Chan Yi-Tien is a 24-year old go instructor from Taipei, Taiwan. Always smiling, he says go has helped him make many friends, as well as strengthening his ability to concentrate and think logically. He won the WAGC by one SOSOS point in 2014, when it was held in Gyeongju, Korea.
Ranka: Having already won the world amateur go championship four years ago, what are your hopes for this year?
Chan: Four years ago I felt lucky to win. This year I hope I can do the best and get the best result.
Ranka: We’ve been told that you were considering becoming a pro in Taiwan. What made you decide not to?
Chan: Actually, shortly before the 2014 World Amateur Go Championship, I reached the age limit for becoming a pro in Taiwan, so I had to give up that ambition. But instead of becoming a professional go player, I’ve become a professional amateur go player. This means that in part I make my living by competing in amateur tournaments in Taiwan and earning prize money, but that doesn’t provide a stable income, so I also teach go.
Ranka: Have AlphaGo and the other go-playing AIs affected your game?
Chan: Yes. When I was younger I learned from the games of the strongest human players, like Lee Sedol. But now I, and professional players too, have started learning from the AIs, because they’re the strongest.
Ranka: Who’s your favorite professional player in Taiwan?
Chan: Hao Hung-Hsu. He’s a 5-dan pro, but he won four titles in Taiwan last year and added another last month, and he’s just turned seventeen years old.
Ranka: Thank you and we hope to talk with you again.