The view of the famous Hangzhou lake district was obscured by haze but all eyes in the 28th-floor suite at the Tian Yuan Tower were riveted on the go board inside. While preparations for the 31st annual World Amateur Go Championships were underway twenty floors below on Monday afternoon, outgoing International Go Federation President Hideo Otake 9P and incoming IGF President Zhenming Chang were enjoying a quiet game (below, with commentary by Michael Redmond 9P) before a busy schedule that included the IGF General meeting, a press conference and the WAGC’s opening ceremonies and banquet.
Chang is Vice Chairman and President of the CITIC Group, a major Chinese firm dealing in finance, real estate, resource development, manufacturing and telecommunications.
He’s been playing since he was 9 years old. His middle school team was coached by players like Yigang Hua and Runan Wang, and he won the third New Physical Education Cup in 1979, which had previously been won by Weiping Nie and Zude Chen. He’s a strong proponent of go because of “it’s great training for the mind, especially for children.” As a businessman, he appreciates the game’s strategic aspects. “You learn that you can lose the battle but win the war. Or in business terms, that you can lose money but still come out ahead. You also learn to adapt to different situations, for example, to use different joseki in different positions.”
After the game, the two men briefly discussed a few key points of play, then shook hands and stood up. It was time to turn their attention to other, perhaps less fun, but no less important, aspects of world go.
The commented game in sgf format is available here (right click and save).
– includes reporting by James Davies and Chris Garlock; photo by John Pinkerton; game commentary by Michael Redmond 9P