A few weeks ago I attend to a shogi tournament at the Aoba shogi dojo. This tournament was called Tanabata because the day before many cities had this celebration.
Tanabata (七夕, meaning “Evening of the seventh”), also known as the Star Festival, is a Japanese festival originating from the Chinese Qixi Festival. It celebrates the meeting of the deities Orihime and Hikoboshi (represented by the stars Vega and Altair respectively). According to legend, the Milky Way separates these lovers, and they are allowed to meet only once a year on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month of the lunisolar calendar. The date of Tanabata varies by region of the country, but the first festivities begin on 7 July of the Gregorian calendar. The celebration is held at various days between July and August.
As many other times, I bring my son to the Aoba shogi club, while I’m playing he waits on the near room.There were 16 players who fight in a tournament bracket for getting into the final game. My first game was against a very young, but very strong, player. I made some mistakes on the opening and I lost my rook in exchange of an unclear attack against his king. After some dubious moves of my opponent, my attack became stronger while my king was still protected so I was able to win the match.
My next game was against another kid younger than the first one. There was some difference in rank so I had to play without my rook. I played a little trick at the opening and I was able to win this game and go on to the semifinal match. For the next game, I had to play with ever a harder handicap. I had to play with only the gold and silver generals. After a small mistake, I took the lead of the game and I was able to get into the final game.
For the final game, I had to play again without my rook. I got some advantage in the opening because I was able to capture my opponent rook and start an attack. I made a mistake that could cost me the game but I was lucky he didn’t realize it. I won that final game and I was able to proclaim myself the champion of the Tanabata tournament!
There were many prices for the players and the winner of the tournament got the opportunity to choose first. Some of the prices were shogi books, folding fans or even a T-shirt with Moriuchi-sensei on it! I chose a book of the games between Moriuchi and Habu at the final of the Ryuuou tournament. Moriuchi-sensei (who is the owner of the Aoba Shogi club) sign me the book and we take a commemorative photo.