Can i start the game at 19 and hope to become pro

Here’s a weird question - rather than being a Go professional - have you ever considered being a famous Go-related YouTuber? If you look at someone like




these are people who have managed to turn their interest in Go - and helping other people understand the game - into something that rewards them with income and a moderate amount of fame, all without having to compete on the professional level.

Now, building up a YT channel with an adequate following to get noticed - much less paid on a regular basis - has its own significant challenges, but I would argue that this type of goal might be a lot more realistic than playing Go on a professional level and being able to making a living off of it.

I guess the question I keep coming back to is - what types of satisfaction and reward are you looking to get out of these achievements? Can you find a more realistic path forward that is still rewarding for you?


That’s answering about the money side but the dream to be really one of the best player remains.

And somewhere as long as a dream is a dream I’m fine with it.

The problem comes when one ask how his dream is adequate with the reality .

You could always make it to 2 Dan and then hope that a new rating system comes out which magically makes you 6d!


And I guess that was part of my question - is the dream “to be the best in the world”? or “to do something Go-related and make a living from it”? because one of those is much more attainable than the other…

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Sure. Now put yourself in that 19yrs old skin:

Do you think he is asking to be the guy sitting in the glass box relaying the race or the guy sitting in the formula1 car?

OK, sure, but since the majority of this thread has been trying to gently break the news that sitting in the Formula1 car is highly unlikely - would they rather be sitting at home watching the race on TV, or in the glass box commenting from the track? :wink:


Go for it, dude. Don’t let the crabs drag you down into the bucket.


It already exists: Tygem/Fox servers are close to that.


Ok, I am bored and did some digging to share.

How long does it take to become a 1D -

In watching teaching videos, I’ve heard two mentioned they became 1d in around 6 months since they learned how to play as a kid like under 10 years old. Both peaked at 6-7p in China however.

How long does it take to turn pro?

Ke Jie:

Ke’s father is a 5d. At 6 years old, Ke FORMALLY started learning Go. His teacher, a chinse 5P. So his dad either thought himself not good enough or saw big potential of his boy, thus spent money to seek pro lessons. I couldn’t find info what Ke’s level was at age of 6. It is probably safe to assume it was not 1d. :joy:

2 years later, he left home alone to study under the chinese legend Nie Weiping 9p with the goal to turn pro. In an interview, Ke recalled his struggle during this period. He was told by some of the coaches that he would not make it, in other words, he was the money feeder of this organization only.

Ke turned pro at age of 11 with 5 years study under pros basically.

Lee Sedol:

Lee’s father plays Go, not sure what level. Lee’s big brother is 4p. Lee left hometown at age of 5 to study Go and turned pro at age of 12 in 7 years.

So it’s probably safe to say nobody will be able to turn pro in 7 years by seeking free advices in this forum. :joy:


sitting in the Formula 1 car is highly unlikely - would [you] rather be sitting at home watching the race on TV, or in the glass box commenting from the track?

I like this phrasing.

There is a whole spectrum – “I’m just a hobbyist” → “it’s a side business” → “this is my job but actually playing isn’t” → pro.

The vast majority of professionals don’t make all their money from fees and wages anyway; they supplement their income with reviews, lessons, games with amateurs, lectures, article commissions, authorship, ghostwriting, endorsements…

Ben Kyo recently quit his job to try to make things work as a full-time teacher / streamer / youtuber in the mold of Clossius. It’s apparently succeeding for Clossi.

Look at Chris Garlock! He’s a mere (iirc) AGA 2d, yet he’s managed to advance in another part of the Go world, association management. Now he’s commentating AlphaGo games with Redmond.

Consider also the many amateurs involved in publishing, translation, research and authorship of Go materials in the West. Fairbairn and Bozulich have been making a living from that for over fifty years.

People are able, it seems to me, to have fulfilling careers “in the glass box”. However, it’s not as though even the steps into the box are facile to climb…


Let me share what I learned what a pro training looks like:

First, from the training video of Nie Weiping Go school. The class in the video is to train general public, not the super gifted kids, but since the class is under the pro umbrella. I am guessing the method is borrowed from the pro system.

So in the class of learning counting and yose, the teacher brings up various shapes on the board and asks the kids to name the points of the area or the yose value right away.

I was like, forget it, I would never make it.

Second example, this is from a direct comment of a female chinese 2p. She said, when she was studying joseki as a kid. She studied and memorized all the variances. Then she was asked to play all of them in four corners, so she memorized them visually from different angles.

I’ve been studying a joseki training series of about 70 videos and 7 months out, I am not even 1/3 done and actually don’t remember much.

Often times, I fall into sleep watching them. :joy:

Nothing is impossible. One just has to ask him/herself: do I have what it takes?!

I know I definitely don’t.


By the way, it’s interesting to see how many people missed my large message hinting that OP posted this thread in 2016.

We can discuss the issue, but he’s not gonna be reading~

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You think we reply to answer the OP’s question really? :joy:

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Looks like a reply to OP, no?

No, we are just finding something to fill our empty lives.


I saw it but I found the title of the thread pretty. I’m sure some will dig into it.

Back on topic I don’t think this kind of question to be oriented toward a work in the glass box at all.

Now there is a new debate coming soon about these jobs related to go as the public is not that large and there is still a lot of free working around to try to make it larger.

LOL / facepalm - I totally missed the fact that the OP was from 2016.

Also, I assuming this is the same OGS user as the OP author - it looks like their time at OGS was limited to a few weeks in November 2016…


Everything is much easier when you don’t plan to ever get higher than 1 kyu.

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And everything is much easier than that when you just enjoy the game for what it is :wink:


According to this page, “a note from Lessons In The Fundamentals Of Go suggests that [Kageyama Toshiro] began playing at age 15-16.”

That would be in 1932.

It can be observed that there was apparently some more leeway if, for instance:

  1. You started the game before the '80s
  2. You were able to take advantage of special Japanese promotion for Westerners, like Kerwin and Wimmer
  3. You were aiming to qualify with the EGF or AGA

Catalin started in '89, by the way, which isn’t that long ago but isn’t very recent either.