How Strong Are Professional Players?

Just how strong are top professional go players compared to amateur players?

This question comes up again and again. The replies vary a lot, from saying that current amateurs are so strong that there is little difference between them and top professionals, to saying that there is such a huge gap that amateurs can never get any close to top professionals levels.

It is being said that top Asian amateurs are quite close in strength to mid-level (5 dan) professionals. It is not easy to get a very accurate comparison though due to the fact that there are few chances for amateurs and top professionals to play together. One interesting data point is the series of results of the annual games between the professional Honinbo and amateur Honinbo in Japan. The handicap is adjusted each year according to the previous year’s result, and the handicap seems to vary between 2 and 3 stones.

A very big surprise came recently when Lee Changho was defeated in BC Cup by a Korean ex-insei amateur. A few years ago Fernando Aguilar, a very strong Argentinian amateur, defeated two 9 dan professionals in a row in Toyota and Denso Cup.

These kinds of exceptional results are keeping the amateurs hopes high. But exceptional results are statistical improbable. We have to look at several games to draw a meaningful conclusion.

At the recently finished Shusaku Cup organized in Romania there were two Chinese professional players invited (Luo Xihe 9p and Huang Yizhong 7p), and they played teaching games with several top players. Last year the guests were Mok Jinseok 9p and Kim Seung-Jun 9p of South Korea. The professional guests gave between 2 and 4 stones handicap to several European players rated 5-7 dan and won almost all games both in 2009 and 2010 editions. This shows that professional players are very very strong.

Pal Balogh 6d received 3 stones from Luo Xihe 9p and won by 3.5 points. This is the only instance when the amateur player won in the series of the Shusaku Cup demo/teaching games that I saw.

(;GM[1]FF[4]CA[UTF-8]AP[CGoban:3]ST[2] RU[Japanese]SZ[19]HA[3]KM[0.5]TM[1800]OT[10/300 Canadian] GN[Shusaku Cup 9p demo game]PW[Luo Xihe]PB[Pal Balogh]WR[9p]BR[6d]DT[2010-03-27]PC[Tirgu Mures, Romania]AB[pd][dp][pp]RE[B+3.50] ;W[dc] ;B[de] ;W[nq] ;B[lq] ;W[qf] ;B[qh] ;W[pm] ;B[np] ;W[of] ;B[nd] ;W[pi] ;B[oq] ;W[lc] ;B[me] ;W[jd] ;B[rd] ;W[oc] ;B[od] ;W[nc] ;B[pc] ;W[qi] ;B[cc] ;W[cn] ;B[cl] ;W[en] ;B[fp] ;W[dh] ;B[db] ;W[ec] ;B[eb] ;W[cd] ;B[bc] ;W[hq] ;B[go] ;W[fr] ;B[bp] ;W[dr] (;B[ip] ;W[iq] ;B[jp] ;W[dk] ;B[bn] ;W[co] ;B[bo] ;W[cp] ;B[ck] ;W[cq] ;B[fc] ;W[cj] ;B[bj] ;W[bi] ;B[bk] ;W[rp] ;B[qo] ;W[ro] ;B[qn] ;W[qq] ;B[pr] ;W[rn] ;B[qm] ;W[qr] ;B[rf] ;W[rg] ;B[qe] ;W[sf] ;B[pf] ;W[qg] (;B[pg] ;W[ph] ;B[og] ;W[hc] ;B[fe] ;W[kr] ;B[kq] ;W[ql] ;B[rm] ;W[rl] ;B[nm] ;W[nr] ;B[mq] ;W[or] ;B[pq] ;W[ps] ;B[os] ;W[ns] ;B[mr] ;W[cf] ;B[ce] ;W[be] ;B[df] ;W[bg] ;B[dl] ;W[dj] ;B[sn] ;W[rr] ;B[pl] ;W[pk] ;B[ol] ;W[gb] ;B[hl] ;W[bq] ;B[bm] ;W[jl] ;B[re] ;W[ri] ;B[jk] ;W[kk] ;B[ik] ;W[ll] ;B[kj] ;W[lj] ;B[li] ;W[ki] ;B[jj] ;W[mj] ;B[mi] ;W[ok] ;B[km] ;W[lm] ;B[kl] ;W[nl] ;B[om] ;W[kn] ;B[lk] ;W[mk] ;B[jn] ;W[kk] ;B[jm] ;W[bd] ;B[dd] ;W[pb] ;B[qb] ;W[ob] ;B[cg] ;W[bf] ;B[dg] ;W[ch] ;B[kh] ;W[nh] ;B[qs] ;W[rs] ;B[je] ;W[id] ;B[kd] ;W[kc] ;B[ie] ;W[fh] ;B[gh] ;W[gi] ;B[hi] ;W[gg] ;B[hh] ;W[hg] ;B[ig] ;W[qa] ;B[rb] ;W[gn] ;B[fi] ;W[he] ;B[gj] ;W[ac] ;B[ab] ;W[ad] ;B[bb] ;W[fo] ;B[gp] ;W[qs] ;B[jr] ;W[ir] ;B[jq] ;W[eq] ;B[ep] ;W[ng] ;B[nf] (;W[lg] ;B[gd] ;W[hd] ;B[sl] ;W[js] ;B[ms] ;W[os] ;B[sk] ;W[rj] ;B[aq] ;W[ar] ;B[ap] ;W[br] ;B[hn] ;W[so] ;B[sm] ;W[mn] ;B[no] ;W[gm] ;B[hm] ;W[jg] ;B[if] ;W[jh] ;B[ji] ;W[kg] ;B[ih] (;W[ni] ;B[ko] ;W[ln] ;B[ra] ;W[ge] ;B[pa] ;W[mc] ;B[ei] ;W[di] ;B[se] ;W[sg] ;B[ks] ;W[is] ;B[lr] ;W[fb] ;B[rk] ;W[qk] ;B[gl] ;W[qp] ;B[pn] ;W[fk] ;B[em] ;W[fn] ;B[fq] ;W[gq] ;B[dq] ;W[er] ;B[eh] ;W[fg] ;B[eg] ;W[nn] ;B[on] ;W[ff] ;B[hf] ;W[gf] ;B[ef] ;W[gk] ;B[hk] ;W[hp] ;B[ho] ;W[gc] ;B[fd] ;W[fa] ;B[ea] ;W[oh] ;B[oe] ;W[aj] ;B[ak] ;W[ai] ;B[sj] ;W[si] ;B[oa] ;W[na] ;B[qa] ;W[lo] ;B[lp] ;W[mo] ;B[lk] ;W[ml] ;B[mp] ;W[kk] ;B[el] ;W[ek] ;B[lk] ;W[le] ;B[ke] ;W[mf] ;B[mh] ;W[md] ;B[mg] ;W[ne] ;B[sq] ;W[sr] ;B[me] ;W[lf] ;B[ld] ;W[ne] ;B[gr] ;W[gs] ;B[me] ;W[lh] ;B[ki] ;W[ne] ;B[hs] ;W[hr] ;B[me] ;W[cb] ;B[ca] ;W[ne] ;B[rh] ;W[sh] ;B[me] ;W[ed] ;B[ne] ;W[ee] ;B[fj] ;W[kk]C[Game record not complete. Reportedly, black won by 3.5p. The result would have been jigo if white didn't make a mistake in yose, earlier.]) (;W[ko])) (;W[sl] ;B[mg] ;W[lf])) (;B[hc])) (;B[el]))

Ilia Shikshin 7d received 2 stones from Luo Xihe 9p and lost by 0.5 points.

(;FF[4]GM[1]SZ[19]ST[2]CA[UTF-8]AP[SGFC:1.16] GN[Demonstration Shusaku Cup 2010] PB[Ilia Shikshin] BR[7d] HA[2] PW[Luo Xihe] WR[9p] KM[0.5] DT[2010-03-26] PC[Tirgu Mures, Romania] RE[W+0.5] TM[1800] OT[10/300 Canadian] RU[Japanese] AB[pd][dp];W[dc];B[pq];W[qo];B[qk];W[qf];B[qh];W[cn];B[fq];W[nc] ;B[pf];W[ci];B[jc];W[pg];B[of];W[qg];B[qe];W[qc];B[rf];W[pc] ;B[rg];W[hc];B[de];W[cd];B[eh];W[ie];B[lc];W[md];B[ke];W[ei] ;B[fi];W[fh];B[eg];W[di];B[ge];W[gi];B[fj];W[gh];B[gc];W[ff] ;B[hd];W[ed];B[np];W[qq];B[qr];W[rr];B[pr];W[rp];B[rn];W[qn] ;B[rm];W[qm];B[ql];W[om];B[jp];W[mn];B[lo];W[hq];B[hp];W[iq] ;B[ip];W[gq];B[fp];W[lr];B[mr];W[kq];B[jr];W[jq];B[gr];W[mq] ;B[nr];W[ko];B[kp];W[lp];B[mo];W[hr];B[kn];W[gp];B[go];W[fo] ;B[gn];W[fr];B[er];W[gs];B[ml];W[nk];B[pp];W[pl];B[oj];W[mk] ;B[lk];W[lj];B[kk];W[mi];B[cl];W[cp];B[cq];W[do];B[dq];W[el] ;B[bp];W[ji];B[dm];W[em];B[dn];W[fn];B[eo];W[gm];B[in];W[ic] ;B[id];W[gb];B[fc];W[fb];B[jb];W[ec];B[fe];W[ee];B[hb];W[jm] ;B[jn];W[ck];B[bk];W[bl];B[dk];W[cj];B[bm];W[dl];B[cm];W[gf] ;B[rd];W[rc];B[bj];W[bi];B[hm];W[gl];B[mb];W[nb];B[hl];W[en] ;B[co];W[hk];B[ik];W[hj];B[ga];W[eb];B[nh];W[he];B[ib];W[ij] ;B[jk];W[mm];B[nl];W[ok];B[pk];W[ll];B[lm];W[nq];B[oq];W[oo] ;B[op];W[nm];B[kl];W[ng];B[og];W[ni];B[oi];W[mh];B[jf];W[oh] ;B[ph];W[ig];B[qp];W[ro];B[rq];W[sq];B[sc];W[sb];B[sd];W[qb] ;B[rs];W[sn];B[rl];W[ls];B[sr];W[kg];B[jg];W[jh];B[od];W[na] ;B[mp];W[lq];B[je];W[aj];B[al];W[ld];B[kd];W[la];B[lb];W[ma] ;B[lg];W[kh];B[mg];W[nf];B[ne];W[nh];B[me];W[po];B[ms];W[ka] ;B[es];W[fs];B[oc];W[kb];B[kc];W[ob];B[no];W[ai];B[ak];W[nn] ;B[if];W[hf];B[nd];W[mc];B[fa];W[ea];B[ha];W[fd];B[gd];W[ol] ;B[ll];W[sm];B[sl];W[so];B[nj];W[mj];B[lh];W[kj];B[li];W[ja] ;B[gk];W[fk];B[sp])

Ondrej Silt 6d received 3 stones from Luo Xihe 9p and lost by resignation.

(;FF[4]GM[1]SZ[19]ST[2]CA[UTF-8]AP[SGFC:1.16] GN[Demonstration game Shusaku-cup 2010 board 1] EV[Demonstration game Shusaku-cup 2010 board 1] PB[Ondrej Silt] BR[6d] HA[3] PW[Luo Xihe] WR[9p] KM[0.5] DT[2010-03-25] PC[Tirgu Mures, Romania] RE[W+R] TM[3600] OT[1x10 byo-yomi] RU[Japanese] US[HW9x9] AB[pd][dp][pp];W[dc];B[de];W[nq];B[lq];W[gp];B[ip];W[dn];B[eo] ;W[gn];B[en];W[no];B[pn];W[in];B[ko];W[nm];B[km];W[pl];B[pq] ;W[el];B[em];W[dl];B[fl];W[fm];B[dm];W[cl];B[cm];W[iq];B[jq] ;W[dr];B[dq];W[il];B[fk];W[di];B[hq];W[gq];B[ho];W[go];B[er] ;W[ir];B[hr];W[hp];B[jr];W[io];B[is];W[fd];B[fe];W[ge];B[ff] ;W[fi];B[cc];W[cb];B[cj];W[ci];B[bl];W[dj];B[bk];W[bj];B[ck] ;W[dk];B[ed];W[fc];B[gf];W[he];B[cd];W[nc];B[hf];W[ie];B[if] ;W[je];B[hk];W[hi];B[ik];W[jk];B[hl];W[ij];B[im];W[jl];B[hm] ;W[jm];B[hn];W[jn];B[gm];W[fn];B[gk];W[cf];B[df];W[be];B[kg] ;W[qf];B[oe];W[nf];B[ki];W[jh];B[jf];W[ne];B[ke];W[kd];B[ji] ;W[kh];B[ih];W[lh];B[ii];W[hj];B[gr];W[li];B[hh];W[fj];B[fq] ;W[dg];B[eg];W[qc];B[cg];W[bg];B[ld];W[le];B[lf];W[kf];B[ec] ;W[eb];B[ke];W[jp];B[iq];W[kf];B[lj];W[mj];B[ke];W[gj];B[fp] ;W[kf];B[fb];W[hc];B[ke];W[me];B[jd];W[kf];B[gb];W[hb];B[ke] ;W[kc];B[lk];W[mk];B[ll];W[mm];B[kn];W[qo];B[dh];W[ch];B[qn] ;W[po];B[oo];W[on];B[op];W[ro];B[rn];W[rq];B[rl];W[qr];B[qj] ;W[ri];B[pr];W[so];B[sn];W[qq];B[rj];W[mq];B[om];W[nn];B[qh] ;W[rh];B[qg];W[qi];B[pi];W[rg];B[pf];W[pj];B[rf];W[qe];B[re] ;W[qd];B[oi];W[rd];B[si];W[se];B[pk];W[oj];B[ok];W[nj];B[ol] ;W[jj];B[jc];W[kf];B[bi];W[bh];B[ke];W[gc];B[lc];W[kf];B[db] ;W[da];B[ke];W[kb];B[lb];W[kf];B[ml];W[mg];B[nr];W[mr];B[np] ;W[mp];B[mo];W[lo];B[lp];W[mn];B[ms];W[os];B[or];W[ls];B[ps] ;W[qp];B[lr];W[ns];B[ms];W[ns];B[ks];W[qs];B[ms];W[mo])

Cornel Burzo 6d received 3 stones from Huang Yizhong 7p and lost by time.

(;GM[1]FF[4]CA[UTF-8]AP[CGoban:3]ST[2] RU[Japanese]SZ[19]HA[3]KM[0.5]TM[3600]OT[1x30 byo-yomi] GN[Demonstration game Shusaku-Cup 2010 board 2]PW[Huang Yizhong]PB[Cornel Burzo]WR[7p]BR[6d]DT[2010-03-25]EV[Demonstration game Shusaku-Cup 2010 board 2]PC[Tirgu Mures, Romania]AB[pd][dp][pp]RE[W+Time] ;W[dc] ;B[de] ;W[nq] ;B[cc] ;W[qn] ;B[oo] ;W[qq] ;B[dd] ;W[ec] ;B[cb] ;W[ic] ;B[mp] ;W[qp] ;B[mq] ;W[cn] ;B[fq] ;W[nc] (;B[qf] ;W[bp] ;B[cm] ;W[bm] ;B[bn] ;W[cl] ;B[dm] ;W[bo] ;B[dl] ;W[ck] ;B[dn] ;W[an] ;B[pb] ;W[kr] ;B[nr] ;W[hq] ;B[ql] ;W[ne] (;B[ir] ;W[hr] ;B[iq] ;W[ip] ;B[hp] ;W[jq] ;B[io] ;W[jp] ;B[gq] ;W[ho] ;B[gp] ;W[is] ;B[in] ;W[on] ;B[nn] ;W[om] ;B[gr] ;W[jr] (;B[ro] ;W[po] ;B[qo] ;W[pn] ;B[rn] ;W[op] ;B[no] ;W[or] ;B[lr] ;W[kn] ;B[ko] ;W[jo] ;B[jn] ;W[km] ;B[kp] ;W[ks] ;B[nm] ;W[ol] ;B[pq] ;W[pr] ;B[mk] ;W[nk] ;B[nl] ;W[mj] ;B[lk] ;W[qj] ;B[rp] ;W[rq] ;B[rj] ;W[rk] ;B[qk] ;W[rl] ;B[pj] ;W[qi] ;B[ri] ;W[qm] ;B[ok] ;W[rh] ;B[nj] ;W[qg] ;B[pi] ;W[qh] ;B[pf] ;W[ie] ;B[gc] ;W[ej] ;B[kc] ;W[ke] ;B[ch] ;W[dh] ;B[ci] ;W[dk] ;B[id] ;W[jd] ;B[ib] ;W[hb] ;B[hc] ;W[hd] ;B[jc] ;W[id] ;B[jb] ;W[df] ;B[ef] ;W[cf] ;B[eg] ;W[dg] ;B[eh] ;W[di] ;B[gb] ;W[fe] ;B[gg] ;W[jh] ;B[hf] ;W[gd] ;B[jg] ;W[kg] ;B[jf] ;W[kf] ;B[kh] ;W[ee] ;B[gj] ;W[be] ;B[fc]LB[md:A] ;W[ed] ;B[eb] ;W[gi] ;B[hi] ;W[hj] ;B[fi] ;W[gk] ;B[gh] ;W[cd] ;B[md] ;W[lh] ;B[ki] ;W[hn] ;B[im] ;W[hm] ;B[il] ;W[hl]) (;B[po] ;W[qm] ;B[qo] ;W[ro] ;B[rp])) (;B[pr] ;W[on] ;B[nn] ;W[om] ;B[qi])) (;B[co] ;W[qf] ;B[oe] ;W[qc] ;B[dn]))

Lucian Corlan 5d received 4 stones from Huang Yizhong 7p and lost by 2.5 points.

(;FF[4]GM[1]SZ[19]ST[2]CA[UTF-8]AP[SGFC:1.16] GN[Shusaku Cup 2010 7p demo] PB[Lucian Corlan] BR[5d] HA[4] PW[Huang Yizhong] WR[7p] KM[0.5] DT[2010-03-27] PC[Tirgu Mures, Romania] RE[W+2.5] TM[1800] OT[10/300 Canadian] RU[Japanese] AB[dd][pd][dp][pp];W[nq];B[qn];W[fq];B[hq];W[fo];B[cn];W[ip] ;B[eq];W[fr];B[kp];W[iq];B[mp];W[cf];B[fd];W[cl];B[di];W[ef] ;B[en];W[el];B[fn];W[fi];B[go];W[hd];B[ge];W[bd];B[jd];W[he] ;B[hf];W[if];B[gg];W[je];B[dg];W[df];B[fh];W[eh];B[ei];W[eg] ;B[hh];W[fj];B[dk];W[dl];B[ek];W[fk];B[fl];W[ck];B[ci];W[hj] ;B[jh];W[jj];B[ld];W[le];B[md];W[lh];B[ki];W[fm];B[ir];W[hr] ;B[jr];W[gp];B[ho];W[hp];B[hs];W[gq];B[gs];W[io];B[gl];W[gm] ;B[hm];W[hl];B[gn];W[gk];B[jn];W[in];B[im];W[ko];B[lp];W[jm] ;B[hn];W[km];B[ln];W[kn];B[li];W[mh];B[lk];W[qc];B[pc];W[qd] ;B[qf];W[rf];B[pq];W[qg];B[pf];W[rh];B[qk];W[pb];B[ob];W[qb] ;B[er];W[nb];B[nc];W[oa];B[mb];W[oc];B[od];W[jg];B[cc];W[bc] ;B[bb];W[ml];B[jp];W[jo];B[be];W[ce];B[cd];W[bf];B[ac];W[ae] ;B[kg];W[ih];B[re];W[qe];B[ig];W[hg];B[rg];W[sg];B[ig];W[jf] ;B[ii];W[kh];B[ji];W[me];B[ob];W[fs];B[bm];W[bl];B[es];W[db] ;B[cb];W[gc];B[id];W[ie];B[na];W[ec];B[ed];W[jq];B[kq];W[nn] ;B[np];W[rk];B[ql];W[rj];B[rl];W[lo];B[nf];W[ic];B[jc];W[ib] ;B[jb];W[ja];B[ka];W[ia];B[kd];W[fc];B[sk];W[sj];B[sl];W[pm] ;B[pn];W[om];B[on];W[no];B[mo];W[mn];B[oo];W[ok];B[qi];W[ri] ;B[qm];W[dn];B[do];W[dm];B[bo];W[gr];B[ol];W[nl];B[pl];W[nm] ;B[ll];W[lm];B[ke];W[kf];B[ne];W[mg];B[da];W[ea];B[ca];W[is] ;B[ks];W[pa];B[dc];W[eb];B[pg];W[qh];B[al];W[ak];B[am];W[fg] ;B[ff];W[gh];B[eo];W[fp];B[ij];W[jk];B[hi];W[ee];B[fe];W[mf] ;B[gi];W[ab];B[aa];W[qj];B[oj];W[pj];B[nk];W[pk];B[nj];W[oi] ;B[ph];W[pi];B[pe];W[mk];B[mj];W[og];B[of];W[ep];B[js];W[hs] ;B[ab];W[ad];B[ng];W[oh];B[il];W[ik];B[gj];W[hk];B[cm];W[jl] ;B[nh];W[ni];B[lj];W[mi];B[kj];W[kl];B[kk];W[fh];B[gd])

Artam Kachanovsky 6d received 3 stones from Huang Yizhong 7p and lost by resignation.

(;FF[4]GM[1]SZ[19]ST[2]CA[UTF-8]AP[SGFC:1.16] EV[SHUSAKU CUP 3] PB[Artam Kachanovsky] BR[6d] PW[Huang Yizhong] WR[7p] KM[0.5] DT[2010-03-26] PC[The KGS Go Server at] RE[W+R] TM[3600] OT[15/300 Canadian] RU[Japanese] ;AB[dd][pd][dp];W[qp];B[op];W[cf];B[fc];W[lp];B[pm];W[oo];B[no] ;W[on];B[pp];W[qn];B[qq];W[qo];B[pr];W[om];B[nn];W[qi];B[ip] ;W[cn];B[fp];W[dj];B[ko];W[nc];B[lc];W[pf];B[oc];W[nd];B[oe] ;W[ob];B[pb];W[od];B[pe];W[pc];B[qc];W[qf];B[of];W[ld];B[kc] ;W[mf];B[oh];W[pj];B[oj];W[ok];B[qh];W[rh];B[ph];W[rg];B[mj] ;W[nk];B[mh];W[gq];B[iq];W[gp];B[fo];W[ho];B[io];W[hn];B[fm] ;W[hl];B[fk];W[el];B[gm];W[hm];B[dm];W[cm];B[dl];W[bk];B[ll] ;W[mm];B[lm];W[hj];B[fi];W[hh];B[jg];W[je];B[jd];W[ie];B[hg] ;W[gh];B[di];W[ci];B[ej];W[dh];B[eh];W[dg];B[eg];W[id];B[gg] ;W[er];B[fq];W[fr];B[hr];W[gr];B[cq];W[ei];B[go];W[hp];B[di] ;W[dq];B[ic];W[hc];B[hb];W[ib];B[jc];W[gb];B[hd];W[gc];B[gd] ;W[fb];B[ke];W[fd];B[ge];W[ec];B[dr];W[eq];B[br];W[cp];B[bp] ;W[co];B[dk];W[ei];B[cs];W[jh];B[kg];W[fh];B[di];W[cj];B[ei] ;W[fg];B[ff];W[ef];B[ee];W[df];B[gk];W[fe];B[gf];W[kn];B[jm] ;W[jl];B[gj];W[ih];B[ig];W[km];B[jn];W[kl];B[ln];W[lo];B[kp] ;W[lq];B[il];W[ik];B[im];W[jo];B[jp];W[in];B[jo];W[jr];B[hk] ;W[jk];B[ir];W[kq])

Lucian Corlan 5d received 3 stones from Mok Jinseok 9p and lost by resignation.

(;GM[1]FF[4]CA[UTF-8]AP[CGoban:3]ST[2] RU[Japanese]SZ[19]KM[0.5]TM[1800]OT[3x30 byo-yomi] GN[SHUSAKU CUP 2009, Tirgu Mures, ROMANIA]PW[MOK JINSEOK]PB[LUCIAN CORLAN]WR[9p]BR[5d]DT[2009-03-29]RO[Handicap game]RE[W+R]PC[The KGS Go Server at] ;B[pd] ;W[] ;B[dd] ;W[] ;B[dp] ;W[pq] ;B[dj] ;W[fq] ;B[hq] ;W[fc] ;B[hc] ;W[ch] ;B[fd] ;W[cd] ;B[ce] ;W[cc] ;B[de] ;W[eb] ;B[gc] ;W[eh] ;B[fj] ;W[gh] ;B[hj] ;W[ih]LB[gd:A] ;B[if] ;W[ge] ;B[gd] ;W[cn] ;B[fp] ;W[gp] ;B[gq] ;W[cp] ;B[cq] ;W[ep] ;B[fo] ;W[dq] ;B[do] ;W[eo] ;B[en] ;W[eq] ;B[dn] ;W[fn] ;B[go] ;W[co] ;B[dl] ;W[cr] ;B[bq] ;W[br] ;B[fr] ;W[er] ;B[es] ;W[dr] ;B[cm] ;W[bm] ;B[bl] ;W[an] ;B[hp] ;W[ck] ;B[cl] ;W[nc] ;B[ld] ;W[ne] ;B[qf] ;W[pb] ;B[mc] ;W[md] ;B[lc] ;W[qc] ;B[nb] ;W[oc] ;B[qd] ;W[ob] ;B[qi] ;W[qo] ;B[nq] ;W[mp] ;B[pp] ;W[qp] ;B[pr] ;W[qq] ;B[np] ;W[mq] ;B[mr] ;W[lr] ;B[or] ;W[ms] ;B[nr] ;W[mo] ;B[on] ;W[qm] ;B[nm] ;W[lm] ;B[kh] ;W[fm] ;B[el] ;W[hn] ;B[jj] ;W[ik] ;B[ij] ;W[bk] ;B[kq] ;W[kp] ;B[jp] ;W[jo] ;B[ko] ;W[kn] ;B[lp] ;W[lo] ;B[lq] ;W[kp] ;B[jq] ;W[lk] (;B[di] ;W[dh] ;B[bj] ;W[bi] ;B[dc] ;W[db] ;B[bb] ;W[cb] ;B[be] ;W[ki] ;B[ji] ;W[jh] ;B[kj] ;W[ba] ;B[cj] ;W[jf] ;B[fg] ;W[ei] ;B[fh] ;W[ej] ;B[fk] ;W[aj] ;B[dk] ;W[al] ;B[kg] ;W[ie] ;B[ke] ;W[fi] ;B[gi] ;W[hi] ;B[gj] ;W[ef] ;B[gg] ;W[gf] ;B[eg] ;W[df] ;B[dg] ;W[cf] ;B[cg] ;W[bg] (;B[bf] ;W[hg] ;B[hh] ;W[kf] ;B[lf] ;W[gh] (;B[bp] ;W[ff] ;B[bo] ;W[gr] ;B[gs] ;W[fs] (;B[ac] ;W[ir] ;B[bc] ;W[ec] ;B[ed] ;W[gb] ;B[fa] ;W[hb] ;B[ib] ;W[bd] ;B[ad] ;W[ic] ;B[jb] ;W[jc] ;B[kc] ;W[hd] ;B[ca] ;W[fb] ;B[aa] ;W[ia] ;B[kb] ;W[ae] ;B[af] ;W[da] (;B[ba] ;W[ag]C[Black resigned.]) (;B[ga] ;W[ba] ;B[ja] ;W[ab] ;B[ae] ;W[ag] ;B[ha])) (;B[kl])) (;B[kl] ;W[ff] (;B[ll]) (;B[jm]))) (;B[ff] ;W[fe] ;B[hh] ;W[ee] ;B[bf])) (;B[dc]C[Black should first play here.] ;W[db] ;B[bb] ;W[cb] ;B[be] ;W[ba] ;B[di] ;W[dh] ;B[bi] ;W[ci] ;B[bh] ;W[cj] ;B[al]))

Ali Jabarin 5d received 4 stones from Mok Jinseok 9p and lost by resignation.

(;GM[1]FF[4]CA[UTF-8]AP[CGoban:3]ST[2] RU[Japanese]SZ[19]KM[0.5]TM[3600]OT[3x30 byo-yomi] GN[demonstration]PW[MOK JINSEOK]PB[ALI JABARIN]WR[9p]BR[5d]DT[2009-03-27]EV[SHUSAKU CUP 2009]PC[The KGS Go Server at]RE[W+Resign] ;B[pd] ;W[] ;B[dd] ;W[] ;B[pp] ;W[] ;B[dp] ;W[nq] ;B[qn] ;W[iq] ;B[gq] ;W[cn] ;B[cp] ;W[ck] ;B[go] ;W[cf] ;B[fc] ;W[qf] ;B[nd] ;W[pj] ;B[pr] ;W[lp] ;B[ci] ;W[bd] ;B[cc] ;W[de] ;B[cd] ;W[bc] ;B[bb] ;W[ed] ;B[db] ;W[ec] ;B[eb] ;W[fd] ;B[gc] ;W[ei] ;B[dj] ;W[el] ;B[dl] ;W[dk] ;B[ej] ;W[fi] ;B[ek] ;W[dm] ;B[fl] ;W[em] ;B[gk] ;W[lc] ;B[gd] ;W[ff] ;B[jc] ;W[oc] ;B[pc] ;W[nc] ;B[od] ;W[md] ;B[mb] ;W[mc] ;B[nf] ;W[rd] ;B[rc] ;W[qd] ;B[qc] ;W[jb] ;B[ib] ;W[pg] ;B[lb] ;W[kc] ;B[kb] ;W[jd] ;B[ic] ;W[kg] ;B[nh] ;W[mg] ;B[ng] ;W[gn] ;B[ho] ;W[hn] ;B[hf] ;W[ik] ;B[hj] ;W[hg] ;B[ij] ;W[ig] ;B[jk] ;W[io] ;B[rj] ;W[kj] ;B[kk] ;W[mj] ;B[lj] ;W[li] ;B[lk] ;W[qm] ;B[qk] ;W[pn] ;B[qo] ;W[pm] ;B[pk] ;W[oj] ;B[qi] ;W[pi] ;B[ph] ;W[qh] ;B[oh] ;W[rh] ;B[ok] ;W[nk] ;B[nl] ;W[mk] ;B[ml] ;W[mi] ;B[om] ;W[pe] ;B[ob] ;W[nb] ;B[pb] ;W[ll] ;B[im] ;W[lm] ;B[in] ;W[oo] ;B[mo] ;W[mm] ;B[on] ;W[po] ;B[lo] ;W[nn] ;B[no] ;W[ol] ;B[pl] ;W[rl] ;B[rk] ;W[op] ;B[kn] ;W[qq] (;B[rq] ;W[ri] ;B[mn] ;W[nm] ;B[ol] ;W[sj] ;B[km] ;W[sk] ;B[ln] ;W[qr] ;B[pq] ;W[rp] ;B[qp] ;W[rr] ;B[mq] ;W[mr] ;B[nr] ;W[lr] ;B[oq] ;W[np] ;B[mp] ;W[rn] ;B[ro] ;W[sp] ;B[sn] ;W[rm] ;B[jr] ;W[jq] ;B[kr] ;W[lq] ;B[kq] ;W[kp] ;B[ir] ;W[jp] (;B[be] ;W[gp] ;B[fo] ;W[hr] ;B[bo] ;W[bn] ;B[gr] ;W[hq] ;B[hs] ;W[fp] ;B[hp] ;W[eq]C[Black resigned]) (;B[hq] ;W[os] ;B[bo])) (;B[qr] ;W[rr] ;B[pq]))

Lucian Deaconu 5d received 3 stones from Kim Seung-Jun 9p and lost by 0.5 points.

(;GM[1]FF[4]CA[UTF-8]AP[CGoban:3]ST[2] RU[Japanese]SZ[19]KM[0.5]TM[1800]OT[3x30 byo-yomi] GN[SHUSAKU CUP 2009, ROMANIA]PW[KIM SEUNG-JUN]PB[LUCIAN DEACONU]WR[9p]BR[5d]DT[2009-03-28]RE[W+0.50] ;B[pd] ;W[] ;B[dd] ;W[] ;B[dp] ;W[pp] ;B[qn] ;W[np] ;B[pj] ;W[fq] ;B[cn] ;W[ip] ;B[jd] ;W[cf] ;B[ch] ;W[ef] ;B[fd] ;W[di] ;B[ce] ;W[bf] ;B[dh] ;W[eh] ;B[ei] ;W[ej] (;B[eg] ;W[fi] ;B[df] ;W[fg] ;B[dg] ;W[qf] ;B[qe] ;W[pf] ;B[nd] ;W[ql] ;B[ph] ;W[ol] ;B[ng] ;W[nj] ;B[kq] ;W[jq] ;B[jo] ;W[jp] ;B[qp] ;W[qq] ;B[po] ;W[rp] ;B[ro] ;W[qo] ;B[kp] ;W[ko] ;B[qp] ;W[oo] ;B[rq] ;W[qo] ;B[kn] ;W[lo] ;B[qp] ;W[ee] ;B[qo] ;W[de] ;B[cd] ;W[ci] ;B[bh] ;W[bi] ;B[ff] ;W[fe] ;B[ge] ;W[gf] ;B[ed] ;W[ff] ;B[pq] ;W[oq] ;B[op] ;W[he] ;B[or] ;W[pp] ;B[qr] ;W[cq] ;B[dq] ;W[cp] ;B[co] ;W[dr] ;B[er] ;W[cr] ;B[eq] ;W[fr] ;B[eo] ;W[fp] ;B[gn] ;W[fo] ;B[fn] ;W[dm] ;B[cm] ;W[dl] ;B[en] ;W[es] ;B[bk] ;W[bo] ;B[bn] ;W[bp] ;B[fl] ;W[gd] ;B[ln] ;W[mo] ;B[jn] ;W[nr] ;B[pm] ;W[qi] ;B[pi] ;W[qh] ;B[qj] ;W[rj] ;B[rk] ;W[si] ;B[rf] ;W[rg] ;B[re] ;W[qk] ;B[rl] ;W[rm] ;B[pl] ;W[sk] ;B[pk] ;W[qm] ;B[be] ;W[ai] ;B[gb] ;W[lc] ;B[nc] ;W[gc] ;B[fb] ;W[ic] ;B[jc] ;W[hb] ;B[jb] ;W[jf] ;B[ld] ;W[fc] ;B[ec] ;W[jk] ;B[hk] ;W[ho] ;B[jl] ;W[kl] ;B[il] ;W[os] ;B[op] ;W[pr] ;B[on] ;W[ji] ;B[hi] ;W[ih] ;B[af] ;W[ag] ;B[ae] ;W[ah] ;B[no] ;W[mp] ;B[dk] ;W[ek] ;B[cl] ;W[ke] ;B[kd] ;W[el] ;B[hh] ;W[hg] ;B[lk] ;W[lj] ;B[kk] ;W[kj] ;B[ll] ;W[oe] ;B[pg] ;W[qg] ;B[mj] ;W[mi] ;B[mk] ;W[od] ;B[oc] ;W[pe] ;B[qd] ;W[mg] ;B[mf] ;W[lg] ;B[ni] ;W[nh] ;B[oi] ;W[mn] ;B[mm] ;W[nn] ;B[nm] ;W[nf] ;B[ne] ;W[og] ;B[lf] ;W[kf] ;B[id] ;W[eb] ;B[db] ;W[hn] ;B[hm] ;W[oo] ;B[go] ;W[gp] ;B[no] ;W[gh] ;B[ie] ;W[if] ;B[fk] ;W[gj] ;B[hj] ;W[an] ;B[am] ;W[ao] ;B[ak] ;W[le] ;B[me] ;W[dj] ;B[ck] ;W[gk] ;B[gl] ;W[ga] ;B[ea] ;W[sf] ;B[se] ;W[sg] ;B[fj] ;W[gi] ;B[ii] ;W[jh] ;B[oo] ;W[qs] ;B[rs] ;W[ps] ;B[ib] ;W[hc] ;B[ia] ;W[ha] ;B[hd] ;W[em] ;B[in] ;W[fm] ;B[io] ;W[hp] ;B[gm] ;W[sn] ;B[so] ;W[ge] ;B[fa] ;W[sl] ;B[rn] ;W[dn] ;B[do] ;W[jj] ;B[ik] ;W[sm] ;B[je] ;W[oh] ;B[cj] ;W[bj] ;B[aj] ;W[ep]) (;B[fi] ;W[fh] ;B[dj] ;W[ci] ;B[cj] ;W[bi] ;B[ek] ;W[bj] ;B[fj]))

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3 Responses to “How Strong Are Professional Players?”

  1. Tommie says:

    Thank you so much for posting these games.

    I do have a question:
    Is it possible to download the SGF for replaying them with an external viewer?

    Many thanks in advance for your time!

  2. Sorin says:

    Hi Tommie,

    You can either use “view source” in your web browser and copy each SGF text individually and save each into a file.

    Or find the files in EuroGoTv and EuroGoTv2 users in KGS archives: and – look at the games with handicap.

  3. Zar says:

    Thanks for the post!

    I have been curious to see amateurs play pros, and… they put up a good fight ^^;;