Fresh from his first game this morning, the Kazakhstani representative Alexandr Bukh (‘zoigo’ on KGS) gave us an insight into his background and the evolving go scene in Kazakhstan.


Alexandr Bukh

Ranka: Tell us a bit about how you got into go.
Alexandr: I have been playing for around 5 years. For as long as I can remember I have been captivated by Japanese culture, both the new and the old, and this led me to discover the game of go. I spent some time working in a company importing used vehicles from Japan, and through this I had the chance to learn some Japanese.

Ranka: So this opportunity to visit Japan means a lot to you?
Alexandr: Yes. It is my first time in Japan… and my excitement is hard to put into words.

Ranka: Could you describe go scene in Kazakhstan?
Alexandr: Each week I travel to the city of Karaganda to play at its go club, which has roughly ten regular players, and aside from this I have met another twenty or so other players across the country. Recently there has been a surge in interest – in fact, this year is the first we have been represented in the World Amateur Go Championship. The most popular sports in Kazakhstan are ice hockey, soccer and martial arts – I hope go will soon become one of them.

Ranka: Do you have any interests other than go?
Alexandr: My first love is anything to do with computers, but I also am interested in aircraft modeling and electronics. And now is a great opportunity to deepen my interest Japanese culture first hand.

Ranka: Thank you for your time, and we hope you enjoy the tournament.


– John Richardson

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