I arrived in Shanghai in the evening of June 21, 2011. Two weeks have already passed since the Shanghai Go Camp started, and the time has gone by so quickly. Everything so far has been very nice.
It looks like the tough part will start now. We are going to Hangzhou to receive training with the local Go students. Our group will be divided into classes based on the results of a tournament we’ll play with the locals, just the way the Chinese players do it.
A typical day at the Shanghai Go Camp
During these two weeks there have been four teachers, and some other people helping. Our usual day is divided into four parts:
The morning lesson, with one, two or three groups depending on the topic. Professional player Wang Youxia 4p is in charge of the 1st group and there is always someone translating for him where necessary. At the moment the topics of the 1st group have been fuseki and reviewing professional games.
The afternoon lesson. After having lunch we have the 2nd lesson of the day. It’s usually focused in tesuji and direction of play. It’s very interesting and emphasizes participation from everyone.
After that, we usually play 1-2 teaching games and review them with the teachers, including Wang Youxia and Joseph Xue 5d. If we lose very quickly there is time for another game and review.
Finally, we have some time for other activities like sports (basketball, football or badminton), Karaoke, shopping and sight-seeing. One of the things that always most surprises me about China is the variety of food on offer. It’s usually very cheap and delicious.
After having dinner, we usually go to the ‘Social Area’. It’s a nice house we have which is separate from the hotel. We usually play Go, listen to music and watch TV. All with cold beer and other drinks. There are some funny tournaments with prizes and we play Pair Go too.
Shanghai International Studies University (SISU) campus and hotel
The University campus is a huge area with the 2nd biggest library in China, several university buildings and indoor and outdoor sports facilities.
We are living inside the campus in a ‘Mini Villa’, with small three floor hotels. The rooms are quite good. They have air conditioning (a must), are cleaned daily and have good bathrooms. As promised everyone has their own room. We have a standard free WiFi connection and a Premium VPN one (which is very cheap).
Everyday we go to the ‘Teaching Area’ – a building where we have lessons, which is also the meeting point of SISU Go club. SISU is quite possibly the strongest university team in the whole of China.
The Teaching Area is only 15 minutes from the hotel by foot, or less if you rent a bicycle (once again very cheap). There are several places to buy cheap drinks and snacks, and everything is very comfortable.
Travelling and tourist activities
So far we’ve had two free days. We used one of them to go to the Shanghai city center. There we visited The Bund and later enjoyed Karaoke, massage and shopping.
On the other day, we went to Zhou Zhuang. It’s a small Venice-like city near Shanghai. All of this was included in the price of the Go Camp.
We also went to a Go club in Shanghai to play with the local people. The venue is a nice flat, which belongs to a former SISU student who’s also a professional Go player.
There are lots of children and strong players who are around Chinese 5 dan (which is often very strong). I enjoyed seeing the passionate and strong little children playing and laughing.
Soon we’ll go to Hangzhou, the next stop on our trip.