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 Post subject: One color go in the Judan avoided by speedy referee
Post #1 Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2024 12:05 am 
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Iyama Yuta and Fujisawa Rina are playing in the Judan quarterfinals and it is looking promising for Rina which may be newsworthy. However, the game was marred by an incident (or was it enchanted by something remarkable?). It happened as the game was commencing. The players had removed the lids of their bowls and the keen viewer might have noticed something peculiar. Iyama immediately put 20 or so white stones on the board, as is custom when deciding colors, it is called nigiri. Then Rina was for sake of customs to place one or two black stones on the board to guess if the presented white stones were odd or even. This proofed impossible! They had both been dealt the white stones!

With both players in possession of the white stones a referee intervention was next event. The referee came rushing in to take away the problematic equipment. He went straight out of the room with it, only to return with the matching black stones. Once he had returned the game proceeded normally and possible protests and appeals will have to wait until the game is over.

Was this the normal procedure when the playing equipment is found to be lacking? Was the referee to quick to intervene? Did these events benefit the composed and experienced Iyama or the calm and mindful Fujisawa? Has anything like this happened before and what would be the interpretation in light of Japanese Rules of 1989 and how about 1949?

Here is a link to the ongoing live stream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nuaNlc5q2k


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Post #2 Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2024 9:14 am 
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Good to know these things can happen to anyone. I'm sure there were a few chuckles around the room.

Why would there need to be any rules about this? Setting aside that this would probably fall under tournament rules rather than game rules, it's a simple problem that can be fixed quickly before the start of play. Practicality must surely win out. More generally, the only equipment situation I can imagine possibly impacting play is discovering stones of the wrong colour mixed into a player's bowl, where the discovery takes place after the game has started. I expect the referee would correct the situation with minimal fuss and likely without interrupting the game.

Japan being Japan, I would bet that interruption of games by earthquakes is a more common situation must surely have occurred in the past.


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Post #3 Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2024 10:30 am 
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Wow, interesting detail!

I had fun watching some of this stream. Where do people talk in English about pro games these days? I've checked r/baduk and r/proweiqi, and here, but found nothing quite as lively as this space used to be.


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 Post subject: Re: One color go in the Judan avoided by speedy referee
Post #4 Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2024 11:02 pm 
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pwaldron wrote:
Good to know these things can happen to anyone. I'm sure there were a few chuckles around the room.


It did look like it lightened the mood. Too bad we can't rewatch the video, is been made private now. I guess it is normal for the Nihon Kiin youtube channel to make the live streams that don't have any commentary private but this could have been a memeable moment.

pwaldron wrote:
Why would there need to be any rules about this? Setting aside that this would probably fall under tournament rules rather than game rules, it's a simple problem that can be fixed quickly before the start of play. Practicality must surely win out. More generally, the only equipment situation I can imagine possibly impacting play is discovering stones of the wrong colour mixed into a player's bowl, where the discovery takes place after the game has started. I expect the referee would correct the situation with minimal fuss and likely without interrupting the game.


The rule issue could come down to if nigiri is part of the contest of skill that happens during the game or if nigiri is something that happens before the game starts. As far as I could see in the video it wasn't taken to be part of the game. That is not surprising. The clearest evidence is in the way Iyama took back the white stones he placed on the board and nigiri was redone once the right stones were fetched.

Another equipment issue happened last year with Iyama and Ichiriki (I think) where they ran out of stones. Ichiriki was one stone short when filling dame and I don't remember if Iyama played twice or if they left the point unplayed. Again they didn't make a fuss about it but maybe did get a mention in the article for the game on the Nihon Kiin webpage.

Mikebass14 wrote:
Wow, interesting detail!

I had fun watching some of this stream. Where do people talk in English about pro games these days? I've checked r/baduk and r/proweiqi, and here, but found nothing quite as lively as this space used to be.


There are a lot of professional games going on all the time. It is impossible to follow it all closely. Sometimes these games are relayed on Pandanet and the discussion is always in English there but major title matches get much more attention. It also helps that sites like Gotoeveryone have tournament brackets and schedules, that way you can get a quick idea of what is happening if you are curious.

The schedule for the games make it harder to follow for some and easier for others. Pros play from 8 or 9 in the morning in Japan and usually weekdays. I don't think this is the most practical schedule for local spectators. Another issue is that the game records often aren't available anywhere until a few days after the event. There is a similar situation with games in South Korea and China, except that those aren't really relayed live somewhere discussion in English is expected.


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 Post subject: Re: One color go in the Judan avoided by speedy referee
Post #5 Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2024 1:18 am 
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kvasir wrote:
Another equipment issue happened last year with Iyama and Ichiriki (I think) where they ran out of stones.


I'm wondering what should be done if a player runs out of stones and times out because of that.


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 Post subject: Re: One color go in the Judan avoided by speedy referee
Post #6 Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2024 4:15 am 
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I'm wondering what should be done if a player runs out of stones and times out because of that.


Things like this are very rarely an issue in Japanese go because the Japanese share the British concept of fair play. You give way, unasked, to the opponent because it is the honourable thing to do. It was a very big part of sport when I was a child, even among us children. It was dinned into us. It was especially important in cricket and rugby union, which were then amateur games, but it applied even in wider life. It's fading away, however, no doubt under the influence of professionalism. You sometimes see it in America, and I assume that could be the legacy of immigrants from Britain. But it seems alien to Europeans, in my experience. They do often use the term "fair play" in English but don't seem to understand it in the British way.

Of course, Americans and Europeans do play and act in honourable ways, but it seems to me there is usually some debate involved, or recourse is had to a rulebook. The lack of precise regulations in a rulebook of "Japanese" go rules has long been a source of bewilderment or even irritation for Americans and Europeans, but we (older) Brits are entirely happy with the vague texts.

Nigiri is, however, in the "Japanese" rules. But in a vague way. It is described as the procedure to use in even games to decide who takes first move. But apart from saying one player has to say "Odd, Black" or "Even, Black" it leaves much unspoken. However, when the rules are presented, it is common to add commentaries, and in the case of nigiri the commentator will typically explain that "usually" it is the player in the place of honour (the tokonoma) who takes a handful of white stones. The place of honour is normally accorded to the higher ranked player, e.g. titleholder, or. failing that, the elder player. In these commentaries, the English word "manaa", i.e. (good) manners, is very often used. In other words, it is seen as a separate (higher) concept.

I write "Japanese" above because in a sense there is no such thing as Japanese rules. There are Nihon Ki-in rules and Kansai Ki-in rules. They differ. One area of difference comes under the "Ranks" section (which is where nigiri comes in). In the case of a series of three games for a one-rank difference, the Nihon Ki-in uses B-W-B. The Kansai Ki-in uses B-B-W.

Of course tricky situations and disputes can arise even in Japan. I describe many in the book The Incident Room. One situation which was not at all a dispute and bears a resemblance to the incident described here was when Kitani objected to the position of the board on Day 2 of a match. The board had a dark warp on one side and on Day 1 it has been on (say) Kitani's right side. He reasoned that that would be a great place to make a moyo, because opponents tended to shy away from playing on such "spooky" parts of a board. On Day 2, the spooky part had been turned round to be on his left side. His moyo could be invaded! The board was reversed without demur.

Kitani would also do things like take a huge two-handed nigiri, and make so the opponent spend ages on counting out the stones. Another psychological ploy? A more western ploy?


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Post #7 Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2024 4:35 pm 
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Regarding myself as European, I object to the notion that we somehow see fair play as »alien«. On the contrary, at least in my life-long experience, it is a very central concept that most people e. g. here in Germany feel quite strongly about. Of course, there are the occasional exceptions, but you'll find that everywhere; e. g. I vividly remember some Briton giving a very smug interview after having snatched a chess »victory« on a flimsical technicality.

Just as an illustration, in Germany our tournament rules still often say »in Deutschland übliche japanische Regeln«, that is roughly »[some] japanese rules common in Germany«. Note the intentional vagueness. The idea is not to have something explicit where technicalities could be exploited to produce an »obviously« unjust result.

Besides, I sometimes have the impression that especially some English seem to have a certain idea of »sportsmanship« that runs quite contrary to »fair play«.

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 Post subject: Re: One color go in the Judan avoided by speedy referee
Post #8 Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2024 3:33 am 
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Regarding myself as European, I object to the notion that we somehow see fair play as »alien«. On the contrary, at least in my life-long experience, it is a very central concept that most people e. g. here in Germany feel quite strongly about. Of course, there are the occasional exceptions, but you'll find that everywhere; e. g. I vividly remember some Briton giving a very smug interview after having snatched a chess »victory« on a flimsical technicality.


You are being a bit naughty there. I referred specifically to the "British concept of fair play" which I maintain is different from (alien to) the European concept. And you seem to overlook that (a) I also said "Of course, Americans and Europeans do play and act in honourable ways." It is the expression of the concept that differs. And you will also recall that I said that the concept is on the decline in Britain (and elsewhere). The whole world seems to be becoming increasingly polarised and confrontational and moving away from all versions of fair play.

Your reference to "sportsmanship" brings up another area where British and European concepts differ. Vive la différence!


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Post #9 Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2024 6:27 am 
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Could you try to provide an illustrative example?

For example: I have witnessed several times how players ignore that their opponent has run out of time in byouyomi.

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Post #10 Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2024 9:16 am 
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Could you try to provide an illustrative example?


For an English person, maybe the best example is what is called Mankading, mainly because it involves cricket. An incident of Mankading occurred in a test match (= international game) between India and England in (I think) 2019. It caused a huge fuss and made national headlines, even though it was not the first time it has happened (the original incident involving Mankad was about 70 years ago).

It will probably be hard for almost all non-English or non-Commonwealth people to understand, but I think it's the kind of thing worth focusing on because it does illustrate what I regard as distinctly British aspects of the concept.

I assume you will have some idea of baseball. Imagine a pitcher throwing a ball at a batter. If the batter hits the ball safely, he can run round the bases. To switch this to cricket, imagine another batter stands beside the pitcher (the bowler in cricket), and that at each better's end is a set of stumps - a wicket - three short poles stuck close together in the ground. If the batter hits the ball, he can then run, NOT round the bases, but to where the bowler bowled from. The other batter has to run to where the first batter started from, and if they both safely reach the respective opposite positions, a run is scored (the other batter would face the bowler for the next play. But if a player on the fielding side (including the bowler) "breaks" the wicket with the ball before either batter has safely reached home, the runner at that end is out.

Now what happens in practice is that, as the bowler is delivering the ball to the first batter, the second batter typically starts walking towards the first batter's end, so that if the ball is safely struck, he has a head start in reaching the other end safely. Essentially, he is cheating. (It is a bit like stealing a base in baseball.)

What Mankad famously did as the bowler in this situation was to stop and not deliver the ball. Instead, he broke (hit) the wicket with the ball at his end, and so batter at his end, who had gone walkabout, was stranded between the wickets. He was out. There is absolutely no doubt about this. Everyone agrees 100%.

But it causes a huge fuss in England because it is considered not fair play by the bowler. In India and Pakistan, where Mankading is common, it causes a mere ripple of protest. Different culture. The majority English view is that the correct procedure is for the bowler to stop and simply warn the walkabout batter, effectively saying, "I don't want to impugn your honour, but I'm sure you wouldn't want to give the impression you might be cheating. So, I can dismiss you but I won't this time. Next time, maybe..." That's considered fair-play. No rule book or debate involved. The sympathy is with the runner. The bowler is lambasted.

Consider a similar situation with stealing a base in baseball. The pitcher does not deliver his pitch to the batter but throws the ball to the first-base fielder because the runner there is trying to steal a march to get to second base. If the runner gets back to base before he is tagged, nothing happens and the fielder just throws the ball back to the pitcher. Except that sometimes he doesn't. He makes afake throw back to the pitcher and keeps the ball hidden in his glove. The runner relaxes and steps off the base, but then the fielder surprises him by tagging him out with the ball. In America there is NO sympathy for the runner. He is just seen as a doofus, or a twit. The first-base fielder is applauded. Different culture. And it doesn't make the news.

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For example: I have witnessed several times how players ignore that their opponent has run out of time in byouyomi.


I'm not quite sure what you mean by this, but if you mean that the player who has time on his clock knowingly lets his opponent play on (and so does not claim a win on time), I wouldn't count that as an example of (British) fair play. I have seen it many times. I would class it simply as an example of good manners, noblesse oblige or good sportsmanship, depending on the context.

Since you mention byoyomi, there is (or used to be) a good example there of Japanese fair play (which I regard as very close to the British sense). When a senior player is in byoyomi, the young timekeeper will not count out the seconds metronomically 10, 9. 8. 7.... He will count VERY slowly: 10..........., 9........, 8...... etc. And I have seen no case where the opponent objected. The very, very few examples I can recall where a player did lose on time involved other factors. For example, Suzuki lost on time to Segoe but that was almost certainly because Suzuki had irritated ALL other players by insisting on 16 hours each instead of the usual 11 hours each.

The whole point of fair play has to be that there is no rule book that tells you what fair play actually is. It is doing whatever is considered to be in the "spirit of the game" in that particular culture and at that particular time. Just as there is no law that says gentlemen have to lift the seat. It is just the done thing.


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Post #11 Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2024 9:24 am 
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It's always fun to try find alignment on the borders of fair play. I'm not sure equipment comes into the equation very often.

In chess you used to have the 40 move rule bringing in a lot of swindles. The victim gets lost in a time scramble, the cad let's him think he's made it, but watches the 'sand drip through the timer', and claims their IM norm. Go of course had the Canadian byo-yomi for their version of the same. Digital clocks got rid of that. The last scandal in memory I know of would be the 'Transatlantic Incident', when the referee wasn't even watching the game in question.

Pair Go of course contains additional rules on manners. http://www.worldpairgo.org/rules/index.htm
Some of these rules are completely disregarded at Pair Go tournaments.

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 Post subject: Re: One color go in the Judan avoided by speedy referee
Post #12 Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2024 1:52 am 
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This thread has gone from a funny anecdote to a dispute of fairness in different countries. I have enough of this...

How nobody compared this, in real life, with Hikaru no Go? Hikaru (rookie) and Kurata (senior) play in a go salon, an unofficial game, and both have white. Simple mistake, somebody quickly finds a set of black stones. Only that, in the manga, they actually play on color go. How did it go? Well, the rookie (Hikaru/Fujisawa) did well, and put the senior (Kurata/Iyama) in trouble. But in the end, the experience prevailed and the senior won.


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 Post subject: Re: One color go in the Judan avoided by speedy referee
Post #13 Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2024 4:44 am 
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pajaro wrote:
How nobody compared this, in real life, with Hikaru no Go? Hikaru (rookie) and Kurata (senior) play in a go salon, an unofficial game, and both have white. Simple mistake, somebody quickly finds a set of black stones. Only that, in the manga, they actually play on color go. How did it go? Well, the rookie (Hikaru/Fujisawa) did well, and put the senior (Kurata/Iyama) in trouble. But in the end, the experience prevailed and the senior won.


Aren't there more than one cases of playing one color Go in HnG? Maybe it is just in the anime but I think I remember there was one color Go at some Go exhibition. Hikaru(?) plays a pro and the spectators don't realize he won.

I wonder if there has ever been a one color Go competition. Recently, there was a one color 13x13 game shown during a title match youtube stream. They had a really cool rig. A transparent board with a camera below it. The stones that were meant to be black had a sticker on the bottom, which was visible to the camera below the table. This allowed the position to be visible for spectator. This rig might solve one difficulty with one color Go which is that disputes, or at least just confusion, about which stone is which is inevitable in such a tournament. The rig could make one color Go tournaments more manageable.

John Fairbairn wrote:
I'm not quite sure what you mean by this, but if you mean that the player who has time on his clock knowingly lets his opponent play on (and so does not claim a win on time), I wouldn't count that as an example of (British) fair play. I have seen it many times. I would class it simply as an example of good manners, noblesse oblige or good sportsmanship, depending on the context.


If it is in a tournament then the tournament director and some of the other players could be annoyed by players that don't respect the time limits. Depending on the context it might be bad manners to continue after the clock runs out.


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 Post subject: Re: One color go in the Judan avoided by speedy referee
Post #14 Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2024 4:50 am 
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John Fairbairn wrote:
the British concept of fair play. You give way, unasked, to the opponent because it is the honourable thing to do.


This would apply to both players. Now, what does it mean when both players simultaneously give way? What does it mean for this case of both receiving white stones?


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Post #15 Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2024 5:54 am 
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Quote:
This would apply to both players. Now, what does it mean when both players simultaneously give way?


Welcome civlised behaviour.

Quote:
What does it mean for this case of both receiving white stones?


Nothing of consequence. Who gets White (in the doing nigiri sense) has already been decided by the seating (place of honour) or seniority (of age or rank).


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Post #16 Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2024 6:43 am 
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One has to remember the us British and Japanese have quite culturally powerful royal families that don't exercise their executive. The entire function of our societies are far more steeped in gentleperson's agreements, asfor example technically, the monarch holds ultimate executive power, but it if you suggested the Queen acted in any other way than on the Prime Ministers advice you'd be looked at as crazy, and the same is likely true of Japan. in the first election to replace Prime minister Theresa May to determine who will, a controversy erupted when it seemed that Boris Johnson might prorogue parliament in order to pass his version of a brexit bill, and even though Jeremy Hunt who was supposed to be presenting himself as a relatively sane alternative, he also did not rule it out. it was a constitutional crisis of the british sort that other countries woud laugh at, and wile there are aspects of common procedure and culture in the USA such as was important in the most recent transfer of power of their top executive, it isn't quite as culturally ingrained as here. i remember in 2014. Perhaps previous empiric status also retains a sense of having rights in our discretion being as worthy as a ruleset in other words, it's seen as almost elegant to minimise the amount of written rules in favour of gentle agreement, and the USA is an empire but it is fundamentally competitive society even on an internal level. Perhaps a lot of the debacles on online servers coud be solved by incorporating this into their thinking

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Post #17 Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2024 1:32 pm 
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pajaro wrote:
Only that, in the manga, they actually play on color go. How did it go? Well, the rookie (Hikaru/Fujisawa) did well, and put the senior (Kurata/Iyama) in trouble. But in the end, the experience prevailed and the senior won.


I would not say really sy experience prevailed, Kurata realized he did not know anymore which stones belonged to whom, and would have lost the game, except that Hikaru, who still knew the state of the gme, also knew he was too far behind in points, and resigned.

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