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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It is the season for chestnuts stands on the streets with the fragrant smell of chestnuts roasting. I stop in front of a stand and taste one. Natural sweetness spreads in my mouth and I feel the flavor of autumn.
Autumn is the season for Go tournaments which are held every weekend somewhere in Europe. I went to the tournament in Jena, old East Germany, at the end of September. I also went to South Germany and Geneva for about 2 weeks. This time, I'd like to talk about the Go tournaments in Germany.
The town, Jena, is located 400km north of Munich, 3 hours and a half by train going through forest endlessly. The organizer, Guido and his Go friends came to meet me at a station with the wonderful name, `Jena Paradies' which is surrounded by only greenery.
It is the campus of the university
The population of this town is 100,000 and 20%, 20,000, of the people are students. In the middle of the town, there are many university facilities and buildings. People walking around the streets are mainly students who stand out. So, most of the members of the Go club are students and the place was very lively.
Convention scenery
The Go tournament was held at one of the university facilities which were built a few years ago. About 60 people participated from various places.
Go is carry out always anywhere!
In Europe, most of the Go tournaments are held 2 days on weekends and 5 games are played. Except for playing against someone with a big difference in levels in dan and kyu, most games are even games. For some people, it is interesting for them to play against strong players in even games because they don't have the opportunity to play with strong players. But on the other hand, some people think that it is not interesting to play against someone who is of completely different level. I think it depends on how you feel.
Opening ceremony
In the case of German tournaments, a lot of people with sleeping bags stay at local Go players houses. For local Go players, it is usual for them to be hosts and let people stay. Even though they have games to play the next morning, we had fun with Go friends who hadn't seen each other for a long time and played games endlessly. We didn't mind the lack of sleep and enjoyed playing Go and talking late into the night. It is easier to travel to tournaments because they can save on accommodation and that is the reason why the number of participants of tournaments has been increasing. In other parts of Europe, there are a lot of cultural exchanges like that and that is also one of the pleasures of participating in the tournament.
At gymnasium
This time, I visited not only tournaments on weekends but also visited a gymnasium to teach Go, play Go using computers and give lectures. And I was satisfied that I participated in a lot of activities. I went to a gymnasium with Guido and Marco from Berlin. It is the best school for science and mathematics in this area. The principal is a mathematician.
Play Go using computers
Children who are good at mathematics and the principal participated in a special class to play Go. They learnt so quickly. They discovered how to get stones in various ways before I explained. I was amazed.
At the School of Ingolstadt
The Go club in Jena has weekly meetings at a restaurant. Also bars where students go have Go boards and people gather to play Go and other games every night. It's good to have places which are friendly and comfortable to gather. The organizer, Guido, is 4 dan and is the winner of the tournament. He is a kind person who understands how beginners feel. He is not only a strong player but also he spends time teaching Go to children even though he is a busy person.
Also, I went to teach Go in Munich where I held a training course for dan players and went to Go clubs and schools in Augsburg, Ingolstadt and Bayreuth. To teach children, it is my life work so I do it voluntarily. For adults, I charge a teaching fee.
Go club in Bayreuth
This is my 7th year since I came to Europe. Each year, the number of Go friends has been increasing. I always enjoy visiting tournaments and meeting new and old friends. If I meet a lot of people that I know, I get relaxed and teach better. Also, as with this time, I can do a lot of activity because I can rely on local people. I thank all the wonderful Go friends and at the same time, I feel the depth of time. See you soon.

Q&A of Yuki Shigeno 2 dan go
2003.11 november
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