I've added this page because I couldn't find any complete reference on who the non-East Asian go professionals are. I'll try to keep updating this page as soon as new western go players earns a professional degree, and with baduk increasing in worldwide popularity, hopefully this will happen more than a couple of times. If someone pass me by, let me know on my twitter: twitter.com/Fredrik9000 or leave a comment. Please note that Asian professionals that have moved out of their countries are not included, like Guo Juan who now resides in the Netherlands, Fan Hui who lives in France, or Mingjiu Jiang who lives in the US.

Professionals through Asian go associations

  • Michael Redmond(1963-): American born and the only western go player to achieve a 9 dan professional rank. He became a professional through the Japanese Go Association(Nihon Ki-in) when he was 18 years old. He moved to Japan in 1979 when he became an insei and has lived there ever since.
  • Catalin Taranu(1973-): Romanian 5 dan professional. He got his professional rank through the Nihon Ki-in in 1997, making him the first European to pass the professional examination.
  • Hans Reinhard Pietsch(1968-2003): Hans Reinard Pietsch was a German 4 dan professional player, who became professional at the Nihon Ki-in in 1997. He died in the hospital shortly after haven gotten shot by armed robbers in 2003. After his death he was promoted to 6 dan.
  • Alexandre Dinerchtein(1980-): A Russian born player that became professional in 2002 with the Hankuk Ki-won, also known as the Korean Baduk Association. In 2008 he became 3 dan. His professional rank is an honorary rank, given to him because of his contributions to spreading go in Europe. Alexandre Dinerchtein is a seven time European go champion.
  • Janice Kim(1969-): Janice Kim is an American born 3 dan professional player at the Korean Baduk Association. She became a professional shodan in 1987.
  • Svetlana Shikshina(1980-): Svetlana is a Russian born 3 dan professional through the Korean Baduk Association. She achieved a 1 dan professional rank in 2002.
  • Manfred Wimmer(1944-1995): Born in Austria and was the first ever western go professional. He was promoted to 1 dan and later 2 dan in 1978, and died in 1995. He became a professional at the Japanese Kansai Ki-in.
  • Diana Koszegi(1983-): Hungarian born 1 dan professional at the Korean Baduk Association. She became a professional in 2008.
  • James Kervin(1946-): James Kervin is an American 1 dan professional. He achieved his professional rank in 1978 at the Japanese Go Association.
  • Joanne Missingham(1994-): Australian born 6 dan professional. She was promoted to professional 1 dan in 2008, 2 dan in 2010, 5 dan in 2011 and 6 dan in 2012 for winning 70 times as a 5 dan professinoal player. Although she was born in Australia, Joanne moved to Taiwan when she was 4 years old, and later to San Diego, California in 2005. Among her achievements is becoming the Taiwanese female go champion in 2006.
  • Maria Zakharchenko(?-): From Ukraine. She became a professional at the Korean Baduk Association in January 2013.
  • Francis Meyer(1990-): An american 1 dan professional player. He became a professional at the Kansai Kiin by passing the pro exam in 2014. He was an insei at the Kansai Kiin from January 2004 to February 2009.

Professionals through EGF and AGA

In 2012 the American go association(AGA), and in 2014, the European go federation(EGF) started to name their own professional players through tournaments. I don't believe these people are paid or anything like that, so it's not really the same as becoming a pro in Asia, although they do get to enter some professional competitions.


  • Pavol Lisy(1995-): Slovak 1 dan professional, became the winner of the first European pro tournament, held in 2014.
  • Ali Jabarin(1993-): Israeli 1 dan professional, finished second place at the first pro tournament.
  • Ilja Shikshin(1990-): Russian 1 dan professional. The winner of the second pro tournament, held in 2015.
  • Mateusz Surma(1995-): Polish 1 dan professional. He finished second place at the second European pro tournament.


  • Andy Liu(1991-): American 1 dan professional, became a pro at the first AGA pro tournament, held in 2012.
  • Gangsheng Shi(1993 or 1994?-): Canadian 1 dan professional, became a pro at the first AGA pro tournament.
  • Calvin Sun(2000?-): American 1 dan professional. He became a pro by winning the second AGA pro tournament, held in 2014.
  • Ryan Li(1994-): Canadian 1 dan professional. He won the third AGA pro tournament, held in 2015.