Monday, March 5, 2012

Professional Profiles: Hunhyun Cho

Hunhyun Cho 9p

Hunhyun Cho is another legend in the professional Go world.  He is a 9 dan from South Korea and held the record for the youngest person ever to become a professional (he earned his 1 dan at the tender age of 9).  Hunhyun has earned the most titles of any professional ever, over 150 to his name, and has racked up over 1,000 wins in professional matches. He still plays professional Go well into his fifties when other Go players retire before forty.  He is a fighter much like Naiwei Rui.  His games are filled with wonderful tesujis and he is known to create confusion on the board, and then grasp victory through the fog of war.  He was Chango Lee's teacher and mentor, molding Changho into one of the strongest Go players in the modern age.  Hunhyun has been a staple of Korean Go for decades and is the author of many books.  What makes Hunhyun Cho special is that he led the way for Korean Go to take off.  Japan had been the strongest country in terms of professional Go for decades.  Professional Korean Go didn't really get going until after the Korean war, and China had to deal with the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution.  Hunhyun Cho was one of the strongest Korean players and did a great deal of work to bring up the level of Korean Go and popularize the game.  Now that Hunhyun is older, he plays fewer games.  He says he just doesn't have the energy to put into a game like he did back when he was in his twenties and would play Go all night.  Still, Hunhyun has shown no signs of stopping and will continue to be a fixture on the Korean and international professional Go scene.