Rui Naiwei (Chinese: 芮迺伟 Hanyu Pinyin: Ruž Nǎiwěi, Korean Hangul: 예내위 RR and M-R: Ye Nae-wi, born December 28, 1963) 9-dan was considered the strongest female player in the world for much of the 1990s and 2000s, and remains one of the top female players today.
In China, 1963-1990
Born in Shanghai, China, Rui Naiwei began to play Go in 1975 and turned professional in 1985, becoming a 7 dan the same year. She was promoted to 8 dan in 1986 and 9 dan in 1988, the first woman to ever be promoted to this level.
In Japan, 1990-1996
Rui left China in 1990, moving to Tokyo, Japan where she studied Go as a student of Go Seigen and worked as a go teacher at a life insurance company. However, she was not allowed to enter any of the Japanese professional go association (Nihon Ki-in and Kansai Kiin) and so was unable to play professionally ( reference:Japan Times article) except for some unofficial magazine sponsored games.
She married Jiang Zhujiu in 1992, becoming the only 18-dan married couple in the world. In the same year she also was invited to the quadrennial Ing Cup. Despite that this was Rui's first tournament since she left China, she got through to the semi-finals where she was beaten by Otake Hideo 9-dan of Japan, but not before registering one win against him--to that point the greatest achievement by a female player in the game. (This was surpassed only recently; Choi Jung reached the final of the Samsung Cup in 2022.)
In the USA, 1996-1999
In 1996, Rui moved to the Bay Area of California, USA together with her husband, Jiang. The couple established the American Professional Go Association. She reached the final of the North American Masters Tournament in 1996, 1999 and 2000 (each time lost to her husband with 1-2 score).
In Korea, 1999-2011
In 1999, Rui and Jiang became Guest Professionals of the Hankuk Kiwon, moved to Korea and began participating in professional tournaments. She took, among other titles, the 43rd open (mixed gender) Kuksu title in 1999, beating Cho Hunhyeon 2-1, thus becoming the first woman to ever hold a major open title. In 2001, they became regular professionals of the Hankuk Kiwon. She won another open title, the 5th Maxim Cup in 2004, beating Yu Ch'ang-hyeok in the final. (In the 4th edition in 2003, she had reached the final and lost to her husband Jiang.)
In China, Again, 2011-
In 2011, Rui and Jiang returned to China where she plays in Chinese and international tournaments.
She has also occasionally been seen playing on IGS.
Open titles in bold.
- 15th Jianqiao Cup (2017)
- 11th Jianqiao Cup (2013)
- 1st Guyun Jishou (2012)
- 5th Women's Kisung (2011)
- 16th Women's Kuksu (2011)
- 15th Women's Kuksu (2010)
- 6th to 12th Womens Myeongin (Jan 2005 - Feb 2011)
- 14th Women's Kuksu (2009)
- 12th Women's Kuksu (2007)
- 1st to 3rd Women's Kisung (Nov 2006 - Sep 2008)
- 11th Women's Kuksu (2006)
- 3rd Cheongkwanjang Cup (Jan 2005, as part of Team China)
- 5th Maxim Cup (March 2004)
- 1st Cheongkwanjang Cup (March 2003)
- 4th Womens Myeongin (2003)
- 8th Women's Kuksu (2002)
- 3rd Womens Myeongin (2002)
- 2nd Hungchang Cup (Feb 2001)
- 2nd Womens Myeongin (2001)
- 1st Eastern Airlines Cup (August 2000)
- 7th Women's Kuksu (2000)
- 43rd Kuksu (Feb 2000)
- 1st Hungchang Cup (2000)
- 6th Women's Kuksu (2000)
- 5th Women's Kuksu (1999)
- 4th Bohae Cup (1997)
- 3rd Bohae Cup (1996)
- 1st Bohae Cup (1994)
Among the books written by Rui Naiwei are
- Rui Naiwei -- by Jan van der Steen
- Photos on Flickr.com
- Chinese Wikipedia article has a link to her interview in 2001, where she explains why she left China. She committed a trivial violation of rules in the National Team and was disciplined in 1987. In addition, her request to play in Men's section of the National Go Individual tournament, which gave better chances to represent China in Fujitsu Cup, was rejected.
- Rui Naiwei in Japan - thoughts, discussion on her experience in Japan.
 (from an article posted on Lifein19x19.com) "Rui Naiwei's persistence was on display: Every Go friend who asked for an autograph received a carefully written "芮迺伟". Regarding the 迺 character, Rui Naiwai was unsure when it started, but at some point reporters began using the character "乃", which is similar in both meaning and sound. She said that this causes problems every time she goes to the post office."