Wednesday, July 5, 2017

shuumatsu (weekend)

Today is the second day of our weekend. Yesterday morning, we returned to the Kansai Ki-in to see the pros play. While we were waiting for them to start their matches, they sequestered us in the kids' room.

The main playing room, where most of the pros were already deeply involved in their games, even though they had just started, with almost 3 hours left on each clock:

Four of our teachers from camp were playing (including the player facing us in the following photo):

There was a side room, where another of our teachers was playing.  The young woman recording here is most likely a new pro herself.

Yet another of our teachers was playing in one of the top rooms, with the tatami mats.

Pros' shoes lined up outside the tatami mat rooms:

Li-sensei explaining how things work to a bunch of us back in the kids' room:

She said that the way they decide where you play is by rank.  If they're playing against players from the Nihon Ki-in (based in Tokyo) then whoever has the higher rank gets to play at their home institution and the other player has to travel for the game.  The games we saw today were all inside the Kansai Ki-in (based in Osaka) so no one was traveling for them.  But your rank still determines whether you play in the top room or the main room.  In any given match, the rank of the higher ranked player is the one that decides the location.  So even if you're a lowly 1p, you might get to play in the top room if your opponent is a 9p.  After rank, they sort by seniority (by the year the player became a pro) and then by age.

Each player has a wooden name card, which is placed on the table they are playing at for the day.  (You can seem them in the following photo next to the board.)  The name cards are placed on the board itself initially.  When the players enter, the lower-ranked player clears the name tags to the side and then has to clean the board before the match begins.  Note also the cute little cell phone holder next to the board.

After watching the pros, we hung out at the Kansai Ki-in for a little while.  William played a simul match against his sister and mother.

There was a lecture (in Japanese) followed by simul games.

In the afternoon, I walked over to Osaka Castle with Pete.

I forgot to post a photo of the super-nice board that we saw at the Go equipment factory/store.  This board is worth more than $20,000.

Today I'm taking it easy.  I'm told it's good to get some rest occasionally.

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