|Chinese go master Ke Jie, right, speaks during a news conference after winning the special Go match against Lee Se-dol at the Plaza Hotel in Seoul, Tuesday. / Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-chul|
Lee Se-dol hints at retiring from playing go professionally
By Kang Hyun-kyung
Chinese go master, Ke Jie, defeated Lee Se-dol in their 17th go match at the Plaza Hotel in Seoul, Tuesday.
Ke Jie led the game from the beginning with Lee unable to take victory.
Lee expressed regret about the results. "I was not satisfied with the way I started the game. And I made mistakes and this led me to lose the game," Lee said during a news conference at the Plaza Hotel in central Seoul after the game.
Lee, 36, go master with a 9th dan rank, hinted at his retiring from playing go professionally. "I debuted as a professional go player when I was six years old. Having done this for 19 years in a row, I think this year could be my last year as a professional player."
Ke Jie, meanwhile, was satisfied with the match. "I am happy with the way I played today and I am also satisfied with the result," he said.
The Chinese go master showed respect for Lee. "I was raised while watching Lee's matches. I make New Year's resolutions every year and this year, I think it's time to upgrade my style and I'd like to play a new Go game."
This was their 17th clash. Bagging another victory, Ke Jie has won 12 games and lost five.
The special match was held to commemorate the centennial of the March 1 Independence Movement. Kim Byung-soon, descendent of an independence fighter, served as an honorary referee of the match.
The Plaza Hotel was chosen as the venue for the game as it is located in the neighborhood of Deoksu Palace and Hwangudan, also known as Wongudan which was built in 1897. The two are symbolic sites for Korea's independence movement during the Japanese occupation of Korea (1910-1945).
The special match was hosted by the Korea Baduk Association and sponsored by Korean blockchain company Bloodland and the Hankook Ilbo, the sister newspaper of
The Korea Times. Winner Ke Jie won 50 million won ($45,000) in prize money and the runner-up Lee 20 million won.