Tournament Report : the Chinese 2009 College Student Championship.
The game above is a promotional game played after the College Student Championship. The players are Zhao Wei 7d (赵威), ranked first and undefeated during the tournament and Li He 1p (李赫), who received much spotlight
by winning the World Ladies' Cup for China the week before. Sensei's page
about the cup.
The game was commented live by Wang Runan
8p (王汝南) the head of the Chinese Weiqi Association. The japanese player Miyamoto Naoki 9p also made a quick appearance (translated live).
Zhao Wei played for Shanghai University of Economics and Finance during the tournament. He tried to be pro at 16 but failed. Due to the age limit, he couldn't take the exam again even though he surely has pro strength.
Li He, as a young rising star, was invited to play a promotional game with the winner of the tournament. During her youth she happened to study go with the famous teacher Li Lijun (李立君) with a friend in my college team.
About the tournament :
Every year, college students of China (and some alumni too) can compete in this tournament. The tournament this year was held during the week-end of the 14-15 of March in Nanjing, at the Nanjing University of Post & Telecommunications (NUPT). Nanjing, (meaning Capital of the South, Beijing being the Capital of the North), is a city of medium size (6 millions of inhabitants) at 2 hours by bullet train from Shanghai. Usually the tournament is in Beijing, I asked around why they moved location but people didn't know.
The tournament was sponsored by Fujitsu
and covered by www.sina.com
a chinese news site, the top 2 tables and the promotional game were retransmitted on Tomweiqi/Tygem.
18 teams of 5 were gathered to represent their school, all players were atleast amateur 5d, many 6d, more than a dozen of pros showed up (from 1p to 3p) and one 7d (chinese 7d are extremely strong, check this page
). What's more surprising is that I counted 16 girls among all players, I hope that the same will happen in the western countries :). Some players' coverage on sina.com
There were many categories to compete in :
The top 8 teams received a certificate and a cup to bring home, of course the first team got the bigger one.
The 1st player of all tournament won a laptop, or a netbook probably (the box was really small), a certificate and the chance to play a game with Li He 1p.
The top 6 pro players are granted a certificate, and the top pro received also something from Fujitsu (I didn't see what)
The top 8 women received a certificate too.
After 7 rounds of fierce battle, Zhao Wei defeated all of his opponents, his team, Shanghai University of Economic & Finance, also did well since they got first place.
About the ambiance :
The atmosphere is really nice, you can see the concentration of people and the love of go in everyone. There was some tensions, because of time abuse ( 1 hour per person, Sudden Death I think but I'm not sure and a 30 points ko) but it only happened once. After a game both players happily reviewed it, going in many obscure variations :P, sometimes involving other people and so forth, after some of them played gomoku (5 in a row) or wandered around to watch people games.
The place was a gym in NUPT, you could see chinese students outside running, playing badminton and other sports. The lunch was the tournament organizer's treat, in a chinese cafeteria about 10mins away from the place, and each team was given a room to rest in the dorms ( Beijing is 1100km away from Nanjing, and many people came from further away ).
Overall it was a very nice experience. At first I was a bit anxious because the guards ̶ guards everywhere in China, in uniform : in the bank, at the entrance of each community/park/university ̶ and the tournament aid asked me to stay far from the tables but my college's team picked me up and they let me do as I wished. The organizers even offered me a ticket so I could get lunch with everyone.