American Go E-Journal » Korea

Kuksu and X’ian International youth go tournaments

Monday March 25, 2019

Screen Shot 2019-03-23 at 2.04.15 PM “We have been invited to send teams to two youth tournaments in Asia,”  reports AGA President Andy Okun. “With all expenses paid for kids once they arrive, this is an  an incredible go-related cultural experience for the price of round trip air fare.”  The Kuksu Mountain tournament will be held August 2-7, in scenic Jeollanamdo Province, South Korea.  Youth teams will be attending from all over the world, and participants will compete in multiple tournaments, with prizes in various rank brackets.  Go related side events and local tourism are part of the program as well.  Organized by the Korean Baduk Association, the popular event will be held for the sixth time this summer.  Any AGA youth 18 and under are eligible to attend, and a team leader is also sought.  Accompanying adults are welcome as well, but are asked to pay a $270 fee to help cover costs (as is the team leader). If you are interested in the event, or would like more information, fill out the application form here.

IMG_0704The X’ian Education Bureau is organizing an international tournament as well, for youth aged 13-18.  A four person team will be selected for this event.  The date is not set yet, but it is expected to be in mid-late August.  X’ian was the former capital of China and is rich in history and culture, and the famed terracotta army is nearby as well.  The event will include three days of competition and two of sightseeing and cultural exchange.  12-14 teams are expected to participate.   As with the Kuksu participants must pay their own airfare.  There is a $200 charge per person as well, and then all other expenses are covered.  The application form is here-Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor.  Photos: Top: 2018 Kuksu tournament; Bottom: A few members of the life-size Terracotta Army, of which there are 8,000. Photo by Paul Barchilon.

 

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Cho Hunhyun 9P’s memoir published in English

Friday January 18, 2019

“I don’t know anything else but Go…However, it doesn’t mean I don’t know about life.” Thus begins “Go with the Flow: How the 2019.01.17 Go With The FlowGreat Master of Go Trained His Mind,” the memoirs of Cho Hunhyun, one of the greatest go masters in history, now published in English and available on Amazon. A Korean professional since the age of nine, Cho has won 1,935 matches and amassed 150 professional titles, more than any player in the world. He’s held all of the open tournaments in Korea three times, in 1980, 1982 and 1986, and has won 11 international titles, third most in the world behind Lee Chang-ho (21) and Lee Sedol (15).

A bestseller in Japan and China as well as Korea, “Go with the Flow” breaks new ground for go books. “We in the West now have many books and teachers that can instruct us how to play the game,” writes AGA president Andy Okun, “but few that tell us what it is like to be a top Go player.” Cho “does this with great openness,” Okun continues, “telling us his emotions, his feelings and perceptions, as he goes through the very taxing life necessary to have a chance to be a champion…What emerges is the portrait of a remarkable man, who had a rich, full life and wide-ranging interests, but all concentrated in a sense by the lens of Go. It was a joy to read.”

Cho’s memoir also includes “many episodes about players who earned Cho’s respect,” writes Michael Redmond 9P, “giving us a fascinating collection of stories about the best Go players of the 20th century…This book can be enjoyed by anyone who has an interest in Go or Asian culture.”

“The strength to think,” writes Cho, “is the only beacon that helps one get through life. Along the journey, we learn more about ourselves.”

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November 5th designated Baduk Day in South Korea

Monday October 15, 2018

November 5th has been designated “Baduk Day” in South Korea. The Korea Baduk Association made the announcement earlier 2018.10.14_baduk-daythis month, following the resolution to establish “Baduk Day” at a cabinet meeting chaired by President Moon Jae-in at the Blue House on October 8. November 5th was the day that “Hanseong Kiwon,” the predecessor to the current Baduk Association, was created at Namsan-dong in Seoul by the late Cho Nam-chul, the pioneer of modern baduk. The Korea Baduk Association will be holding a commemorative ceremony to celebrate the first Baduk Day next month at the National Assembly Members’ Office Building.
- KoreaBizWire; image: WBaduk

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Baduk bodybuilder on staying sharp and fit

Sunday June 17, 2018

Kim Yeo-won, a commentator for baduk, also known as go, is living a double life as a fitness queen, reports the Korea JoongAngDonald Trump,Kim Jong Un Daily.

The 31-year-old commentator, best known for reporting on the 2016 match between Korean grandmaster Lee Se-dol and computer program AlphaGo, has begun competing on the bodybuilding stage. Last month, she won second place in the bikini competition at the Olympia Amateur Asia Grand Prix, one of the world’s biggest bodybuilding competitions.

“Baduk and exercising are similar in that they both make you push yourself beyond your limits,” Kim said during an interview with the JoongAng Ilbo, where she spoke about fitness and baduk. Click here for her interview with the Korea JoongAng Daily.

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3rd International Baduk Chunhyang Tournament

Sunday June 17, 2018

The Jeollabuk-do Baduc Association (affiliated with the Korea Baduk Federation) is inviting amateur baduk players to participate in this event, to be held July 20-24, 2018 in the Republic of Korea. The main event is for women only, who will not only receive room and board but also 50% reimbursement for international airfare. Chun Hyang is a female character in a famous story that’s been told for thousands of years in the city of Namwon; she represents intelligence, and the tournament is being held to find brilliant female Baduk players. There is a limited division for men, but without the airfare reimbursement. Please note that these dates overlap the U.S. Go Congress and it will not be possible to attend both.
The deadline to apply is June 23. For more information, or to apply to participate, please contact tournaments@usgo.org.
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Rape apology sought from baduk champion

Sunday May 6, 2018

A Hungarian baduk player competing in Korea is demanding an apology from a star Korean player for allegedly raping her at his2018.05.06_Diana Koszegi home, reports Korea JoongAng Daily.

In an interview in Seoul on Tuesday, Diana Koszegi (right) told the JoongAng Ilbo that she has not received a response from Kim Seong-ryong, a top-level baduk player, after she claimed on an online forum on April 17 that he forced himself on her on the night of June 5, 2009. The accusation made headlines after its posting and was followed by a joint statement by fifty women baduk players in support of Koszegi on April 19. It follows another sexual misconduct scandal in which a baduk player installed a spy camera in a women’s bathroom at the Korea Baduk Association. Kim has denied the rape allegation through an associate, claiming his relations with Koszegi were consensual.

The Korean Baduk Players Association, which is the collective entity representing pros and is separate from KBA, voted 85.8% on May 8 to expel Kim.  On May 14, the KBA temporarily suspended Kim until the ethics commission of KBA finishes looking into it and finalizes the case, expected by the end of the month.

Read more here

5/17: This post has been updated; it was the KBPA, not the KBA, which expelled Kim.

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S. Korean drama “Reply 1988” sparks interest in baduk

Wednesday January 10, 2018

Baduk is experiencing heightened popularity in Turkey, especially among female players, thanks to the South Korean television2018.01.08_Turkey-Korean-Culture-Center 2018.01.07_Park_Bo-gum_for_Cupban_Hetban_1series ‘Reply 1988′ in which Park Bo-gum (left) features as “A genius go player who is mostly quiet and struggles with simple day-to-day tasks.” The popular show has led to an increase in ‘Hallyu’ fans who are interested in the game,” according to the  Turkish Go Players Association. Hallyu, or the Korean Wave, refers to the popularity of South Korean musical acts, tv shows, movies and other cultural products worldwide. Read more here.

photo (r): Korean Cultural Center in Turkey

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Go miscellany Year End Edition (3 of 3)

Wednesday December 13, 2017

Being a collection of interesting items – in no particular order – that have landed in our in-box in recent months but never 2017.12.13-Myosu_Magazine_FirstIssue_1-320x213made it into the E-Journal.

New go mag launched: Myosu, a new Korea-based go publication, was quietly launched last June. Myosu is a Korean term meaning ‘excellent move’. The team is based out of Myongji University, headed up by Editor-in-chief Le Kieu Khanh Linh. “In this magazine, we want to share all kinds of stories from the Baduk world; not only news and playing techniques, but also insights into Baduk culture, people, etc. We hope that we can connect the Baduk world and bring our community closer.”

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making: There is a passing mention of go on page 149 of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente. It occurs when the main character, September, is talking to Death.
“Death, I don’t know what to do.”
“It’s very brave of you to admit that. Most knightly folk I happen by bluster and force me to play chess with them. I don’t even like chess! For strategy Wrackglummer and even Go are much superior.”
- Willard Haynes

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EGF Pro Surma wins Samsung spot

Sunday July 9, 2017

European Go Federation pro Mateusz Surma 1p beat a strong field of players from outside the main go countries to win the Samsung Cup World Baduk Masters World Division and a spot in the main tournament.  The 12-player event, which took place at the Korea Baduk Association headquarter in Seoul’s brooding summer weather of heat, humidity and rain, included contenders from North America, Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asian countries other than Japan, China, Korea, and Taiwan.  For the first time, the World Division welcomed pros certified by the EGF and AGA, including Surma.  Surma received a bye in the first round, defeated fellow European Artem Kachanovskyi 1p in the second round and Canadian Gansheng Shi 1p in the semifinals.  Shi had a bye and beat a Thai player in the second round to advance to the semifinals. In the final, Surma faced the surprise winner of the other side of the table, Victor (Guang) Chow 7d of South Africa.  Chow, an active Internet player of long standing, had played in all the Samsung Worlds starting in 2014 without much success, but this year beat Canada’s Ryan Li 1p in round one, Israel’s Ali Jabarin 1p in round two and US player Eric Lui 1p in round three. Lui had beaten a Vietnamese amateur in round one and Pavol Lisy 1p of Russia in round two before facing Chow.  In the final match, according to Shi, Chow established an early lead but fell behind after making a big blunder. Surma will return in September for the main Samsung Cup tournament.
- Andy Okun

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Go Spotting: Misaeng (An Incomplete Life)

Sunday June 4, 2017

by Daniel Acheson2017.06.03_Misaeng
“Misaeng,” which means “an incomplete life,” is a 2014 South Korean television drama about 26-year old Jang Geu-rae and his struggles adapting to corporate life after failing to qualify as a professional go player.
Starting with the show’s title, which refers to the life and death status of a group of stones, “Misaeng” is suffused with go imagery and references. Flashbacks to Geu-rae’s go career pepper the storyline, and there are many scenes where the game is used to make analogous connections to his internship. In one episode, for example, Geu-rae adapts his go study system to completely reorganize his section’s shared files, which are a hopeless mess. While this may not sound like much, this early assignment, and the drama that surrounds it, becomes a pivotal moment in the story’s development.
Geu-rae’s corporate environment also mimics life on the goban: Among the interns and staff there is fierce competition for survival and promotion. Like the middle game, opening moves – education, internships, career choices – have determined certain relationships, and the characters must find opportunities to advance within (or in spite of) the constraints imposed by their past actions. In this respect Geu-rae is at a distinct disadvantage.
Due to the hermetic years spent studying go, Geu-rae possesses none of the educational or social advantages of his peers. He is armed onlyÀ±ÅÂÈ£ ÀÛ°¡ ÀÎÅͺä. ÀÌ»ó¼· ±âÀÚ. babtong@heraldcorp.com 2013.03.07 with a high-school equivalency exam certificate and an aptitude for undertaking difficult, thankless work. Nothing about his start with One International is auspicious. Geu-rae’s manager, Oh Sang-shik, regards this new intern as an unqualified burden and openly voices hopes that Geu-rae will fail. Among peers Geu-rae is known as a “bomb,” meaning someone who will explode under the pressures of the internship and thus fail. Yet Geu-rae surprises everyone with his fortitude.
In a similar way, I think “Misaeng” will also pleasantly surprise its viewers. Although the show starts slowly, each episode builds momentum and invests viewers more and more in the characters and their storylines. The data confirms this: Average ratings for “Misaeng” jumped fivefold from its premier in October 2014 to its conclusion in December of that year.
One reason for this popularity, I think, is that it is relatable. In 2012, when “Misaeng” started as a webtoon, its creator, Yoon Tae-ho, began with “countless interviews with real-life people who work for corporations.” “Explain it to me as if you were explaining it to a middle school student,” he would say to his interviewees. “If you really want to know about something, you have to have the courage to look like an idiot, the courage to say you don’t know anything about what they know.” As a result Geu-rae’s world, and with that of his contemporaries, feels real and lived in precisely because it is the world inhabited by so many in their personal and professional lives.
The struggle for complete life is as present on the goban as it is in the office or home, even if it is less evident. It’s also something that each player must face on their own despite being in the company of others. This is the essence of “Misaeng.”
“Misaeng” is available on Hulu Plus. Quotes from The Korea Herald and Korea Joongang Daily
photo (bottom left): Webtoon writer Yoon Tae-ho poses in his office prior to an interview with The Korea Herald on March 7. (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)
Edited by Howard Wong
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