One of the participants at the 7th Korea Prime Minister Cup was Shirin Mohammadi, a magazine designer and vice president of the Iran Go Association. Ranka spoke with her the evening before the tournament began.
Ranka: What are you doing at the tournament?
Shirin: I’m playing in it, but I’m also here to get more information about the game and make contact with overseas players on the behalf of the Iran Go Association.
Ranka: Please tell us more about this.
Shirin: People in Iran are very interested in mind sports in general. Lots of people play games like bridge and chess. Mind games are games that everyone can enjoy. I belong to an organization that is working to import and export games, and baduk is a game that we are trying to import. A year or so ago I was given the job of finding out everything I could about baduk.I wrote over a hundred letters to organizations all over the world. We have also been promoting the game by ourselves. When we hold sports and games events in Iran, and in other countries as well, we take those opportunities to introduce the attendants to the game of baduk. Quite a few of them become interested.
Ranka: That sounds promising.
Shirin: Yes, we now have an enthusiastic group of young people who are playing the game, but we lack someone to teach them. They can only learn from printed matter and the Internet.
Ranka: Do you play on the Internet yourself?
Shirin: Yes, I’ve been playing on the Internet for the past year. One of my best opponents is Jonathan Fisher, who is very kind in going over the games I play with him and showing me better moves. But you can’t improve rapidly just by playing on the Internet.
Ranka: What do you need to do?
Shirin: What we really need is for some professional player to come to Iran to teach. It should be someone who is good at teaching and can communicate in English. It would also be a good opportunity for a professional baduk player to see Iran and experience Iranian culture and civilization.
Ranka: Have you found such a person?
Shirin: The Korea Baduk Association has been extremely helpful, donating sixty baduk sets, for example, and making it possible for me to come here, but we’re still looking for a teacher.
Ranka: Thank you, and we wish you success.