Friday, July 14, 2017

Japan Go Congress!

Last night they held the opening ceremony for the 2017 Japan Go Congress.

Apparently a bunch of important people use mallets to break open some sort of box (I couldn't really see what was happening) to retrieve wooden sake cups to have the opening toast.  I guess this is a traditional Japanese opening ceremony because Lulu was all excited for the kids to experience this.  Mostly, I didn't know what was going on.

There were a lot of people there.  The food was really good, which was somewhat surprising, given that it was buffet style.

A group of local school girls played Japanese harps for us.  Josh (one of the university students I played in our friendship match at the camp) was there taking a video because one of the girls in the group is a friend of his.  Hyodo-san is here too.  It's nice to see some of the friends we've met through camp.

This morning we played the first round of the main tournament. Maeda-sensei entered me at 3d. I played Nguyen Thi My Le.

I won by resignation.  I played the Yunguseng opening, which does feel a bit like a trick.  It's a tough opening to handle if you haven't seen it before.  In the afternoon, Francis was supposed to be doing game reviews, but no one knew about it, so no one was there (in that corner of the large and crowded and noisy room).  Eventually, all of us campers ended up over there, having him review our games one-on-one and playing each other.

(;GM[1]FF[4]CA[UTF-8]AP[CGoban:3]ST[2] RU[Japanese]SZ[19]KM[6.50] PW[Ngyuen Thi My Le]PB[Becci]LB[fc:2][id:3][nl:1]C[Black+res. Reviewed by Francis Meyer ] ;B[pd] ;W[dp] ;B[pq] ;W[dd] ;B[fq] ;W[cn] ;B[ip] ;W[po] ;B[np] ;W[qq] ;B[qr] ;W[qp] ;B[pl] ;W[rr] ;B[pr] ;W[pj] (;B[nl] ;W[qf] ;B[nc] ;W[rd] ;B[qc] ;W[of] ;B[rs] ;W[ql] (;B[qk] ;W[pk] ;B[qm] (;W[ol] ;B[pm] ;W[no] ;B[om] ;W[op] ;B[nq] ;W[lo] ;B[kq] ;W[lc]C[It's dangerous for White to leave the lower left.] (;B[ne] (;W[le] (;B[fc]C[Biggest mistake for Black.] ;W[ec] ;B[fd] ;W[df] ;B[ic] (;W[ie] ;B[ff] ;W[dh] ;B[nf] ;W[gg] (;B[jd]C[This ended up working too, but maybe riskier.] ;W[je] ;B[kd] ;W[ld] ;B[ke] ;W[kf] ;B[lf] ;W[hc] (;B[id] ;W[hd] ;B[he] ;W[hf] ;B[ge] ;W[kg] ;B[hb] ;W[mf] ;B[lg] ;W[mg] ;B[lh] ;W[me] ;B[ng] ;W[mh] ;B[kh] ;W[rc] (;B[rb]C[Black should play on the outside.] ;W[pb] ;B[ob] ;W[qb] ;B[pc] ;W[ra] ;B[sb] ;W[sc] ;B[og] ;W[pg] ;B[ni] ;W[nh] ;B[oh] ;W[li] (;B[jh] ;W[oi] ;B[ph] ;W[qj] ;B[rl] ;W[nj] (;B[rh] ;W[rk] (;B[ok] ;W[qh]C[This is dangerous for White.] ;B[qi] ;W[qg] (;B[pi]C[Wrong way!] ;W[oj] ;B[rj] ;W[ql] ;B[sk] ;W[lk] ;B[if] ;W[er]C[White can't play here with those two weak groups.] ;B[lm] ;W[km] (;B[jk] ;W[kl] ;B[mo] ;W[qn] ;B[rq] ;W[rm] ;B[qk] ;W[on] ;B[mn]) (;B[ll]C[Black should cut somehow. Probably just about anything works.])) (;B[oj])) (;B[qg]C[Black can still play here] ;W[rf] ;B[pf])) (;B[qg]C[Maybe Black should atari first.] ;W[pf] ;B[rh] (;W[rf] ;B[rj]) (;W[rk] ;B[re]))) (;B[mi]C[This cut seems to work. Black should win the capturing race.])) (;B[pg]C[Maybe here.])) (;B[hb]C[Black should play this way.] ;W[ib] ;B[hd] ;W[id] ;B[jc] ;W[jb] ;B[gc] ;W[kc] ;B[hc]C[Black has better shape, White has problems outside.])) (;B[hf]C[This is better. ] ;W[ge] ;B[he] ;W[gf] ;B[if]LB[ff:A]C[The A stone is not important. The goal is to get strength outside.])) (;W[nf]C[White should cover. This is the vital point for both sides.])) (;B[nf]C[This is the vital point, both for Black's saftety and for preventing White from connecting and becoming super strong.])) (;W[id])) (;B[hc]) (;W[ic] (;B[id]) (;B[jd])) (;B[id])) (;W[rl] ;B[pm] ;W[rm]C[White should play this way.])) (;B[qm]C[Might be better for Black to hane this side.])) (;B[on]C[Black should cover. White can live, but Black becomes much stronger outside.]))

The main playing room, prepped to play our morning match:

A woman dressed in traditional clothing playing in the room for the top players:

The afternoon felt pretty chaotic. Things didn't seem to be happening quite according to schedule, and the sound system is such that I can't understand much of the translations into English. Also, it's just so noisy in there, with so many people doing so many different things, that it's hard for me to concentrate on what's coming over the loudspeakers.

But there were cool events.  It's too bad I couldn't get more out of them.  The president of the university where our Go camp was held gave a talk on the history of Go.

The Japan Go Society for the Visually Impaired was there, with boards set up to try blind Go.

Later there was an exhibition match (9x9) between Michael Redmond and a player who was actually blind.

Here's the game.

(;GM[1]FF[4]CA[UTF-8]AP[CGoban:3]ST[2] RU[Japanese]SZ[9]KM[6.50] PW[michael redmond]PB[blind player] ;B[fd] ;W[df] ;B[ff] ;W[fc] ;B[ec] ;W[gc] ;B[dd] ;W[he] ;B[cg] ;W[cc] ;B[cd] ;W[eb] ;B[db] ;W[dc] ;B[ed] ;W[cb] ;B[fb] ;W[da] ;B[gd] ;W[dg] ;B[cf] ;W[gg] ;B[fg] ;W[fh] ;B[gf] ;W[hf] ;B[gh] ;W[hg] ;B[eh] ;W[hh] ;B[fi] ;W[hd] ;B[bc] ;W[bb] ;B[bd] ;W[hi] ;B[ab] ;W[ba])

In addition to translating everything into English and Chinese, they have a running transcript in Japanese and someone translating into sign language.

Here I am with Pete and Jujo Jiang:

He asked us (well, Pete, really) for a photo.  Pete and I started looking for someone else to take it, but he wanted to do selfies.  He brought about a zillion of his students (many of them little tiny kids) to the congress.  They're all wearing their club t-shirts, so they're easy to spot.  One of them got his shirt signed by Michael Redmond.

William got his fan signed by Michael Redmond:

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