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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In Germany

It has been 1 and a half years since the shocking accident of the German professional player, Mr. Hans Pietsh, 4dan, (posthumously 6dan), who was shot by a burglar during his activity of promoting Go in Guatemala. I still can’t believe it and I have difficulty getting over it.

His parents, his family, his friends, his acquaintances and a lot of other people have started raising funds to continue Hans’ will to popularize Go to the young generation. A foundation was established and the Hans Pietsch Memorial, HPM tournament, which is competition among schools consisting of 3 students to a team, was held for the first time in Hans’ hometown in Bremen, Germany, last autumn.

This year, the 2nd HPM tournament, was held on the 25th and 26th of September in Berlin amid the excitement of the Berlin City Marathon and consisted of 16 teams, 48 youths, from all over Germany. I participated in the HPM tournament and at the same time, I visited Hamburg and Dresden with the German Go Association to teach Go to children.

The public school where the tournament took place is a 3-minute walk from the marathon course. Most of the participants were from gymnasiums (students from 10 to 19 years old) led by teachers and parents with sleeping bags and they slept at the school. Sleeping there not only saves money but also gives them a good opportunity to meet and be friendly with students from different areas. All the students seemed happy and relaxed but on the other hand, the adults looked tired.

Since last autumn, `Hikaru no Go’ has started publishing the series monthly and Go has spread among the young generation widely and there have been various effects which make me happy.

One of the effects is a case where children established some Go clubs at their schools by themselves. The Go Association offered some Go boards for free and some members of local Go clubs go to schools to teach, but some school clubs do Go activities by themselves. It is wonderful that the children love Go so much that they do Go activities independently. If they really love Go, it is possible for them to be stronger with whatever method of study, but I am sure they must be having fun.

Also, the number of adults who want to teach children has been increasing stimulated by the attitude of the children. If Go keeps spreading like that, some amazing things might happen in Germany!

The winner of the HPM tournament was Rhein-Sieg-Gymnasium team from a suburb of Cologne. At the gymnasium, a girl and her younger brother, both 1kyu, have established a Go club from this spring and they teach other students. The team was looking at the trophy which contained a miniature Go board as if it were precious.

From Nihon Ki-in, as official duty, Ms. Chizu Kobayashi, 5dan, participated with Hans’ daughter, Anna, and a letter from Mr. Masao Kato, Chairman of Board of Directors of the Nihon Ki-in was introduced. Also, Mr. Masataka Saijyo, 8dan, who was invited by the German Go Association and Mr.Catalin Taranu, 5dan, who promotes Go in his country, Rumania, participated.

Hans’ parents who chaired the tournament committee came from Bremen, and they were watching the tournament with warm smiles the whole time, but sometimes they had tears in their eyes.

I think that those students who participated, Hans’ friends and all the people there remembered Hans in their own ways. I hope that Hans’ feeling for Go has spread to a lot of people and will keep growing. I am praying that the HPM tournament will go on forever.

Q&A of Yuki Shigeno 2 dan go
2004.11 November
sent Question

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