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 Post subject: Goban for visually impaired (please help)
Post #1 Posted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:14 pm 
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Hi,
I ask your help to give some support to a guy that contacted my Go Club (North Italy).
I translated his text and post some pictures that we found in the web and through sensei library here https://www.flickr.com/photos/26955161@N06/albums/72157605289170178/with/2529341280/
We also found a Japanese society for visually impaired but they only provide a 9x9 goban
http://fmiyano.sakura.ne.jp/topeng.htm
Maybe you know more.

Hallo everyone,
my name is G. and I was born blind. I am looking for a 19x19 goban usable for blind people: with embossed grid and magnetic stones, I guess, as is used for Chess.
I tried here and there, on the web, but without any result.
It seems that a goban with proper characteristics exsists in Korea, but I cannot find a link to contact the builders and buy it.
Is there anyone able to give me some more information?
Any news will be more than welcome, do not hesitate to contact me even in private,
I will appreciate it very much.
A hug to you all and have a good game.


I will share contacts through PM if you need.
Thanks in advance for your support! :tmbup:

Galation

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When you play Weiqi you are joining millions of people across four thousand years of time.
Jonathan Hop - So You Want to Play Go?


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 Post subject: Re: Goban for visually impaired (please help)
Post #2 Posted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:35 pm 
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I did some digging around, 19x19 Go boards for visually-impaired are available in Japan.

This Nihon Kiin article talks about Go equipment for the blind, and you can see a photo of the board:
http://archive.nihonkiin.or.jp/news/2012/05/post_409.html

I don't know who sells this board, but people at the Japanese Welfare Go Association can point you to a seller. The contact information is here (please use Google Translate):
http://www2.odn.ne.jp/~hao45700/inquiry/index.html

Also, I know there's a blind French gentleman (Mr. Pierre Audouard) who has what appears to be the same board. See below video around 18:00 mark:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbpyyxBTHbU

Perhaps it's easier to contact Mr. Pierre Audouard directly and ask him how and where he got the board. I unfortunately do not have his contact information, but I'd imagine he can be reached via the French Go association because Mr. Audouard once represented France at the World Amateur Go Championship.


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 Post subject: Re: Goban for visually impaired (please help)
Post #3 Posted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:21 am 
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Thank you for your suggestions TheCannyOnions, we will try that way.
In the mean time, we are also contacting the Korea Baduk Association.
I will update for future reference. :tmbup:
G.

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 Post subject: Re: Goban for visually impaired (please help)
Post #4 Posted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 5:53 am 
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For an Italian, probably the best way to start is contacting Ivan Viganò, husband of pro Shigeno Yuki. I haven't got the contact details any more but I'm sure he and she are easy to find.

Otherwise, the best way to start is to e-mail hukusiigo@rio.odn.ne.jp. I expect this will get you in touch (via the Welfare Association) with Mr Kakijima Mitsuharu 柿島光晴 who also goes by the nickname of Kakki. He is a blind player himself, about 40, and living in Machida City, Tokyo Prefecture (about 30 miles west of Tokyo). He is photographed on the Nihon Ki-in site, but is very active elsewhere in promoting blind activities (e.g. Dialogue in the Dark) and has recently been featured in the Mainichi and on NHK.

He is trying to promote go among blind schoolchildren. One of the problems he faces is the manufacture of 19x19 boards - 9x9 and 13x13 are more usual, for obvious reasons, but his dream is to see a blind player become pro. The 19x19 board problem has been solved in principle, it's just a still difficult question of volume and availability.

If you want to search wider for such boards in Japan you could try googling on 視覚障害者用改良型碁盤の製作, or more specifically go straight to http://www.santec-j.com/topics-20171024.html.

Among pros, the Kansai Ki-in 9-dan Morino Setsuo has long been a keen supporter, especially of blind go tournaments in the west of Japan (Hiroshima, Nara, Kyoto etc), so that may be an easier route (e.g. if you have friends in Osaka who can contact Morino via the Kansai Ki-in).

There is also a Korean maker of traditional boards for blind players, at http://www.kmp.co.kr (they have an English page).

GoGoD's New in Go (available with the GoGoD database) has featured several articles on blind players, and the database has some games so you can check out the incredibly high standard that can be achieved. In that regard, it's also worth looking at what has been achieved by blindfolded players, especially by Bao Yun (close to pro standard).


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 Post subject: Re: Goban for visually impaired (please help)
Post #5 Posted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 5:58 am 
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As mentioned above, contacting the French Federation could help since Pierre Audouard is a well known visually impaired player. See for instance this post (march 2017) by the Lausanne of Club in which it is mentioned they just acquired two gobans for visually impaired that their president brought back from France.


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