Liao Xingwen (寥行文, Hanyu Pinyin: Liáo Xíngwén, born in December 1994) became a Chinese professional in July 2006 at the age of 12. As of October 2008, he has a rank of professional 2 dan. In 2010 (July) he was promoted 4 dan. In august 2011 he was promoted 5 dan.
Liao was 8 years old in February 2002, and "continues to improve from his grade of 4-dan achieved at the MSO4 Open in August 2000." This remarkable youngster began playing at the age of 5, and has been a live-in pupil of Chinese pros Liu Yajie and her husband, Wang Hongjun since July 1999. (He reportedly argued with his parents until they consented to let him live away from home.) This child prodigy studies go for several hours a day, and plans to turn pro. His teachers expect great things of him, though of course it's impossible to predict how far he'll eventually go.
There are some pictures, taken during his 2000 visit to London, show him playing the leading computer Go program.
In August 2005 he won in the junior (under 12) category of the World Youth Goe Championship in Barcelona.
John Fairbairn: Xingwen's first teachers have run out of things to teach him and so have just passed him on to Nie Weiping's school in Beijing (Feb 2002). He has improved to about 5-dan, not as much as hoped but he can now count fast.
Posted March 14, 2004 from John Fairbairn to rec.games.go:
"I am also personally familiar with a modern prodigy, Liao Xingwen, who last month at the age of 9 played the Chinese No. 1 on 2 stones at the Wanbao Cup and lost by just 1 point."
axd: couldn't help laughing when I read the MSO article:
... He cannot actually reach the far side of the large Chinese boards, and the pieces are almost as big as his little hands. ...