has not much experience of playing important games. We will see how he will feel himself after losing the final match of the LG cup.

How do you think, who enjoyed your victory most of all?
My wife, of course! (laughing)

You won 2 World Championships this year. What are your future plans for 2008?
I will try to win 1-2 more

Which international tournament is the most important one for you?
Ing cup. It has biggest prizes and they held it only once per 4 years.

Lee Changho, 9-dan set the record of the highest tournaments income in 2001 ( A.D.: It was about $1.000.000). What do you think about your chances of earning more money than Lee Changho in 2001?
I will try, of course, but I am not sure, that it’s possible.

You will play Lee Changho, 9-dan a lot in 2008. What do you think about your chances?
His health condition in 2007 was not good, but now he feels himself better, so he is a very dangerous opponent again. I think, that our chances are about equal and I still have lot of things to learn from him. For example, he is much stronger than me in fuseki.

Do you work on fuseki stage yourself?
Yes, but it’s not improving at all. Fuseki theory is developing very quickly and it’s getting harder and harder to follow it.

Can we compare Korean and Chinese Go? Which country is stronger right now?
Korean players were stronger few years ago, but now the situation changed a lot. I think, that if we play a big match with China, the chances will be 50-50.

Translated from korean by Alexander Dinerchtein