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Moon Min-jong wins Glovis U-20 Global Go Championship

Posted August. 18, 2020 07:28,   

Updated August. 18, 2020 07:28


South Korean go fans are much excited over the emergence of a young star player, a potential successor to legendary Lee Se-dol. His name is Moon Min-jong, a 17-year-old professional go player of 2 dan rank.

Earlier this month, Moon won the 7th Global Go Tournament U-20 by Glovis.” Participants at the tournament are young, but they are world-class. The Chinese players Moon had subdued such as Lee Wei Ching (final), Liao Yuanhe (semi-final), and Xie Ke (quarter-final) are ranked 13th, 22nd, and 16th, respectively in the world. The Chinese go community is shocked after the three men, who were regarded as counterweight of Shin Jin-seo, the 20-year-old player ranked first in South Korea, have been defeated by Moon, who is ranked in the 150th in Korea.

“I always had enough confidence to beat them,” said Moon. “I studied their records and prepared for the match, which turned out be effective.”

Despite his low ranking, Moon had been considered as a “pearl in the mud” in South Korea. Having made his professional debut at a young talent contest in 2017, Moon made his name after winning his first champion title from the 7th Young Talent Contest last year. The 17-year-old has recently secured the first spot in a national youth team league organized by the Korea Baduk Association, thereby qualifying for the national team next season. His career record stands at 23 wins and 10 losses, and this month was even more remarkable with eight wins and only one defeat.

“An AI analysis of Moon’s play shows a lot of matches in blue circles (recommended by AI), which is very surprising,” explained Kim Seung-joon, a professional go player of 9 dan rank. “There are so many hidden gems like Moon, and it is our task to bring them out to light.”

Jung-Bo Suh suhchoi@donga.com