Close to my departure from China I had the idea of having an interview with An Yan re his background, his go-school, his opinion re the current go-situation and re the future. I considered that it might be interesting to get his opinions and his knowledge as a professional go-player and teacher. I have really looked forward to his answers, but I need to admit that some of them surprise me, especially when talking about the current and future go-situation.
Thanks to Juan Guo who took her time and supported my idea by translating the interview.
One note: No editing was done by me towards the answers.
Started to learn Go at 10 years old, Won many times of HuBei province and Wuhan city youth championships, Entered HuBei province team in 78, 1982 4p. 1985 national team championship 5th place. 1986 national new talent cup 3ird place. 1989 promoted to 7p. From 1083 to 1985 in the China National Team.
- When did you start playing Weiqi, and how many years have you been playing now?
- 您是从什么时候开始下的围棋? 您下了多少年围棋?
Since 10 years old, played go for 36 years.
- When did you become a professional player?
1982 became 4p (guojuan: before 1982 we did not have official pro ranking).
- When were you promoted, finally to 7p?
- As a professional player, how many hours per day did you do exercises?
- 作为职业棋手, 您曾经一天花多少时间做联系?
Half an hour to one hour.
- At how many tournaments did you participate (roughly) and how many years/ games did you play in the league?
- 您大概参加了多少比赛? 大概下了多少年比赛? 大概下了多少盘比赛对局?
Don’t remember anymore.
- When did you decide to become a Weiqi teacher?
- What was the reason that you decided to teach Weiqi? Was it your dream to become a teacher?
- 是什么原因使您决定做围棋老师的? 做围棋老师曾是您的做梦想吗?
I want to train young players to become pro. My dream is to make a world champion.
- What did change for you after you had become a teacher?
- 做围棋老师之后, 您的人生有何改变?
Same as when I was a pro player.
- How many Weiqi students does your school have and how many teachers do work there?
- 您的围棋学校有多少学生? 有多少老师在那里工作?
Our go school has more than 200 students, 10 teachers.
- Is your Weiqi school also active in other areas, eg promotes Weiqi at "normal" schools?
- 您的围棋学校在其他领域也有活动吗? 比如说到学校去普及围棋?
Yes, we go to schools to promote Go, at this moment we started go classes in 8 elementary schools.
- How many Weiqi schools do exist here in Wuhan?
4 go schools, 1500 students taking go classes.
- How come that you had the idea to offer to foreign Weiqi students to study Weiqi at
When I visited European Go congress in 2005, in CZ I met my old friend Guo Juan 5p, she talked with me about this, we started to work on this together.
- How is this program re foreign students developing?
Students from western countries, then learn from our school about Go theories, skills and real game applies, normally after 3month, they can improve 1 dan.
- Do you have for every student, especially for the foreign students, an individual program?
- 对您的每一个学生, 尤其是西方国家来的学生, 您都有个别的训练计划吗?
Yes, for every student, especially from western countries, I all have training plans for each of them.
- How many of your students have become a professional player?
8 of them became pro, like Yan Huan 3p, Lu Jia (female) 1p are already entered the China national youth team.
Up to now, there were students from USA, Germany, France, CZ, Netherlands, Morocco, total about 30 students.
- How do you judge the current situation re Weiqi in China?
The development of Chinese Go is good.
- What do you think is the reason that Weiqi in general is so popular in Asia - compared to for example Europe, and that people start to study at a very young age?
- 和欧洲比较, 您认为是什么原因使围棋在亚洲这么流行? 而且亚洲的孩子学棋那么早.
- There is the rumour that in China especially children from poor families seriously study Weiqi. Is this true? Is yes, what do you think is the reason for this phenomen?
- 传说在中国, 尤其是比较穷的家庭的小孩学棋特别认真, 是这样吗? 如果是, 您认为这是为什么呢?
- If you compare China's level with the level in Korea and Japan what do you think?
- It is said that Japan did have a lot of problems, and recently Korea is said to have big problems. According to some open sources info a lot of Weiqi schools had to close in these countries because few children went to a Weiqi school. Do you have further information re this development?
- 人们说日本棋界曾经有许多问题, 目前又说韩国棋界问题很大. 具一些公开的信息渠道说在这两个国家很多围棋学校都关了门, 因为生源不够. 您对此有更多的信息吗?
I don’t know.
- Is it possible that this development could also arise here in China?
I don’t know
- In which way does the Chinese Weiqi Federation support and promote the game within China?
I don’t know.
- Is the Chinese Weiqi Federation interested in supporting and promoting Weiqi outside China?
I don’t know
- In Seoul/ Korea there is the only Weiqi university in the world. What is your opinion re this university? If you compare this university with a "normal" Weiqi school what is your judgement? Can you imagine that China is going to have also a Weiqi university?
- 韩国首都首尔有世界上唯一的围棋大学. 您对这所大学有什么看法? 如果将这所围棋大学和一般的围棋学校作比较, 您的判断是什么? 您认为中国也会有一所围棋大学吗?
I don’t know.