In China, part four: Playing at a local tournament

Peter, the main organizer of the Experience Go in China program, invited three of the participants, me and Namii and Sadaharu on KGS, to play in a local team tournament. The tournament was, as I understood, a match between the Beijing university (that’s who we played for) and a local go club in Beijing. There were only two rounds, and each team had 12 players: whichever team got more game wins in the two rounds won the tournament.

The tournament was held last Wednesday at a local middle school named RDFZ — Jeff’s opinion was that the random-looking letters actually represented some Chinese words. Me and Namii were content to pronounce the name as rdfz. Outside the school, they had one of those announcement screens that showed information about the tournament. We got some good laughs from the typo they made with Namii’s KGS nick, shown below:

I also have no idea why they had Namii’s KGS nick but my real name.

The tournament seemed quite made-on-the-spot, but there were a lot of speeches given, so in the end it did seem quite formal an occasion. They had also arranged for food and drinks for the players, as well as name plates. Namii’s name plate read “Nmmi”.

Since I didn’t have a lot on the line in the tournament, I disregarded my normal tournament nervousness, and instead went for trying to play my best, without trying too hard to get the win out. I thought I was doing well in the first game, too, until I lost by 7.5 points and Jeff came to comment that I was playing complete rubbish. We reviewed the game, and after that I agreed, too. The opponent was a Chinese 5 dan, which doesn’t say very much: a Chinese 5d could be equal to EGF 4 dan or 7 dan, or anything in between. The first round ended in a result of 6-6.

After the first game and the lunch break, the second game started. This time I concentrated more on winning, and did get a good game out of it. The only annoying thing with the second game was, that I had about 30 different opportunities to wrap the game up, yet I somehow managed to choose the one game tree possible that ended in my loss — the end result was that I lost by 1.5 points! The sgf is given below. I have limited time again, so I’ll try to add some comments later on!

The second round ended in a result of 8-4 in our favor, yet both Namii and Sadaharu lost in addition to me. Namii was the only one of the three of us to win a game, on the first round.

After the tournament, we heard some story about the opposing team’s players thinking about how peculiar it was that western players had their own professional strong Chinese coach to review their games (referring to Jeff). I guess they have so many professionals in China that there’s no way even active players know all of them — quite a difference from Europe.

[sgfPrepared id=”0″]

See you next time!

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