June, 2011

Lee Hyuk

You started to play in Russian tournaments in early 90’s. What was the reason of your staying in our country for such a long time?

-From early 90’s I studied in Russia and after that I am having had business with Russia till now on.


You were very close to pro level in 80’s. Did you try to become pro or not?

-No, I have never tired to be a pro, I am happy as an amateur.


Please tell us about your achievements in Korean tournaments. Did you win some events and beat some famous players?

-My achievements in Korean tournaments were mainly when I was a student in Yonsei University.

After graduation from the university actually I didn’t participate in Korean amateur tournaments as I was in Moscow.

I took part in several Korean student tournamens and I was a prize winner several times and member of Korean student representative for two years.

I beat Mr. An Kwanwuk, he was the strongest (the first one by amateur ranking) amateur at that time, in KBS Baduk Festival. He became professional soon after it.

(A.D: An Kwanwuk is now 8-dan professional. His games: http://www.go4go.net/v2/modules/collection/byplayer2.php?pid=605 )


Do you know other strong Korean players, currently staying in Russia? I am sure, they like to play Go online, but why is it hard to meet them in local offline tournaments?

-I know some Koreans who are playing but they are not so strong. They don’t appear in offline Russian tournaments as they don’t stay in Russia long time, so they don’t have enough information about Russian tournaments.


According to European Go Database, you have 13-1 score both with Lazarev and Surin, but they have completely different playing styles. Who is the harder opponent for you and why?

-I even didn’t know that I have such a score with them, thanks for information.

Actually I feel the same strength when I play both of them. But if I have to choose one, it’s Lazarev till 2000, Surin after 2000th year.


You played few games with Ilya Shikshin – the main hope of the Russian Go. What do you think about his chances of winning big international events like World Amateur Go Championship?

-Sasha, you are also main hope^^

Ilya can win big international events if he tries very hard.

But it would be a bit difficult with the current level.


We know that bannegi is very popular in Korea, but in Russia nobody play that way. How can you explain it?

-Because Europe including Russia keep yet more purity in Baduk than Korea. European players are more faithful to the sportsmanship of Baduk.


You visit some Go clubs in Moscow and other cities. What is the difference between Korean and Russian Go clubs?

-Korean: business of the owner, Russian: a place for people interested in the same subject


How do you explain low popularity of chess in Korea?

-As Baduk is so popular people are not interested in chess. I think that Baduk is more complicated (maybe, so more interesting) game.

Lee Hyuk in S-Petersburg


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