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 Post subject: Re: Can I become pro? Two questions.
Post #21 Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:04 pm 
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gowan wrote:
Kerwin went to Japan to study to become a pro at some time after graduation from college.


I seem to recall that one of Kerwin's primary methods for getting stronger was to play stronger players as much as possible. I may be imagining things, though.

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 Post subject: Re: Can I become pro? Two questions.
Post #22 Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:06 pm 
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To enter the Dan class is already a nice achievement that only few ama players reach (2-3% maybe?), even in Asian countries if you consider how many players did play the game there.
Aiming to be between them is already a nice first hard target,before aiming to be the Picasso, the Gaudi or the Bocuse of the go world.


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Post #23 Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:33 pm 
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Vio wrote:
To enter the Dan class is already a nice achievement that only few ama players reach (2-3% maybe?), even in Asian countries if you consider how many players did play the game there.
Aiming to be between them is already a nice first hard target,before aiming to be the Picasso, the Gaudi or the Bocuse of the go world.


Well, there are amateur players and amateur players. If we include occasional players and casual players, I expect that the percentage of dan players is minuscule. But if we include regular online players, I think that the percentage is much higher. OC, the percentage of dan players on any server is variable, but to reach the top 5% of online players you probably have to reach something like 4 dan. (That's what I found some years ago on KGS.)

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 Post subject: Re: Can I become pro? Two questions.
Post #24 Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 2:40 am 
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Some people are not in the stats because they are no longer active. The European Go Database has some stats:
http://www.europeangodatabase.eu/EGD/EG ... system.php

As of Jan 2019, there are 6752 active players, among which 1073 (16%) with a Go Rating 2050 or above (i.e. 1d or above). The top 5% have a GoR 2304 or above (GoR 2304 is in the middle of 3d).

However, the total number of players who ever participated in an European tournament is 42287. Among these, 3162 (7%) are dan players.

Of course, among the 5679 currently active kyu players, a few hundred will reach dan level in the future, so my guess is that among all players who are active enough to participate in a tournament, about 10% are or will be at least 1d EGF, and about 5% are or will be at least 2d EGF.

See also here https://idex.github.io/go-rank-survey/g ... mean-ranks
a comparison between various ranking systems.


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 Post subject: Re: Can I become pro? Two questions.
Post #25 Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 3:47 am 
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Here's an indirect way of assessing whether you are budding pro material. It's from Michael Redmond's autobiography. When Michael was 11, Iwamoto visited his hometown Santa Barbara and gave a lecture to a crowd of strong players, including some Japanese or nisei. As Michael was so small he had to perch on the knee of Richard Dolen just to see - Dolen was a high-dan player and (I think) possibly the best American player at the time. He acted as Michael's mentor.

Iwamoto presented the following problem. Black to play.



Although Michael phrased this the Japanese way as "virtually no-one could solve it," he seems to have been the only one and was called out to demonstrate the answer. He elicited high praise from Iwamoto, who shortly after became Michael's "second teacher" when Michael was invited to train as a pro in Japan.

What is interesting to me is that Michael seems not to have regarded this as a hard problem. The book is not clear on the specifics of timing, but Michael seems to have been more interested in WHY Iwamoto chose that problem for the lecture. He deduced that it must have been just to show an interesting facet of go. In other words, there seems to have been be a hint of "why show such an easy problem?" in his young mind.


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 Post subject: Re: Can I become pro? Two questions.
Post #26 Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:27 am 
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jlt wrote:
Some people are not in the stats because they are no longer active. The European Go Database has some stats:

Active? Not only. Simply not registered I would say. Hard to guess in a precise way but surely not people to neglect. Who knows? 10 times more players?

One main concern to be registered is to be allowed to play tournaments so I do expect a higher pourcentage of Dan players.


Starting by the level of the OP, I think it makes sense to aim at 2%, well, more sense as already restricting the population by criteria he doesn't fulfill yet!
as 99% of these players will still beat him.

So beating in some years 98% of these could be an ambitious and rewarding first step to aim at!


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 Post subject: Re: Can I become pro? Two questions.
Post #27 Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 5:22 am 
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John Fairbairn wrote:
Here's an indirect way of assessing whether you are budding pro material.


I think that you are being unfair to Buendía. I doubt if Redmond had played as little go at the time as Buendía has now.

Quote:
Dolen was a high-dan player and (I think) possibly the best American player at the time. He acted as Michael's mentor.


Nothing against Richard, but he was not the best American player then, not even the best American born player. He may have been the best US Caucasian, but Bruce Wilcox could probably have given him a run for his money.

Quote:
Iwamoto presented the following problem. Black to play.



Although Michael phrased this the Japanese way as "virtually no-one could solve it," he seems to have been the only one and was called out to demonstrate the answer. He elicited high praise from Iwamoto, who shortly after became Michael's "second teacher" when Michael was invited to train as a pro in Japan.


This is a fun problem for any aspiring pro to play around with. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Can I become pro? Two questions.
Post #28 Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:21 am 
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EdLee wrote:

Amazing!

gowan wrote:
There have been Western amateurs who managed to become pro in one or another Asian country. The first two were Manfred Wimmer (Germany) and James Kerwin (USA). Kerwin got his pro status in Japan from the Nihon Ki-in by special recommendation. He won the 1p section of an early Kisei tournament, which showed that his pro status was justified. Wimmer got his pro status from the Kansai Ki-in and subsequently he earned promotion to 2p. I don't know the ages of these two people exactly, certainly in their twenties at least if not thirties. Kerwin went to Japan to study to become a pro at some time after graduation from college. I think both Kerwin and Wimmer got their status by some method other than fighting through the qualification tournament. Michael Redmond went to Japan from the USA at age 13 to study to become a pro. He became a shodan through the insei system, as most Asian youngsters do, and rose rather rapidly through the pro ranks, eventually reaching 9p, the only person not from the Asian Go countries to reach 9p. People over 30 would no doubt have to get some sort of special promotion to become 1p.

If one wishes to study with a pro there are various ways to do that without going to Asia. Yilun Yang, Chinese 7p, lives in the Los Angeles area and teaches online. Guo Juan, Chinese 5p, lives in Holland and also teaches online. There are various other pros in the USA or Europe who teach online or in person. This page on the AGA website lists a number of pro teachers: http://www.usgo.org/go-professionals-us-and-canada

Your post is absolute gold!

Kirby wrote:
I don't recall exactly, but I think it took me 4 or 5 years to get to 1d? Not quite sure - I'm not that talented at go, so it took me awhile. I remember I had studied go for 6 months after first learning the rules, then taught the game to my college roommate, who proceeded to beat me in his first game.

I do believe that my getting to 1d was from deliberate study (mostly tsumego). I had the very clear goal of breaking 1d on KGS.

I've been between KGS 1d and 2d for probably 10 years now. Technically, I got to AGA 3d at one point, but I typically believed my KGS ranking more, because I don't play that many tournaments.

Thank you very much, Kirby!

Vio wrote:
To enter the Dan class is already a nice achievement that only few ama players reach (2-3% maybe?), even in Asian countries if you consider how many players did play the game there.
Aiming to be between them is already a nice first hard target,before aiming to be the Picasso, the Gaudi or the Bocuse of the go world.

I agree.

John Fairbairn wrote:
Iwamoto presented the following problem. Black to play.




???

Bill Spight wrote:
John Fairbairn wrote:
Here's an indirect way of assessing whether you are budding pro material.


I think that you are being unfair to Buendía.

Well, I did come here inquiring about becoming a pro. I was kind of asking for some "unfairness." And so far I am really enjoying it. :]

Bill Spight wrote:
I doubt if Redmond had played as little go at the time as Buendía has now.

Come on! I have been playing for almost one month now! An average of just one game per day so far, because of some special circumstances, and mostly on 9x9, but still! ;]

Bill Spight wrote:
Quote:
Iwamoto presented the following problem. Black to play.



Although Michael phrased this the Japanese way as "virtually no-one could solve it," he seems to have been the only one and was called out to demonstrate the answer. He elicited high praise from Iwamoto, who shortly after became Michael's "second teacher" when Michael was invited to train as a pro in Japan.


This is a fun problem for any aspiring pro to play around with. :D

I knew I was missing something.


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 Post subject: Re: Can I become pro? Two questions.
Post #29 Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:05 am 
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Your turn. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Can I become pro? Two questions.
Post #30 Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:54 am 
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Bill Spight wrote:
Your turn. :)

Of course...

Hang on.

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 Post subject: Re: Can I become pro? Two questions.
Post #31 Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:17 pm 
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It's odd how few people come to the forum asking how to become a professional Go promoter, organizer, journalist, or donor. Those are worthy challenges, too, with fewer age-related obstacles. ;-)

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 Post subject: Re: Can I become pro? Two questions.
Post #32 Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:57 pm 
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John Fairbairn wrote:
Here's an indirect way of assessing whether you are budding pro material.
Bill Spight wrote:
Your turn. :)

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$c
$$ -------------------------------
$$ | . . . . O X X . 1 . . X X O .
$$ | . . . . O X X . . . . X X O .
$$ | . . . . O O O X X X X O O O .
$$ | . . . , . . . O O , O . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . O . . . .[/go]

J19. I really can't see how White can kill if Black starts with J19. I tried variations, racked my brain until it threatened to join my lungs in the struggle for freedom, but I can't. So, this is it. I would play J19 in a tournament. I guess I'm no budding pro material after all. Sorry, Cho Chikun, I've failed you. Forgive me, o Haylee, muse of each and every one of us, for not being able to live up to your inspiration. I will do better next time!

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 Post subject: Re: Can I become pro? Two questions.
Post #33 Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 2:47 pm 
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Aureliano Buendía wrote:
John Fairbairn wrote:
Here's an indirect way of assessing whether you are budding pro material.
Bill Spight wrote:
Your turn. :)

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$c
$$ -------------------------------
$$ | . . . . O X X . 1 . . X X O .
$$ | . . . . O X X . . . . X X O .
$$ | . . . . O O O X X X X O O O .
$$ | . . . , . . . O O , O . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . O . . . .[/go]

J19. I really can't see how White can kill if Black starts with J19. I tried variations

No offense but by only looking? Because if a pro liked to show it in public it's essentially because this "under the stones" is a bit harder to read as others... And very tempting to use a demo tool...


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 Post subject: Re: Can I become pro? Two questions.
Post #34 Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 3:01 pm 
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Vio wrote:
No offense but by only looking? Because if a pro liked to show it in public it's essentially because this "under the stones" is a bit harder to read as others... And very tempting to use a demo tool...

None taken, and I wasn't trying to give any or show disrespect for the amount of effort that being able to solve that takes either. But I thought I was supposed to try and solve it in my mind only. I guess I'm out of the tournament for now, but I will try again when I am well-rested and well-fed, following any recommendations I get about how I should approach it other than only looking.


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 Post subject: Re: Can I become pro? Two questions.
Post #35 Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:43 pm 
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Aureliano Buendía wrote:
John Fairbairn wrote:
Here's an indirect way of assessing whether you are budding pro material.
Bill Spight wrote:
Your turn. :)

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$c
$$ -------------------------------
$$ | . . . . O X X . 1 . . X X O .
$$ | . . . . O X X . . . . X X O .
$$ | . . . . O O O X X X X O O O .
$$ | . . . , . . . O O , O . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . O . . . .[/go]

J19. I really can't see how White can kill if Black starts with J19. I tried variations, racked my brain until it threatened to join my lungs in the struggle for freedom, but I can't. So, this is it. I would play J19 in a tournament. I guess I'm no budding pro material after all. Sorry, Cho Chikun, I've failed you. Forgive me, o Haylee, muse of each and every one of us, for not being able to live up to your inspiration. I will do better next time!


I actually meant for you to make the next move. :)

But you have decided on a possible solution. Showing just one move is not enough. Just because you don't see how White can prevent Black from making life does not mean that White cannot do it. Please show at least the main line of your solution. Best would be to add a variation or two to the SGF file. As you did with your first try. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Can I become pro? Two questions.
Post #36 Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 6:00 pm 
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A small-ish hint, if one wants it:

Was the decision of the problem's creator to leave the K16 liberty open a conscious one, or does it not matter?

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Post #37 Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 2:13 am 
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Calvin Clark wrote:
It's odd how few people come to the forum asking how to become a professional Go promoter, organizer, journalist, or donor. Those are worthy challenges, too, with fewer age-related obstacles. ;-)


I leave all these jobs for low level professionals because I know they have hard time to get some money.

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Post #38 Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 2:58 am 
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In response to the OP, here's a question:

"Would you be willing to devote the next ten years of your life to playing and studying Go for at least 8 hours a day, preferably in an environment where you are surrounded by peers, because in isolation you may have to double the effort, without the certainty to become a pro, rather the likelihood being very low due to your circumstances?"

The odds are probably better for a 30 year old to become a professional go player than to become a professional football player, because the mind can be stretched a little more than the body, but not much better. On the other hand, the odds are probably a little worse than becoming a professional mathematician.

As Kirby said, aiming for pro may get you a little further than aiming for 1d, although I'm not convinced that aiming for anything will do the trick. Because the trick is the doing, not the dreaming.

However, dreaming in itself is one of the joys of being a human being. When my wife and I run out of conversation, we bring up the old question "what would we do if we won the lottery". It never gets old.

Then again, basing your decisions on unlikely dreams, is more likely to make you very unhappy. Which is why the original question is a wise one and the wisdom you get from this crowd is "don't try".


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 Post subject: Re: Can I become pro? Two questions.
Post #39 Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:52 am 
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If you want to become a pro, you can do so today!

Most people who aim to become pro are thinking more towards the teaching pro range of strength (traditionally 1p to 5p).*
This helps maintain human knowledge of the game.

An insei is like an Apprentice Pro-- or Amateur Professional (an amateur at being a pro, a de facto pro who hasn't gained her pro qualification yet, etc...). So once you've used all your roots, perhaps you should join an insei program to:

--practice pro attitude
--fix bad habits a gain solid fundamentals
--develop a pro routine?

Enabling you to teach better. These also act as counterbalances to thinking about rank and winning.
In addition, you can train everyday by seeing everything you do through a 'go lens' and having go philosophy*
You want to learn fundamentals before to many bad habits kick in, so look at pro games to find patterns even as a beginner.*

A pro qualification is like a Phd* for teaching go as a professor. It just happens some are strong enough to play competitively :).

If you want go around winning tournaments, then you're looking to be a * Professional Amateur (A pro at being an amateur). You can learn how you want, when you when, focus on having fun to counterbalance rank and winning.

Perhaps the counter balances in the pro method naturally leads to stronger players.

So, be a pro! Decide to be an apprentice pro today, and get some pro teaching if you can. At any point, you can revert to being a pro amateur-- perhaps when you think you've reached your strength cap, or want to take a break from intense study. It's the ying and yang of pro and amateur mode.

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 Post subject: Re: Can I become pro? Two questions.
Post #40 Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:35 pm 
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Knotwilg wrote:
The odds are probably better for a 30 year old to become a professional go player than to become a professional football player, because the mind can be stretched a little more than the body, but not much better.


I am am wondering how much the mind really declines at 30 or 40 years old. If it's 5% or 10%, maybe it's much less problematic than in sports. If you run 10% slower then you are not competitive anymore, but if you learn 10% slower then you can still reach a high level in any intellectual domain.

So if someone has some information about the magnitude of the decline of cognitive functions, expressed as a percentage (10% ? 20% ? More ?) I would be interested.

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