A Foreigner Learns to Play Chinese Go-Game in Chengdu

Authors: Go Chengdu

2015-04-24

Spending one and a half years on learning to play Go-Game in Chengdu, Tim has become a 5-Dan amateur Go player.
The following is the conversation between Tim (T) and reporter Amy (A, from Gochengdu.cn) during the interview:
A: How would you describe the game of Go?
T: First of all, for me it’s a kind of language. When playing the Go-Game, the two players do not talk with each other. They are just absorbed in thought and consider various possibilities for the next moves and try to visualize how each option would affect the course of the game. Through the unspoken interaction and confrontation, the two people communicate effectively. They understand each other’s ideas and thus enhance the mutual friendship while playing the game together. I love the feeling of arranging the white and black stones and dropping them on the board with a loud click. I can communicate with people from different countries through my fingers, without saying any word.
A: The International Chess is much more popular in Russia, but why did you choose to learn the Go-Game?
T: It's true that the International Chess prevails in Russia. I know how to play it but I fell in love with the game of Go when I first played it at six years old. The game is very complicated. It has too many variations of play and requires a great deal of calculation, which helps me develop a logic and rational thinking.
A: China, Japan and Korea are major countries in the world where the Go-Game is highly popular. Why did you come to China, in particular Chengdu, to learn the game?
T: Well, China is the place where the game of Go originated. A lot of people told me that Chinese chess players play the game better than their European counterparts do. I did believe that I should go to China to study Go, so I came here by a lucky coincidence after having quitted my job in Russia. My teacher Li Liang gave me the chance to study the game in Chengdu Chess Institute (成都棋院). In addition, I love traveling and riding bicycle. I have met a lot of friends in Chengdu. We often go out together and travel around the city. The people in the laid-back city know how to enjoy life.
A: What made you give up your decent job in Russia and came to a city so far from your country?
T: Ah-ha…well… personally I was an engineer and got tired of sitting in an office all day, which is so boring. I wanted to live my life the way I like and do things I want to. Therefore I made up my mind to go to China to learn the skill of Go.
A: How long have you been learning Chinese and where do you learn?
T: In order to communicate well with my friends, teachers and students, I chose the Sichuan University to study Chinese, and so far I've learned it for about one year.
A: Do you like Chengdu? During your stay here, are you often confronted with challenges like culture shock?
T: Yes, I love Sichuan; I love Chengdu, especially their beautiful natural sceneries and profund culture and civilization. I've been to many places in Chengdu and other parts of Sichuan, including the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, Mount Emei, Qingcheng Mountain, Leshan Giant Buddha, and so on.
My mom and some of my friends came to Chengdu last year and they all visited the panda base and felt so happy. I didn’t expect that my mom even started to enjoy playing mahjong after having come to Sichuan and I bought a set of mahjong for her when I returned home for short period of time. I love Sichuan cuisine and some local specialties, although lots of them are very spicy. My friends here often invite me to eat hot pot together and I really love it.
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