South Jeolla planning to become a ‘Go mecca’

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South Jeolla planning to become a ‘Go mecca’

South Jeolla is planning to establish the nation’s first Go Museum dedicated to the beloved strategy board game, also known as baduk in Korea.

The province is home to three of the country’s top Go players, including Lee Se-dol, who recently faced off against Google Deepmind’s AlphaGo, an artificial intelligence program, in a historic five-game series.

“South Jeolla, the hometown to some of the most outstanding national Go players like Kim In, Jo Hun-hyeon and Lee Se-dol should rightly become the mecca for Go,” provincial Governor Lee Nak-yeon said Wednesday.

Construction of the museum in Mokpo, the hometown of the aforementioned players, is the primary objective in promoting the game and its influence in the area.

“The museum will exhibit everything relating to Go, including information on the game’s history in Korea and internationally, statistics on Go-related figures and the evolution of Go tournaments,” Lee said.

He also announced Wednesday that South Jeolla, in conjunction with the Korea Baduk Association, would work to further coordinate and promote the upcoming Kuksu Mountains International Baduk Championship, to be held on August.

Last year, about 70 professional Go players including Lee Se-dol and about 1,100 junior Go players participated in the championship. This year’s competition will be held in South Jeolla’s Gangjin, Yeongam and Sinan Counties.

“In order to catch up with the recent public fever over the game, we have to independently promote the Lee Se-dol Baduk Monument on Bigeum Island, his hometown, and the Go High School in Suncheon,” the governor said.

Lee is also examining an assessment plan in preparation for the advent of artificial intelligence, considered the fourth wave of industrialization.

“The match between Lee … and AlphaGo was a historic event in the 21st century that will be remembered throughout history,” Lee said.

BY KIM HO [shin.sooyeon@joongang.co.kr]

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