Professional promotion tournaments
Japanese Oteai and Korean Seongdan Taeheui
Except for a few cases, in which title-winning pros have been promoted on the basis of proven strength, it has been assumed in Japan (in the Kansai Ki-in as well as the Nihon Ki-in) that new pros start at 1 dan and work up towards 9 dan step by step, in a special ongoing tournament. The original Spring and Autumn Oteai sessions were therefore similar in spirit to what goes on in sumo.
For more information on the latest promotion rules in each country, check out Sensei's Gazette and the article on the youngest promotion to 9 dan.
The Chinese professional system was established back in 1982. At that time professional players were given temporary ranks based on their past performance (the first batch of pros did not start from shodan). The standard was actually quite high in 1982: Chen Zude, Wu Songsheng and Nie Weiping, three leading figures were awarded 9-dan directly (Nie repeatedly beat top Japanese players since the late 1970s so he clearly deserved it); Ma Xiaochun was a 7-dan; Liu Xiaoguang was a 6-dan; Yu Bin was only a 3-dan. Newer promotions are awarded on the basis of a very tough promotion tournament system or outstanding performance. An example of the latter is Chen Yaoye, who was promoted to 9p in 2007 (the youngest ever) after he was runner-up to Lee Sedol in the Asian TV Cup, while he also reached the finals of the 10th LG Cup in 2006.
New Korean system
Dated comment by John Fairbairn: I can't work out how to add new pages but one may be needed for the Korean promotion system. Their equivalent of the Oteai is about to be abolished. It will be replaced by a system of counting all games played in Rounds 1 of all tournaments (or sections of tournaments, I believe). The qualifying standard is to be a score made 50 per cent (in place of 65) so that the older players are not left behind by the younger ones. There are other rules like (from memory) getting 3 dans for winning an international event. Yi Se-tol will thus get promoted at long last.
- New Korean promotion system? may be a nice place to describe the new system.
New Japanese system
The new system employed by the Nihon Ki-in is based on winning a certain number of games at each rank, with accelerated promotion for those performing well in tournaments (low rank promotions based on prize money won, high rank promotions based on winning/qualifying for leagues in Big Titles). For more details, see Nihon Ki-in new promotion system.
- See also: Latest Promotions