It is currently Sat May 27, 2017 8:36 am

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 17 posts ] 
Author Message
Offline
 Post subject: Why are young pros stronger than old pros?
Post #1 Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 2:32 pm 
Dies in gote

Posts: 37
Liked others: 5
Was liked: 3
Why are young pros stronger than old pros? By stronger I mean "more successful in wining titles".

Does it have to do with short time limits, such that as one gets older their reading gets weaker/slower? If so, would increasing the time limits lower the "age gap"?

In principle, as one accumulates more experience over the years, they should also get wiser and be able to make better decisions during a game, but that doesn't seem to translate well in terms of winning.
Why not, what does this go community think about this topic?

Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Why are young pros stronger than old pros?
Post #2 Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 3:11 pm 
Lives in sente

Posts: 1174
Liked others: 224
Was liked: 313
Rank: 5d
GD Posts: 1000
This is too black and white. Some young pros beat some older pros, it's not a general thing. As it happens, in Japan, older pros have a better chance at beating young upstarts in rapid tournaments, like the TV tournaments.


This post by gowan was liked by: alphaville
Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Why are young pros stronger than old pros?
Post #3 Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:26 pm 
Dies in gote

Posts: 37
Liked others: 5
Was liked: 3
gowan wrote:
This is too black and white. Some young pros beat some older pros, it's not a general thing. As it happens, in Japan, older pros have a better chance at beating young upstarts in rapid tournaments, like the TV tournaments.


Sure, I didn't mean it as a black and white statement. If we look at the average age of current title-holders for both international and domestic tournaments, I am pretty sure it will be some low number (25 or so, my best guess). And the best rated player, Ke Jie, is 19 (or 20).

I am wondering why adding 10 or 20 years of experience doesn't translate into better chance of winning. Is it possible that it is because go is always changing as a "science" and as one ages, it is harder for them to adapt?

Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Why are young pros stronger than old pros?
Post #4 Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:55 pm 
Lives in sente

Posts: 1174
Liked others: 224
Was liked: 313
Rank: 5d
GD Posts: 1000
It could be related to concentration. A young mind can, with training, concentrate longer than an older one. Contemporary go tends to be more complex, with complicated fights, which would give an edge to players who concentrate better. Complex fights do not favor the intuition built up over decades of playing, hence giving an edge to the younger players. I think it is interesting that contemporary top players burn out way earlier than a few decades ago.


This post by gowan was liked by: alphaville
Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Why are young pros stronger than old pros?
Post #5 Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:14 pm 
Dies in gote

Posts: 37
Liked others: 5
Was liked: 3
gowan wrote:
It could be related to concentration. A young mind can, with training, concentrate longer than an older one. Contemporary go tends to be more complex, with complicated fights, which would give an edge to players who concentrate better. Complex fights do not favor the intuition built up over decades of playing, hence giving an edge to the younger players. I think it is interesting that contemporary top players burn out way earlier than a few decades ago.


Indeed, reading about go history in Japan, one will definitely be puzzled by the fact that in the early/mid 20th century pros used to take titles at older ages. It looks like go became more and more of a "young lion's game".
Concentration alone doesn't explain it, something must have changed in the essence of go from early 20th century to now. Maybe it became more aggressive as you say, switched from being more of an art to more of a sport?
I am still not entirely happy with this explanation either, since even in the past go involved extremely deep reading, so concentration should have still favored younger players.

Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Why are young pros stronger than old pros?
Post #6 Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:58 pm 
Oza

Posts: 3975
Location: North Carolina
Liked others: 393
Was liked: 653
Rank: AGA 3k
GD Posts: 65
OGS: Hyperpape 4k
gowan wrote:
I think it is interesting that contemporary top players burn out way earlier than a few decades ago.
I have been wondering about this for awhile. How much of this is a reflection of the tendency to glorify the "next big thing" as opposed to the actual best players burning out? If you look at the best of the best of the recent Korean/Chinese dominated era, they have real longevity. Gu Li, Lee Changho and Lee Sedol all were near the top until their mid 30s. It will be interesting to see what happens to Ke Jie and Park Junghwan now.

Now, Sakata would not be impressed by a player being near the top in his mid-30s, so something has changed. It seems that players are reaching their peak much earlier, but I'm not sure that the time a truly top-tier player can remain near the pinnacle has necessarily changed so much.

_________________
Occupy Babel!


This post by hyperpape was liked by: alphaville
Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Why are young pros stronger than old pros?
Post #7 Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:57 pm 
Dies in gote

Posts: 37
Liked others: 5
Was liked: 3
hyperpape wrote:
gowan wrote:
I think it is interesting that contemporary top players burn out way earlier than a few decades ago.
I have been wondering about this for awhile. How much of this is a reflection of the tendency to glorify the "next big thing" as opposed to the actual best players burning out? If you look at the best of the best of the recent Korean/Chinese dominated era, they have real longevity. Gu Li, Lee Changho and Lee Sedol all were near the top until their mid 30s. It will be interesting to see what happens to Ke Jie and Park Junghwan now.

Now, Sakata would not be impressed by a player being near the top in his mid-30s, so something has changed. It seems that players are reaching their peak much earlier, but I'm not sure that the time a truly top-tier player can remain near the pinnacle has necessarily changed so much.


Actually, mid-30s is still young, compared to the ages at which Sakata-era best players were taking titles.
In Sakata's time two-day title games were more the norm. I was tempted to associate longer thinking matches with older players having a better chance, but then I remember reading somewhere how two-day games are really exhausting and taxing for one's body, so that explanation goes down the drain as well...

Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Why are young pros stronger than old pros?
Post #8 Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 5:57 am 
Lives in sente

Posts: 1174
Liked others: 224
Was liked: 313
Rank: 5d
GD Posts: 1000
hyperpape wrote:
gowan wrote:
I think it is interesting that contemporary top players burn out way earlier than a few decades ago.


Now, Sakata would not be impressed by a player being near the top in his mid-30s, so something has changed. It seems that players are reaching their peak much earlier, but I'm not sure that the time a truly top-tier player can remain near the pinnacle has necessarily changed so much.


With the data bases available now it should be possible to check this. Say define top-tier in terms of holding a major title, and see how long each player holds at least one title. It has to be done carefully because there could be short gaps when a player might not hold any title but went on winning titles after that. Maybe count how many years in which the cumulative career average number of titles held is at least one.

Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Why are young pros stronger than old pros?
Post #9 Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 6:17 am 
Lives in gote

Posts: 432
Liked others: 29
Was liked: 149
GD Posts: 10
I think Elo reflect the word 'strength' better than winning title
Image
(Data from April 1)

Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Why are young pros stronger than old pros?
Post #10 Posted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 6:54 am 
Oza

Posts: 3951
Location: Cambridge, UK
Liked others: 137
Was liked: 1936
Rank: UK 4 dan
KGS: Uberdude 4d
OGS: Uberdude 7d
gowan wrote:
With the data bases available now it should be possible to check this. Say define top-tier in terms of holding a major title, and see how long each player holds at least one title. It has to be done carefully because there could be short gaps when a player might not hold any title but went on winning titles after that. Maybe count how many years in which the cumulative career average number of titles held is at least one.


http://senseis.xmp.net/?InternationalTi ... cs%2FTable can sort of help you do that internationally. I made a coloured version in which each player was a unique shade of colour (and nationalities were similar colours) which makes it a lot easier to spot trends and longevity, but unfortunately my ISP deleted my webspace and I've never got round to resurrecting it.

These last few years with the depth of talent in China's young pros you often get a different person winning each international tournament. Lee Sedol averaged more than a title a year from 2002 to 2015, Gu Li 2006-2010 (and one in 2015), Kong Jie 2009-2011, and Ke Jie 2015-2016 but other than them recent winners appear as one/two-hit-wonders, though of course we know Park Junghwan has been a top 3 player for the last 5 years (and he'd look better if you included Korean domestic titles). Looking back a bit more we can see Lee Changho's reign from 1992 to 2007, Cho Hunhyun 1994-2002 (despite dominating Korea in the 80s before Lee Changho's rise, the bulk of his international titles came around 2000, plus of course the 1st Ing cup in 1989).

Edit: for more historical ratings in a very nicely done video visualisation showing the top 10 players in the world by Whole History Rating (what goratings.org uses) see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRvlyEpOQ-8&. You can even see Sakta in there aged 55 in the early 70s, the rise of Kobayashi, Kato, Otake, Cho Chikun, Nie breaking the Japanese hegemony, Cho Hunhyun and then the incredible dominance of Lee Changho far ahead of the pack for a decade, and then more recent top players like Gu Li, Lee Sedol, Park Junghwan etc.

Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Why are young pros stronger than old pros?
Post #11 Posted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:55 am 
Oza

Posts: 3975
Location: North Carolina
Liked others: 393
Was liked: 653
Rank: AGA 3k
GD Posts: 65
OGS: Hyperpape 4k
alphaville wrote:
Actually, mid-30s is still young, compared to the ages at which Sakata-era best players were taking titles.
That's what I meant. Sakata would not have thought mid-30s was impressive longevity. But unlike today's top players, the top players of that era weren't taking titles in their teens. If a superb player then won titles from 30 to 60, and a superb player today wins titles from 17 to 35, that's a shortened lifespan, but it's exaggerated if we just compare the top line numbers of 60 and 35.
alphaville wrote:
In Sakata's time two-day title games were more the norm. I was tempted to associate longer thinking matches with older players having a better chance, but then I remember reading somewhere how two-day games are really exhausting and taxing for one's body, so that explanation goes down the drain as well...
Two day tournaments were grueling, but I think there were fewer games played in those times, so there was more down time in which to avoid fatigue. Being able to recover quickly is a huge part of what you lose as you get older. Japan plays fewer games per year than China or Korea. Do they have older players because it's easier to retain your stamina and stay competitive with fewer games, or because they lack the young super strong players that China and Korea are fielding?

_________________
Occupy Babel!

Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Why are young pros stronger than old pros?
Post #12 Posted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:37 am 
Lives in sente

Posts: 847
Location: Central Coast
Liked others: 201
Was liked: 330
Rank: KGS [-]
GD Posts: 428
hyperpape wrote:
alphaville wrote:
Actually, mid-30s is still young, compared to the ages at which Sakata-era best players were taking titles.
That's what I meant. Sakata would not have thought mid-30s was impressive longevity. But unlike today's top players, the top players of that era weren't taking titles in their teens. If a superb player then won titles from 30 to 60, and a superb player today wins titles from 17 to 35, that's a shortened lifespan, but it's exaggerated if we just compare the top line numbers of 60 and 35.
alphaville wrote:
In Sakata's time two-day title games were more the norm. I was tempted to associate longer thinking matches with older players having a better chance, but then I remember reading somewhere how two-day games are really exhausting and taxing for one's body, so that explanation goes down the drain as well...
Two day tournaments were grueling, but I think there were fewer games played in those times, so there was more down time in which to avoid fatigue. Being able to recover quickly is a huge part of what you lose as you get older. Japan plays fewer games per year than China or Korea. Do they have older players because it's easier to retain your stamina and stay competitive with fewer games, or because they lack the young super strong players that China and Korea are fielding?


Being not as familiar with the nuts and bolts of some of the international titles I'm curious, are we making an apples to apples comparison here? In Japan, the young guy would have to have a sustained pattern of success (winning multiple leagues) for years before even getting a shot at the title, while the older guys may have already paid their dues and have a lower barrier.

Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Why are young pros stronger than old pros?
Post #13 Posted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:48 am 
Judan

Posts: 7349
Liked others: 1335
Was liked: 1121
KGS: Kirby
Tygem: 커비라고해
Never really comparing apples to apples when comparing between countries, since the systems are different.

_________________
Discipline is remembering what you want. -David Campbell

Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Why are young pros stronger than old pros?
Post #14 Posted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 4:35 pm 
Oza

Posts: 3975
Location: North Carolina
Liked others: 393
Was liked: 653
Rank: AGA 3k
GD Posts: 65
OGS: Hyperpape 4k
Mef, could you elaborate? There are differences, but I'm not sure how you think they might matter. I can think of at least two possibilities, but am not sure if they're what you mean.

_________________
Occupy Babel!

Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Why are young pros stronger than old pros?
Post #15 Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:13 am 
Lives in sente

Posts: 847
Location: Central Coast
Liked others: 201
Was liked: 330
Rank: KGS [-]
GD Posts: 428
hyperpape wrote:
Mef, could you elaborate? There are differences, but I'm not sure how you think they might matter. I can think of at least two possibilities, but am not sure if they're what you mean.


As I've understood it, most of the Japanese titles have a challenger who comes out of a league, and to get into that league you need to have done well in the lower level league the year prior...and to get into that league you need to have done well in an earlier league, etc....basically, a new pro has no mechanism for winning the title until they've been in the system for several years.

One the other hand, many of the Chinese and Korean challengers are decided by a knockout tournament with seeding. So while a new player may have a much harder road (with several extra games) there is at least a theoretical path to a title in any given year that they are in the qualifier.

Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Why are young pros stronger than old pros?
Post #16 Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:50 am 
Oza

Posts: 3975
Location: North Carolina
Liked others: 393
Was liked: 653
Rank: AGA 3k
GD Posts: 65
OGS: Hyperpape 4k
Mef wrote:
hyperpape wrote:
Mef, could you elaborate? There are differences, but I'm not sure how you think they might matter. I can think of at least two possibilities, but am not sure if they're what you mean.


As I've understood it, most of the Japanese titles have a challenger who comes out of a league, and to get into that league you need to have done well in the lower level league the year prior...and to get into that league you need to have done well in an earlier league, etc....basically, a new pro has no mechanism for winning the title until they've been in the system for several years.

One the other hand, many of the Chinese and Korean challengers are decided by a knockout tournament with seeding. So while a new player may have a much harder road (with several extra games) there is at least a theoretical path to a title in any given year that they are in the qualifier.
Yes, I think that this can reduce the chances of young players winning titles, though I'm not sure what the timeline about going through the preliminaries is for Japanese tournaments. For the Gosei/Judan/Oza/Tengen, you go from a last preliminary tournament to the main tournament in the same year (this year's Oza had 34 players in the last preliminary), so that's not as restrictive, but the Kisei/Honinbo/Meijin leagues do give you a pretty steep slope to climb to reach the league and then challenge.

However, the point about older players hanging on longer in Japan isn't just about titles, it's also that in terms of strength as measured by the ratings and head to head matches, the older players are hanging on longer.

_________________
Occupy Babel!

Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Why are young pros stronger than old pros?
Post #17 Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 2:46 pm 
Beginner

Posts: 3
Liked others: 0
Was liked: 0
The way that players learn has changed a lot. Professionals now play online a lot. They also study in groups much more than in the past. And study materials such as game records and problems are very accessible to Asian pros/insei. The end result is that studying is probably a lot more efficient than it used to be during the 20th century. I imagine that having many years of experience, despite some deterioration in the ability to read/concentrate, had more value in the past than today as a result: It took a lot longer to gain the same amount of knowledge compared to nowadays.

I have a feeling that the depth of talent going into the pro system has declined in Japan (having peaked around the 1960s-1980s probably). I suspect this may be one reason that older pros can still do well there; whereas the talent pool of Korean and especially Chinese pros has actually increased a lot in the 21st century, which makes older players even less competitive as a consequence: The older players' skills have declined, and the new pros are also that much stronger.


Last edited by listens on Thu Apr 27, 2017 9:45 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 17 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group