38th Kisei prize-giving ceremony

On last week’s Friday, me and Leon got to attend the 38th Kisei prize-giving ceremony, which was held at the Tokyo Imperial Hotel in Ginza. As seems customary for these events, the organizers weren’t stingy about money when it came to the venue or the catering.

The winner of the 38th Kisei tournament was no other than Iyama Yūta, who successfully defended his title (of which he currently holds six of the seven available). Me and Leon were lucky to have gotten the chance to take a photo with him, as below:

iyama-photo

…One might indeed get the idea that the people in the photo were football players getting ready for a free kick by the opposing team, as somebody remarked on Facebook.

I’d prepared for the ceremony by avoiding eating too much earlier in the day, because by my experience I knew that there’d be plenty of good food available. To my dismay, this time, I hardly had any chance to eat at all, as for some reason the ceremony hall was full of old acquaintances with whom to speak, including for example Takemiya-sensei, two insei girls who used to go to Mimura Tomoyasu 9-dan’s dojo at the same time as I did, and Igo-shougi channel’s reporter, who of course had to ask me for a quick interview on what I think of Iyama.

antti-interview

…Like so.

Saturday’s insei games continued in usual fashion with a 2-1 result, but on Sunday I suddenly got sick of what seems to be a common cold. I considered not going to the training because I was sure I wouldn’t be able to play normally, but decided to go anyway knowing that scoring even one win might be big, and that I might as well rest on the following week. As such, I did score one win on Sunday, and have now gotten rest for four straight days. Because the quality of my games from last weekend wasn’t very commendable, and because I passed up on getting the English class pros’ comments on them, I don’t have any games to post today.

In exchange, to make it easier for the blog readers to speculate about April’s results, here is the results sheet after last Saturday’s games:

results-april

 

Second week and revisiting Mount Takao

A lot has happened in the past week. Firstly, last weekend I got another 4-2 score, putting me in total at 8-4 in C class. Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of the results sheet, so I right now it is impossible to speculate on my odds of getting promoted to B class next month. Then, among other things, on Tuesday we had the English class as usual, and yesterday, on Wednesday, me, Leon, Mitani and Kuma paid a visit to Mt. Takao.

The trip to Mt. Takao was orchestrated due to its being a relatively must-see point of interest (at least if one is visiting Tokyo for a longer period of time), and due to Leon’s plan to return to Germany in late June. The mountain is easily reachable from Tokyo and offers a fairly spectacular view from its top (at about 600 meters’ height from the sea level). Unfortunately the air wasn’t at its cleanest on our chosen day, and we were unable to see all the way to Mt. Fuji. Some 2.5 million people visit the mountain yearly, which makes it one of the most popular mountains for tourists in the world.

intrepid-explorers-s
Our intrepid explorers at the root of the mountain. From left: Leon Stauder, Mitani Tetsuya and Yū Hō.
intrepid-explorers-2-s
Our intrepid explorers ascending the mountain
tengu-temple-s
Mt. Takao is said to be inhabited by tengu, a kind of bird-man-folk from Japanese folklore. The statue in the photo depicts a tengu, though often you’ll see a slightly different depiction with a red face and a long nose (instead of a beak).

After the trip to Mt. Takao, Mitani invited us to his place, where we spent the rest of the evening, among others by eating nabe (a Japanese hot pot dish) and playing go. I played on black without komi and lost by three points after a fairly good game.

As for my insei games, I wouldn’t say I’m quite back to my original good playing shape yet, or at least many of my game plans are shaky at best. Included below are two of my more interesting games from last weekend, along with remarks by English class professionals.

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Tomorrow will be an interesting day, as in the evening we’ll get to attend the Kisei prize-giving ceremony together with Leon and Tom (of the Nihon Ki-in staff). I got to attend a similar ceremony two years ago, when Chō U won the title.

First return insei post

One week has now passed since my return to Japan. So far, among other things, I have:

  • gotten settled down in my own small apartment,
  • met up with Leon Stauder, currently a D class insei from Germany,
  • met up with familiar English class teachers,
  • bumped (not physically) into Chō U at the Nihon Ki-in lobby and gotten a nod, and
  • finished my first insei weekend with a 4-2 score.

To my luck, I arrived in Tokyo just in time for the flower-viewing period, of which I can share the below photo.

IMG_1677

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Back to Japan

Hi folks! It’s been a long time I didn’t write here, but now I’m glad to say that:

  • Tomorrow I’m flying back to Japan, where I’ll continue my studies as insei starting next weekend!
  • What’s more, I get to start directly from C class due to my performance last time around (usually after such a long break, one would have to start from scratch).
  • From now on, I’ll get back to writing weekly updates on insei life and on the Nihon Ki-in English class meetings!

Stay tuned for future posts!

laukku

 

Gothenburg Open 2013

Similar to last year, I visited Gothenburg this autumn, too, in order to participate in (and teach at) their annual tournament. Gothenburg Open ranks very high in my list of enjoyable tournaments thanks to its friendly atmosphere and enthusiastic organizers. This year I was accompanied by Jeff, the both of us having gotten an invitation to hold a few lectures during the tournament (last year I was teaching with Benjamin Teuber 6 dan). Jeff didn’t play in the tournament, however, and as Fredrik Blomback 6 dan didn’t turn in either (rumours had said otherwise), my main contestant for the win was the Chinese Yaqi Fu, also 6 dan. We met in the tournament on the third round and played a relatively peaceful game, which I won in the end. The review of the game, with thoughts from both me and Jeff, is included below.

Slottsberggymnasiet, the tournament venue
Slottsberggymnasiet, the tournament venue

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Bachelor’s thesis, Chapter 5; Gothenburg Open in the weekend

Chapter 5 of my Bachelor’s thesis, “Expertise in chess and Go”, is now out at the thesis essay page!

I unfortunately will not have time to upload Chapter 6, “Conclusion”, or Attachment A, “Basics of Go” with a similarly quick pace, as I’m traveling to Gothenburg tomorrow in order to play (and teach) at their annual tournament. You can expect a tournament overview similar to last year, afterwards, however!

Bachelor’s thesis, Chapter 3 uploaded

As the title says, I’ve now translated and uploaded Chapter 3 of the thesis here on Go of Ten.. Different approaches to the research on expertise are presented, and these approaches will be applied to chess and Go in the following chapters. The next chapter, “Expertise and memory”, may well be the one that I found the most interesting out of the whole thesis!

Bachelor’s thesis

About one year ago, I did my Bachelor’s thesis (in Finnish) on expertise, using my skills in go as a way to approach the subject. Now, later than I’d originally planned, I’m finally getting around to translating the thesis into English! Those who are interested in learning how to become an expert on a given topic, steer forward to the third Go of Ten essay! So far I have chapters 1 and 2 translated, and I’ll try to be as quick as possible with the remaining four!

Update, 28 October 2013: The original, Finnish version can be downloaded here.