Game review by Yoda Norimoto 9 dan

As promised, here comes a summary of the review I received from Yoda-sensei last Saturday!

After finishing this blog post, my schedule of the day includes a trip to Akihabara, and taking the train from there to Ichikawa, a city in Chiba — about 20km off from Tokyo — where Mimura-sensei’s go school is located. It’s another busy day here, in other words!

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C class kicks off

Like I already mentioned both on Twitter and Facebook, I got a two-wins-one-loss result today, on my first C class day. The loss was against insei number 12, and the wins were against 8 and 9. Of these, only insei number 9 was in C class in the last month as well. Number 12, Fujiwara (actually a girl!), is turning into an antagonist at a fair pace.

As the more careful readers might have noticed, there’s something mysterious with the way the classes are organized this month: insei number 9 was in C class last month, and insei number 8 was in D class. I’m at place number seven. There seems to have been some reorganizing as this month, there is a female-only tournament named 女流特別合同予選. I’m sorry, I have no idea how that is supposed to be read, and even the meaning escapes me. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a female-only professional exam, or something similar. As female insei from several classes are taking the tournament, there has apparently been some rigorous reorganizing in the normal insei classes. A funny side effect is that this month, three insei from C class get promoted, while four get demoted. I don’t feel up to answer the myriad additional questions the new setup brings on, so here we have both the pairing table of C class, and the whole insei setup. Sorry for the poor quality!

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Article on me in Helsingin sanomat

Today, on Friday, 25 November, I was featured in the People section of Helsingin sanomat, Finland’s biggest newspaper. I don’t have the facilities to include a scan of the article on this page, and it wouldn’t be of much use either, the article having been published in Finnish only. The article mostly covered information about me, how I started playing and how my go career has roughly been up to date, and what I’m now doing in Tokyo.

To those who are now reading this blog as a result of having read the article and found the link here from there, I can suggest two additional pages: the Finnish go wiki of Suomigo and my Finnish travel blog Insei Japanissa, which has a smaller emphasis on go and a larger emphasis on my everyday life.

Finally, getting interesting

Long time no write!

Well, it’s actually been only a little more than one week, but what with all the activities I’ve had recently, it relatively feels like a longer time. As I wrote last week, I did two interviews and visited in total three different go schools in addition to that of Nihon Ki-in’s. Actually, I still haven’t got too much time to formulate a long blog post, so for now I’m only writing this as a status update. In less than two hours, I’m meeting with an acquaintance at the Nihon Ki-in, in order to play a few games and study together before the weekly English class. The acquaintance is not a professional, but is still close to professional level.

Some of you may have noticed that I also have a Twitter account. Since writing longer blog posts takes its own time, it might be handy if I wrote quicker status updates mostly by Twitter. I’ll look into whether I can implement a feature on this page’s right-side bar to show my latest few Twitter posts. Up until then, feel free to have a look at my Twitter page. I haven’t written too much there so far, but that’s likely change soon!

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Go of Ten 1st birthday, third week results and first kenkyuukai

Today marks the 1-year anniversary of Gooften! Exactly one year ago, the first text was posted, and although I didn’t end up changing the look of the page as I said back then, I can still say that we’ve come a long way. In the beginning, Go of Ten had something like 50-150 visitors per day, depending on when the last post was written. Now, on a blog post day the number is something like 500-1000, and on a non-post day it’s still 250-500. The average number of visitors for this November is 474 so far. This is my 51st blog post so far, giving pretty much a pace of one blog post per week. Let’s hope that the numbers keep on going up in the future!

Last weekend’s insei games ended up with six wins out of seven games. On Sunday, on the first round, I ended up losing against insei number nine; I made my first big blunder in an insei game so far, and ended up losing some 50 points just for that. That was in the middle game, and by the endgame I counted I was about 10 points behind and resigned. The two other games on Sunday were pretty much easy wins. Summing up, so far my record in D class is 18 wins and 2 losses, for a winning percent of 90%. Unfortunately I didn’t find a good opportunity to take a picture of the results sheet, so we’ll have to do without for now.

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Class D, third week; insei-level opening theory

I’m writing this post partly as a test to see how big of a burden it is to write an update in the middle of an insei weekend, and partly because I feel inspired after what I learned today, and want to share the source of the inspiration to the world. Most of the game discussion in this blog post is rather higher-level, but most readers starting from strong kyu level players should find it useful. For those raring to know about my performance today, I scored four wins in four games, winning all by resignation.

 

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Second weekend in class D

Right after my trip to Innoshima, it was time for another insei weekend. Right now I’m at some kind of a stress peak, having had a great deal of things to do, but starting tomorrow I’ll have a reasonable amount of free time again.

I played six games last weekend, against the insei numbered 12 and 13, and then against the ones numbered 1-4 (them being the ones who dropped to class D from class C this month). The former C-classers were indeed quite strong, and I lost my game against the one ranked first. I’m including the kifu of that game in this blog post.

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Visit to Innoshima

Greetings from Innoshima, the birthplace of Honinbō Shūsaku!

Last Thursday, me and my friend Kurt, who is generously accommodating me in Tōkyō, went out of our way to visit the Shūsaku memorial hall in Innoshima; you could call this a go player’s pilgrimage of sorts. Those of you who have read the manga, Hikaru no Go, might remember Hikaru’s visit to Innoshima in search of Sai. Innoshima is located near the south coast of Honshū, Japan’s biggest island, between Ōsaka and Hiroshima. The distance between Tōkyō and Innoshima is close to 700 kilometres, which translates to a four-hour train trip. Last Thursday was actually a Japanese national holiday, which meant that the memorial hall was closed; what we did was travel to south of Ōsaka and spend the night there at a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn), and we then continued to Innoshima early on Friday morning.

After taking some local trains and a local bus, we finally arrived on the island of Innoshima, and were greeted by this kind of a view:

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