Fujisawa game review: Nihon Ki-in “first place” tournament, 1959

The following kifu and most of the comments included are from the Fujisawa Complete Works, volume 3. For advice on how to study professional games, read this essay.

Fujisawa Hideyuki got promoted to 8 dan just one month before this game.

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Gothenburg Open, 27—28 October

Long time no write! Last weekend, on Friday to be exact, I flew to Gothenburg to participate in the annual Gothenburg Open go tournament. I’d received a deal from the tournament organizers, basically getting my accommodation and flight expenses covered, in exchange for teaching players during the tournament. Benjamin Teuber 6 dan of Germany had gotten a similar offer. This year’s edition of the tournament ended up being the biggest one held up to date, with 68 participants.

I arrived in Sweden at Friday noon. One of the main tournament organizers, Robin, courteously picked me up from the Landvetter airport and drove me to the tournament venue along with Benjamin. The Swedes had rented a flat (probably) owned by a local chess club, and so the venue was very well suited for a go tournament as well.

Since it was my first time in the city, and I couldn’t be of much help with the tournament organization which was at the time under way, I ended up strolling around the city a bit. There were some nice sights around, but I ended up wondering why they have so many stairs in the city. It wasn’t only once, or even just a few times, that I had to walk up a long flight of stairs, only to find myself walking down another one the next instant.

Gothenburg, the city of stairs

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European Go Congress 2012, Bonn, part 2

(Continuing from part 1)

Definitely one of the best things at the congress this year for me was the chance to meet again many of the people who I’d grown fond of while I was an insei in Japan. This included English class professionals, and just like in Japan, I continued to get my games reviewed by them. We did use the opportunity to go touring together a bit, too, and had a few restaurant evenings together as well. I did my best to introduce the professionals to Nikola Mitic of Serbia, who is becoming an insei this October (and who’ll likely be the next person who’ll get his games commented by them).

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European Go Congress 2012, Bonn, part 1

Due to the amount of material, I’ll be spanning my congress stories over three blog posts.

This year’s European Go Congress was held in Bad Godesberg, Bonn, Germany, from 21 July to 4 August. A good 600 players participated, and several hundred more came by as spectators (or in order to participate in some of the side tournaments). Contrary to the earlier years, I concentrated on the main tournament, and participated in only a few side tournaments — a lot of my free time I poured into sightseeing and other more relaxed activities. You could say that this decision paid off, seeing how I placed sixth in the European championship tournament.

In a sense, my experience from this year’s congress was the exact opposite from last year’s, at least when looking at the congress venue and accommodation: in the EGC in Bordeaux in 2011, accommodation was incredibly cheap and of high quality, but the congress venue was lacking. This year in Bonn, the congress venue was just superb, but we’d booked relatively low-level accommodation from far away from the congress venue — the trip took about one hour, one-way.

This is castle Godesburg, the most significant landmark in the immediate vicinity of the congress venue. On one of the break days, we climbed up to the tower shown in the photo, enjoyed the good view and played a few games of go.

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Takapotku 2012, first return tournament

Now after my return from Japan, I’ve noticed that without a strict weekly rhythm, it’s very difficult to get things (such as writing on the blog) done. Starting now, I’ll experiment if I can build myself a weekly rhythm, even though I’ve neither university studies nor regular work to do during the summer. It’s somewhat twisted, but I’m actually looking forward to autumn so that I can continue with my studies! The current plan is that I try to get my bachelor’s degree done within a year, so that I could try to miraculously gather funds and return to Japan in next year’s autumn.

Last weekend, I played in the first tournament after my return from Japan. The tournament was Takapotku open, conveniently (for me) timed for June instead of the usual February. Winning the tournament wasn’t a goal; from the start, I participated solely to get a real game with Jeff (Su Yang 6 dan). It then resulted that I succeeded in beating Jeff, but “accidentally” lost to Juri. In the end, we took the top three places, exactly like last year.

In the following are some photos from the tournament, as well as a detailed commentary of my game with Jeff. Click on the photo to see it in slightly more detail. A few of the photos are slightly blurry; my hands are at fault for that. Also, the borders still seem to be cutting off some of the photo captions: I’ll really try to work around that soon!

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Last weeks in Japan, part 1: final insei games with commentaries

Expect a slightly longer series of blog posts describing my final days here in Japan. As you may remember, my flight back to Finland is on May 11, and as such I will be at least participating in some Finnish tournaments this summer, as well as in the European Go Congress. Kidō Cup I will skip, as I feel it’d be too soon after my return — while I like traveling, too much is too much.

Last weekend I scored a perfect 6-0 result, which placed me cleanly on the first place of C class with 19 wins and 5 losses. I didn’t happen to take a photo of the final results sheet, but I believe the second place was reached with 15 wins and 9 losses. In this first post of the series, I’ll present two of my games from last weekend, one against 藤原 (Fujiwara, who got promoted to B class) and one against 今野 (Konno, who also got promoted to B). Most of the comments are courtesy of the English class attending professionals, but a part of them are my own.

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Second to last insei weekend down

As the topic states, I’ve now exactly one weekend of insei studies left. It’s going to be weird once I start having empty weekends again, but on the other hand, I should be in top shape for any European weekend tournament — and luckily, I also know exactly how I’ll keep on studying once I’m back in Finland. Tsumego, games, Japanese theory books, Fujisawa kifu collection, several hours a day, rinse and repeat.

Ironically but also logically, it’s towards the end of my stay here that my results seem to get up. My first two weekends this month were both four wins to two losses, and this third weekend was five wins to one loss. With 13 wins and five losses, now, I’m currently holding the first place of class C (top three get promoted). There’s still the curse of the last day to watch out for, though.

Last weekend I was supposed to have another game with 王 (that’s Ō), former B class insei, but he was again absent. I thus played another game with Kamimura Haruo 9 dan, and again made it a good fight until I lost control in the early endgame. Once I was losing by about seven points with no way to turn the game, I resigned. Kamimura-sensei, as usual, reviewed the game, and also gave me some general advice on what I should pay attention to in my games and studies (according to him as well, my style is “outside-oriented”, that is, influence-oriented — that is fine, but I have to work more on my attention towards territory). Seeing the timing of this advice, it’s actually likely that that was for now the last time I receive teaching from him.

There was a positive side to my staying in C class, too: I got to play again with my self-proclaimed nemesis, 藤原 (that’s Fujiwara), after a few month’s break. We’ve played two games now, and are 1-1, with one more game ahead next weekend. In terms of the total score, I’m for now some four wins better off. I thought it might be interesting for the readers to see my return win against 藤原, so here goes, along with my commentary.

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Teaching game and review with Kamimura Haruo, 9 dan

This is a game I played last weekend while at insei training. Whenever insei don’t come to play their games (they have to inform the instructors beforehand about not coming), they get forfeit losses. Their opponents, who then don’t get to play a league game, end up playing an instructor instead — that’s also what happened to me last weekend. It has now been three times that I missed out on playing 王, who used to be in B class two months ago, but dropped to C and started missing out on some of the game days. In a sense, not getting to play a league game is bad, but I think a free win and a teaching game with a 9 dan professional somewhat makes up for it!

Some of the commentary included in the sgf is my own, but a big portion is what Kamimura-sensei said while reviewing the game. The game has some unconventional opening game choices, which should be of interest to lower dan level readers.

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Two insei kifu

As promised earlier, here come two of my last weekend’s kifu with some commentary! Mostly, the comments are based on what the Japanese professionals remarked at the English class last Tuesday. This time, the comments are included in the sgf file!

First up is the only game that I lost last weekend. There’s not an awful lot to say about it, though, as much of the opening follow’s one of Cho U’s and Takao Shinji’s Kisei game from this year.

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Watch out in the second sgf — at least at move 22, half of the comments aren’t instantly shown (you need to scroll down). I’ll have to see if it’s possible to make the text field bigger.

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