Today is Go Seigen’s 100th birthday.
Go Seigen is regarded by many to be the greatest Go player who ever lived.
He was born in China on June 12, 1914, where his name is Wu Qingyuan (吳清源). In Korea we call him Oh Cheongwon and Go Seigen is the Japanese reading of his name.
If you haven’t heard of him before, you can learn more about Go Seigen here.
A new paradigm
Go Seigen created a new paradigm in the game of Go and raised the understanding of future players to a new level.
Even though many decades have passed since he played most of his famous games, he still loves Go and studies it every day.
In his book, A Way of Play for the 21st Century, Go Seigen said:
I still study Go every day, placing stones on the board.
You might think study is meaningless for me, since I retired so many years ago. But for people who play it, Go is like an eternal friend, a permanent art form.
I’ll continue playing and studying Go. Probably just like you.
Many players still study Go
Many players, including pros, still study and learn from Go Seigen’s games today.
In 2003, there was a poll amongst Korean pros, about who they thought the greatest player in the history of Go was.
Lee Changho took second place in the poll, and Go Seigen was voted the greatest player ever.
Even though most of the pros who were polled had never played against him, they still regarded him as the greatest Go player, because they’d replayed his games.
A commentary to celebrate Go Seigen’s 100th birthday
When I was studying to become a pro, I replayed most of Go Seigen’s official games at least three times.
Today I’m going to show you one of his most memorable games against Kitani Minoru, who was his best friend and rival.
Even though this game was played almost 75 years ago, Go’s play still feels modern and he plays many moves that normal players wouldn’t even imagine.
Happy birthday Go Seigen
I’m very happy today to see that Go Seigen is still alive and well on his 100th birthday, because he’s been one of my idols since I was very young.
I hope that today many Go players around the world can replay Go Seigen’s great games and reflect on his contributions to the Go world.
Happy 100th birthday Master!