Monthly Archives: October 2005

Kids to be Pro

These kids are studying to become Go professionals:

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Brief One

Nice Go set. Not very expensive and not too cheap either. If I improve a bit more, I may want to reward myself with this set.

Very tied up and tired as well. Will talk more on my recent exploits later.

By the way, have watched “Election”. Liked the movie all the way except the ending. It's the China alternate version. Will get the DVD that shows the Hong Kong version.

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Professional Visits

Over the past couple of days, a professional Go player, i.e. someone who makes a living out of playing and teaching Go and is therefore extremely strong, came to K.L. We played host to him and yesterday I met him for the first time. He is very gentle and soft-spoken and looked pretty young, perhaps in his late 20s. He is very well dressed and speaks very good Mandarin and English after returning from the USA not long ago. Apparently, he plays on IGS and KGS as well, ranking at 8dan in IGS and similarly high ranking in KGS too.

He played two sets of simultaneous games yesterday, one with our very high level players, 4dan and above, one of which is a 5 dan from Beijing. The second set was with us, lesser level players. Here are some pictures:

Playing simultaneous games with our high level players – he looked like having a hard time but is actually not :)

Game reviews always follow after the game ends. Above – reviewing Boon Ping’s game.

Right after the game, we went to have dinner and then a group of them proceeded to Boon Ping’s house to continue playing. Four Singaporeans came as well to play. It is indeed a very fun and addictive game.

With some lessons from him, I feel a little bit more prepared for the coming Bangkok tournament, particularly to pay more attention to my reading skills (reading skill is the ability to read out moves to gain advantage over your opponent. It is extremely important).

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Nobel Prize for Literature

With the upcoming announcement for the Nobel Prize in Literature, I was reminded of Lu Xun and began to pick up volume 3 of the “Lu Xun – Selected Works” and simply turning to a page to read, just for the reading pleasure and to relieve the thought of him.

I happen to turn to this piece that he wrote on “What is the secret to good writing?”. This was his reply to a magazine when asked by them to comment on this topic.

***********
December 27, 1931

Dear Sir,

You should have addressed your question to American or Chinese professors in Shanghai, whose heads are full of “rules of writing” and “the art of writing fiction.” Though I have written a score or so of short stories I have never had any set views on the subject, in much the same way as I can speak Chinese but could never write An Introduction to Chinese Grammar. But since you did me the honour of consulting me, here are a few tips from my experience:

1. Take an interest in everything and see as much as you can. Don’t write as soon as you have seen a little.

2. Don’t force yourself to write when not in the mood.

3. Don’t choose definite models for your characters, but create them out of all that you have seen.

4. Read your story through a least twice after finishing it, and ruthlessly cut all words, phrases and sections that are not essential. It is better to compress the material for a story into a sketch than to stretch the material for a sketch into a story.

5. Read foreign stories, especially those of Eastern and Northern Europe, as well as Japanese works.

6. Never make up adjectives or phrases that no one else can understand.

7. Never believe any talk about “rules of writing.”

8. Never trust Chinese “literary critics,” but read the works of reliable foreign critics.

That is all I can say on this subject. I send you my greetings!

Lu Xun.

************

The above must be read against the background of Lu Xun during the 1931 era in China and his political interests and you will probably understand his words within that context.

Currently, I am all absorbed into improving my skills at Weiqi (Go). Have been spending a lot of time in solving problems, replaying professional games and playing as well. This is to prepare myself mentally for the upcoming tournament in Bangkok from the 19th of October to 23rd October 2005. Hopefully can win something but most importantly is to meet more friends and promote goodwill amongst people of different nations since many countries will be participating in this tournament. Wish me luck ;-)

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Tsai Ming Liang on Film

As part of the DVD special feature, there is a recording of a meet-the-audience session after the screening of “The Wayward Cloud” in Hong Kong. One of the topics touched on was “What is film”. I find one of the points of view quite interesting whereby Tsai said that one of the people he spoke to has this to describe:

“In watching the normal “commercial” films, it is like reading a novel only with a hand turning the pages for you. I don’t like this hand. It rushes through the narative and I have not time to really look at the film, the colour, the texture, the sound etc. I don’t like to be rushed like this. Watching Tsai’s films is different. I can really see the film and experience it.”

On reaching out to the audience, Tsai has this to say:

“Filmakers have to approach and reach out to the potential audience and persuade them to come and watch their films. The other way round won’t work because people nowadays have so many alternatives and choices. If people don’t come and watch the film, they will never be aquainted with the films and the filmaker. Only by approaching these potential audience would the filmaker stand a chance in getting their films known.”

The meet the audience session recording which lasted about 35 minutes was not subtitled, so those who does not understand Mandarin will not be able to know what was discussed. If you are really interested, we can make an appointment to watch it together and I’ll try to translate as much as possible. ;-)

Am now reading the following books on films simultaneously.

[A Hundred Years of Japanese Film] [New Korean Cinema] [The Swordsman and His Jiang Hu – Tsui Hark and Hong Kong Film]

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