American Go E-Journal

How to Become an Insei

Thursday November 1, 2012

“When I was webmaster I was often asked how to become an insei, or go student in training to be a professional,” writes Steve Colburn (What’s The Best School for Inseis? 10/22 EJ). “I never had a good answer, but recently I found some information on the Nihon Kiin’s site about how to become an insei in Japan for those not of Japanese, Chinese, Korean, or Taiwanese descent. Hajin Lee 3P from the Korean Baduk Association (KBA) also told me that the custom in Korea is that foreign students need to find a private academy first, and become an insei later. Hajin Lee said that the KBA is usually very accommodating to foreign students in order to encourage them to study in Korea longer. For example the age limit is higher so that foreign students can stay several years longer than their Korean counterparts. Foreign students are also permitted a more relaxed schedule than Korean students, who train in the academies every weekday and then play the insei on the weekends, while foreign students are often interested in traveling or exploring Korea on their weekends.” Edward Zhang reports that in mainland China, there are no official “insei” but there are a lot training schools — mostly in Beijing– where the strongest amateur players train 14+ hours a day, 365 days a year for just one reason: taking the annual pro test in the summer, at which only 20 will make it through to turn pro.
Photo: former Japanese B class insei Antti Törmänen of Finland 

Categories: U.S./North America