John Lee

    Keywords: People

John Lee (born 1976-03-06) is or was a US amateur player.

He was recorded as [ext] 8d in 2007, as 6d in 2008 (see below), and as [ext] 7d in 2009. As of 2021 he does not have an entry in the AGA player database.

As of December 2008, John Lee, along with Thomas Hsiang, is one of only two players to complete a "grand slam" of US championships by winning the US Open, the North American section of the Ing Cup and the North American section of the Fujitsu Cup.

He has represented the US in the 16th World Amateur Go Championship (1994) and the 13th and 14th World Pair Go Championship? (1993 and 1994) together with Debbie Siemon. US representative in 2003 Fujitsu Cup final stages, beating Catalin Taranu in the first round, but defeated by Lee Changho in the second.

Later, he [ext] played in a New York Go Center tournament in 2008, but did not place.

In 2010, he [ext] conducted a survey of Go players "about the relationship of go with other mind sports." At that time, he said that "changes in life took me away from the (Go) scene."


A 2000 [ext] biography of John is reproduced below (with paragraphing).

Born: March 6, 1976

Place: Seoul, Korea

John and his family moved to the United States in 1986. His parents ran a dry cleaning business. He has one brother and one sister, both older. John had never played go before coming to the United States, but he was an avid Korean Chess player. He was often pitted against adult neighbors from the time he was six years old and he always beat them. In the US John developed many interests, playing on the Chicago City Championship tennis team and competing in the State Tennis Championship in singles and doubles play.

In 1988 John saw an ad in a Chicago newspaper about a new go club which was opening. He managed to wander into this club and asked to be taught go. Within about a year he was amateur five or six dan. In 1990 he won the open section of the Illinois Go Tournament and won a trip to the 1991 United States Go Congress, held in Rochester, New York, where he competed as 6-Dan. It was here that Jiang Zhu Jiu 9-Dan noticed him and began encouraging him to be a professional player.

In 1993, shortly after becoming a United States citizen, John represented the United States in the Tenth World Youth Goe Championship held in Ottawa, Canada. His third place finish surprised many of the visitors who did not realize that the United States had developed such a strong young player. He left that tournament, driving to Washington D.C., where he again competed in the US Go Congress. This time he won the US Open section and the right to represent the US in the World Amateur Championship in Japan. He also was a member of the American Pairs Championship team that year.

In 1994 John continued his strong play with a fifth place finish in the World Amateur Championship. At the 1994 US Go Congress John won the first North American Ing Cup. His pairs team won another US Pairs Championship at the 1994 US Go Congress as well with another trip to Japan in the balance. In 1995 John was invited to compete in the European Ing Cup. Because of a bomb threat John's plane was delayed and he had to forfeit the first two rounds of the tournament. He was undefeated in the next five rounds and ended in a three way tie for first place.

John has also twice competed in the American Fujitsu play-off to determine the US representative to the Fujitsu. In September of 1994 John enrolled in the University of San Francisco in the hopes of studying go with visiting professionals. He entered a pre-law curriculum and studied both Japanese and Chinese languages. His strong desire to become a professional player convinced him that he must go to Japan if he is to make his dream a reality.


John Lee last edited by bugcat on October 4, 2021 - 00:49
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