Post-Golden week, Globis cup

Insei training resumes tomorrow after a one-week break. The Golden week concluded last Tuesday, but my week continued in an event-rich manner afterwards, as well.

On Wednesday I went to play tennis with Shutō 7 dan, Tajiri 4 dan and a few other friends; it was the second time I played tennis in my life, so the quality of the game wasn’t exceedingly high (at least on my part; Shutō and Tajiri were in fact both quite adept). Then on Thursday, me and Leon went ice skating together with Mitani 7 dan and a few of his friends. It was only the day after that we realized that one of the friends, an incredibly friendly and easy-going Taiwanese person, was in fact Rin Kanketsu 7 dan; he had introduced himself as “Kankan”, and my brain didn’t work fast enough to make the connection on the spot. While I wasn’t good at tennis, I was still able to skate surprisingly well—maybe all those hours of gym in secondary school some ten years ago didn’t go to waste!

The first Globis cup, meant for players under 20 years old is taking place in Tokyo this weekend. On Thursday evening, me and Leon got to attend the tournament’s welcoming party, which in traditional Japanese way meant speeches and good food.

globis-cup
The players (and sponsors) of the tournament; how many can you recognize?

At the time of writing, two rounds have been played in the double knock-out tournament. Unfortunately, the European representative, Lukas Podpera 6 dan is already out with two losses, as is the favourite of the audience, Joanne Missingham 6 dan professional.

joanne-ichiriki
Joanne Missingham 6p and Ichiriki Ryo 7p face off in the first round
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Top professionals, including Yamashiro Hiroshi 9p, Yūki Satoshi 9p and Takemiya Masaki 9p in the front, analysing the games as they are played

This weekend’s insei games are played on the sixth floor (meaning the tatami rooms, instead of the usual rooms on the seventh floor). While my legs aren’t very much looking forward to the ordeal, otherwise I find the tatami rooms and legged boards to provide for a better feeling for the games than regular table boards. Then from next Monday on, I’ll start occasionally visiting the Ichikawa go dojo.