As you’ll see below, Chinese players have improved their standing relative to the 2010 World Go Ranking.
Here’s the full list of players. This data goes up to the end of April 2012.
Top 30 professional Go players
|Rank||Player||Rating||Wins||Losses (last 3 months)|
How the rating system works
Dr Bai, who works at Stanford University wrote a paper in English that you can read if you want to know more about how the players are ranked.
Young players are improving quickly
Young players in China are improving sharply.
In particular, Fan Tingyu (born in 1996) was ranked number 12. Mi Yuting (1996), Yang Dingxin (1998), Zhou Hexi (1994), Tao Xinran (1994), Peng Liyao (1992), and Dang Yifei (1994) are all doing well, even if they’re not in the top 30 yet.
Comparing four Chinese players
Let’s look at a rating chart for some of the top Chinese players. The x-axis is the month, starting in January 2011, while the y-axis is Dr Bai’s rating for those players.
You can see the change in the four top Chinese players’ ratings. Gu Li, Kong Jie, Tan Xiao and Xie He.
Tan and Xie are both currently ranked number 1 in China, and Gu and Kong used to be the best in China.
Kong was number 1 in the world ranking in early 2010, but he’s been trending downwards since then. In the last few months though, it appears that he could be recovering.
Gu was trending upwards for most of 2011, but since last November, he’s been gradually declining.
On the other hand, Xie has been gaining points steadily, and his rating is the highest amongst them. Tan’s rating increased dramatically througout 2011, but it seems to have peaked for now.
A problem for Korean Baduk
As you can see, young talented Chinese players are improving very quickly, but there aren’t so many young players from Korea.
Dr Bai pointed out that many of the official Korean matches are lightning games, so players can’t play creatively in the opening and that could make them weaker. In Chinese domestic games the players have more time to think.
According to Dr Bai, China has already started to overwhelm Korea, and if nothing is done about it, after three years, Korea won’t be able to stand against China in Go anymore.
Iyama Yuta and Japan
Iyama Yuta was the only player from Japan who’s ranked in the top 30. Today, most of international title matches are played only between China and Korea players.
For some time, Japan seems to have been fading away from the scene, and it makes the Go world less interesting and fun.
Now it looks as though Korea could be going the same way as Japan, so the Korean Baduk Association should try to find a solution to this problem.