Dark horse Youwhan Kim 7D, a former Korean insei, won the 2014 Cotsen Open, upsetting 2014 Masters champion Mark Lee in the second round and going on to sweep the rest of the tournament, 5-0. Kim’s play was consistently sharp and tough and he was unfazed by the speedy 20-second overtime, which added pressure to some of his opponents. Tournament sponsor Eric Cotsen congratulated the new tournament champion, saying “I like change. Anything that shakes things up at the top, that works for me.” Click here for top-board game records and complete results. Additional photos are on the AGA’s Facebook page.
Kim is part of an informal dojo at Myungwan Kim 9P’s home in Los Angeles, where Beomgeun “Evan” Cho and Mark Lee also live. Youwhan Kim arrived three months ago to study English and says Myungwan Kim (no relation) “has been a big help with advice about life in Los Angeles.” Although Youwhan Kim and Mark Lee did not know each other back in Korea — Lee is of a younger generation — the two have played at Myungwan Kim’s, where they split games 1-1. Youwhan Kim was in the second insei league, “close to professional,” says Myungwan Kim, but is now too old to become a professional in Korea. He’s studying go at Myongji University and had many friends in Korea who spoke English, and realized he’d need to learn English too. He has one more semester of study at Myongji and will return to finish up in a few months. His advice to amateur players who want to improve: “Review your own games carefully; this is the best way to get better.”
- report/photos by Chris Garlock