IGS PANDANET is suporting The Nihon-Ki-in professional player Yuki Shigeno who is trying to increase Go population in abroad.
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Go camp in a hut in the Swiss mountains (Training Course in St. Jean)
It was still very hot in Milan, at the end of August. I went to the Go training camp in the Swiss Alps where it was more cold than cool with snow on the top of the mountains. It took 2 hours and a half from Milan by train.
Swiss Wallis state which is on the border of France and Italy is a mountainous district surrounded by magnificent mountains of Jungfrau to the north and the Matterhorn to the south.
The training camp was held at St. Jean, a small village with a view of a valley. The mooing of cows and sound of bells sounded pleasant and the area was just like the world of Heidi.
It's great scenery here!
This training camp is held for kyu players. There were 12 people from beginners to intermediate players. Isn't it a wonderful idea?
Usually in Europe, there is hardly any chance for kyu players to learn Go. Of course, everyone wants to be stronger and study more and at the same time, you have worries and doubts but if you are a kyu player, usually, kyu players are modest in front of strong players.
I always had a doubt about Go classes for kyu players and was thinking of making an opportunity to teach different levels. When I was thinking of that, Adi and Monika who are in charge of Bern Go Club asked for advice about their plan.
Of course, I was happy to accept to be an instructor and then went to the camp.
He is sitting on the seat of my next seat
The participants were mostly from members of Bern Go Club, from junior high school boys and students and young people in their 20's to 30's. Since they are casual and young generation, it had a lively atmosphere so that I became friendly with them easily even though I was very nervous because it was my first Go camp.
Monika who started Go from this spring, because she was deeply moved by comic book `Hikaru no go', was the only female participant and was a good mood maker. She takes care of everyone and tries to cheer them up.
She seems as if she is like my younger sister whom I havn't seen for a long time.
With Monika
The contents of the camp was Teaching game, lectures and Uchigo commentary and so on. In between, we played league games. The weather of the mountains changes fast but with fresh air, playing Go outside was very pleasant. At night, we talked about Go with wine glasses in our hands and enjoyed playing family Go. ( It is played by groups and called Rengo or team Go)
This time, what really impressed me was the delicious meals! We had a big variety of fresh salads at buffet style salad bar, and big volume of main dishes, and for dessert, we had thick and creamy ice cream. I was surprised by the exquisite combination of genuine cheese and red wine. Completely, I forgot about myself and the scale and loosened my belt. The owner of the place is very keen on cooking and he tries his new ideas everyday. Cooking too delicious food is a crime!?
When we left, we told each other `Let's meet at the Go camp next year.' And we were sorry to say good-bye. I hope to make an opportunity to have such a fun and wonderful time like this, again. For the next Go camp, I am already thinking of inviting Italian kyu players and kyu players from other countries and my family. I'd like to thank Adi for organizing and his hard work.

Q&A of Yuki Shigeno 2 dan go
2003.10 october
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