Quick report from ISF 2017

Every three years International Shogi Forum is being held and all the representatives around the world are being invited to fight in the tournament.

This year in October 27-29 The 7th International Shogi Forum in Kita Kyushu was held. Kita Kyushu is the part of Japan that is 2-3 hours flight from Tokyo, just to give you sense of distance.

There was record number of 48 representatives from 42 countries. The countries were: Norway, Sweden, Finland, United Kingdom, Portugal, Spain, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Czech, Austria, Poland Slovakia, Hungary, Greece, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Mongolia, China (2 people), Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan (2 people), Tunisia, Egypt, Cote d`ivoire, New Zealand, USA (2 people), Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Brazil (2 people). Additionally European Champion and Vice Champion participated (both Belarusians).

I have attended the event as a professional. There were 19 other professionals, including the Shogi Association Chairman Sato Yasumitu.

The first day there was a reception party, in Japanese called `evening before event` Zenyasai. There were introductions of players and professionals. Apart from this it was a normal party. I was happy to be able to talk with many people from different countries. It makes me smile to see that shogi family is growing each time. I could also meet my old friends and wish everybody good luck for the tournament. Later that evening elimination groups were decided by drawing.

The second day elimination rounds and first round of tournament A and B started. The system is little confusing, but in simple words, if in the elimination round you won 2 games, you go to tournament A. If you lost 2 games, you go to tournament B. Therefore in the elimination round some people played 2, others 3 games. Main tournament is knockout. People who lost the first game could join the open tournament the next day. Meantime my job was to play one game on stage and then help people with kansosen (post-game discussion). Worth mentioning, there were amazing side events and stands like charity shido games with professionals or wooden piece making stand.

The third day was the last tournament day. Number of tables was decreasing, final game of tournament A was played on stage. In the morning I played unusual version of pair shogi in pair with Nozuki sensei. Each the players had to play 5 moves in a row. It was very entertaining. After that I have joined Horiguchi sensei, Itodani sensei and Kitao sensei in special live commentary of final game in both English and Japanese. It was quite challenging, but I heard people listening to commentary were satisfied (though some things had to be lost in translation unfortunately).

The last day was a traditional sight-seeing tour. We saw local castle and soccer stadium. I had nice talks about shogi.

I have to say that compared to 3 years ago this year`s festival was very well organized. I was very impressed. Players also seemed to be satisfied, no big problems occurred.

The only problem that I can see now is that we have to wait another three years for the next festival!

Final results:

Tournament A:

  1. Keiji Tomita (USA)
  2. Gu Guanming (China)
  3. (double) Thomas Leiter (Germany) AND Richart Bjerke (Norway)

Tournament B:

  1. Yoshihisa Suzuki (USA)
  2. Peter Heine Nielsen (Denmark)
  3. (double) Veerayut Sreshthasit (Thailand) AND Dante Acuna (Peru)

 

*some of the kifu will be available later on

*you can see more photos on my facebook album called ISF 2017 in Kita Kyushu

 

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August

It is very hot. There is typhoon with heavy rainfalls as well. Nothing unusual for August in Japan. But let me talk about my recent adventures.

Kiroku gakari (game record/game time managing) – my favourite job for now. First time I managed to make a simple mistake of deleting wrong player`s time and making everybody confused. But hey, failures are needed to improve! And I corrected the mistake quickly. I have to admit my ability to sit in seiza is raising thanks to this job. Interesting.

French shogi lesson – I participated few times already. Every year there are three different groups of French students. Together with Toyama 6 dan and Japanese volunteers we show them the world of shogi and teach basic rules. All in English. I enjoy those workshops a lot. If you can see some photos and read more in Japanese on Toyama sensei`s post.

But there is no end here. There was also another event in Shiroi City. Every year they make Poland vs Japan match, this time Yorimoto Ladies Professional 1 kyu was the special guest. (I won *coughs*) We also could eat a lot of local Nashi (Japanese pear). They are so tasty. I got courage to write Shiroi in kanji on my shikishi as a special prize. Next month I will have lessons in Shiroi City, exciting.

Meantime in Kiev, Ukraine, European Shogi Championship and World Open Shogi Championship were held. I want to share the results:

ESC TOP 4

  1. Vinсent Tanian <- new European Champion
  2. Sergey Korchitsky
  3. Thomas Leiter
  4. Marco Dietmayer

WOSC TOP 4

  1. Shun Tokuni
  2. Sergey Korchitsky
  3. Thomas Leiter
  4. Ikuo Teraoka

Next week is still full of work. I noticed that professionals have more works in holidays, since this is when people organize tournaments and shogi events. Oh well!

At the end I would like to share tsumeshogi made by my friend from Yamanashi, Kitta san. Enjoy. (and be careful, both have some trick in them!)

Note: Diagrams were made on this great website .