Very recently the organization committee has imposed a new night “curfew” in the Beijing International Convention Center for so called “safety consideration”. The committee claimed that lots of expensive equipment and materials on each floor need to be taken care of. According to its announcement, the whole center should be closed at 20:30: rooms locked, lights turned off, players out. It seems that only Go players like to stay at night in the center, while players of the other mind sports are not very interested in playing more games after their competitions.
First night of the new “curfew”, after a cozy dinner, we strolled towards the Convention Center, but only found a group of disappointed go players standing in front of the main entrance. The working staff of the center had turned off all the lights on the 3rd floor (Go floor), giving the players no chance to continue their games. Without any go sets and not knowing where to go, they looked like helpless homeless people in the chilling Beijing night. Well, we, too, had become homeless. Wandering around the Yayuncun (the athletes apartments), we came across our Chinese journalist friend and his two strong amateur player friends. He asked us with great excitement, “So glad to meet you guys. Where do we go to play?” Different from the Go congresses in Europe, America, Africa or Oceania, that night there was no big party for go players.
Yesterday evening at around 20:30, we went again to the Convention Center in the hope that the curfew would be canceled. We had brought our own Go set with us in case that the center was already closed. Surprisingly, we found quite a number of players still in the hall. Some were playing; some surfing the internet; some studying problems with their friends. The Portugal team had just learned “petanque” Go. The team leader was playing with his “petanque” Go teacher with great pleasure. Also we saw Chou Chun Hsun 9p (Zhou Junxun in Chinese) of Chinese Taipei chatting with his teammates. All seemed perfectly well. However, at the same time, some anxious and awkward Convention staff walked to and fro among the playing tables, checking their wrist watch from time to time. Soon after Max started a game with his friend, the staff decided to take action. They began to arrange chairs and tables, clean up the trash, and shake the strings of keys in their hands. One of them showed the “Closing Notice” to every table and also to the players who just arrived. Reluctantly, people left one by one. One good thing is that the participants here could borrow the go sets on the third floor and take them out after the center is closed.
Like the night before, we strolled around the Yayuncun, checking out all the bars, teahouses, and restaurants to see whether there were people playing Go. Finally, in a small restaurant/bar, we found Go players! As if everyone was informed of this new “Go center”, players from different countries, including the ones we just met in the Convention Center kept pouring into this small restaurant. It soon became very crowed and noisy. With Beer, friends and Go, let’s get the party started!
What is Petanque Go?
“Petanque Go” is a game which was invented in the Grenoble tournament 6 years ago. It’s a very relaxing and funny game loved by the Go players after their exhausting and serious Go games.
“Petanque Go” soon gained popularity in other French tournaments like Dijon tournament, and then quickly spread to many countries through international Go events such as European Go Congress. In Italy, it is known as “Lorenz Go” because it was first introduced to Italy by a Switzerland go player Lorenz. The Go club in Marseilles (city of petanque), has created some new rules. However, there is, so far, no standard rule for Petanque Go.
– Max and Chen