Favorite Go players, 2020 poll edition (updated with poll)

Afraid so :stuck_out_tongue:

He’s a famous name, but I’m just not familiar with his games.

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Shusaku. Go read “invincible” a must have book in english.
Fujisawa Shuko. I bet he could still win any poll like this one coming. He had a so nice intuition and personality (could still win top match when older and his blunders made him even more familiar)already a favorite for his popularity between amateurs players.


Can’t believe no-one mentioned Go Seigen & Kitani yet. Other cool historical players were Yasui Senchi (perhaps the first really strong influence player since Dosaku) and Kubomatsu Katsukiyo (the only pro to consistently play tengen, at least outside the Shin Fuseku era.)


The mention of Takagawa Kaku made me curious, so I’ve been checking out Sensei’s Library. Takagawa won 17 titles and was 17 times a runner-up. Having won the Honinbo title in 1952, he then proceeded to defend it successfully eight years in a row. Thirty-eight years would pass before Cho Chikun would break that record.

His restrained and peaceful style contrasted dramatically with that of his great nemesis, Sakata Eio, who favoured a more provocative game based on exceptional reading ability. They faced each other a whopping 97 times, with Sakata winning 74 of those matches. This was Takagawa’s great misfortune; that he repeatedly went up against this go juggernaut named Sakata.

So yeah, Takagawa’s name doesn’t come up these days nearly so often as it deserves. But then, you could probably say the same for Sakata. Time passes.


Update: Poll is now up.
I got no amateur names, so it’s just the pros.

(I hope I didn’t forget anyone)

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I’d like to give honorable mention to Hajin Lee 4p and Yeonwoo 2p for their English go content.


Where is Lee Changho? When I was looking for someone who could be deemed GOAT in go, he was the only name that stood out to me, considering his long running place at number one in modern times.


I don’t think I have a favorite :confused:


In terms of English go content I would add Michael Redmond, Yoonyoung Kim, Young Sun Yoon (Yoon’s Baduk Cafe), Stefanie Yin and Ryan Li (NYIG).

For amateur player go content in English also worth mentioning would be Youngwoon Park (Baduk Doctor), Nick Sibicky, Dwyrin etc.

There’s probably more but off the top of my head :slight_smile:


Iwamoto Kaoru. Opened the go centers in South America, US and Europe. Wrote “go for beginners” before others.
Well poll is closed, but I had to mention him.
And there are a bunch more.


To be honest, I don’t even know any go players other then lee sedol, cho chikun, and shusaku :no_mouth:. I’ve heard a little bit about the others in topics from a long time ago.

Guess I should study go history instead of forum history.


No reason you can’t do both :slight_smile:

You could make a go history thread (if one doesn’t already exist and isn’t locked). Or even just a pro game sharing thread, where people share their favorite Pro go games, sgfs, demo/uploads to ogs of the games, videos or written commentaries of said games by pros or amateurs etc. Could be a way to get an idea of other players and their styles.


I can’t think of an extent one off the top of my head, but I would expect that mods would be happy to unlock a thread like that if asked since it keeps discussion of something in one central place for future users. I’m not sure on OGS’s exact policy on this, though.

Takagawa’s name doesn’t come up these days nearly so often as it deserves. But then, you could probably say the same for Sakata.

Redmond reviewed a Sakata game in November:


Nice to see Sakata Eio, he is definietly one of my most beloved players. Beautiful games, super sharp lines of play (he got his nick the razor with merit), blood chilling fights, an incredible dedication (one of the longest lasting careers) and a great author (his book on tesuji and anti-suji is one of my favorites).

Another player which I haven’t seen mentioned here yet, and only discovered recently, is Ma Xiaochun. He is one of the best chinese players of the late XXth century, who yields a very elegant, dancing kind of play. Looking at his games I often feel like he is playing a game of drawing by numbers, with his opponents not knowing what the picture will be. Turns out what they see on the board when his stones connect up is a ferocious beast. ^^


Sumire! :partying_face:


Perhaps we should make a 2021 edition, as time has continued to pass by.

I had same idea.
We could cut in different periods like before 1930, 1930-1980 1980-2016 2016–today.

Problem is the preselection, even if you just take 20 best/country/year

I don’t know if a favorite player can change yearly, wouldn’t it take at least some time to get a new favorite?

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Ah you know, fashion is fashion.