Guoshou (国手, lit. national hand) was a title of strength recognition bestowed upon the top players in ancient and classical Chinese go. The term is usually seen as a less restrictive form of the Japanese meijin title, in that many players across the country could have the title simultaneously. This was a result of the lack of national institutions present (unlike classical Japanese go) to establish a single guoshou among the many local/regional ones. Nonetheless, occasionally near-national consensus could be reached to declare the top guoshou, or daguoshou (大国手), such as in the case of Guo Bailing. Stories of guoshous challenging each other and the outcomes are the main ways that historians have to try to determine who the 'top' guoshou(s) might have been during a given period.
The following players were given the guoshou title (incomplete and unordered list):
- Liu Zhongfu?
- Fan Junfu
- Liang Weijin
- Lin Fuqing
- Guo Bailing
- Wang Hannian
- Xu Zaizhong
- Zhou Lanyu
- Shi Yexue
- Wang Xuansuo
- Zhu Yuting
- Sheng Dayou?
- Huang Longshi - called guoshou at 16.
- Zhou Donghou
- Xu Xingyou
- Yao Shusheng - called guoshou at 15.
- Fan Xiping - called guoshou at 16.
- Shi Dingan
- Chen Zixian
- Zhou Xiaosong?
- Gu Shuiru
- A modern tournament called the Guoshou Tournament ran from 1981-1987.
- A modern tournament called the Daguoshou Tournament ran from 1993-1994.
- See also: the Korean version, kuksu.
unkx80: In normal usage, 国手 refers to either national champion or representative of one's country.