I placed 2nd out of 56 players. I think this was a good result, it was better than I was expecting. Yusuke Takanashi (surprise!) won the tournament with no losses at all. And I had a lot more discs than anyone else on 5 wins, but Takanashi had WAY more discs than I had, so his performance must have been quite dominating.

I really enjoyed meeting a lot of Japanese players again (Kyoko, Tiger Lady, Jo Nakano, Takashi Yamakawa, etc.), as well as plenty of the players visiting for WOC, like Ilya and Leonid Shifman, the Germans (including Matthias Berg’s Dad, who I hadn’t seen in 14 years!), Imre Leader, the Swedes, Brian and Yoko Rose, Takuji Kashiwabara, etc. I wonder if it’s the most non-Japanese players to ever play in a Japanese tournament?

I particularly enjoyed meeting Takeshi Murakami again. He has always been an inspirational figure to me, but now it’s just ridiculous. Who starts out amazing, gets a brain tumor and loses most of his voice (and all the other crap he had to put up with), and comes out even more amazing?!?!

I could say it’s not fair he got a brain tumor, but maybe what is really unfair is that hardly anyone has his spirit and character, and that is the real tragedy in this world.

-It was a whole entertainment value all in itself to play a tournament with 60+ people crammed in a tiny room. I am pretty sure in America the fire codes would not have allowed it! But I enjoyed the effect.

– My brain truly felt off during the tournament, which was part of why I was surprised to get the result I got. In one game at the end I spaced out on the order of discs I needed to flip, which was embarrassing even though it didn’t cost me the win. And in another game, after it was over I kept insisting that my opponent had gotten 28 discs rather than 27 discs. Finally I prevailed on him that he had gotten 28 discs, and filled out the form and turned it in. Then I checked LiveOthello and saw that my opponent had gotten 27 discs… and the position on the board matched, so apparently I also couldn’t count properly that day, either.

-Even more surprising: my average error rate during the games was actually the lowest it has ever been in a tournament. It was probably just luck, since it was only 6 games it’s hard to say, but I’m hoping it was more than just luck. And my midgames were bad, but it seemed to force me to play really good moves after that (partly by narrowing my choices), so my endgames were good enough to make up for the bad midgames.

-In the game I lost, to Masaya Kasai (ruru), he literally played a perfect game, until the end of the game when he gave two discs to me, who was but a humble Othello beggar at that point. It’s kind of hard to beat perfect play, so… And I am quite sure that has literally never happened to me before in a tournament, so my hat’s off to him.

And after the game there was some nice analysis from Takashi Yamakawa, Takanashi, and Kasai. And Kasai did some moves which were the only winning moves, which none of the rest of us thought were right, so he was quite brilliant in that game.

Oh, I heard something funny Imre said when I was taking this photo, I simply must share it:


“When I was your age we didn’t have written language, and even worse we didn’t have Othello. Be grateful to your elders for what they created for you, young punk.” (That Fukuchi kid is amazing in Othello, and we all know how amazing Imre is in every aspect!)