Interview with Zhu Baoxun

Ranka: Exactly what is your job here?
Zhu: I am the deputy chief arbiter of the WMSG. Officially, Wang Runan is the chief arbiter but he’s not actively involved in the job. Besides this I set up the competitions, train the referees and other things.

Ranka: How many referees are here?
Zhu: There are 25 referees and 3 deputy chief arbiters include me here. The deputy chief arbiters are all professional players. The referees are all amateur players, taking time off from their regular jobs.

Ranka: How many years have you been a referee?
Zhu: Actually, being a go referee is not a full time job in China. I started my career as a professional player 40 years ago, and now I am a coach.

Ranka: With so many large-scale go tournaments in China, do you consider the WMSG  a big tournament?
Zhu: Of course, the WMSG is the biggest for me, with the most players, the most events and the most countries. It is a groundbreaking event for go and other mind games. I have never seen any tournament like this before.

Zhu Baoxun

Zhu Baoxun

Ranka: I know there are some differences between Chinese rules and Japanese rules; would you tell me something about it?
Zhu: The differences are more significant theoretically than practically. During the last 100 years no professional or amateur tournament has ever been stopped because of the differences of rules. In practice, the differences will cause problems only in very rare situations, maybe once in 10,000 games.

Ranka: Have any problems been caused by the rules in this WMSG?
Zhu: No, so far there have been no problems.

Ranka: Why did the different rules originate?
Zhu: The differences come from culture and history. Go spread to Japan during the Tang Dynasty, about 1500 years ago. Since then the Chinese rules have changed and differentiated from Japanese rules. Under Chinese rules stones and area are both important while under Japanese rules only areas surrounded by stones are taken in consideration. For this reason, playing under Chinese rules, the player who puts the last stone on the board has an advantage. The WMSG rules are based on Chinese rules but with a compromise, if black plays the last move then he must return 1 point.

Ranka: Will the 1st WMSG rules be adopted as an international ruleset?
Zhu: No, the rules are not perfect yet. Some details must be changed in the future.

Ranka: Thank you

- Team Ranka

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