Shortly after finishing his game in round six, Poland’s mid-teen star Mateusz Surma spoke with Ranka.
Ranka: Have you enjoyed the tournament?
Mateusz: Yes, it’s been a very nice tournament. I won four games, losing to Japan and the Ukraine.
Ranka: What happened in those two games?
Mateusz: I think I had a chance against at one point in my game with the Japanese player, but he is stronger. Against Artem Kachanovskyi from the Ukraine, I felt that we were playing at about the same level. The came was close for most of the way, but then he survived inside my territory and it was finished.
Ranka: When did you start playing go?
Mateusz: I learned how to play from my father when I was six or seven years old. I started competing in tournaments one or two months after learning. In the first tournament I played in I won all my games. Next I won the U12 division of the Polish championship, at age seven, which was considered sensational.
Ranka: What has been your best tournament so far?
Mateusz: The European Youth Championship last year. I won with a 6-0 score.
Ranka: Have you been in Korea before?
Mateusz: Quite often. I first came in 2009, studied for five months at King’s Baduk School, and then returned to Poland. Since then I’ve been back to Korea several times, staying three months at a time, partly for visa reasons and partly because I have school exams in Poland that I have to pass.
Ranka: What are you doing now?
Mateusz: In Poland I’m in my second year in high school, and in Korea I’m studying at the Choong-am Baduk Dojang. I’m one of only three foreigners there. The other two are from America and France.
Ranka: How are you taught?
Mateusz: We play games and our instructors comment on them.
Ranka: What are your future plans?
Mateusz: I want to be a pro. In Korea or in Europe, it doesn’t matter which. Playing go as a profession is my dream.
Ranka: Thank you and good luck.