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CHINA Spotting #003: (biannual) GO League 2017 in Jin Rui Go Club (Hangzhou, China)

Guillaume D. (aka litchee) - 4d CWF/5d AGA
Guillaume D. (aka litchee) – 4d CWF/5d AGA
Guillaume’s China Spotting #003

Jin Rui Go Club : biannual league.

I have been participating in a half year long league tournament in the Jin Rui Go Club (Hangzhou/China), as well as another team tournament between the league groups – see my other post “CHINA Spotting #002” about it.

I live now for more than 3 years in Hangzhou with my Chinese wife.

I was interested in participating in local tournaments first for practicing, and also because it is similar as the ASR League division system we use, with some differences that can be a source of inspiration to make the ASR League a better place for our online Go studies.

Let me describe the Jin Rui Go Club in Hangzhou: The level in the Jin Rui Go Club is quite high for amateurs.  The average age in Go clubs (in China generally) is usually around 30/40 years old. It is due to the fact that youngsters playing GO are being teached in Go schools !

There are actually about 90 members in the Jin Rui Go Club. Here a portrait of most of the members, their names and ranks (if you can read Mandarin) …

The average strength in the Jin Rui Go Club is around 2d KGS. I think the weakest is around 1d (around 2k/3k KGS) while at the very top we find four (4) of the top ten in Zhejiang (Zhejiang is the province, Hangzhou the capital city). They are easily pro level or very near, especially Zhou Yelei, the teacher of Yuanbo, one member of the ASR team (see ASR team page – There are also 2 female professional Ma Qing Qing (1p) and Yuan Wei Hong (2p).

The yearly fee to become a club member is 2,000.00 RMB (~297.5 US$), which is much more expensive than in Europe  or USA I believe.

Though, there are quite a lot of tournaments and extra activities organized (sightseeing, tournaments in and outside Hangzhou, parties etc…) for small entrance fees.

Quite big money to win in the top places is shifted around. Also and most importantly, the Chinese (not only in Go) love betting ! So you have a lot of chances to get the membership fee covered as a foreigner as they love to bet against you.

Also the great thing is that you find everyday people playing, from afternoon till late night and (Chinese) tea is for free !

Here for your eyes some snapshots from the club atmosphere and some of the league matches in 2017 !

About the league tournament itself:

  • The league last 6 months.
  • There are 2 tournaments each year, from January to end of June and from June till end of year.
  • The fee to participating is 200 RMB (~29.75 US Dollar).
  • There are 3 groups: A, B and C.
  • Each group has around 15 players.
  • Top 3 of each group go to the upper group for next half year league. Bottom 3 go down.
  • There are money prizes for the Top 3, depending on which group you are (see pictures below).Each won game grants you a money reward: 20 RMB (~2.97 US Dollar) in C group, 30 RMB in B group, 50 RMB in A group.

I’m playing in B group, and finished 6th … a bit disappointing considering that I totally messed up my last two games against players whom I usually win. That would have put me in 3rd position.

You can find my results under my Chinese name Run Wu (润物),  as well as the other groups.

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I recorded and analyzeda few of the games I played in this tournament (in April and June). – Hopefully you will have fresh ideas for your own games !

  • Kifu 1 – played on 04/06/2017 with White

My invasion in the corner was way too early, after that I was under pressure all the way.

Then in the lower part I misread a life and death situation by one liberty… there was no coming back after.

That’s why solving tsumego regularly is useful for; to get rid of similar reading mistakes !

  • Kifu 2 – played on 04/26/2017 with White

Soft moves … try your best until the end!

  • Kifu 3 – played on 06/05/2017 with Black

Clean victory … but keep focused, tables could turn in a blink of the eye … see move 188.

  • Kifu 4 – played on 06/18/2017 with Black

Tsumego at move 165. – Fight until the end !
In Go usually the player who makes the last mistake will loose … no matter if its the only one he made !

  • Kifu 5 – played on 06/24/2017 with Black

What you can learn from this game is to not play too soft moves ! – That will give the other player small advantages, and you probably already have lost a game or two by 0.5 … each point counts.

In this game, the lesson was a bit hard to swallow … I was quite ahead, found a good attack which could have finished the game quickly. Somehow knowing I was ahead I started to play moves too relax and lost at the end by 1.5. – Winning it would have put me in a solid 4th position in the league…

Summary: Keep focussed until the end ! – Anyhow, you always learn more when loosing than winning. So … feel happy, if you loose ! – It’s always a great opportunity to improve 🙂

Warm greetings from Hangzhou/China
Guillaume Douron (4d CWF / 5d AGA)

P.S.: I hope the readers and my opponents will forgive me, I have a very hard time remembering Chinese names and how to write them… especially because they all use shortened names or nicknames.

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