Posts Tagged ‘korea’

South Korea Wins International Amateur Championship

Friday, October 30th, 2009
Song Hongsuk of South Korea won Korea’s Prime Minister Cup, which is an international world amateur championship, with a perfect score 7:0.

Besides South Korea, the countries placed in the first eight were China, Hong Kong (both with 6:1 scores), Japan, US, Singapore, Taiwan and Canada (5:2 scores). Complete tournament table is here. Official webpage is here, but there is not much information there as of the time of this writing.

Thinking Too Long Often Leads to a Bad Move

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008
The first sentence of an online newspaper article immediately caught my attention:
Lovers of the game of go know from experience that thinking too long often leads to a bad move.
This quote is not from a Go article, though, but from a political article. Here’s the next sentence:
That’s how most Koreans might have felt watching President Lee Myung-bak’s minor Cabinet reshuffle Monday.
Full article link here, for those of you interested in Korean politics…

S. Korea President likes ikken-tobi

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008
I just found this video showing the S. Korea president playing a few moves. From the few details shown in the video, he seems to really like jumping with ikken-tobi. That’s good in politics too – play safe Mr. President! :-) (Link to video on youtube)

Lee Sedol fights back and wins LG Cup

Thursday, February 28th, 2008
The final game of the 12th LG Cup is over: the famous Lee Sedol managed a 2-1 win over his countryman Han Sanghoon 2p.

Han Sanghoon became famous recently for scoring big wins shortly after qualifying as a pro 1-dan in Korea. (He was still shodan when he qualified for the LG Cup). He even won the first game against Lee Sedol in this LG final.

Link to the games. Interview with Han Sanghoon. Another interview with Han Sanghoon.

China wins Nongshim Cup 2008

Friday, February 22nd, 2008
I already wrote about Chang Hao’s (China) wins against Takao Shinji (Japan) and Lee Changho (Korea). That resulted in Japan being eliminated from Nongshim (Takao was the last member of Japan’s team), and Korea being down to their last member, Park Yeonghun.

Nongshim 2008 final game

Chang Hao was unstoppable and he defeated Park Yeonghun too (game record here). Some interesting action happened in the upper right quarter of the board: first Black built a huge moyo there…

… then White managed to reduce it in a spectacular fashion, but Black kept enough of it to have a good lead.

Chang Hao proved again that he is a great champion – I became his fan when he came to the WAGC in 1990 as the Chinese representative (he was 14) and he won with a perfect 8-0 score (that was my first WAGC as the Romanian representative).

The final Chinese team member, Gu Li, didn’t have to play a single game during this Nongshim Cup.

Rui Naiwei won Female Myeongin against Cho Hyeyeon

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008
Jujo is watching the game analysis of the second and final game in Female Myeongin: his wife, Rui Naiwei, won by 0.5 points against the challenger Cho Hyeyeon and kept her title.

Game record here.

Baduk in the British Museum in London

Sunday, January 20th, 2008
I found the following very interesting photo on flickr:

This photo was apparently taken in the British Museum in London (Korean room), and it has the following text next to it:
Wooden paduk board and pieces made of shell and stone Choson Dynasty, 18th-19th century Played mainly by men, this game is also popular in other Far Eastern countries, where it is known as weiqi or go. The Korean paduk board is unique in being hollow, with an arrangement of wires stretched inside which makes it resonate when a piece is moved on top of the board. There are 324 squares on the board but the game is played on the intersections, not in the spaces. There are many Korean paintings depicting Korean aristocrats (yangban) whiling away the hours playing paduk in a small summer pavilion.
You can find the photo on and here are more flickr .com photos by the same author (Julio Martinez). Now I wonder what the position is – anyways it looks quite realistic, unlike the one in a previous blog entry. Update: Many thanks to Jordi Jané who sent me a photo of the same item but from a different angle, so I was able to write the whole text from the museum explanation above:

Here is also a link to a much larger photo version.

First Go News of 2008

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008
In the first Go News of 2008, Rui Naiwei defeated Cho Hyeyeon in the first game of the 9th Female Myeongin (Korean equivalent of the Japanese Meijin). The link to the game record is here.

Rui Naiwei is already famous worldwide that she doesn’t need any more introduction. About Cho Hyeyeon (with the alternative spelling: “Hye Yeon”, as she writes on her own English blog) I wrote briefly in another blog entry. You can find more games of both players at by looking them up in the players page (partial names work too).

Decline in Go/Baduk Interest in Korea

Monday, December 31st, 2007
I was very surprised and sad to read today’s blog entry about a decline in Go/Baduk interest in Korea. In case you don’t know about this blog already: it is an amazing view inside the life of a 7 dan professional player in Korea, Cho Hye Yeon.

It is interesting also to read this so soon after my Go/Baduk Affected By “Internet Entertainment”? very recent blog entry, where I was commenting on some 2007 statistics which showed a decline in the revenue of Baduk clubs in Korea. My conclusion there was that players moved out of traditional clubs and play online more. After reading Hye Yeon’s blog, though, I understand that there is a real decline in Baduk in Korea: many Baduk schools are closing, less books being published, less children dream of becoming pro players… Sounds very much like the situation in Japan that started in early nineties (maybe earlier?). The reasons for this situation seems to be related to both extra sources of entertainment (when it comes to explain the decline in amateur players) and to the fact that attending top universities in Korea became more difficult, so parents are less inclined to gamble their kids future while letting them study Baduk (when it comes to explain the decline in the number of inseis). Here’s also a quote from a 2 years old blog entry of Mr. Ooijer’s:
So why do all these kids want to be a professional? It is hardly rational. They gamble with their career. Some western Baduk players do not see this hard life and have a much too romantic view about the life of a Baduk professional.
Let’s hope that in the new year 2008 Go/Baduk/Weiqi will grow again.

Happy New Year everybody!

Go/Baduk Affected By “Internet Entertainment” ?

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007
According to this source, Go / Baduk in Korea seems to be affected by other sources of entertainment available online: the article reports several changes in spending patterns in Korea, and apparently there was a 21% decrease in the revenue of Baduk clubs during the last five years:
“[...] there has been a plunge in revenue of bowling alleys (-35 percent), book rental stores (-32 percent), photo studios (-27 percent) and baduk clubs (-21 percent). The NSO attributed this to the growing popularity of Internet entertainment.”
This may not be alarming news in the end, though: I am sure a lot of regular Baduk club members have moved online, and the article seems to only count revenue change in “brick and mortar” businesses and clubs.