Ke Jie

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Ke Jie
Ke Jie in 2019
Born (1997-08-02) 2 August 1997 (age 26)
Lishui, Zhejiang
Turned pro2008
Rank9 dan
AffiliationChinese Weiqi Association
Medal record
Men's Go
Representing  China
Asian Games
Silver medal – second place 2022 Hangzhou Men's individual
Silver medal – second place 2022 Hangzhou Men's team
Ke Jie
Traditional Chinese柯潔
Simplified Chinese柯洁

Ke Jie (simplified Chinese: 柯洁; traditional Chinese: 柯潔; pinyin: Kē Jié) is a Chinese professional Go player of 9 dan rank. He was born on August 2, 1997, in Liandu District, Lishui City, Zhejiang Province.


2008–15: Early Career and Bailing Cup Breakthrough[edit]

Ke Jie started to learn how to play Go in 2003 when he was 5 years old and won his first national championship in 2007. He became a professional Go player in 2008 when he was 10 years old and was promoted to 9 dan in 2015.[1] In January 2015, Ke won his first world title when he won the 2nd Bailing Cup, defeating Qiu Jun 3-2 in the finals.[2]

2015–16: Two International Titles and Chinese No.1[edit]

In December 2015, he defeated Shi Yue in the 20th Samsung Cup finals to win another world title.[3]

In January 2016, Ke won the 2nd MLily Cup, defeating world renowned Go player Lee Sedol in the fifth round.[4] According to South Korean 9 dan professionals commenting on the final game, the result hinged on a half-point ko and the peculiarities of Chinese scoring rules; however, others have pointed out that this argument is misleading as differences in komi between the Chinese and Japanese scoring systems would have made up the extra point, leading to the same result.[5][6]

On 11 February 2016, he defeated Lee once more in the finals of the 2016 HeSui Cup.[7] On 5 March 2016, Ke defeated Lee yet again in the finals of the 2016 Nongshim Cup to win the tournament for the Chinese squad, making it China's third consecutive win of the tournament.[8]

Ke became highest ranked player in the official Chinese Weiqi Association ranking in September 2015.[9][10]

2016–17: Two International Titles[edit]

In August 2016, at the 3rd Bailing Cup, Ke defeated Xu Jiayang to advance to the best-of-three semifinal match where he faced Won Seong-jin. In the first game, Won defeated Ke with a comeback victory after Ke had made crucial mistakes when analyzing territory turnover; however, he was able to recover in the second game by playing a very close endgame in which he maintained a territorial lead. In the decisive third game, he continued to make advantageous moves during the middle-game and maintained a comfortable territorial lead. Ke was able to forced a successful ko fight at the top of Won's territory, resulting in the Won's resignation due to a lack of ko threats. Ke then faced Chen Yaoye in the final best-of-five match, which was the third straight Bailing Cup finals to have been contested between Chinese players. The first two games were both won by Chen. In the first game, Chen displayed his tenacity in chasing and eventually leading in territory with very few opportunities for Ke to win in the endgame. The second game was similar to the first, but during the middle game, Ke deviated and began to chase and attack Chen's dragon, forcing Chen to maneuver around the middle of Ke's territory; however, Ke's made a mistake on the 105th move that allowed Chen to retaliate and take the initiative, causing the match to eventually end on move 178.

From 31 October 2016 to 2 November 2016, Ke played against rival Lee Sedol once more during the semifinals of the 21st Samsung Cup.[11] In the first game of the best-of-three match, Ke was reported to have won a very complete game in which Lee had very few opportunities in the endgame; however, going into the second game with no breaks, Ke was not able to maintain his advantage with the white stones and Lee produced one of his trademark comeback victories. The game began very evenly until Ke acquired positional advantage, and a huge lead in territory, but Ke made several mistakes when fighting Lee's dragon in the center of the board. Lee responded accurately and reversed the game, saving his stones and gaining a lead in territory. Lee closed out the second game with a stunning comeback victory. With black winning both games by resignation, the third game had both players coin-toss for the choice of stones. Ke had the white stones in the third game and was able to secure all four corners to gain a territorial lead from the beginning. The remainder of the game displayed his ability to invade and scrape away Lee's territorial potential. As Lee began to find it difficult to gain any territorial advantage, he pressed on the weaknesses of white's territory hoping to reverse the game, but Ke responded accurately and did not allow any opportunities for Lee. Lee resigned the final game, and Ke advanced to the finals of the Samsung Cup for the second year straight. From 6 December 2016 to 8 December 2016, Ke played the finals against compatriot Tuo Jiaxi. After losing the first game with black, Ke won the second game with white to even the match and then won the deciding game with black to successfully defend his Samsung Cup title.[12][13]

Ke reached the finals of 1st ENN Cup, defeating Ahn Kuk-hyun, Tang Weixing, Ida Atsushi, Lian Xiao and Li Zhe, from November 2016 to May 2017.[14] Ke won the title by defeating Peng Liyao 3-2 in the finals in December 2017.[15]

Matches against AlphaGo[edit]

On 4 June 2016, at a news conference during the 37th World Amateur Go Championship, Yang Jun'an, the party chief of the Zhongguo Qiyuan and executive of the International Go Federation, revealed that the Google program AlphaGo would possibly have a match against Ke in the future.[16] However, Google DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis responded that it had not yet been decided what to do next with AlphaGo.[17]

In early January 2017, Ke Jie played three unofficial online games against "Master", an updated version of AlphaGo, losing all three. Ke stated he still had "one last move" to defeat AlphaGo.[18] Regarding AlphaGo, Ke Jie stated that "One can only learn from its strategic philosophy and not only tactics."[19]

A three-game match was played by Ke Jie against AlphaGo at the Future of Go Summit in Wuzhen from 23 to 27 May 2017. Google DeepMind offered 1.5 million dollars winner prizes for this match while the losing side took 300,000 dollars for participating in the three games.[20][21] AlphaGo beat Ke Jie in the first game by half a point on 23 May 2017. The official scoring for the first match was 184 out of the 361 possible points in favor of Ke Jie, but the Chinese Go rule requires a Black victory of at least 4 over the 180.5 (i.e., 184.5 is the minimum for a Black victory). Ke Jie resigned in the second game after 156 moves and the third game after 209 moves.


Ke Jie's style of play is characterized by accurate positional judgment and reading. Ke's reading is both reliable and fast. He regularly uses less time in a game than his opponents. There is no significant weakness in Ke's game. However, he occasionally plays carelessly with a positional advantage without deep reading.

After his defeat to AlphaGo, Ke Jie studied the program's games to find inspiration for new strategies, and adopted a territory-oriented style of play. Ke's opening arsenal is deeply influenced by the new generation of Go programs, namely AlphaGo, FineArt, Zen and CGI. He subsequently went on a 22-game winning streak against human opponents.[22]

Promotion record[edit]

Rank Year Notes
1 dan 2008 Promoted to professional dan rank after placing in professional qualification tournament.
2 dan 2010 Promoted for performance in the Chinese professional promotion tournament.[23]
3 dan 2011 Promoted for performance in the Chinese professional promotion tournament.
4 dan 2012 Promoted for performance in the Chinese professional promotion tournament.
5 dan Skipped due to the Chinese Weiqi Association promotion rules.
6 dan Skipped due to the Chinese Weiqi Association promotion rules.
7 dan Skipped due to the Chinese Weiqi Association promotion rules.
8 dan Skipped due to the Chinese Weiqi Association promotion rules.
9 dan 2015 Won the 2nd Bailing Cup against Qiu Jun.

Career record[edit]

As of 1 January 2021[24][25]
Year Wins Losses Win %
2008 4 8 33.3%
2009 5 5 50.0%
2010 14 12 53.8%
2011 20 18 52.6%
2012 41 25 62.1%
2013 51 28 64.6%
2014 63 17 78.8%
2015 74 18 80.4%
2016 65 24 73.0%
2017 72 25 74.2%
2018 49 30 62.0%
2019 62 22 73.8%
2020 42 12 77.8%
Total 562 244 69.7%

Titles and runners-up[edit]

As of 1 January 2021

Ranks #5 in total number of titles in China and ranks #4 in total number of international titles.

Title Wins Runners-up
Tianyuan 1 (2014)
Weifu Fangkai Cup 1 (2015)
Liguang Cup 1 (2015)
Baiyunshan Cup 1 (2015) 1 (2016)
Quzhou-Lanke Cup 2 (2016, 2018)
Ahan Tongshan Cup 2 (2014, 2016) 1 (2017)
National Games of PRC - Go Tournament 1 (2017)
Longxing 2 (2017, 2018)
Weiqi Rally Tournament 2 (2017, 2018)
Xi'nan Wang 1 (2019)
Qisheng 1 (2019)
Changqi Cup 1 (2019)
Wangzhong Wang 1 (2020)
Total 14 5
Title Wins Runners-up
China-Japan Agon Cup 2 (2014, 2016)
China-Japan Ryusei 1 (2018)
China-Japan-Korea Ryusei 1 (2019)
Total 3 1
Title Wins Runners-up
Mlily Cup [zh] 1 (2016)
Limin Cup [zh] 1 (2017)
IMSA Elite Mind Games, Men's blitz 1 (2017)
Xin'ao Cup [zh] 1 (2017)
Samsung Cup 4 (2015, 2016, 2018, 2020)
Bailing Cup 2 (2015, 2019) 1 (2016)
World Go Championship 1 (2019)
Total 10 2
Career Total
Total 27 8

International competition results[edit]

Competitions 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Ing Cup - QF - QF -
Samsung Cup R16 × W W R16 W R16 W R32
LG Cup × × QF R16 SF R32 SF RU SF
Chunlan Cup - × - 3rd - 3rd - QF -
Bailing Cup - W - RU - W -
Mlily Cup R32 - W - R16 - QF -
Xin'ao Cup - W -
Tianfu Cup - R32 -
Asian TV Cup ×
Nongshim Cup × × 1:0 0:0 0:1 0:0 1:0 0:1 0:1

(W) Winner; (RU) Runner-up; (SF) Semifinalist; (QF) Quarterfinalist; (R16) Round of 16; (R32) Round of 32; (R64) Round of 64.

  • Note 1:Some competitions last for more than one year. Usually the beginning year of the competition is recorded as the year of competition.
  • Note 2:The light green background indicates that the player is still competing in the game.
  • Note 3:'×' means the player did not qualify for the game (or lost in the qualification round), while '-' means the competition was not held in that year.
  • Note 4:The result of Nongshim Cup means the result of the player (matches won : matches lost). The result '0:0' means the player qualified for his/her national team of Nongshim Cup, and the team won before the player compete in the cup.
  • Note 5:Italics means the player did not win a match in the competition (after the qualification round).
  • Note 6:Among the international go competitions listed, only Chunlan Cup has a bronze medal match. Therefore, the semifinalists of Chunlan Cup are recorded '3rd' or '4th', while the semifinalists of the other international titles are recorded 'SF'.

Head-to-head record vs selected players[edit]

As of 1 November 2020[24][25]

Players who have won international Go titles in bold.

Personal life[edit]

In 2019, Ke enrolled as a student at Tsinghua University majoring in Business Administration.[26]


  1. ^ "Sina Visitor System" 棋士柯洁 (in Simplified Chinese). Ke Jie. Archived from the original on 15 March 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2023.
  2. ^ "Ke Jie wins his first world title at the 2nd Bailing Cup". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04.
  3. ^ "Ke Jie and Shi Yue proceed to the final of the 2015 Samsung Cup". Archived from the original on 2016-03-10.
  4. ^ "Ke Jie defeats Lee Sedol to win the 2nd MLily Cup". Archived from the original on 2016-03-10.
  5. ^ 囲碁の基本:対局のルール・流れ 終局 (in Japanese). 日本棋院. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  6. ^ 囲碁の基本:対局のルール・流れ 終局:例2 (in Japanese). 日本棋院. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  7. ^ "Lee Sedol 9p vs Ke Jie 9p, Myungwan Kim 9p reviews - HeSui Cup Finals". American Go Association's YouTube Channel. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  8. ^ "Lee Sedol 9p vs Ke Jie 9p, Nongshim Cup #14, 3/4 at 11pm PST (7am GMT on 3/3)". American Go Association's YouTube Channel. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  9. ^ "中国围棋等级分(15.09.30)". (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 15 December 2018.
  10. ^ "中国围棋等级分(15.08.31)". (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 25 October 2016.
  11. ^ "Ke Jie and Lee Sedol face off in the semi-final of the 2016 Samsung Cup". Archived from the original on 17 February 2020. Retrieved 12 January 2023.
  12. ^ "Ke Jie defeats Lee Sedol to reach the final of the 2016 Samsung Cup". Archived from the original on 6 July 2019. Retrieved 12 January 2023.
  13. ^ "Samsung Cup Tournament Results".
  14. ^ Nihon Ki-in. 第1回 新奥杯世界囲碁オープン戦. (in Japanese). Retrieved 4 July 2017.
  15. ^ 新奥杯决赛柯洁3-2胜彭立尧 夺第五冠获220万奖金. (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 24 December 2018.
  16. ^ "Top Go player likely to compete with AlphaGo within this year". China Daily. 6 June 2016. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  17. ^ Demis Hassabis (6 June 2016). "Hassabis's message". Demis Hassabis's Twitter account. Retrieved 6 June 2016..
  18. ^ "The world's best Go player says he still has "one last move" to defeat Google's AlphaGo AI". Quartz. 4 January 2017. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  19. ^ "柯洁:对阿尔法围棋不能模仿 我要下自己的棋_体育_腾讯网".
  20. ^ "World No.1 Go player Ke Jie takes on upgraded AlphaGo in May". 2017-04-10.
  21. ^ "Ke Jie vs. AlphaGo: 8 things you must know". 2017-05-27. Archived from the original on 2017-12-14. Retrieved 2017-05-27.
  22. ^ "The latest AI can work things out without being taught". The Economist. 2017-10-21.
  23. ^ 2010年段位赛升段完全汇总. Sina Sports (in Simplified Chinese).
  24. ^ a b "Ke Jie | Search by Player | Go4Go".
  25. ^ a b 柯洁 统计数据. 弘通围棋网. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  26. ^ "柯洁正式保送清华大学,或就读工商管理类专业_运动家_澎湃新闻-The Paper".

External links[edit]