Baduk and chance 1dan in LG cup final


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Thibault de Vassal    (2007-11-27)
Baduk and chance : 1dan in LG cup final

A Go player ranked 1 dan is about 800 elo points below a 9 dan player (whatever the ranking system ?!), meaning about no chance to win a game against such an opponent, right ?! .. How is it possible to see a 1 dan player at this level in one of the main Go tournaments in the world ?

Of course everything can happen in a Go game, but I suppose it is not the case during a whole tournament...

From IGN Goama newsletter -

"An interview with Han Sanghoon, 1-dan, the first 1-dan in Go history, who entered the final match of the World Go Championship (LG cup)

- Congratulations! What was the most difficult game in this tournament?
- The last one with On Sojin, 4-dan. It was really close finally and I think, that I was slightly behind until the endgame stage
- You became a professional about 1 year ago. Did you think that you can reach the final match of the World Go Championship so quickly?
- I remember that it was very hard to become a professional. I was almost 18 and it was my last chance to win the qualification among inseis. Of course, I did not think, that I can show good results quickly. I was surprised, that professional tournaments are not much harder than the insei league :)
- What are your weakest and strongest parts in Go?
- I am weak at the opening, but I feel myself confident in middlegame fights. Usually I try to defend my groups solidly, before fighting
- Who is the hardest opponent for you?
- Yun Junsang, 6-dan. I lost him twice and feel that he is much stronger than me. Also his Go style is very impressive
- What do you think about your final match with Lee Sedol, 9-dan. How big are your chances?
- I never played him before, but I saw lot of his game records and I know that Lee Sedol, 9-dan is much stronger than me. Any way, I will try to win the match! Usually I am not afraid of the star opponents at all!"

Svante Carl von Erichsen    (2007-11-30 02:00:56)
attempt at clarification

First, the professional ranks cannot be compared to amateur ranks. A few years ago, the general assumption was that a difference of one professional rank was equal to about one third of a stone. The EGF assumes 30 ELO points between pro ranks. Recently, however, especially in Korea, there are many aspiring young players trying to become a professional, but only a handful are promoted each year. As a result, the competition for _becoming_ pro has become so fierce that any player who passes these tests is all but guaranteed to be already able to give the established players a run for their money. Another point to note is that while amateur ranks try to depict the _strength_ of a player, professional ranks are based on _merit_.