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