I met Dr. SungHwa Hong on the IGS Go server, during the epoch where a busy evening meant 30-50 players were connected simultaneously and in case two 6-dans were playing all other players would sit around their board, chatting excitedly about their love for Go, making jokes (remember zhuge?) and ocassionaly study the game.
Later, in 1993 I met Dr. Hong in person during a trip
through the USA and Canada. SungHwa kindly invited me
to visit him and his wife in Vancouver, Canada. We had
a really great time and one of the many things which
fascinated me in him was the double life he was leading.
While at home he was a loving father and husband, but
when playing baduk he turned into an energetic person
obviously very enthusiastic about the game and loving it
with all his heart.
In 1999 SungHwa asked me to preview his book "First Kyu"
and the moment I started to read there was no way
to stop. A fascinating book reflecting so well the
committment and love for the game of Baduk which was
flowing through his veins. An exciting book as well
with a thrilling storyline keeping the reader in suspense
till the very end.
Publishing the first few chapters of this book on GoBase.org is merely a humble tribute of respect for SungHwa Hong's involvement in the game we all love so much. I hope that reading the book will strengthen your belief that you have choosen the right game to invest your time and energy in.
Jan van der Steen, 2003-11-14
go to the book: Before We Begin