The Hanguk Kiweon has introduced the country's first ranking system for its own professional players. This is to treat go more like a sport. Fans can now follow the fortunes of Tiger Yi or Veejay Ch'oe just as golf fans follow the Sony world rankings.
The Hanguk Kiweon's system is not a world system - not yet, anyway. It is still "beta version 1.0". But it has been designed after carefully looking at the systems in use for soccer, tennis and golf, as well as the rather different systems used in China and Japan. Go journalists and administrators also had a chance to comment.
The plan was hatched in June 2004. The program was completed in July 2005, and a month later the first list was announced. Now it is all about public reaction. The program will be reviewed in a few months, or after a year if progress is good.
The first list was published on 8 August 2005, but subsequent lists will be published on the 1st of every month. Only the top 50 players will be listed.
The description here is based on the information on the Hanguk Kiweon site. It is an imperfect description there. In part it is meant to be: it explicitly says that certain data to do with the weighting of tournaments will not be released. Presumably this is to protect the sensitivity of sponsors. Limiting the published list to the top 50 players is possibly a means of preventing anyone frpm working out the weighting data by reverse engineering. There are several other hazy points. Pending clarification of these, however, the details on the next page will at least be sufficient to get a feel of what the system is meant to do.
On the pages after that the monthly lists are given. These show the players' scores and the number of places up or down a player has moved since the previous month. Players moving into the list from outside the top 50 are simply shown as new entries without specifying the number of places jumped.
Quick links to each month: