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The International Amateur Pair Go Championship

If you win, the happiness is doubled and if you lose, the vexation is halved! Do you know `Pair Go’? The same as doubles in tennis, a male and a female cooperate and play Go. However, communication is forbidden so on the Go board, it is difficult to be in a harmony as a pair. In addition to the Go strength, the mental part which is consideration and care of each other is also very important.

The International Amateur Pair Go Championship which is held in Tokyo in the middle of November every year is celebrating the 16th tournament, this year. The players were gathered from 21 countries and territories from the world. The youngest pair was a 13 and 16 year old sister and brother pair from India! Mainly, there were more young players from overseas and their energy and colorfulness stood out. Along with spreading Go in the world, Pair Go fans are also increasing.

Usually, the Go tournaments have mainly male players but this Pair Go tournament is different. From children to elderly players, at the tournament, there were many female players who dressed up beautifully. Of course, male players dressed nicer compared to the usual as if they were invited to a wedding party.

Half of the participants are females so it is good to promote Go to females. Also, if it is Pair Go, even if you are a beginner, you can be a pair with a veteran and enjoy the game and study Go at the same time. Above all, it has a fascination that makes everybody come to the Go event which has such a colorful and fun atmosphere.

Now, this time, I, too, participated in the friendship game. At this game, pairs are decided by lottery instantly from the overseas players, professional players and people who applied, and play the friendship Pair Go game. We didn’t know who would be our partners till they come and sat down. So, while I was waiting, I was excited. After a while, a Japanese man came who was a representative of Japan and whom I had met before, and I was relieved.

Our opponent was Ondrej, a young man from the Czech Republic, ex Insei, and a cute girl wearing kimono. Because we didn’t have a handicap, our game finished quickly, but we enjoyed playing more games changing partners and I paired with the girl in kimono with black stones and had handicaps against the male players.

The pairs who won all the games through the main tournament to the final were the Chinese pair and Mr. and Mrs. Hiraoka from Japan. They are the top amateur players who represent Japan and are the representatives of the JAL Cup World Amateur Go Championship next year. After the tough game, although the Chinese pair won all the 5 games, the place was very lively.

There are more fun events. There is the best dressed award which is chosen from all the participants that day and a lottery to win deluxe gifts such as mountain bikes, TVs, restaurant tickets and so on and it was lively with a lot of people till the end.

With the common key word, Go, women and children, wives and husbands and their children, and among friends gathered together to enjoy Pair Go which changed the image of Go from before and it was a colorful and cheerful and spirited event. For those of you who have never tried Pair Go, do please come and see. I’m sure you will discover something new!

This "GO Friends Report " started !


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