Youngest 12-year-old active player to study Go 180km a day

Hong Joon-sun, who was born on January 31, 2011, has been named the youngest professional baduk driver. Hong Joon-sun secured a black sixth and half win by Lee Yoon (12) at the final decision of the first Under-12 joining competition held at the Korea Institute of Technology in Seoul’s Seongdong district on Wednesday. Hong Joon-sun, who is ranked fourth in the under-12 ranking, beat Kim Ha-yoon (12), who is ranking first, and maintained eight wins and one loss to win the championship. The Under-12 joining competition was established this year by the Korea Institute of Technology to enhance competitiveness in world competitions and strengthen competitiveness early. 파친코

Hong Joon-sun, who started playing Go at the age of four and got advice from Cho Hoon-hyun at the age of five and prepared to join the team in earnest, started her career as a researcher in 2021 after going through Yoo Chang-hyuk, Chungam, and Han Jong-jin, and was registered as the youngest professional player at the age of 12 years, 10 months, and 13 days. In the list of the youngest players to join the team, Hong Joon-sun ranked 15th after Cho Hoon-hyun (9 years, 7 months, 4 days) and Lee Chang-ho (9 years, 3 days). With Hong Joon-sun joining the team, the total number of professional players from the Korea Foundation has increased to 424 (343 men and 81 women).

Hong Joon-sun said in a telephone interview with the Munhwa Ilbo on Sunday, “I had high expectations (to win), but I did not think it would be easy because there were many talented players. There were some difficulties in the semifinal, but the fact that I did not give up until the end led to good results.” Hong Joon-sun, who chose Park Jung-hwan as her role model, said, “My first goal is to become a top 100 player in the rankings, and I want to win the title in the Eung-bae (the world’s biggest mechanism).” “As my skills are still weak, I will have to work hard to improve my skills.”

Thanks to his parents’ dedication, Hong Joon-sun has taken a leap forward by focusing on Go for eight years. At the age of four, Hong went to a Go academy in the city, a 40-minute drive from his Anseong home. As he improved his skills, he got more distance to and from his hometown. At five, Hong went to Bundang-gu in Seongnam, a two-hour round trip, and Seongdong-gu in Seoul, a three-hour round trip, when he was eight. Hong’s parents returned to their livelihood when their son was learning Go, and picked him up again in the evening.

Hong Joon-sun’s mother, Choi Moon-jeong, said, “I went back and forth between 360 kilometers and 180 kilometers of round trip to Seoul twice a day,” adding, “We didn’t know anything about Go, but we liked playing it very much, and we applied because we were still young (even if we couldn’t join the team). “When I saw him make it to the final round, I thought that he was my little son, but I respect him,” she said. “My hands trembled even though I was praying next to him. But it was amazing to see him play the final round with confidence.”

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