Shogi X’Mas Festa

On Saturday, December 17, I wen to the Christmas party organized by the Japanese Shogi Federation.

This event was attended by several players like Satou Yasumitsu, Moriuchi Toshiyuki, Nakamura Osamu, Hashimoto Takanori, Nishio Akira, Sanmaidou Tatsuya and also players like Kai Tomomi, Kagawa Manao, Nakamura Marika, Suzuki Kanna, Yamaguchi Eriko, Totsuda Erika.

The party was divided into two parts, the first from 14 to 16 and the second from 17:20 to 20:00. Between the two sides there was also the possibility of obtaining a signature of a Moruchi, Hashimoto, Kagawa or Yamaguchi or a photo with a polaroid with Satou, Tomomi, Suzuki or Tsutada.

For seize the day, I left home soon and went first to the Federation building which is located near the station of Sendagaya. On the second floor there is a room where you can play all day paying 1500 yens against rivals of different levels.

After losing 2 games and winning 1 it became late so I went again to the station of Sendagaya and I got on the train to the centro de convenciones Hulic convention center where the party was held.

At the reception I was given a ticket for the tombola that had been prepared at the end and from a box I got the name of the one who would be my rival for the simultaneous games. He touched me against Sanmaido. This was the second time I would face Sanmaidou since about 2 years ago I played against him in classes.

Before starting all the players went on stage to greet the audience and quickly went to their seats to start the games simultaneously. In the next seat it happened that a girl who works at the reception of the Aoba Shogi dojo was sitting so I could talk for a while with a familiar face.

The game and I will comment on another post but just say that I lost although it was quite interesting.

While playing the game on stage were Nakamura (Osamu) and Kagawa talking about various topics. One of them was the premiere of a short film in which Kagawa plays actress for the first time playing … a Shogi player! The film is titled 「女流 棋士 棋士 の 」 (The arrival of Spring for a Shogi girl). Here you can see 3 minutes of the movie.

From 15 began a classes on stage by Nishio and Tomomi where they explained several options on how to play the dynamic tower. In addition there was the option of having a coffee prepared by Satou or a tea made by Yamaguchi or Totsuda in the Eri & Eri bar (Yamaguchi Eriko & Totsuda Erika).

At 16 they closed the hall for a while to prepare it for the next show. From while you could profit the time to have a signature of Moriuchi, Hashimoto, Kagawa or Yamaguchi or to take a photo polaroid with Satou, Tomomi, Suzuki or Totsuda. I chose Hashimoto’s signature and happened to write the same proverb I posted on the web a few days ago. One pawn is one thousand of golds.

At 17:30 the hall was reopened already with food trays in the center of the room and the next act began began the Satou violin performance followed by Nishio’s electric guitar.

Satou learned to play the violin as a child but had not practiced for years, yet he played very well. He was accompanied to the piano by his daughter’s piano teacher. While listening to Nishio I was talking to Hashimoto. Hashimoto, besides dedicating himself professionally to the shogi has a bar in the zone of Shinjuku where works at night.

The female players dressed as Santa Claus.

From left to right, Nakamura Marika, Yamaguchi Eriko (up), Totsuda Erika (down), Tomomi Kai and Kagawa Manao.

Then there was a series of questions asked by the players from the stage that if you could pick the right answer and win in the stone, paper, scissors you could take a small prize. I was not lucky enough to win anything …

With a little delay, the next act on the stage began. In this case it consisted of a match between Satou and Moriuchi. In the middle game Satou got advantage but with time problems he was not able to make the best moves and Moriuchi managed to win the game. During the game I was talking to Nishio Akira so I was lucky to have someone near me to explain the game.

After the match between Satou and Moriuchi there was a tombola in which I was not lucky either …

After 20 I finish the party. At the exit the players waited for all the guests to leave to give them a few chocolates with the photograph of them printed on the wrapping.

There are not so many events where you can be that close to the players and talk to them directly so this are very good opportunities for meet professional players.