Monday, March 26, 2012

Professional Profiles: Changho Lee

Changho Lee 9p

The "Stone Buddha" himself, Changho Lee was once hailed as the strongest Go player in the world.  Born on the 29th of July, 1975, he hails from Jeonju, South Korea.  Changho has an impressive resume, winning top international titles such as the Chunlan Cup, the LG Cup, and the Nongshim Cup, as well as dominating the domestic tournament scene.  During the 1990s, Changho was unrivaled in skill.  His style is both solid and deep.  His master was Hunhyun Cho, and it is believed that Changho's solid, deep style was born out of the need to defeat Hunhyun's natural ability to find brilliant moves to control the game.  Changho can outlast the most aggressive opponent with his precise calculations and never is perturbed, even if his opponent tries to create chaos and confusion on the board.  Changho seeks to control the game, with measured, careful moves that can help him predict outcomes, rather than trying to butt heads with his opponents.  During the peak of his career, he was nearly unstoppable.  It took a player with an amazingly aggressive style, like Naiwei Rui for example, to be able to beat him.  Changho is not as dominant as he once was in international tournaments, as Li Gu Sedol Lee, and even Yuuta Iyama have come on the scene and have challenged the "era of Changho Lee."  During his off hours, Changho enjoys playing tennis, and is enjoying married life to his new bride, Doyun Lee.  Doyun is a reporter for a Go magazine in China, and that's how the two met.  Changho had always been a bit introverted and shy, but the two hit it off and now they're enjoying married life.  If you study professional games, then Changho's games from the 90s are on your "must replay" list!