GO Friends Report.

[ No.19 ] Mr. W. VanBeek

At first glance, it looks like a chessboard, but the game is draughts. The round, flat pieces on the squares move diagonally; if you jump over an enemy piece, you capture it. The game is won when you have captured all your opponent’s pieces.

Mr. W. VanBeek is a Dutchman who is vice president of the international draughts federation. His everyday face is that of a researcher into Africa. He has residences in Mali and Cameroon and he teaches at a university in South Africa. He spends several months of each year in Africa.

We take the opportunity to give exchange lessons in draughts and go. Since the board is so narrow (there are apparently both eight-row and ten-row boards), I feel that analysis is essential for each move.

Draughts is apparently very popular in Russia and Africa. Unfortunately, there’s no draughts association in Japan; apparently the only Asian country with one is Mongolia. Wouldn’t it be a good idea for us to agree to an exchange, with him promoting go in Africa and me draughts in Japan?

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