Mastery of go shaped the destiny of Gu Shuiru | Forum

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freemexy Feb 20 '19
Gu Shuiru (1892-1971), a native of Fengjing Town in Songjiang County (which now belongs to Jinshan District), was an unbeatable go master and a great teacher who produced several accomplished disciples.To get more Songjiang District news, you can visit shine news official website.

Gu learned to play go at the age of 9 from his father and elder brother. He analyzed go manuals recording games between go masters and could memorize them.

At that time an elderly shop assistant from a cloth store in Fengjing was skilled in go playing. Gu heard of that and went to play with him. The young boy competed and failed each time. Undaunted, he went home and drew a board on a mosquito net. Lying on bed, he thought about the games between him and the elderly man again and again. He became enlightened and his playing advanced by leaps and bounds.

By the age of 16 Gu had become unbeatable in his hometown. Then he went to downtown Shanghai and sought out mentors such as Fan Chuqing and Zhang Leshan.

Starting from 1909 Gu worked for the Eastern Times, a newspaper founded by royalists of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) in 1904 in Shanghai. The newspaper had quite a few experts in go. Gu competed with them and won every game. The paper’s manager then started a go column and asked Gu to be editor to publish go games and write comments or opinions about go. Other newspapers followed suit. The popularity of the column made Gu well-known in Shanghai.

In 1914 Gu visited Beijing and beat famous players such as Wang Yunfeng and Yao Qing. It was sensational news and Gu was reputed to be the “Go Sage.” Duan Qirui (1865-1936), a warlord in the Republic of China (1912-1949), regarded him highly and recruited him as a member of his think-tank.

During that time Gu made friends with Japanese go masters and visited Japan in 1917. There he studied modern go theories, became thoroughly acquainted with the Japanese way of playing go and earned an international reputation.

Gu came back to China in 1919 and suggested Duan invite the Japanese go delegation to visit China.

The next year go players from China and Japan got together and exchanged skills for the first time. Chinese players had an opportunity to study modern Japanese go theories.

After that Gu settled down in Tianjin in northern China and was unrivaled for more than 10 years in go playing in North China.

Gu was also good at scouting for talent and training disciples. He met Wu Qingyuan, who was 9 years old then, in 1922 in Beijing. Gu compromised with five go pieces and competed with Wu. Though he lost, Wu revealed his talent and was appreciated by Gu. The boy became Gu’s disciple and made great progress under his guidance.

Wu furthered his study in Japan and achieved ku-dan in go playing. He was reputed as the “Modern Go Placement Founder” and was invincible in Japanese go circles for more than 20 years.

“It was because of the guidance from Mr Gu Shuiru that I made this achievement,” said Wu.

Gu settled down in Shanghai in 1933 and founded his go club. In 1935 he established the first contemporary go research institute in China.

Gu became a special delegate of the city’s political adviser after the liberation of Shanghai in 1949. Chen Yi (1901-1972), then mayor of Shanghai, often played go with Gu and wished him to guide more young players.

Gu met Chen Zude, then aged 7, at Xiangyang Park, Shanghai in 1952. He compromised with seven go pieces and competed with the boy. In the middle of the game, Gu smiled and stood up, saying: “I will recruit Chen as my disciple.”

Chen made big progress under the guidance of Gu. Two years later when Gu compromised with five go pieces and competed with Chen, the boy won. Chen later became the major founder of the Chinese Go School and was nicknamed “Another Wu Qingyuan.”

Gu then became chief of Shanghai Go School and deputy editor of “Go,” a monthly editorial founded in 1960.

Gu suffered pulmonary edema in his late years and resettled in Songjiang, his hometown. He kept teaching go and guiding young players till three days before his death.