Monday, March 19, 2012

Professional Profiles: Xihe Luo

Xihe Luo 9p

Xihe Luo is a 9 dan professional with the Chinese Go Federation. He has a very interesting style of Go.  He always plays his own moves, and challenges conventional wisdom, coming up with new moves and strategies which leave his opponents scratching their heads.  Xihe was born November 23, 1977 and became a professional in 1989.  His accolades include winning the 10th Samsung Cup by defeating Changho Lee in a nail-biter of a game as well as winning the CCTV Cup and other tournaments.  Xihe is known as the "King of Ko," because he always knows how to use kos to his advantage and also can find sequences to turn a position into a ko where others might not.  Sometimes Xihe's style can blow up in his face.  There have been games where his free mindedness has handed him a loss, but that never deters him in the slightest.  If you want to study excellent examples of sabaki (playing lightly in area where you are greatly outnumbered), then Xihe's games are a great place to start.  He plays for territory and keeps his stones low, so he is excellent at dealing with large moyos.  If invading large moyos is a problem you find yourself having in your games, then reviewing his matches will offer you some tips.