Feb 16, 2015

Still on the Go

 This is the official referee, shimpan in Japanese, telling us about the rules and the sequence of play. The first game pairs were assigned by chance. Then after that you played a person who had the same record as yours and was about the same rank. I lost my first game so in my second game I played someone who had also. The winners played the winners and the losers played the losers. The referee is Mr. Irie and he is my teacher during my Friday afternoon lessons. He is very strong and has a shelf full of trophies that he won when he was younger.
This is me making a move in the middle of my first game. My opponent beat me and went on to beat everyone else he faced, so he was the overall winner of my class. The group was divided up into two groups, the stronger dan level players and the weaker kyu level players.

The ranking system is interesting. Each step represents a one stone handicap. The handicap stones are placed on the board in specified spots as the first play of the game. Kyu levels range from 35-kyu to 1-kyu, with 1-kyu being the strongest and 35-kyu someone who has never played. I am a 2-kyu and my goal is to become a dan level player. The dan levels go from 1-dan to 9-dan with 9-dan the strongest.

All of the professional players are dan level. There is one pro player who is ranked as 10-dan but this is actually a title given to the winner of a tournament and not really a ranking.

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