review of 2017 Shanglv Cup International City GO Tournament (27 Oct – 1st Nov 2017)
(Hangzhou/China – 03-11-2017) As announced in a previous post with additional info about the tournament, I joined for the third time in a row the Shanglv Cup in Hangzhou, one of the most important event in the country.
The first day of the International City Weiqi competition, the masters of all walks of life appeared on the stage, ready to rumble. This year we saw 137 players competing and many more westerners than the past editions.
This annual tournament in my opinion reflected the rapid development of the Western and European Weiqi we have seen in recent years. From the organization was made much more efforts on having English speakers, and basic info available in English. The tournament has obviously increased in quality. Many want to come back next year.
There was also a visit tour organized and a special team competition in whichI participated: International Team vs Monk team !
Some personal moments …
The competitors are very high level. So high that even a European 6d like Johannes Obenaus from Berlin/Germany could not win more than 5 games (out of 9). If I remember correctly he won 4 (which is a good result considering how difficult the tournament is).
In this tournament have been many 5d and 6d, with some 7 and 8d on top… not very many players were below 5d. About 1/3 of the population are young kids, training to become pro someday. Even they are looking innocent, in fact, they are killing machines, knowing every shape by heart !
Some of the top players here were professional before, and have quit. Because in China there are not many tournaments for professionals, you need to be a top professional to earn a decent living… which is not the case for all, obviously. It happens frequently that some pros quit, to go back being allowed to participate in amateur tournaments AND to be there at the top.
All the way strong Go heroes have came on stage during the four (4) days, and in the last afternoon the final match will finally produce a new Chess King who will get a huge prize !
Amateur Go Titan Bai Baoxiang became the champion after struggling to win a victory over Ma Tianfang. They are both as strong as pro players to give you an idea of their strength… both are considered “Go Titans” in China.
The winner of this tournament, beside winning 60 000 Yuan (about 10,000 Euros), is also offered to become pro. I have no doubt that Bai Baoxiang will refuse, as he did in the past (he has been offered to become pro before, see his interview posted on the IGF), for the reasons written above.
During the event I had plenty of chances to meet with another fellow ASR Team member Zhang Yuanbo. We had nice talks about Go teachings and life, a special thanks to him bringing me around ! – After four days and nine rounds of competition, the Hangzhou International City Go Invitational Tournament came to an end.
Thank you to all the nice people I met there and to the host for the organization and hospitality. – See you all next year in China !
Guillaume Douron (aka Litchee)
– The ASR Team –
All my games played in the competition on Gokibitz:
- Game 1 – A good start; first game first win – Defeating the San Ren Sei opening
- Game 2 – Back to reality – successful invasion by White decided the game
- Game 3 – Big gap in strength – Getting crushed by an experienced player…
- Game 4 – 1st game with a kid – Catching the big mistake (and a corner) + having a good flow made the second win !
- Game 5 – Second Go student – Early mistake, trying hard to make a mess but Black stand still flawlessly
- Game 6 – Next Go student – Stealing the bottom territory and controlling the center for the win
- Game 7 – Losing balance – Missing the big opportunity, epic ko fight attempting to comeback
- Game 8 – Great lesson – Mistake in the opening, running after the score all game long…
Game 9 – The last stand – Fair fight, good endgame by White ensured him the win.