Commentators during live games, how does it work?

I’ve had this question for a rather long time, but since we’re (I mean me) in the topic of watching live games…

I noticed the commentator might say “I’d play a knight’s move here” or “attaching would be overplay”. Since pros probably can tell exactly what the commentator means, isn’t it a way to influence the game? I’ve seen they are in the same room, a few meters apart, am I missing something?

And all this kibitzing and commenting in general, isn’t it bothersome for the players’ concentration? And I’ve seen some Cups have serious money rewards, it’s no joke, so I thought the playing environment would be as quiet as possible.

I was surprised the first time I saw it, still am.

As I understand it, the commentators are usually in a completely different room - so I am assuming that the two players cannot hear them.


I saw once a video where the commentators look on a iPad to see the moves.

I think I’ve seen some older videos where they are in the same room, but maybe I remember incorrectly. :woman_shrugging:

I will be too, but that never happened in all the tournaments I was. At reverse everyone were avoiding to make noise.

Maybe you saw the time after when the players review the game?

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Hm, I can’t recall exactly, but I’m sure it was during a game. Maybe it wasn’t an important game?

Maybe some kind of exhibition/promoting game then?

Are you sure you weren’t seeing the referees/timekeepers/game recorders? In the major tournaments I’ve seen, those are the only people I’ve seen in the room (from one of whom Cho Chikun famously stole some tea) - the commentators are usually separate, but it’s not always apparent that this is the case depending on how the feed is produced.


Yes, they had the board thingy between them. I’m pretty sure it was an old game, but my YT history is too long to search…

There’s at least two scenes in Hikaru no Go where a pro game is played on a stage, and the commentators are using a large board on the other side of the stage to comment on variations, and the players can hear them. In one of the scenes it’s even used as a joke: The commentator questions a move, and the player (with his back turned, but apparently having heard and understood the comment) says the commentators name in a (probably playfully) angry tone :stuck_out_tongue:

Anyways, all this to say that I’m pretty sure this has happened in the past, and might still happen on some occasions. But I’ve never seen it happen myself in reality, for instance in the NHK cup they comment from a separate room. It has probably become less common as modern technology has made it easier to comment from a separate room (but that’s just my guess).


I don’t put it past myself to mistake a memory from Hikaru for one of an actual tournament hahahaha :slight_smile:
Yes, probably it doesn’t happen now anymore, even if it did in the past.

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I did see it occuring here:

But I think that’s exceptional. Perhaps it was accepted here because this was just an exhibition game and a bit of a publicity stunt to celebrate Sumire Nakamura becoming a professional at a record young age.


Unusual bowls they’re using at 13 secs in. They seem to be carven wood with lacquer.

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