“I will never retire myself. I will sit at the board as long as my health allows,” declared Choi Chang-won (86), 6th dan, the oldest of the 419 active professional knights in Korea.

He arrived in Gogiwon, Korea, on the 13th to compete in the senior keiji qualifying tournament after braving a torrential downpour. He added a third loss to his winless streak this year, but the smile never left his face. “I don’t think about winning. I’m just happy to be sitting across from the younger players.”

Choi, a sixth dan, has never been close to reading glasses, hearing aids or adult medication. Except for his hair, which he has dyed since the age of 40, his hair is all “natural. What makes him a “young man in his 80s” is that he has been climbing mountains for 37 years, since he was 50.

“Even now, I climb Bukhansan for an hour every morning when I wake up,” he said. He has visited famous mountains across the country, including Jirisan, Seoraksan, and Hoemunsan, the setting of the novel “The Confederate Soldier,” and has run the Baekdudaegan several times. People in Hongik-dong’s Giga Street have come to associate Choi Chang-won with mountaineering.

A healthy mind and body and an unwavering love of go are the two pillars that make him a grandmaster in his old age. Even after the age of 70, he has continued to play official matches. Last year, he played a total of seven countries and won one valuable game. Although it was due to his opponent’s time loss, he set a new record for the oldest victory in Korea (84 years and 9 months).

He wasn’t a lifetime title contender. He was never a challenger. Instead, he thrived in the main event, the flower of title fights. From ’64 to the early ’70s, he was in the main event of eight fights. “It’s a shame that he got married in 1969 and went into business and left the sport for about 10 years,” he said. 메이저사이트 주소

In his prime, his long game was endgame. If Lee Chang-ho, who later decided to end his career, was a “godsan,” Choi’s sixth dan was the “original godsan.” He enjoyed playing the finer moves and winning narrowly. Choi himself said, “Among the juniors, I feel a deep affinity for Lee Chang-ho.”

Choi has the remarkable distinction of having learned the game late in life, in his twenties, and joining the KGB after just three years, and within his first attempt. It was a great rebellion by an unknown young man who was an active duty soldier and had only two or three levels of strength. “I didn’t get greedy with the idea of learning, but I kept winning. If I had been eliminated then, I would have lived a completely different life…. I wonder if this is fate.”

He also expressed his views on artificial intelligence (AI). “It’s true that it has helped the development of technology, but it has also damaged the dignity of Go,” he said. He said that AI has lowered the barrier to entry and has made the game more casual than it used to be. “I would like to learn AI when the opportunity comes,” he said.

Choi Chang-won, the oldest player at 86, ended the interview by quoting astronomer Carl Sagan’s Cosmos. “I don’t have much to do in this world. Life is about doing what you want to do in peace and health. I will always climb mountains, go to big events, and mingle with young people.”

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