Professionals teaching at Oxford

Two Professionals, MINEMATSU Masaki (6p), Kansai branch of NHK and KOBAYASHI Chizu (5p), NHK, visited Oxford on Thursday 27th February.

We started the evening with a suggestion of Kobayashi Chizu. There were 13 players from 20 kyu to 5 dan, with a few more dan players than kyu players. We split into 2 (almost) equal size groups -- a Black group, and a White group. The first Black and White players each played 2 moves, followed by the second players, who did the same. Sometimes, the players were asked by Kobayashi why they made their choice, and alternative moves were often discussed. Minematsu was also asked for his opinion, especially when professionals might have different views. Despite having the given name of "Masaki", Minematsu said that he was not a particular fan of his "namesake" TAKEMIYA Masaki's "Cosmic Style" -- see Minematsu prefers a more usual, and more territory-oriented, strategy.

Each side had a team captain (a 5 dan and a 4 dan) who was occasionally asked to provide alternatives for some moves. We each played just one pair of moves before before Kobayashi summarized, and we broke for simultaneous games.

This format was new to most of us, and was a good ice-breaker, as well as being instructive.

The 20 kyu had to leave early so that there were 12 players for the simultaneous games. The professionals then played against 6 players each, simultaneously, for the next 2 hours.

Personally, I found out how one can have a chance to beat a professional -- ensure that he is severely jet-lagged. ;-)

In my game, Minematsu missed a double atari. However, despite this he would have had a very close game if we had had time to finish the yose.

The SGF record of our game is here. The finishing position is correct, but a couple of moves after 166 may not be in the correct order.

Ms Kobayashi's pictures of her tour and some more pictures

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