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Archive for November, 2007

27th October was the last day of the tournament. I lost one game in the morning and won the last game, to my relief. Overall result was unimpressive 4 losses and 2 wins.

Later in the evening was closing ceremony. I had no idea how grand it would be. There was a large stage in the field, in open air and I sat for dinner among other Malaysians, Vietnamese, Macau and Hong Kong.

There food was great, and there were fireworks and cheerleading display. Honestly, I did not expect these in a board game closing ceremony. Nevertheless I enjoyed myself; it felt like we were all graduating. There was video replay of the tournament with “We are the champion” as background song.

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Picture above shows us Malaysian team with the organizer keyperson, Thai Go Association.

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Ok, then. Bye bye Thailand. Now there is a strong reason to pursue Masters or PhD. I need to be a university student to attend Thai U-Go XII next time.

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On 25th in the morning, there was an opening ceremony. We were all told to wear Thai U-Go official shirts, nice shirts indeed.

The ceremony started with some speeches by important people. All were in Thai. Even if it were in English, I doubt I would listen to it. I was too nervous as I was really not used to tournament.  Alex and Jimmy looked much calmer.

The ceremony was really formal. Towards the end, there were oath session by the officials, perhaps to swear their dedication towards serving the tournament. Flags were raised, representing each participating countries and perhaps some universities. Finally, at the end, there were Thai traditional dance performance.

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Alongside with Asian tournament was Thai University tournament, participated only by Thai universities with special participation from two Singaporean polytechnic teams. Here, I could see how large go community in Thailand was. Hehe, Malaysia probably only got about 40 players with only 20 active ones.

I was told by My Phung, Vietnamese team leader that there were about 300 players in Vietnam. I now appreciate the urgency to promote Weiqi or Go in Malaysia fast !

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The picture above shows me playing Lin-Shih Wei, a 6d from Chinese Taipei who had played Go for 15 years. I thought I had reasonable chance in the beginning, securing some points from attacking. However my attack ceased after his weak group escaped to the middle, leaving me with no strategy.

Afterwards, during the game review, he told me that I should have kept him weak. I took  mental note of that.

“Keep your opponent weak” !

That was probably the biggest thing that I learned from the tournament. If your opponent’s stones are weak, we can attack and control the game. The mantra is so obvious, I knew it before but couldn’t apply it to overall strategy. Ah well, try again next time.

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The next morning, we all moved up north from Bangkok to Khon Kaen. By all, I meant representatives from Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, Macau, Chinese Taipei, China, Korea, Japan and Vietnam, along with the tournament officials. The journey to Khon Kaen was going to be long, so we stopped at various places to make the trip more exciting. Congratulations to the tournament officials, we did enjoy the trip.

Among the places were Petrified Wood museum, Phian Mai historical park.

Petrified woods are woods that have undergone tremendous pressure over time and became stones. They looked beautiful, and we imagined how nice it would be to have a goban (go board) made of petrified wood.

Later on, in Phian Mai, we were brought to see a 1000 year old temple. Not so sure if I could call it Angkor Wat. Is Angkor Wat specific to the old temple in Cambodia? However, this ancient building used to be a place of residence and a place of religious rituals.

My camera ran out of batteries here, but I had taken enough pictures for the day.

The last pictures shows me in the room that I shared with Ping Ho. It was at a nice resort in Khon Kaen, with breakfast provided. There were also swimming pool and gym facilities. I’m amazed how rich 7 Eleven is to have sponsored all these.

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