Posts Tagged ‘professional’

How Strong Are Professional Players?

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

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]))

Cho evens the score in the Kisei title: 1-1

Thursday, January 31st, 2008
Cho Chikun forced the Kisei title owner, Yamashita Keigo, to resign in game 2. The score is now 1-1.

Cho Chikun

You can find the game record on the tournament page.

Lee Sedol wins Samsung Cup 2-1 against Park Yeonghun

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

The game record below is from the third round which just ended: Lee Sedol won by 1.5 points, in a game in which Park Yeonghun seemed to have a slight lead when yose started. The variations are the ones I found on the Cyberoro server, where the game was broadcast live.

Update: Thank you Nexik for pointing out to what looks like a variation that shows Park’s last chance to win the game, and thank you Smurf for pointing out to the fact that has a commentary of this game by Yoo ChangHyuk in their sample section (look for “[Sample Game] 12th Samsung Cup final game 3: Park YuongHoon vs Lee Sedol.”).

Decline in Go/Baduk Interest in Korea

Monday, December 31st, 2007
I was very surprised and sad to read today’s blog entry about a decline in Go/Baduk interest in Korea. In case you don’t know about this blog already: it is an amazing view inside the life of a 7 dan professional player in Korea, Cho Hye Yeon.

It is interesting also to read this so soon after my Go/Baduk Affected By “Internet Entertainment”? very recent blog entry, where I was commenting on some 2007 statistics which showed a decline in the revenue of Baduk clubs in Korea. My conclusion there was that players moved out of traditional clubs and play online more. After reading Hye Yeon’s blog, though, I understand that there is a real decline in Baduk in Korea: many Baduk schools are closing, less books being published, less children dream of becoming pro players… Sounds very much like the situation in Japan that started in early nineties (maybe earlier?). The reasons for this situation seems to be related to both extra sources of entertainment (when it comes to explain the decline in amateur players) and to the fact that attending top universities in Korea became more difficult, so parents are less inclined to gamble their kids future while letting them study Baduk (when it comes to explain the decline in the number of inseis). Here’s also a quote from a 2 years old blog entry of Mr. Ooijer’s:
So why do all these kids want to be a professional? It is hardly rational. They gamble with their career. Some western Baduk players do not see this hard life and have a much too romantic view about the life of a Baduk professional.
Let’s hope that in the new year 2008 Go/Baduk/Weiqi will grow again.

Happy New Year everybody!

Yamashita Defends Oza

Thursday, November 29th, 2007
Yamashita successfully defended the Oza title this year, against Imamura Toshiya: he won the 4th game today, so the final score is 3-1.

Oza Title: 2-1 for Yamashita Kisei

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007
Yamashita Keigo, who also ows the most prestigious Japanese Go Title, Kisei, took the lead again in his defense of the Oza title: he leads Imamura Toshiya by 2-1 after today’s win, and he is only one game away from winning this title match. White (Yamashita) managed a very clean and sharp cut at move 80, in a textbook style. Imamura must have been very sad to see his position split into two groups in such a painful way. It was all due to a very skillful series of three forcing / peeping moves by Yamashita. Check out the game record for details.

Next game is in two days, on November 29th.

Cho Chikun is Kisei challenger

Monday, November 19th, 2007
“Old lion still has teeth”: Cho Chikun Judan won the playoff against Cho U to earn the right to challenge Yamashita Keigo for his Kisei title, according to Go Topics.
Cho Chikun
It will be a very interesting match: Cho Chikun has already defeated Yamashita earlier this year, in his defense of the Judan title. Let’s see how Yamashita Kisei will defend his title against Cho. Cho Chikun seems to be the only representative of the old Kitani school which can still win titles nowadays, not giving up to the new generation of players in Japan. Go, Cho Sensei! :-)

Titleholder fights back in Meijin Title

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

The title holder, Takao Shinji, kept alive his chances to defend the Mejin Title this year: he won today’s game by 2 and a half points, after what looked to me like a very good game for Black.

Takao won the first game of the series, but then Cho U won 3 in a row: one more loss for Takao and he is losing the title.

The score is now 3-2 for Cho U.

Cho – Takao: 3-1 in Meijin Title

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

Cho U is just one step from winning Meijin Title: he won the 4th game by forcing a resignation in 141 moves.

Cho U takes the lead in the Meijin title 2-1

Thursday, September 27th, 2007
Cho U won the 3rd game of this year’s Meijin Title by 1.5 points. White (Cho U) played symmetrically for a little while – that must have put some pressure on Takao.