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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Singapore Day Trip

I used to be wow’d when meeting famous Go characters for the first time. In 2008, it was Lee Chang Ho, world’s top player who I met during Korea AABC. In 2007, it was KGS Top Player, Fondle/Tartaric. Before that, there were Yuki Shigeno 2p, Cornel Burzo and Ondrej Silt. Heck, back during my double-digit kyu time, I was even wow’d to have met a 3d Japanese amateur, Tomahaku Urascoe.

Those were the times 🙂 . But from here onwards, I shall be wow’d no more, because I have met the greatest character in Go for all time ever forever – Go Seigen ! Go Seigen, currently 94 year-old is a legendary figure in Go world, mainly remembered for his revolutionary plays and being the main architect of Shin Fuseki theory along with his good friend, Kitani Minoru few decades ago.

Go Seigen was present in Ing’s Cup Final between Lee Chang Ho and Choi Cheol Han held recently in Singapore. Current result is 2-1 to Choi Cheol Han, and the 4th and 5th matches will be held in Taiwan in a month to determine the ultimate winner.

I was among 10 Malaysians who flew to Singapore to watch the third match of the final, on Saturday 7th March. I took budget flight Tiger Airways, which I deeply enjoyed, mainly because I managed to sleep before taking off and wake up only after touching down. Both go and return trips 🙂

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Malaysian Go players in the observer seats, along with a white guy who I believe was among those who persisted to watch the game from start to end. Amazing patience, considering the very slow nature of professional games.

Lee Chang Ho (left) vs Choi Cheol Han (right) with Go Seigen (middle) watching. Lee Chang Ho is also known as Stone Buddha, for his expressionless face, and I just learned from Karen’s blog that Choi Cheol Han is known as Poisonous Snake for his deadly attacking style. Well, for this third game, he really deserved the name because his attack came so suddenly and swiftly.

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Gotta thank Mun Yi for helping me a lot, including sneaking up on Go Seigen and the players 🙂

Priceless picture with Go Seigen. Singapore Weiqi Association officials were kind enough to let us Malaysian players to trouble him.

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By afternoon, there were just too many people in the observer room, and to make things worse – the air conditioner failed to work. Everyone got sweaty and started gasping for oxygen. Ugh.. tournament was great, but I guess I could do without this part.

About the game itself, it was rather suprising to see so many mistakes from Lee Chang Ho, as pointed by Go Seigen in his analysis. I wonder why, I just hope he was just experimenting with new moves in order to be an even stronger player. Many I know are actually quite upset that he lost, although his opponent, Choi Cheol Han is an easily likable character as well. My respect for Choi Cheol Han is currently building fast, especially after reviewing his games against Liu Xing during the semi-final. Splendid attack !

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Hehe, Philip and Hock Doong conspiring with Mr Tiong to get Go Seigen’s signature. Mr Tiong, as Malaysia Weiqi president, had access to the restricted area. Ho already could not contain his smile. Go here to read his account of the event.

Hmm… so much fascination with Go Seigen. I guess you have to be a Go player to understand why.

p/s: Yawn … I still haven’t recovered from the day trip fatigue.

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Pictures of Kota Kinabalu

Perhaps I should develop a skill in photography since my work requires me being at highest altitudes all around Malaysia, recently in Kota Kinabalu of Sabah.

The city is very nice. It has close proximity to the sea, not too busy unlike KL. Food is also cheap, and tasty. The only thing I dislike is the road infrastructure outside the city centre which makes travelling around an unpleasant experience.

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Family Trip to Port Dickson

Went to Port Dickson with family today morning. Now that we are all located in Kuala Lumpur, organizing a family trip gets so much easier. Hopefully we will have more trips like this.

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Was I on steroid? Maybe 🙂 I jumped here and there a lot, swam a lot, and went for jet-ski and banana boat as well. My muscles and back still sore from jet ski. Great fun though. Felt so alive, free and unstoppable especially when speeding against the waves. Gotta do this more 🙂

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I am quite sick today. Perhaps recent Go tournament is finally taking its toll on me. Or perhaps the sudden change of weather. Or maybe it’s the thought of going back to work dampening my spirit so much that my health is affected.

I will change my lifestyle soon enough. Less computer, more gym. But for now, I am still in WMSG mode. More pics for today’s post.

My super long Chinese name. I think I will stick with 大卫

Chile players are really nice people, for reason that is not suitable to be broadcasted here. Private message me if you want to know.

Yoda Norimoto in his coolest appearance on the first day. This was why I wanted to play him so much. Actually I am more of Keigo’s fan, and Hock Doong is Yoda’s fan, but he played Keigo and I played Yoda.

A short visit to Bridge tournament. Not my type of game though. I dont like card games.

Malaysian team at Wang Fujing. The single fact that we managed to play Japan professionals kept us happy till the end.

Me against Ondrej Silt, a strong ex-Japanese insei from Czech. Three or four years ago, I was only a game recorder of his game against Cornel Burzo during London Open final, and now I was playing him. 🙂 It’s a personal achievement, although I lost the game. One day though, I will win. 🙂

Sorry guys, I am too used to reading books during dinner. Not anti-social, I assure you.

A game I played against a local Beijing club player. Oops, I am caught drinking Coke. Not good, not good.

We walked around Beijing every night, which I believe to be the reason I felt so healthy during the trip. Now I am back to surfing the internet every night.

Ah ok, 1 a.m. already. Tomorrow I need to attend Strategic Management training. But even if I sleep early now, I will still yawn big big time tomorrow, so I might as well enjoy the TV for a bit …  Haha, I hope my boss does not read this blog.

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Back from WMSG

Last one week, I was in Beijing, China to participate in World Mind Sport Games in Go event as part of Malaysia Men’s Team. Overall, we did OK by winning 3 out of 7 in preliminary rounds, beating Chile, Mexico and Azerbaijan, and losing to Finland, Czech, Slovakia and Japan.

Yes… Japan !!!

Haha, I dont know how come we got so lucky to play against Japan. After losing to Finland in the second round, we thought it was impossible to meet them. We all wanted badly to play Japan , because their team was simply awesome. The team was made of Yoda Norimoto, Hane Naoki, Takao Shinji, Yamashita Keigo and Kono Rin.

And I played Yoda Norimoto ! I lost by 16.5 moku 😦 I must say Yoda Norimoto is a man of great character. On the first day, he wore traditional Japanese costume and I could already feel his strong aura. At that time, I wanted to play him and three rounds later, I really did. Heh, dream come true rather effortlessly.

I did not ask for signatures from any of the professionals. I was happy enough to be able to play against them. Besides, I am very bad at keeping souvenirs.

Uh, I jumped to the best part too early.

Malaysian Men’s Team for 1st World Mind Sport Games

Malaysia vs Chile. We won 4-1.

World Mind Sport Games was not just for Go, but also Chess, Chinese Chess, Draught and Bridge. I left chess five years ago, but I still felt excited to see chess stars such as Alexandra Kosteniuk and prodigy Hou Yifan.

There was also a promotion of a new board game, called Aigo which is actually a hybrid of chess and Chinese Chess. They advertised it as “West meets East” game. Basically, it’s the same as normal chess, but with addition of two pieces of cannon for each side. Cannon is a piece from Chinese chess which moves like a rook, but to capture, it must jump over any one and only one piece. For example, a cannon can capture opponent’s piece if there is something i.e. bishop, rook, pawn between them.

Pictures above was me playing Aigo against Yi Zheng at the demonstration area.

 

Throughout the one week, I felt extremely healthy. Perhaps because we walked a lot and also drank a lot of green tea or Chinese tea. Above pic was me and my Mexican opponent enjoying tea together.

I have been to Beijing three times now, and every time I visited Wang Fujing, a famous shopping area and eating area. Usually I buy green tea from here. I bought 100 gram of Tenfu Oolong tea for RMB400.

On Thursday, we only had one game in the morning against Azerbaijan. So, after lunch, we went to the World of Weiqi which was situated in Ciqikou area to look at some go equipment. There, I played two games against some of the club players.

For Friday, we had the whole day to ourselves as we did not qualify to the quarter final. Many of us went to Forbidden City, but I chose to meet a friend who I got to know from Internet in Communication University of China. It was almost one and half hour away from where we stayed by subway.

We were supposed to be language partner, where she would help me with Mandarin and I her with English. But I had been so lazy with my studying that I couldn’t utter the slightest Mandarin when we met. Ugh, embarrassing.

There was much more to the whole trip, but I just dont have the energy to spew it all here. Life’s back to normal once I reach home. Back to work, to studying, back to watching Slam Dunk on Astro. Ah, when is the next go trip, I wonder.

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Tioman Island Visit

Did I cry for adventurous life? Haha, embarrassed to admit that I vomited during the ferry ride to Tioman Island. Very seasicking-lah. The ride took about one and half hour. Too long, and I had just had sucky breakfast just before boarding.

I actually left my laptop, wallet, camera and car key in my bag unattended during the ride. I went out to the open air area to breathe. Cannot tahan. At many points I was considering to jump into the sea. Very very tempting. Whaddaya kno, seasickness can kill !

After reaching the island with the ferry, me and colleagues took the above boat to go from one village to another. Better ride, not seasick. I think I need open air whenever travelling on sea ! So weak … how can I be an adventurer like this.

There were quite many visitors from Singapore. We welcome them of course, but hopefully they wont claim the island as theirs. Anyway I was expecting to see more of Chinese couples as it was Chinese Valentine’s, but then again, going to an island for valentine’s is quite overdoing it.

One of the Kampongs or Villages. There were also Kampong Salang and Kampong Tekek, the latter was where I stayed, at Coral Reef. Quite cheap, RM70 per night. Came free with cockroaches and uncomfortable smell.

Water was clear, and we could see the fish. OK, I swam here, despite planning not to, fearing becoming deaf again. But that time, it was already raining and all the fishes were gone. Even water was not clear. But I still swam, nonetheless, nonethemore – haha whatever that means.

OK, time to focus on the Olympic. China must be happy to have the Olympic starting on 8/8/8, the lucky number for them. Those with Astro can watch on channel 816 and 825 (Mandarin). I hope all effort to sabotage and boycott the olympic will fail ! This is the time to repair and renew friendship between competing countries.

One World One Dream.

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A week in Johor.

Does anyone miss me?

I have been away in Johor since Monday. Started with Batu Pahat, then to Kluang and now in Mersing. My kilometer – meter already reached 450, so looks like I can claim quite a lot this month, $0.92 for each km.

Batu Pahat was OK. I stayed in Hotel Katerina, an amazingly big and high class hotel for a small city like Batu Pahat. Hehe. Had Mc Donald for dinner, from nearby Summit Mall.

The next day I drove to Kluang, and stayed overnight there at Hotel Anika. A local asked, why didn’t I stay at Prime Hotel instead, a much better hotel next to Kluang Parade. Yeah, Prime Hotel did look nicer, but anyway, Hotel Anika was not too far from the Parade too.

Anyway, Kluang was very enjoyable. Despite the tension and fatigue from work, I managed to find time to watch The Mummy III at the Parade. The movie was great. It reminded me of my childhood dream of adventurous life. Now I seem to be focusing too much on personal development, I totally forgot about ADVENTUROUS LIFE ! My childhood dream since watching Indiana Jones : The Temple of Doom.

The Mummy III got me dreaming again 🙂

 

Picture of Kluang. Not too bad. There were a lot of Kopitiams around. But the most famous one was Kluang RailCoffee. I really loved the coffee a lot. It was said that many were willing to travel from KL just to have a cup of coffee here 🙂

Below is Minah. She actually rejected banana for durian as depicted below.

Birds’ view of Johor. Palm oil plantation still rules the land.

By the way, tomorrow I will go to Pulau Tioman. Wait for better pics from me 🙂

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