Life In 19x19

Good news and not so good news
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Author:  John Fairbairn [ Thu Aug 20, 2020 3:08 am ]
Post subject:  Good news and not so good news

A new pro-am tournament has been announced in Japan (good). It is a collaboration (good) between the Nihon Ki-in Kansai Branch and the Kansai Ki-in. It is sponsored by the Hankyu Railway for the corona emergency relief fund (good).

But it is scheduled for mid-November, so the assumption is obviously that the impact of covid on the go scene still has a long way to run (not so good) and the top prize is under $10,000 (not so good unless the relief fund is getting a much bigger dollop).

Fans will be allowed in free to the Hankyu International Hotel for a commentary on the final (good or bad depending on you views on social distancing), but will be limited to 150 (ditto good or bad).

It's billed as the Kansai Go Open, but actually there will be five classes ranked according to prize-money rankings.

Exactly how it will be implemented is not clear, but the recent Globis Cup had all six Japanese youngsters, masked, socially distanced and facing away from each other, in one room at computers. (They got wiped out and Korean Min Min-chong won.)

Mask etiquette seems perfect, and as in real life White seems to have a small edge over Black. I have one in the family tartan so will not take sides:)

Takei Taishin won the 1st Discovery Cup, incidentally. But he's been stuck at 1-dan since 2018 and is already 18, so, with the Globis wipe-out, the chunterings about how Japan can "release the potential of its "young players" seems to be starting up again in earnest. Whether the Discovery Cup - planned as part of that process - will continue is even open to doubt. Its private sponsor, Ogino Kunihiro, died suddenly in February at a rather young age. It looks as is there is some provision in his will to keep the cup going, but how long for is an open question.

Vaguely in that connection, and to end on a hopefully goo note, I have just heard that there is some promising progress in converting T Mark Hall's bequest into an even better London Go Centre, in alliance with some bridge players.

Author:  goTony [ Mon Aug 24, 2020 6:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Good news and not so good news

I am glad to hear of another sponsored tournament. However my gut tells me the sponsored tournaments are going to decrease. It seems GO is losing popularity in Japan and now in Korea the shine is off. Also having two rival professional groups in Japan does seem to be a drain on resources for the long term.

John thank you for all your information on the GO scene and your books!

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