Go players

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Match between two famous players. Left is Honinbo Shusai, right is Go Seigen. (Game record of the famous match here)

This page gives an overview of well-known players of the game of Go throughout the ages. The page has been divided into sections based on the era in which the Go players played and the country in which they played. As this was not necessarily their country of birth, a flag of that country precedes every player's name. For a complete list of player articles, see Category:Go players.

The important dates that this separation is based on are:

A Japanese census on Go players performed in 2002 estimates that over 24 million people worldwide play Go,[1] most of whom live in Asia. Most of the players listed on this page are professionals, though some top level amateurs have been included. Players famous for achievements outside Go are listed in their own section.

Prior to 17th[edit]

Wei Qi was recorded throughout the history of China. The first record of Wei Qi player was by Mencius.

China[edit]

Origin Name DOB–DOD Peak rank Notes
Yi Qiu (弈秋) circa 350 BCE Guoshou First recorded Wei Qi player. He was commonly known as Qiu (秋) the Wei Qi player (Yi 弈, which is the originally name of Wei Qi). He was a native of the state Qi 齊 and mentioned by Mencius (372 BC - 289 BC) in 《孟子·告子章句上》: 今夫弈之为数,小数也。不专心致志,则不得也。弈秋,通国之善弈者也。使弈秋诲二人弈,其一人专心致志,惟弈秋之为听;一人虽听之,一心以为有鸿鹄将至,思援弓缴而射之,虽与俱学,弗若之矣! He was called "通国之善弈者", literally "the finest Yi player of the whole state", i.e. Guoshou.
Yan Wu (嚴武) circa 200 CE - 250 CE Qishen, 1 pin/品 Scholar name Zi Qin子卿 Son of Wu Minister Yan Jun 嚴畯. Mentioned in The Record of Wu 《吴录》:“严武字子卿,卫尉畯再从子也,围棋莫与为辈。”
Ma Lang (馬朗) 200 CE - 250 CE Qishen, 1 pin/品 Scholar name Su Ming 綏明, same time as Yan Wu.
Wang Kang (王抗) circa 424 CE - 483 CE Guoshou, 1 pin/品 Member of the famous Wang clan of Lan Xie County, recorded in History of the Southern Dynasties 《南史·萧思话传》.
Fan Ning-er (范宁儿) circa 424 CE - 483 CE Guoshou, 1 pin/品 Member of the delegates of Northern Wei to Southern Qi, he played a Wei Qi match against Wang Kang under the order of Southern Qi's Wu Emperor Xiao Ze(齊武帝蕭賾, reign 482 CE - 493 CE), and won the match (recorded in <<北史·魏书·蒋少游传>>.
Fan Ning-er (范宁儿) circa 424 CE - 483 CE Guoshou, 1 pin/品 Member of the delegates of Northern Wei to Southern Qi, he played a Wei Qi match against Wang Kang under the order of Southern Qi's Wu Emperor Xiao Ze(齊武帝蕭賾, reign 482 CE - 493 CE), and won the match (recorded in <<北史·魏书·蒋少游传>>.
Emperor Wu of Liang (梁武帝萧衍) 464 CE - 549 CE Guoshou, yi pin/逸品 (super strong 1 pin) Emperor Wu of Southern Liang Dynasty, personal name Xiao Yan, was a member of the Xiao clan of Lang Ning and founder of the Southern Liang Dynasty. His reign was 502 CE - 549 CE), famous for his Wei Qi skill, he was recorded in his bibliography as yi pin (strong 1 pin) by later historian in 《梁书·武帝纪》.

17th through 19th century[edit]

In the 17th, 18th and 19th century, Go was popular in both Japan (Edo period) and China (period of the Qing Dynasty). In Korea, a Go variant called Sunjang baduk was played.[2]

Japan[edit]

At the start of the Tokugawa Shogunate, four Go academies were established. This table lists all heads of these houses, as well as some that were appointed heir but died before they became head of the house. Tokugawa also established the post of Godokoro (minister of Go), which was awarded to the strongest player of a generation. Such players were dubbed Meijin (brilliant man), which was considered equal to a 9 dan professional grade.[3] Over the 300 year period covered here, only ten players received the title of Meijin. Several other players (16 total) received the title of Jun-Meijin (half-Meijin), which is considered to equal an 8 dan professional grade and listed as such below. In some houses it was the custom that the head of the house was always named the same according to the iemoto system (家元). All heads of the house Inoue (井上) were named Inseki (因碩), heads of the house Yasui (安井 ) were name Senkaku (仙角) from the 4th head onward, and heads of the house Hayashi (林) were named Monnyu (門入) from the second head onward. To distinguish between these players, the names listed below are the names they had before becoming head of their house, or after their retirement. The house Honinbo (本因坊) had no such tradition, although heads would often take one character from the name of their predecessor into their own name, notably the character Shu (秀) from the 14th head onward.

Origin Name DOB–DOD Peak rank* Notes
Japan Honinbo Sansa (本因坊算砂) 1559–1623 Meijin, 9 dan Founder and first head of the house Honinbo.
Japan Nakamura Doseki (中村道碩) 1582–1630 Meijin, 9 dan Retrospectively seen as founder of the house Inoue.
Japan Hayashi Monnyusai (林門入斉) 1583–1667 7 or 8 dan Founder and first head of the house Hayashi.
Japan Yasui Santetsu (安井算哲) 1589–1652 8 dan Founder and first head of the house Yasui.
Japan Inoue Genkaku (井上玄覚) 1605–1673 7 dan First head of the Inoue house on the unrevised numbering (not counting Nakamura Doseki).
Japan Honinbo Sanetsu (本因坊道悦) 1611–1658 8 dan Second head of the house Honinbo, Jun-Meijin.
Japan Yasui Sanchi (安井算知) 1617–1703 Meijin, 9 dan Second head of the house Yasui.
Japan Honinbo Doetsu (本因坊道悦) 1636–1727 7 dan Third head of the house Honinbo.
Japan Honinbo Dosaku (本因坊道策) 1645–1702 Meijin, 9 dan Fourth head of the house Honinbo. One of the greatest players of all time, and the first Kisei (go saint); an important influence on go theory.
Japan Honinbo Doteki (本因坊道的) 1669–1690 7 dan Heir to the house Honinbo. Was considered an extremely talented Go prodigy.[4]
Japan Hayashi Monnyu (林門入) 1678–1719 6 dan Second head of the Hayashi house.
Japan Honinbo Dochi (本因坊道知) 1690–1727 Meijin, 9 dan Fifth head of the house Honinbo.
Japan Honinbo Chihaku (本因坊知伯) 1710–1733 6 dan Sixth Honinbo.
Japan Honinbo Shuhaku (本因坊秀伯) 1716–1741 6 dan Seventh head of the house Honinbo.
Japan Honinbo Satsugen (本因坊察元) 1733–1788 Meijin, 9 dan Ninth head of the house Honinbo.
Japan Honinbo Genjo (本因坊元丈) 1775–1832 8 dan Eleventh head of the house Honinbo.
Japan Honinbo Jowa (本因坊丈和) 1787–1847 8 dan Was dubbed Kisei (go sage), played the famous "Blood Vomiting Game" with Akaboshi Intetsu.
Japan Ota Yuzo (太田雄蔵) 1807–1856 7 dan was a close friend of Honinbo Shusaku and once played a famous sanjubango (30 game match) with him.
Japan Intetsu Akaboshi 1810–1835 7 dan
Japan Honinbo Shusaku (本因坊秀策) 1829–1862 7 dan One of the greatest players ever, he died young. He was posthumously awarded the title of Kisei (go sage).
Japan Honinbo Shuho (本因坊秀甫) 1838–1886 8 dan Was the founder of Hoensha and the man who taught Go to Oskar Korschelt.
Japan Honinbo Shuei (本因坊秀栄) 1854–1907 9 dan was the 17th and again 19th head of the Honinbo house. Very active and innovative in the 1890s.
Japan Honinbo Shusai (本因坊秀哉) 1874–1940 9 dan was the last inheritor of "Honinbo" title, and founder of the Nihon Ki-in.

*All ranks are professional dan grades unless otherwise noted.

China[edit]

Origin Name DOB–DOD Peak rank Notes
Qing dynasty Guo Wen-nian (過文年) 1610s–1670s Guoshou, Qishen, 1 pin/品 Better known by his scholar name Guo Bai-Nian 過百齡 or Guo Bo-Nian過伯齡. Ancestor of Guo Ti-sheng 過惕生(1907-1989), teacher of Nie Hui-Ping. Author of Wei Qi classic 《官子譜》,《三子譜》 and 《四子譜》.
Qing dynasty Huang Longshi (黃龍士) 1650s–1690s Guoshou, Qishen, 1 pin/品 Was considered by Go Seigen to have been at least the level of Honinbo Dosaku. He reached Guoshou* at the age of 16.梁魏今
Qing dynasty Liang Wei-Jin (梁魏今) 1680s–1760s Guoshou, Qishen, 1 pin/品 Pen name Hui Jing 會京. Native of Huaian in northern Jiangsu. Taught both Fan Xiping and Shi Shao-An.
Qing dynasty Cheng Lan-Ru (程蘭如) 1690-1765 Guoshou, Qishen, 1 pin/品 Native of She County 歙縣 in southern Anhui. Also known for strong Xiangqi.
Qing dynasty Fan Xiping (范西屏) 1709-1769 Guoshou, Qishen, 1 pin/品 Native of Haining, Zhejiang Province. Played 13 games with Shi Xiping in which 10 games survived in records, with score 5-5. Author of 《桃花泉弈譜》,《二子譜》and《四子譜》.
Qing dynasty Shi Shaoan (施紹暗) 1710-1769 Guoshou, Qishen, 1 pin/品 Better known by his scholar name Shi Xiangxia 施襄夏 and pen name Shi Ding-En 施定庵. Also Native of Haining, Zhejiang Province.

*Players could achieve the level of Guoshou (literally National Hand), which is best in the nation and ranked 1 pin 品. This title is a derivation of Mencius description of Yi Qiu (弈秋), Qiu the Yi player in 《孟子·告子章句上》: 今夫弈之为数,小数也。不专心致志,则不得也。弈秋,通国之善弈者也。使弈秋诲二人弈,其一人专心致志,惟弈秋之为听;一人虽听之,一心以为有鸿鹄将至,思援弓缴而射之,虽与俱学,弗若之矣!as being "通国之善弈者", literally the finest Yi player of the whole nation. It is considered to be equal to the Japanese title of Meijin. The term Qi Sheng (棋圣) was first mentioned by Ge Hong (葛洪) in 《抱朴子》:“棋之无敌者,则谓之棋圣。” The literal meaning is the Invincible Qi player is called the Saint of Qi (Qi Sheng). Note that neither Guoshou nor Qisheng were tournament-winner titles; instead they were honorific titles used by Wei Qi players and historians respectively to refer to the best players who were invincible in highest graded tournaments. Guoshou was the normal term used to refer to the promo player while he was alive, whereas Qisheng was used more as posthumous fame. The ranking of players began in West Han Dynasty (2nd century BCE) and formally recognized by the Governments during the North and South Dynasties Period (3rd to 6th century CE). There were 9 ranks called pin 品 in the system, the same as the ranking system for government officials. The lowest rank was 9 pin, then 8 pin, etc. up to 1 pin. The difference of the lower 5 pin was about 1 zi (子, piece or stone), and the difference between the top 4 pin was half zi.

17th through 19th century[edit]

In the 17th, 18th and 19th century, Go was popular in both Japan (Edo period) and China (period of the Qing Dynasty). In Korea, a Go variant called Sunjang baduk was played.[5]

Japan[edit]

At the start of the Tokugawa Shogunate, four Go academies were established. This table lists all heads of these houses, as well as some that were appointed heir but died before they became head of the house. Tokugawa also established the post of Godokoro (minister of Go), which was awarded to the strongest player of a generation. Such players were dubbed Meijin (brilliant man), which was considered equal to a 9 dan professional grade.[6] Over the 300 year period covered here, only ten players received the title of Meijin. Several other players (16 total) received the title of Jun-Meijin (half-Meijin), which is considered to equal an 8 dan professional grade and listed as such below. In some houses it was the custom that the head of the house was always named the same according to the iemoto system (家元). All heads of the house Inoue (井上) were named Inseki (因碩), heads of the house Yasui (安井 ) were name Senkaku (仙角) from the 4th head onward, and heads of the house Hayashi (林) were named Monnyu (門入) from the second head onward. To distinguish between these players, the names listed below are the names they had before becoming head of their house, or after their retirement. The house Honinbo (本因坊) had no such tradition, although heads would often take one character from the name of their predecessor into their own name, notably the character Shu (秀) from the 14th head onward.

Origin Name DOB–DOD Peak rank* Notes
Japan Honinbo Sansa (本因坊算砂) 1559–1623 Meijin, 9 dan Founder and first head of the house Honinbo.
Japan Nakamura Doseki (中村道碩) 1582–1630 Meijin, 9 dan Retrospectively seen as founder of the house Inoue.
Japan Hayashi Monnyusai (林門入斉) 1583–1667 7 or 8 dan Founder and first head of the house Hayashi.
Japan Yasui Santetsu (安井算哲) 1589–1652 8 dan Founder and first head of the house Yasui.
Japan Inoue Genkaku (井上玄覚) 1605–1673 7 dan First head of the Inoue house on the unrevised numbering (not counting Nakamura Doseki).
Japan Honinbo Sanetsu (本因坊道悦) 1611–1658 8 dan Second head of the house Honinbo, Jun-Meijin.
Japan Yasui Sanchi (安井算知) 1617–1703 Meijin, 9 dan Second head of the house Yasui.
Japan Honinbo Doetsu (本因坊道悦) 1636–1727 7 dan Third head of the house Honinbo.
Japan Honinbo Dosaku (本因坊道策) 1645–1702 Meijin, 9 dan Fourth head of the house Honinbo. One of the greatest players of all time, and the first Kisei (go saint); an important influence on go theory.
Japan Honinbo Doteki (本因坊道的) 1669–1690 7 dan Heir to the house Honinbo. Was considered an extremely talented Go prodigy.[7]
Japan Hayashi Monnyu (林門入) 1678–1719 6 dan Second head of the Hayashi house.
Japan Honinbo Dochi (本因坊道知) 1690–1727 Meijin, 9 dan Fifth head of the house Honinbo.
Japan Honinbo Chihaku (本因坊知伯) 1710–1733 6 dan Sixth Honinbo.
Japan Honinbo Shuhaku (本因坊秀伯) 1716–1741 6 dan Seventh head of the house Honinbo.
Japan Honinbo Satsugen (本因坊察元) 1733–1788 Meijin, 9 dan Ninth head of the house Honinbo.
Japan Honinbo Genjo (本因坊元丈) 1775–1832 8 dan Eleventh head of the house Honinbo.
Japan Honinbo Jowa (本因坊丈和) 1787–1847 8 dan Was dubbed Kisei (go sage), played the famous "Blood Vomiting Game" with Akaboshi Intetsu.
Japan Ota Yuzo (太田雄蔵) 1807–1856 7 dan was a close friend of Honinbo Shusaku and once played a famous sanjubango (30 game match) with him.
Japan Intetsu Akaboshi 1810–1835 7 dan
Japan Honinbo Shusaku (本因坊秀策) 1829–1862 7 dan One of the greatest players ever, he died young. He was posthumously awarded the title of Kisei (go sage).
Japan Honinbo Shuho (本因坊秀甫) 1838–1886 8 dan Was the founder of Hoensha and the man who taught Go to Oskar Korschelt.
Japan Honinbo Shuei (本因坊秀栄) 1854–1907 9 dan was the 17th and again 19th head of the Honinbo house. Very active and innovative in the 1890s.
Japan Honinbo Shusai (本因坊秀哉) 1874–1940 9 dan was the last inheritor of "Honinbo" title, and founder of the Nihon Ki-in.

*All ranks are professional dan grades unless otherwise noted.

China[edit]

Origin Name DOB–DOD Peak rank Notes
Qing dynasty Guo Wen-nian (過文年) 1610s–1670s Guoshou, Qishen, 1 pin/品 Better known by his scholar name Guo Bai-Nian 過百齡 or Guo Bo-Nian過伯齡. Ancestor of Guo Ti-sheng 過惕生(1907-1989), teacher of Nie Hui-Ping. Author of Wei Qi classic 《官子譜》,《三子譜》 and 《四子譜》.
Qing dynasty Huang Longshi (黃龍士) 1650s–1690s Guoshou, Qishen, 1 pin/品 Was considered by Go Seigen to have been at least the level of Honinbo Dosaku. He reached Guoshou* at the age of 16.梁魏今
Qing dynasty Liang Wei-Jin (梁魏今) 1680s–1760s Guoshou, Qishen, 1 pin/品 Pen name Hui Jing 會京. Native of Huaian in northern Jiangsu. Taught both Fan Xiping and Shi Shao-An.
Qing dynasty Cheng Lan-Ru (程蘭如) 1690-1765 Guoshou, Qishen, 1 pin/品 Native of She County 歙縣 in southern Anhui. Also known for strong Xiangqi.
Qing dynasty Fan Xiping (范西屏) 1709-1769 Guoshou, Qishen, 1 pin/品 Native of Haining, Zhejiang Province. Played 13 games with Shi Xiping in which 10 games survived in records, with score 5-5. Author of 《桃花泉弈譜》,《二子譜》and《四子譜》.
Qing dynasty Shi Shaoan (施紹暗) 1710-1769 Guoshou, Qishen, 1 pin/品 Better known by his scholar name Shi Xiangxia 施襄夏 and pen name Shi Ding-En 施定庵. Also Native of Haining, Zhejiang Province.

*Players could achieve the level of Guoshou (literally National Hand), which is best in the nation and ranked 1 pin 品. This title is a derivation of Mencius description of Yi Qiu (弈秋), Qiu the Yi player in 《孟子·告子章句上》: 今夫弈之为数,小数也。不专心致志,则不得也。弈秋,通国之善弈者也。使弈秋诲二人弈,其一人专心致志,惟弈秋之为听;一人虽听之,一心以为有鸿鹄将至,思援弓缴而射之,虽与俱学,弗若之矣!as being "通国之善弈者", literally the finest Yi player of the whole nation. It is considered to be equal to the Japanese title of Meijin. The term Qi Sheng (棋圣) was first mentioned by Ge Hong (葛洪) in 《抱朴子》:“棋之无敌者,则谓之棋圣。” The literal meaning is the Invincible Qi player is called the Saint of Qi (Qi Sheng). Note that both Guoshou and Qisheng were not tournament winner titles; instead they were honorific titles used by Wei Qi players and historians respectively to refer to the best players who were invincible in highest graded tournaments. Guoshou was the normal term used to refer to the promo player while he was alive, whereas Qisheng was used more as posthumous fame. The ranking of players began in West Han Dynasty (2nd century BCE) and formally recognized by the Governments during the North and South Dynasties Period (3rd to 6th century CE). There were 9 ranks called pin 品 in the system,[citation needed] the same as the ranking system for government officials. The lowest rank was 9 pin, then 8 pin, etc. up to 1 pin.[citation needed] The difference of the lower 5 pin was about 1 zi (子, piece or stone), and the difference between the top 4 pin was half zi.[citation needed]

20th century[edit]

Japan[edit]

Origin Name DOB–DOD Peak rank Notes
Japan Kensaku Segoe (瀬越憲作) 1889–1972 9 dan was famous for bringing and teaching Go Seigen and Cho Hunhyun in Japan.
Japan Utaro Hashimoto (橋本宇太郎) 1907–1994 9 dan was the founder of the Kansai Ki-in.
Japan Minoru Kitani (木谷実) 1909–1975 9 dan was a great friend and rival to Go Seigen. Go and Kitani were the vanguard of the Shin-fuseki or "New Opening", a great advance in go theory. Most prolific teacher ever. Pupils include Masao Kato, Yoshio Ishida, Hideo Otake, Kim In, Cho Chikun, Masaki Takemiya and Koichi Kobayashi.
Japan Toshihiro Shimamura (島村俊廣) 1912–1991 9 dan
Japan Hidehiro Miyashita (宫下秀洋) 1913–1976 9 dan
Japan Dogen Handa (半田道玄) 1914–1974 9 dan
Republic of China (1912–49) Go Seigen (呉清源) 1914– 9 dan Wu Qingyuan in Chinese. is considered by many the greatest player of the 20th century, perhaps the greatest of all time. He had a superb match play record, before the current era dominated by annual titles.
Japan Kaku Takagawa (高川格) 1915–1986 9 dan The first of only four players to receive the Honorary Honinbo title.
Japan Hosai Fujisawa (藤沢朋斎) 1919–1993 9 dan one of the greatest players of the '60s.
Japan Eio Sakata (坂田栄男) 1920–2010 9 dan his nicknames include "Razor Sakata", the "Master of myoushu" (brilliant move). He was the former longtime holder of most championship titles with 64.
Japan Shuchi Kubouchi (窪内秀知) 1920– 9 dan Affiliate of the Kansai Ki-in.
Japan Toshio Sakai (酒井淑夫) 1920–1983 6 dan
Japan Masao Sugiuchi (杉内雅男) 1920– 9 dan nicknamed "the God of Go" for his serious attitude towards Go. Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-in.
Japan Takeo Kajiwara (梶原武雄) 1923– 9 dan one of the "three crows".
Japan Sunao Sato (佐藤 直男) 1924–2004 9 dan
Japan Hideyuki Fujisawa (藤沢秀行) 1925–2009 9 dan is Honorary Kisei after winning the Kisei 6 times in a row.
Japan Toshiro Yamabe (山部俊郎) 1926–2000 9 dan one of the "three crows".
Japan Keizo Suzuki (鈴木圭三) 1927–1945 3 dan one of the "three crows".
Japan Yasuro Kikuchi (加藤朋子) 1929– 8 dan is the most famous amateur go player in Japan.
Japan Shuzo Ohira (大平修三) 1930–1998 9 dan
Japan Naoki Miyamoto (宮本直毅) 1934– 9 dan Affiliate of the Kansai Ki-in.
Japan Shoji Hashimoto (僑本昌二) 1935– 9 dan Affiliate of the Kansai Ki-In.
Japan Yasuo Koyama (小山靖男) 1937–2000 9 dan
Japan Takeo Ando (安藤武夫) 1938– 9 dan Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-in.
Japan Hiroaki Tōno (东野弘昭) 1939– 9 dan Affiliate of the Kansai Ki-in.
Japan Norio Kudo (工藤紀夫) 1940– 9 dan current President for the International Go Federation. Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-In.
Japan Kunio Ishii (石井邦生) 1941– 9 dan Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-in.
Taiwan Rin Kaiho (林海峰) 1942– 9 dan was one of Go Seigen's students. Known for winning many titles at a young age. Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-in.
Japan Yasumasa Hane (羽根泰正) 1944– 9 dan father of Hane Naoki.
Austria Manfred Wimmer (マンフレッド・ウィマー) 1944–1995 2 dan Born in Austria, became the first western Go professional in 1978, doing so with the Kansai Ki-in. Reached 2p the same year, and later brought Go to Kenya and Madagascar.
Japan Kunihisa Honda (本田邦久) 1945– 9 dan
Japan Masao Kato (加藤正夫) 1947–2004 9 dan was the master of the attacking style, who died on December 30, 2004.
Japan Yoshio Ishida (石田芳夫) 1948– 9 dan is the youngest ever Honinbo winner and one of the strongest players of the 1970s. TV commentator. Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-In.
Japan Shigeru Baba (馬場滋) 1949– 9 dan Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-in.
Japan Goro Miyazawa (宮沢吾朗) 1949– 9 dan Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-in.
Japan Shuzo Awaji (淡路修三) 1949– 9 dan famous for his Go school. Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-In.
Japan Akira Ishida (石田章) 1949– 9 dan Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-in.
Japan Masaki Takemiya (武宮正樹) 1951– 9 dan is famous for his 'cosmic style', aiming for territory in the center of the board rather than the sides. Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-In.
Japan Koichi Kobayashi (小林光一) 1952– 9 dan has the third most titles in Japan with 57. Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-In.
South Korea Cho Chikun (조치훈, 趙治勳) 1956– 9 dan Cho Chihun in Korean, is among the best players of the late 20th century - won 50% of the biggest 3 Honinbo, Kisei, and Meijin tournaments 1980-2000. The first to hold all 3 at the same time. Passed Sakata in late 2002 for most titles in Japan with 66. Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-In.
Taiwan O Rissei (王立誠) 1958– 9 dan one of the first Taiwanese Go players to become a professional in Japan. Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-In.
Japan Hiroshi Yamashiro (山城宏) 1958– 9 dan Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-In.
Japan Satoshi Kataoka (片岡聡) 1958– 9 dan Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-In.
Japan Satoru Kobayashi (小林覚) 1959– 9 dan Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-In.
Taiwan O Meien (王銘琬) 1961– 9 dan famous for his "Meien-isms", a special way of opening a game. Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-In.
United States Michael Redmond (マイケル・レドモンド) 1963– 9 dan is the only (as of February 2008) non-Asian (American) to attain rank of 9-dan. TV commentator for the Japanese network NHK. Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-In.
Japan Shinichi Aoki (青木紳一) 1965– 9 dan Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-in.
Japan Norimoto Yoda (依田紀基) 1966– 9 dan Has one of the best track records in international tournaments for Japan. Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-In.
Japan Toshiya Imamura (今村俊也) 1966– 9 dan Affiliate of the Kansai Ki-in.
Japan Hideki Komatsu (小松英樹) 1967– 9 dan Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-In.
Japan Kikuyo Aoki (青木喜久代) 1968– 8 dan Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-In.
Germany Hans Reinhard Pietsch (ハンス・ピーチ) 1968–2003 6 dan Known for spreading Go around the world.
Japan Tomoyasu Mimura (三村智保) 1969– 9 dan Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-In.
Japan Michihiro Morita (森田道博) 1970– 9 dan Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-In.
South Korea Cho Sonjin (조선진, 趙善津) 1970– 9 dan Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-In.
South Korea Ryu Shikun (류시훈, 柳時熏) 1971– 9 dan Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-In.
Japan Kimio Yamada (山田規三生) 1972– 9 dan Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-In.
Japan Satoshi Yuki (結城聡) 1972– 9 dan The third youngest player to become a professional, and second youngest professional for the Kansai Ki-in. Affiliate of the Kansai Ki-In.
Romania Catalin Taranu (タラヌ・カタリン) 1973– 5 dan One of Romania's best players and a pro in Japan. Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-In.
Japan Yukari Yoshihara (梅澤由香里) 1973– 5 dan The Go player who supervised the production of the manga Hikaru no Go. Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-In.
Japan Hideyuki Sakai (坂井秀至) 1973– 8 dan Won the World Amateur Go Championship in 2000. Promoted to professional at age 28 after winning 4 of 4 "test" games against two top professionals (2 games against each). Affiliate of the Kansai Ki-in.
Japan Shinya Nakamura (仲邑信也) 1973– 8 dan Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-in.
Japan Atsushi Kato (加藤充志) 1974– 8 dan Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-in.
Japan Kaori Chinen (知念かおり) 1974– 4 dan Honorary Women's Kisei. Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-in.
Japan Shinji Takao (高尾紳路) 1976– 9 dan Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-in.
Japan Naoki Hane (羽根直樹) 1976– 9 dan In 2002, Hane broke the record for fastest promotion to 9 dan in Nihon Ki-in history. Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-in.
Taiwan Han Zenki (潘善琪) 1977– 7 dan Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-in.
Japan Tomochika Mizokami (溝上知親) 1977– 7 dan Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-in.
Japan Keigo Yamashita (山下敬吾) 1978– 9 dan Has an innovative style harking back to shinfuseki. Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-in.
Japan Kaori Aoba (青葉 かおり) 1978– 4 dan First professional to be defeated by a Go engine with a conventional handicap. Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-in.
South Korea Kim Shushun (김수준, 金秀俊) 1979– 7 dan Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-in.
China So Yokoku (蘇耀国) 1979– 8 dan Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-in.
Taiwan Cho U (張栩) 1980– 9 dan In 2003, Cho U broke the record for fastest promotion to 9 dan in Nihon Ki-in history. Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-in.
Japan Takehisa Matsumoto (松本武久) 1980– 6 dan Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-in.
Japan Rin Kono (河野臨) 1981– 9 dan Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-In.
China Ko Reibun (孔令文) 1981– 5 dan Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-in.
Japan Atsushi Tsuruyama (鶴山淳志) 1981– 6 dan Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-in.
Germany Andreas Wenczel (András Venczel) 1982– 2 dan Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-in.
Japan Kana Mannami (万波佳奈) 1983– 3 dan Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-in.
Japan Taiki Seto (瀬戸大樹) 1984– 6 dan Affiliate of the Kansai Ki-in.
Japan Nobuaki Anzai (安斎伸彰) 1985– 4 dan Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-in.
Taiwan Ko Iso (黄翊祖) 1987– 7 dan Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-In.
Japan Yuta Iyama (井山裕太) 1988– 9 dan Holds 6 of the 7 top Japanese titles as of 2014. First to hold 5+ and 6+. Became the youngest title holder ever in 2005 after winning the Agon Cup. 34th Meijin. Affiliate of the Nihon Ki-In.
Japan Daisuke Murakawa (村川大介) 1990– 3 dan The youngest Kansai Ki-in pro ever. Affiliate of the Kansai Ki-in.

China[edit]

  • Note: China formally adopt dan ranking in the early 1980s. Taiwan still uses pin ranking in addition to dan ranking.
Origin Name DoB–DoD Peak rank Notes
China Chen Zude (陈祖德) 1944 - 2012; 9 dan was the chairman of Zhongguo Qiyuan from 1992–2003 and is also the current president of the association. Famous for popularizing the Chinese fuseki.
China Nie Weiping (聂卫平) 1952– 9 dan Challenged for many top international titles in the late 1980s. Affiliate of the Zhongguo Qiyuan.
China Liu Xiaoguang (刘小光) 1960– 9 dan Affiliate of the Zhongguo Qiyuan.
China Cao Dayuan (曹大元) 1962– 9 dan Affiliate of the Zhongguo Qiyuan.
China Ma Xiaochun (马晓春) 1962– 9 dan A top player in China during the 1990s. Affiliate of the Zhongguo Qiyuan.
China Feng Yun (丰云) 1966– 9 dan Second woman ever attain rank of 9-dan. Affiliate of the Zhongguo Qiyuan.
China Qian Yuping (錢宇平) 1966– 9 dan Affiliate of the Zhongguo Qiyuan.
China Yu Bin (俞斌) 1967– 9 dan Affiliate of the Zhongguo Qiyuan.
China Shao Weigang (邵煒剛) 1973– 9 dan Affiliate of the Zhongguo Qiyuan.
China Chang Hao (常昊) 1976– 9 dan Affiliate of the Zhongguo Qiyuan.
China Zhou Heyang (周鹤洋) 1976– 9 dan Affiliate of the Zhongguo Qiyuan.
China Luo Xihe (罗洗河) 1977– 9 dan Affiliate of the Zhongguo Qiyuan.
China Wang Lei (王磊) 1978– 8 dan Affiliate of the Zhongguo Qiyuan.
China Ding Wei (丁偉) 1979– 8 dan Affiliate of the Zhongguo Qiyuan.
China Huang Yizhong (黄奕中) 1981– 6 dan Affiliate of the Zhongguo Qiyuan.
China Kong Jie (孔杰) 1982– 9 dan 3 world championship titles. One of current top 3 players in the world. Affiliate of the Zhongguo Qiyuan.
China Qiu Jun (邱峻) 1982– 8 dan Affiliate of the Zhongguo Qiyuan.
China Tang Li (唐莉) 1982– 1 dan Affiliate of the Zhongguo Qiyuan.
China Hu Yaoyu (胡耀宇) 1982– 8 dan Affiliate of the Zhongguo Qiyuan.
China Gu Li (古力) 1983– 9 dan 7 World championship titles; One of top 3 players in the world. He had exceptional record between 2008 and 2010. He lost to Lee Sedol in 2011 BC card cup final. Affiliate of the Zhongguo Qiyuan.
China Xie He (谢赫) 1984– 5 dan Affiliate of the Zhongguo Qiyuan.
China Liu Xing (刘星) 1984– 6 dan Affiliate of the Zhongguo Qiyuan.
China Wang Xi (王檄) 1984– 6 dan Affiliate of the Zhongguo Qiyuan.
China Piao Wenyao (朴文堯) 1988– 5 dan Affiliate of the Zhongguo Qiyuan.
China Chen Yaoye (陳耀燁) 1989– 9 dan Youngest professional 9 dan at 17 years of age. Affiliate of the Zhongguo Qiyuan.
China Li Zhe (李喆) 1989– 4 dan Affiliate of the Zhongguo Qiyuan.
China Zhou Ruiyang (周睿羊) 1991– 5 dan Affiliate of the Zhongguo Qiyuan.

Korea[edit]

Origin Name DOB–DOD Peak rank Notes
South Korea Cho Namchul (조남철, 趙南哲) 1923–2006 9 dan Founder of the Hanguk Kiwon.
South Korea Kang Cheol-min (강철민, 姜哲民) 1939–2002 8 dan
South Korea Kim In (김인, 金寅) 1943– 9 dan Won several titles during the 60s and 70s. Affiliate of the Hanguk Kiwon.
South Korea Ha Chanseok (하찬석, 河燦錫) 1948– 8 dan Affiliate of the Hanguk Kiwon.
South Korea Jimmy Cha (차민수, 車敏洙) 1951– 4 dan Affiliate of the Hanguk Kiwon.
South Korea Cho Hunhyun (조훈현, 曺薰鉉) 1953– 9 dan The strongest Go player in South Korea during the 1970s up to the period of domination from his student Lee Chang-ho. Holder of the most titles by a professional player. Also holder of the most consecutive title defense, winning the Paewang title 16 times in-a-row. 9 time world champion.
South Korea Seo Bongsoo (서봉수, 徐奉洙) 1953– 9 dan was Cho Hunhyun's biggest rival in the '80s. Known for his excessive list of runner up titles. Affiliate of the Hanguk Kiwon.
China Jiang Zhujiu (장주주, 江鑄久) 1962– 9 dan Affiliate of the Hanguk Kiwon.
China Rui Naiwei (루이나이웨이, 芮乃伟) 1963– 9 dan First woman to attain rank of 9-dan. Affiliate of the Hanguk Kiwon.
South Korea Yoo Changhyuk (유창혁, 劉昌赫) 1966– 9 dan 6 time world champion. Affiliate of the Hanguk Kiwon.
South Korea Janice Kim 1969– 3 dan Affiliate of the Hanguk Kiwon.
South Korea Lee Chang-ho (이창호, 李昌鎬) 1975– 9 dan The strongest player in the world between 1993–2004, he has won record 21 world championships since 1993. His last world title is 2010 Samsung cup. Affiliate of the Hanguk Kiwon.
South Korea Choi Myung-Hoon (최명훈, 崔明勳) 1975– 9 dan Affiliate of the Hanguk Kiwon.
South Korea An Choyoung (안조영, 安祚永) 1979– 9 dan Affiliate of the Hanguk Kiwon.
South Korea Mok Jin-seok (목진석, 睦鎭碩) 1980– 9 dan Affiliate of the Hanguk Kiwon.
Russia Alexandre Dinerchtein (디너스타인 알렉산더) 1980– 3 dan The first Russian professional Go player. Affiliate of the Hanguk Kiwon.
South Korea Cho Hanseung (조한승, 趙漢乘) 1982– 9 dan Affiliate of the Hanguk Kiwon.
South Korea Lee Sedol (이세돌; 李世乭) 1983– 9 dan Considered the strongest player in the world after Lee Chang-ho's reign. He won 2 world titles in 2011. He beat Gu Li in 2011 to win BC Card Cup. He obtained 13 world championship titles between 2002 and 2011. Affiliate of the Hanguk Kiwon.
Hungary Diana Koszegi (코세기 디아나) 1983– 1 dan The first Hungarian professional Go player. Affiliate of the Hanguk Kiwon.
South Korea Park Jungsang (박정상, 朴正祥) 1984– 9 dan Affiliate of the Hanguk Kiwon.
South Korea Hong Minpyo (홍민표, 洪旼杓) 1984– 5 dan Affiliate of the Hanguk Kiwon.
South Korea Park Seunghyun (박승현, 朴昇賢) 1984– 4 dan Affiliate of the Hanguk Kiwon.
South Korea Choi Cheol-han (최철한, 崔哲澣) 1985– 9 dan Affiliate of the Hanguk Kiwon.
South Korea Pak Yeong-hun (박영훈, 朴永訓) 1985– 9 dan A young and established Korean go professional. He reached 9 dan after 5 years, making him the youngest Korean 9 dan professional ever. 3 time world champion. Affiliate of the Hanguk Kiwon.
South Korea Kim Dong Hee (김동희, 金東熙) 1985– 2 dan Affiliate of the Hanguk Kiwon.
South Korea Won Seong-jin (원성진, 元晟溱) 1985– 9 dan Affiliate of the Hanguk Kiwon.
South Korea Song Tae Kon (송태곤, 宋泰坤) 1986– 9 dan Affiliate of the Hanguk Kiwon.
South Korea Heo Young-ho (허영호, 許映皓) 1986– 5 dan Affiliate of the Hanguk Kiwon.
South Korea Ko Geuntae (고근태, 高根台) 1987– 5 dan Affiliate of the Hanguk Kiwon.
South Korea Yun Junsang (윤준상, 尹畯相) 1987– 6 dan Affiliate of the Hanguk Kiwon.
South Korea Kang Dongyun (강동윤, 姜東潤) 1989– 8 dan Affiliate of the Hanguk Kiwon.

Taiwan[edit]

  • Note: Taiwan still uses pin ranking in addition to dan ranking.
Origin Name DOB–DOD Peak rank Notes
Taiwan Zhou Junxun (周俊勳) 1980– 9 dan, 1 pin Affiliate of the Taiwan Qiyuan.
Taiwan Lin Zhihan (林至涵) 1980– 8 dan Affiliate of the Taiwan Qiyuan.
Taiwan Chen Shien (陳詩淵) 1985– 7 dan Affiliate of the Taiwan Qiyuan.

In the West[edit]

Origin Name DOB–DOD Peak rank Notes
China Mingjiu Jiang (江鳴久) 1957– 7 dan Affiliate of the American Go Association.
Hungary Csaba Mérő 1979– 6 dan (A) Amateur 6 dan. First under 18 European Youth Champion.
Romania Dragoş Băjenaru 1980– 6 dan Amateur 6 dan.
China Jie Li (李捷) 1981– 9 dan Amateur player from the American Go Association.
Russia Alexey Lazarev 1960– 6 dan Amateur 6 dan. Won Russia Go Championship 11 times. Two times European Go Champion (1991,1992).
Russia Ilya Shikshin 7 dan (A) Amateur 7 dan. Two times European Go Champion, 2 times Under 12 European Youth Champion, 2 times Under 18 European Youth Champion.
Ukraine Artem Kachanovskyy 6 dan (A) Amateur 6 dan. 2nd of the 2010 European Go Championship, 2008 under 18 European Youth Champion.
Romania Cornel Burzo 6 dan (A) Amateur 6 dan.
Romania Cristian Pop 7 dan (A) Amateur 7 dan.
Israel Ali Jabarin 5 dan (A) Amateur 5 dan. 2009 European Youth Champion.
Hungary Pal Balogh 6 dan (A) Amateur 6 dan. 2 times under 18 European Youth Champion

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Census of Go players worldwide (in Japanese)". Archived from the original on 2002-12-17. 
  2. ^ John Fairbairn. "Historic: Sunjang Go". Retrieved 2007-11-26. 
  3. ^ Sensei's Library. "Historic Meijins". Retrieved 2007-06-28. 
  4. ^ Sensei's Library. "Ogawa Doteki". Retrieved 2007-06-28. 
  5. ^ John Fairbairn. "Historic: Sunjang Go". Retrieved 2007-11-26. 
  6. ^ Sensei's Library. "Historic Meijins". Retrieved 2007-06-28. 
  7. ^ Sensei's Library. "Ogawa Doteki". Retrieved 2007-06-28. 

External links[edit]