Guo Juan

Guo Juan's picture

Teacher profile

Guo Juan

(Excerpt from
My name is Guo Juan. From this name you may guess I am Chinese. In China people call me Guo Juan (郭鹃). But in the west, I have four names! Guo Juan, Juan Guo, Juan and Guo. You can call me with any of these four names and I won’t think you are impolite.

The right side of the second character of my name (鸟) is a bird, so I flew from China all the way to the Netherlands and made my nest in Amsterdam, some 20 years ago.

Where did I learn this wonderful game and how did I become a professional player?

I learned this game in a mountain area where there was no electricity, no tap water and no gas. That was long time ago. When I was 9 years old, I followed my father to a ‘May 7 cadre school’. In this ‘‘school’’ the Intellectual’s main work is to ‘‘wash’’ their brain, by working in the field and study guidelines from the party. As a little child, I did not feel any pressure from the political movement and did not need to worry about the future, so I enjoyed my life there very much. I was busy planting orange trees, feeding pigs, learning to do injections by breaking quite a few needles (they all told me it was not painful at all!), picking up Chinese medicine in the mountains, fighting with the wolfves… among all these things, the most exciting was to watch people play Go. At that time Go was forbidden in China, but ‘‘mountain is high, the emperor is far away’’ - nobody would care or notice there were some people playing this forbidden game in the mountain. I had two teachers there, one of them was about 5k and the other was about 10k.

Not long after I returned to the city I started to play Go seriously. I could not do anything else but play Go. This got my mother worried a little bit because she thought this was a game played by old people sitting in tea houses, smoking and doing nothing with their lives, until she met our wonderful Go teachers and the very happy little Go players in the Go school. I was totally attracted by this great game. I worked on Go board day and night until I became a professional.

In 1978, I joined the China National Team. I met Nie WeiPing, Ma XiaoChun, Rei NaiWei and many other great players. During my 5 years in the National team, I played many tournaments with good results (I forgot them within two days), and bad results (I remember them forever), and became a 5 dan professional.

In 1990, I moved to Europe with my son. Since then I have played tons of tournaments in Europe, winning most of them. I have taught many western students, not just making them stronger on the Go board but also make them happier in their lives through this wonderful game.

For me, Go is a magic game. It makes me happy, gives me many wonderful friends and makes my life meaningful. Go will stay with me all my life.

I love Go!

Let’s play!


Member for
8 years 3 months