Seo Pong-su

    Keywords: People

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Seo Pong-su (서봉수)

Seo Pong-su (서봉수, 徐奉洙, Seo Bongsoo, b. 1 February 1953 in Taech'eon, Ch'ungch'eongnam Prov., South Korea) is a Korean, professional 9-dan. During the 1980s, he was the second strongest player next to Cho Hun-hyeon and they would play each other for many title matches. In the early 1990s, he was recognized as one of the Gang of Four, those who dominated the Korean go scene during that decade.[1] He was the fourth Korean professional to become a 9-dan; the first Korean to win 1,000 professional games (1994); and the first professional to achieve 2,000 career games (2003). His nickname is Panther for his wild and uncompromising style.

Seo learned go at the age of 14 after delivering a message to a go club where his father was. At that time, it was the first time he'd seen it, since it was not yet highly-regarded in Korea at the time. At 15 he won a tournament and as Seo recalls:

Most people were poor at the time, and only rich people had cars. The best job for women was that of Air Stewardess. Winning the tournament gave me a chance to fly in a plane and my parents were very proud of me. So I decided from the age of fifteen to become a professional player, and my parents were very helpful.[2]

Seo's nemesis is Cho Hun-hyeon, who formed a nearly impenetrable wall for him since their first encounters in the 1970s. According to GoGameWorld, he has been runner-up to Cho no fewer than fifty-one times, for which he was nicknamed "the bridesmaid of Korean baduk." And his record against Cho, as of 2010, was 119-244.

Although he had some international successes in the 1990s, such as winning the 2nd Ing Cup in 1993, he has generally been less successful than the rest of the Gang of Four in international events. However, one famous event for him was his performance during the 6th Jinro Cup Ring Contest (1996-1997). In a spectacular string of nine consecutive wins he single-handedly defeated the entire Chinese team and remaining Japanese, recalling Nie Weiping's famous performance in the China-Japan Supermatches? a decade earlier.

He was popular with Korean fans from the beginning of his career to the early 90s, in part because that of the top players of his generation Seo was the only one who had never trained in Japan. This gave him a so-called 'pure Korean style' that fans could root for in the domestic and international matches.

He reached 1,500 professional wins on 2012-04-18 and was the third professional to reach 1,000 wins (after Sakata Eio and Rin Kaiho).

Style

Seo is a gambler who enjoys even the most nerve-wracking fights. He does not worry about pure shape (unlike the traditional Japanese style). In a 1994 interview he described his style:

I like to play a thick and realistic style. Some people go for territory without influence and vice versa, but I try to incorporate both when planning a strategy. Others say that I have a winner's instinct, that I am strong in the middle game. I'm not sure. Maybe. I have fighting ability which helps me in the middle game. and I like to fight, so when I win a game, it is often by a large margin.[2]

One reason for why his style developed the way it did was that -- unlike the other top professionals of his early years -- he was the only one not to study in Japan. Instead, he absorbed the Korean fighting style without bias.

Rank Promotion

  • 1970: 9-dan
  • 1971: 1-dan
  • 1973: 3-dan
  • 1974: 4-dan
  • 1976: 5-dan
  • 1978: 6-dan
  • 1980: 7-dan
  • 1983: 8-dan
  • 1986: 9-dan

Titles

  • 1972: 4th Myeongin
  • 1973: 5th Myeongin
  • 1974: 6th Myeongin
  • 1974: 1st MBC Kukgi?
  • 1975: 7th Myeongin
  • 1975: 10th Wangwi
  • 1976: 8th Myeongin
  • 1979: 10th Myeongin
  • 1980: 20th Ch'aegowi
  • 1980: 15th Wangwi
  • 1981: 6th Kukgi?
  • 1983: 8th Kiwang
  • 1983: 14th Myeongin
  • 1984: 2nd D'aewang
  • 1984: 4th KBS Cup
  • 1987: 30th Kuksu
  • 1988: 6th D'aewang
  • 1988: 31st Kuksu
  • 1988: KBS 7-8-9 Dans Tournament?
  • 1988: 13th Kiwang
  • 1989: 14th Kukgi
  • 1990: 2nd Tong Yang Securities Cup
  • 1992: 15th Kukgi
  • 1993: 2nd Ing Cup
  • 1995: Gentlemen's Cup?
  • 1999: 4th GS Caltex Cup
  • 2000: 1st Pro Senior Tournament?
  • 2002: 2nd Pro Senior Tournament
  • 2003: 3rd Pro Senior Tournament

Runner-ups

  • 1976: 2nd Kukgi?
  • 1976: 11th Wangwi
  • 1977: 3rd Kukgi
  • 1977: 9th Myeongin
  • 1978: 13th Wangwi
  • 1979: 19th Ch'aegowi
  • 1980: 5th Kukgi
  • 1980: 24th Kuksu
  • 1980: 11th Myeongin
  • 1981: 21st Ch'aegowi
  • 1981: 6th Kiwang
  • 1981: 25th Kuksu
  • 1981: 12th Myeongin
  • 1981: 18th P'aewang
  • 1982: 7th Kiwang
  • 1982: 7th Kukgi
  • 1982: 26th Kuksu
  • 1982: 12th Myeongin
  • 1982: 19th P'aewang
  • 1982: 16th Wangwi
  • 1983: 1st Bacchus Cup
  • 1983: 1st D'aewang
  • 1983: 8th Kukgi
  • 1984: 23rd Ch'aegowi
  • 1984: 9th Kiwang
  • 1984: 9th Kukgi
  • 1984: 27th Kuksu
  • 1984: 15th Myeongin
  • 1984: 21st P'aewang
  • 1985: 24th Ch'aegowi
  • 1985: 5th KBS Cup
  • 1985: 10th Kiwang
  • 1985: 10th Kukgi
  • 1985: 28th Kuksu
  • 1985: 22nd P'aewang
  • 1985: 19th Wangwi
  • 1986: 3rd D'aewang
  • 1986: 11th Kiwang
  • 1986: 11th Kukgi
  • 1986: 29th Kuksu
  • 1986: 17th Myeongin
  • 1986: 20th Wangwi
  • 1987: 4th D'aewang
  • 1987: 12th Kiwang
  • 1987: 5th T'aewang
  • 1987: 21st Wangwi
  • 1988: 19th Myeongin
  • 1989: 7th D'aewang
  • 1989: 14th Kiwang
  • 1989: 32nd Kuksu
  • 1989: 20th Myeongin
  • 1989: 23rd Wangwi
  • 1990: 15th Kiwang
  • 1990: 24th Wangwi
  • 1991: 9th Bacchus Cup
  • 1991: 9th D'aewang
  • 1991: 16th Kiwang
  • 1992: 17th Kiwang
  • 1992: 10th T'aewang
  • 1993: 16th Kukgi
  • 1993: 5th TV Asia Championship?
  • 1994: 12th Bacchus Cup
  • 1997: 41st Kuksu
  • 1999: 4th Ch'eonweon
  • 2000: 34th Wangwi
  • 2006: 50th Kuksu Anniversary Tournament?

Books

Interviews


Notes

[1] The Gang of Four included: Seo Pong-su, Cho Hun-hyeon, Yu Ch'ang-hyeok and Yi Ch'ang-ho.

[2] Source: [ext] Korean Interview, British Go Journal, No. 96 Autumn 1994, p. 16-7.


Seo Pong-su last edited by 68.99.65.50 on September 9, 2013 - 04:26
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