A weiqi tournament was organised by the Japanese in the Japan Club Kuala Lumpur last Sunday, 22 May 2005.
At first I thought it will be a Japanese vs. Malaysian tournament but it turned out to be an individual event. 13 players came on that day and were divided into two groups.
An elderly Japanese man (i do not have his name)
Before the tournament started, each player had to fork out RM30. This will be accumulated and distributed to the winners, with 10% of the total amount contributed to the Japanese as the fee for board and stones and facilities. They plan to have this tournament every quarter, the next one being on the 21 August 2005.
All of these sounded fine except for the RM30 initial fee. First of all, I am not being stingy and I am willing to contribute whatever sums of money but the fact that these money was distributed later to the winners made me feel uncomfortable because it felt a bit like gambling. Initially I thought the money will be grouped for a nice lunch together and then the extra money to buy some trophies but it turned out that the Japanese had their own lunch while we Malaysians had our own lunch. Suzuki-san however, was great. His wife made a box of really nice sushi for everybody. I am not sure how many Malaysian actually ate the sushi and comlimented Suzuki-san and his wife for their generosity and for the great tasting sushi but when we returned from lunch, I noticed there were still many sushis left in the box. That felt quite sad.
Another point was that for students, forking out RM30 can be a big deal and in this spirit that resembles a bit of gambling, it felt really not right. If I ever get to win, I will probably refund the money to these students, or contribute them to the weiqi association as Eric had suggested.
I mean, if someone were to sponsor the cash money and then the winner gets the money, then it is different.
Anyways, barring that, the event was great and the fact that we are going to have this tournament every quarter will make the Malaysian weiqi scene more interesting, and hopefully my weiqi strength will increase with this.
For more photos, please click [HERE]
Thanks to Kit Liew, our official photographer for that day for these beautiful pictures.