Andy Liu and Gansheng Shi become North America’s first pro Go players

August 4, 2012 became a momentous day for Go in the Western world when North America certified its first home grown professional Go players.

16 players compete to go pro

Starting on July 30, 16 top amateurs from the USA and Canada met to compete in a double elimination tournament, titled the AGA-Tygem Pro Finals, to decide whom among them would be the first American pros.

After a week of play in Black Mountain, North Carolina, Andy Liu and Gansheng Shi prevailed, earning professional certification and a promotion to 1p (1 dan professional).

From left, Gansheng Shi (1 dan), Allan Abramson, Jeff Shaevel, Myungwan Kim (9 dan) and Andy Liu (1 dan). Photo: Chris Garlock, American Go Association.

The 1st AGA-Tygem Pro Finals

Full details, as well as game records and background, are available on the American Go Association’s (AGA’s) website.

The establishment of a pro system in America was announced in December last year when incoming AGA President, Andy Okun, signed agreements with the Korean Baduk Association and Tygem (a popular Go server).

With generous support from Korea, the AGA is hoping the new professional system will help to raise the profile of the game in the West. The crew from The Surrounding Game were also on site, filming the event.

Congratulations Andy Liu and Gansheng Shi!

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About David Ormerod

David is a Go enthusiast who’s played the game for more than a decade. He likes learning, teaching, playing and writing about the game Go. He's taught thousands of people to play Go, both online and in person at schools, public Go demonstrations and Go clubs. David is a 5 dan amateur Go player who competed in the World Amateur Go Championships prior to starting Go Game Guru. He's also the editor of Go Game Guru.

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  1. This is very exciting and I can’t wait to see how the Pro system develops here 🙂

  2. Zak Smith says:

    It’s funny, I kept hearing Andy Liu wasn’t interested, wasn’t going to compete, didn’t want to be pro, then now, guess what??

    Congratulations to both of you, I look forward to see how you represent America on the professional go scene!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s not just that. Go to AGA site and read what his responsibilities are now as a professional.