Saturday, May 30, 2009

Short Good News for me


Although I am not going to Shanghai to participate Yingde Cup because the air ticket's expensive but...




Ryou Takehito the super duper mega HAPPY BASTARD!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Busy Days


Busy with internship.

Little time with Shogi.

Still make an effort to read Shogi books during work.

Going to represent Malaysia to participate 'Yingde Cup', which is held in Shanghai.

Might be participating AISEP again this year.

7 more weeks till my internship is over.

I miss playing Shogi in Japan Club Kuala Lumpur.

I miss Shogi alot. :'(

Ryou Takehito

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A small glimmer of hope!?

Hey everyone,

Honestly, I am in tears of happiness right now. For the past few days, I have been contacting Hidetchi regarding the conditions for international players to become a full-time (or full-fledge) professional Shogi player in Japan. Despite of my selfishness, he went through all the trouble of contacting a professional regarding it and manage to obtain few informations about it. Below are the conditions to apply for Shoreikai entrance exam:

Before 22 years old:
You can apply for 1-dan of Shoureikai.
Requirements to which are,
- Being the winner or the 2nd winner of a Japanese amateur's national tournament. (Foreigner's participating in these tournaments will require being the winner of an international tournament first)
- Recommendation by a professional player.

After 23 years old:
You can only apply for 3-dan of Shoureikai.
Requirements to which are,
- Being the winner of a Japanese amateur's national tournament in the very year of application.
- Recommendation by a professional player

I am going to apply for it after I've turned 23 years old. If I am successful, I will become a 3-dan of Shoreikai. Although it won't be a professional certificate, at least I can start working my way from 3-dan and achieve 4-dan professional in the following year. Although it is very tough just to get an application for the entrance exam, I am going to work hard to achieve that goal first! Nothing is going to scare and stop me from becoming professional player no matter how difficult the path is! With Hidetchi's help, now I can see a small glitter of hope in front of me to become a professional player. But, will I be able to achieve it? Am I going to be successful in achieving my dream of becoming a professional player? Am I going to regret becoming a professional player? I don't really know the answer and deep down in my heart I am a little scared but I am going to break through every wall that stands in my way and hope that the Shogi gods are watching over me.

"Respect the game, and the game respects you."

Ryou Takehito

PS: A really great thanks to Hidetchi for taking the patience of replying my message and helping me. ARIGATOU GOZAIMASU!

Note: Shoreikai is a place where players are trained to become professional Shogi players. If they do not achieve 4-dan professional after they've turn 24, they will have to withdraw from Shoreikai and no longer has any chance of becoming a professional again.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Taikyoku Shogi!

Hey all,

The video below shows two professional Shogi players playing against each other using the largest Shogi variation, which is 36x36 and has more than 200 different pieces! Enjoy!

Ryou Takehito

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Recent Shogi Activity in Japan Club

Hey all,

it seems that there are more and more 'Go players' trying to learn Shogi from me. Everytime I have a game with them, I would give them a handicapped of two lances, bishop and a rook.

It is a great honour to teach Hock Doong, who was one of the strong Go players in the club. My last game with him has been memorable and special, as he purposely neglected giving Go lectures to his students just to play a Shogi game with me. After playing so many handicapped games, I felt that it was this last game with him that I have learn alot more about Shogi's tactics and 'direction of play'.

Photo courtesy of Chen Xinwen

This is the actual position shown in the picture.
(In case you're wondering why I have an extra gold in hand is because I've managed to capture his silver and then I trade it off for his gold.)

Hock Doong's main strategy is to break into my base at least once, and also to make my gold on 3f retreat back to my base, since I always use the gold as my main attacking piece in handicapped games. Therefore he drop his pawn in 3e, which I have to retreat my gold to 4f, and he drop another one in 4e. Although I felt that the pawn in 3e is a free capture for my gold, I retreat it back to 4g, as I fear he would play P4f! The move itself may not look threatening, but if I retreat my gold back to 3f again, he would have played P4g+, which lures my king into a more vulnerable square. Therefore I played G4g (main move lines: P'3e, G4f, P'4e, G4g). Therefore his strategy of making my gold retreat back to my base is a success. EDIT: Even if I do capture the pawn on 4f with the silver, my position in the center would be weaken too much and there would be more opportunities for white to break into my base, especially when he has a silver in hand. Sorry for not including this information.

Now that my gold won't be able to advance up the board to get into his territory, I managed to find a vulnerable spot in his territory that I might still be able to win the game - the 7b square. I drop my gold in the 7b square, hoping I could capture his silver. "Why would you trade off your gold for a silver?", you might asked. Since the only way for the silver to escape is 5a, I capture it with my gold and at the same time check the king. And if the king recaptures the gold on 5a, I can drop my silver in 3b, threatening to capture either a knight or a gold, or even the bishop in the future. Unfortunately he thought I would try to capture his bishop by moving Sx3a+ so he move away his bishop after I've dropped my silver, but to his surprised I was aiming to captured the gold on 4c, threatening to checkmate his king and kill the bishop at the same time. (main move lines: G'7b, S5a, G6a, P'8f, Px8f, Rx8f, P'8g, R8e, Gx6a, Kx6a, S'3b, B4d, Sx4c+)

To his disappointment, I've won the game without him entering my base once.


Yesterday my best friend Chen Xinwen decided to challenge Alex in a game of Shogi. To my surprise, this is their last position of their last game.

(Left player: Xinwen, Right player: Alex)

Due to verbal information from Xinwen, Alex did not make any effort of mating Xinwen and only aim for entering king. However Xinwen resigned the game, which he shouldn't have since Alex has made 5 illegal moves in this game without the both of them noticing!

The pawns at the end of the board MUST be promoted since it is a forced promotion. Failed to do so is an illegal move. Also, he dropped two pawns at the same column twice! Alex would have been lost a long time ago...

Despite the 5 illegal moves made by Alex, I would like to honour this game as the "Great I-Go Escape", as this long game has been played by two strong Go players who both have made a rare double entering king.

Alex is really a great player that I have looked forward to play Shogi with. I remember that my second handicapped Shogi game with him has been a great horror to me - he immediately played a complete Anaguma, which I don't think I have a chance at all since I don't have a bishop, rook and lances to break his Anaguma! He is also the first player who managed to beat me in handicapped Shogi games twice in a row. However he tends to make an illegal double pawn drop in the game. If he can overcome this bad habit, I'm sure that he will be a greater player in Shogi.

I will be returning to Brunei this Friday for two months so I'm feeling a little sad that I couldn't play Shogi with them. Nevertheless I'm looking forward to play Shogi with them again two months later!

Ryou Takehito