‘Future Go Emperor’ Hong Jun-sun wins inaugural under-12 recruitment competition

The first professional knight was born in a new under-12 recruitment competition organized by the Korea Go Association to strengthen competitiveness at an early age.

Hong Jun-sun (12) defeated Lee Yoon (12) in the final game of the 1st Under-12 Entry Competition held at the Korea Origin Center in Majang-ro, Seongdong-gu, on Thursday with a black six-and-a-half moves in 179 moves.

Hong, who is ranked fourth in the under-12 rankings at the Korean Academy, went 8-1 in the tournament, becoming the first professional knight to win the under-12 entrance exam.

Introduced to the game at the age of four, Hong set his sights on becoming a professional at the relatively young age of six and began his formal training at the Han Jong-jin Go Dojo.

In 2021, he started as a research student, and in this tournament, he defeated Kim Ha-yoon (12), who was the top-ranked player in the tournament.

“It’s hard to believe that the tournament just ended,” he said, “I was confident before the tournament started, but after winning the first game of the quarterfinals, I really thought I could join the team.”

Hong Jun-sun, who revealed that his favorite professional knight is Park Jung-hwan 9th dan, described his style as a flexible shilli-type.

With Hong Jun-sun’s passage through the tryouts, the total number of professional knights affiliated with the Korean Kiwon has increased to 424 (343 men and 81 women).

Born on January 31, 2011, Hong became the youngest professional knight at 12 years, 10 months, and 13 days old.

He ranks 15th on the list of the youngest players ever to join the organization, behind Jo Hoon-hyun (9 years, 7 months, 4 days) and Lee Chang-ho (11 years, 3 days).

Meanwhile, in February, the organization announced a change to its recruitment system to improve its competitiveness at the World Championships.

Instead of reducing the number of selections from eight to six in the general tryouts, the organization decided to divide the talent tryouts into two categories, 12 and under and 15 and under, and select one each.

From 2024, the 12-year-old tryouts will be divided into summer and winter to select two players, one each. 사설토토