An interview with An Junggi

On June 8, 2015, An Junggi 5d defeated Chen Yaoye 9p at the 20th LG Cup, round of 32, and many of Go fans followed the news and asked us how an amateur player can defeat Chen Yaoye.

The game against Chen Yaoye

An talked to me on the phone about the game against Chen Yaoye, Yeongusaeng (insei) and some other things. Here’s what he said…

An Younggil: Hi Junggi, thanks for agreeing to do an interview for Go players overseas!
First of all, How did you feel when you faced players like Chen Yaoye 9p and Kang Dongyun 9p?

An Junggi: I was so nervous when I faced Chen Yaoye. When I had an interview after I won the final of the preliminaries, and I said that I want to play against Chen Yaoye. That’s because I like his style of play even though my style is different from him. He has so many aspects which I wanted to learn. It was the most exciting moment of my life so far.

The game Against Kang Dongyun, I had some chances to attack his weak group, but I missed out the chances and lost the game. However, I tried to do my best, so I don’t regret about the defeat. I was happy enough.

An Younggil: People are very interested in your game against Chen Yaoye. Can you comment briefly about the game?

An Junggi: I didn’t expect to win the game against Chen. I really like his style of play, so I could play the game without any pressure.

The result up to Black 41

The way to become Yeongusaeng

An Younggil: How old were you when you first learned Go and who taught you?

An Junggi: I started playing Go when I was 7, and I learned at an Baduk academy in Jeonju (Jeonju is Cho Hunhyun 9p and Lee Changho 9p’s hometown). I went to Seoul to study Baduk more seriously when I was 9, and it was very tough at the beginning. I cried a lot because I missed my family, but I adapted the new life in the Baduk school in Seoul.

An Younggil: I see. When did you become Yeongusaeng?

An Junggi: 2010.

An Younggil: You came to Seoul in 2006, and became Yeongusaeng in 2010, so it almost took four years.

An Junggi: Yes, right.

An Younggil: I see. The first few years must have been very hard time for you. I understand well because I also went to Seoul to study Baduk more seriously when I was 12.

By the way, how do you think the level of the players you’ve faced in the LG Cup and MLily Cup compares with your Yeongusaeng classmates?

An Junggi: Pros like Chen Yaoye and Kang Dongyun are obviously stronger than Yeongusaeng. The reading ability can be similar, but they have better insight in games, and they can manage the whole board better than what Yeongusaeng do.

An Younggil: Yes, I understand that pros have better insight. The next question can be mean, but I want to ask, because many people would like to know. If you play a Jubango with one of top players such as Park Junghwan 9p, what would be the right handicap do you think?

An Junggi: That’s very tricky to answer… I think the 3.5 points komi would be appropriate.

An Younggil: I see, thanks for your answer. Anyway, I heard that you’re ranked #6 in Yeongusaeng, and is that true?

An Junggi: Yes, right.

An Younggil: Oh, that’s interesting, because many people will be surprised to hear that there’re quite a few Yeongusaeng, who are even stronger than you.

Becoming a pro

An Younggil: You currently have 95/100 points under the new pro qualification system and if you win your next game in an international tournament, you’ll be able to turn pro, right? How do you feel about that at the moment?

An Junggi: I don’t really care about the point of the pro qualification, because I can still become a pro in other ways (normal pro qualifier). I’ll do my best in the MLily Cup, but at the moment, I just want to study Baduk as hard as I normally do.

An Younggil: Yes, I agree. Becoming a pro can’t be a goal for you, but you should have a high goal in Baduk. Becoming a pro is just another starting point in your Go life I think.

How to get better at Go – An’s style

An Younggil: Next question would be the last question. Do you have any advice for Go players outside of East Asia who want to get better at Go?

An Junggi: Hmm… I think playing many games is most important to get better at Baduk. Improving one’s reading would be very important I think.

An Younggil: Yes, everyone says so. But, how can you improve your reading then? Can you explain more in details?

An Junggi: There can be many ways. I think reviewing your own games would be one of the best ways. You can review your games and try to play differently, and continue what you were planning to do in your game on the board. While doing so, you can improve your reading.

You can also replay your favorite players’ games and you can try to understand the meaning of their moves, why they play like that, and how about other possible options etc. You can learn a lot from their games, and you can also improve your reading in that way as well.

An Younggil: Thank you for your time and good luck in the coming months! Go players around the world will be following your story and rooting for you!

An Junggi: Thank you.

via Go Game Guru

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