Opening Asia for Russia

03.06.2021 58 просмотров

Natalya Kovaleva, Honored Master of Sports, multiple champion of Russia and Europe, Ambassador of World Mind Games, Executive Director of the European Go Federation, Vice President of the Russian Go Federation Guo Mikhail Emelyanov.


Mikhail Emelyanov: Natalya, good afternoon. You are probably the strongest and main Go girl in all of Europe.


Natalya Kovaleva: Good afternoon. Officially yes.

Mikhail Emelyanov: Are you now our official champion?

Natalia Kovaleva: Yes, I am active European champion in the women's and doubles categories.

Mikhail Emelyanov: And who else among the girls in Europe plays strong? There are not as many of them, of course, as young people, but they do exist.

Natalia Kovaleva: Of course. At the same time, the strongest girls in Russia play, so it often happens that it is more difficult to win the Russian Women's Championship than the European Championship, this happens, and I think it's wonderful. But, of course, there are very strong girls in Europe too, in Germany, France and Hungary, and there are even three professional female players. They got their titles in Asia, in Korea. This is our Svetlana Shikshina, Maria Zakharchenko from Ukraine and also Diana Koshego from Hungary. All of them received professional dan in Korea.
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Mikhail Emelyanov: I know that you, due to the fact that you have been practicing Go since childhood, traveled to many countries, and they told me what it was such an additional motivation, because it was possible to play Go - do your favorite thing, and see the world. How many countries have you visited?

Natalya Kovaleva: Yes, this was my first motivation when my brother (he started playing Go a little earlier) went to the first competition in another city, and then I realized that this is a chance, this is an opportunity to travel. I started to leave my native Chelyabinsk, first the cities of the Urals, then all over the country. Then other countries, trips began. I visited about 30 countries, I don’t know if it’s a lot or a little. Probably a lot.
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Mikhail Emelyanov: It's really not bad, I think, the whole of Europe. By the way, did you play anywhere in America?

Natalia Kovaleva: No, I've only played in one half of the world so far, that's Europe and Asia mostly.

< /b>Mikhail Emelyanov: You are the Executive Director of the European Go Federation and you communicate a lot with foreigners, including inviting foreigners to us to the World Championship, to those international tournaments that take place in Moscow and Petersburg. Please tell me, in style, maybe even in some mental qualities, does Go differ by country? What if, for example, we compare such 3 large layers as Russia, Europe and Asia? ="Kovaleva-02.jpg" width="800" height="451">
Natalya Kovaleva: Yes, I think there are indeed differences. Go players know that even Korea, Japan and China have different styles of play. Somewhere a calmer game, somewhere more aggressive, somewhere more reliable, and at one time, Soviet Go was very different even from European, because there were many self-taught. It was very difficult with literature, and people themselves actually re-created Go for themselves, and a very aggressive, uncompromising style developed. When our players first came to Europe, it was very striking. There are also countries where, apparently, life is more measured, they also play more measuredly.

Mikhail Emelyanov: Europeans, perhaps?
< br> Natalia Kovaleva: Yes, the Europeans play more calmly.

Mikhail Emelyanov: Relax.

< b>Natalya Kovaleva:
Relax, yes. By the way, there is a difference between men and women. Usually women play more aggressively and more uncompromisingly, that is, in those positions where one of the opponents would give up for men, this is usually not the case for women. As they say in chess, they play up to bare kings. So in Go, they play until complete surrender, when there is nothing left at all.
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Mikhail Emelyanov: It's maternal instinct to fight for the nest to the last.

Natalia Kovaleva: Perhaps.

Mikhail Emelyanov: You also head the children's commission of the Russian Federation Go . Please tell me how you look at the development of children's Go in our country? And in this regard, how does Go affect the child? Helps? On the contrary, does it interfere? Doesn't it affect anything?

Natalya Kovaleva: Yes, children's Go in Europe is quite actively developing, and at the same time Russia is the undisputed leader in this category. Russia is generally the leader in Europe in all categories, but in the children's, literally 10 days ago, our guys became the winners of the European Championship in the team for the sixth time. Immediately 15 of our guys became European champions, and this is the sixth time out of seven possible. I think the level speaks for itself. At the same time, we currently have a lot of strong guys who are completely stronger than everyone else in Europe, and, probably, if it weren’t for quarantine, they could be sent to Asia for training. I believe that they would become professionals, several of them at once. This is about the level of development of children's Go in Russia. In general, about the properties that the game of Go gives children: for me, Go is communication in the first place. And it's great when children have the opportunity to travel, just like I did when I was 7 years old, to communicate with each other. We have a very kind and so smart, I would say, society. Usually parents really like it when very smart children communicate with each other. They are successful not only in Go, they are successful in various olympiads, language, mathematics and computer, whatever, and physical ones, our guys win everywhere. That is, obviously, Go helps in studies as well. Although many children do not even go to school that often, they graduate with gold medals.

Mikhail Emelyanov: You already mentioned quarantine. We live now in such an unusual era when we have tournaments online, classes are online, and many are now starting to use programs, they are only now conquering the learning space. Two years ago they beat the champions, and now we are just trying to learn from them. How does the emergence of programs affect the way you play and the way you learn? Do they help or is it too early to say that we can take the program and start developing ourselves as a master, as an athlete?

Natalya Kovaleva: No, it's not too early to say that.

Mikhail Emelyanov:< /b> Is it already possible, yes?

Natalya Kovaleva: It is absolutely possible and not only that, if now you are not working with the program, but just solving problems or reading books, then you are already hopelessly outdated and lagged behind. Now it is simply impossible to train without a program. It's like going with a saber against a tank, something like this. There are already quite a few programs. Since 2016, when AlphaGo first appeared and made this revolution. Now these programs are available to absolutely everyone, even on the phone, when we ride the subway, it is possible to train, and she will beat us, this program is on the phone. On the one hand, this creates wonderful opportunities, that is, everyone has their own personal ninth professional dan literally hidden in their pocket. These are opportunities we once dreamed of. And on the other hand, of course, there is the problem of cheating, which, unfortunately, we also now have to deal with. This is such a challenge to our entire Go community, probably comparable to doping in active sports. But thanks to the programs, I think that pretty soon the European or Western players will be able to catch up with the Asian players. Because before there was a huge problem: it was very difficult to study. We studied from old books: when they are just written, then they will be translated, and so on. And now we know all the latest developments, we train every day.

Mikhail Emelyanov: At the end of our interview, I want to ask you about the World Championship. You took an active part in his invitation to our territory, please tell us how it was. I know that everything was not so simple there, and thanks to your joint efforts, yours personally, the leadership of the RFG, partners from Asia, you managed to convince the entire world community that Russia should be the host of the first non-Asian championship.< br>
Natalya Kovaleva: When no one has ever done this before you, people perceive it: “Well, what did you come up with, stop it! Well, what is the World Championship in Russia? Here in Japan, yes, this is understandable.” And we tried to explain and prove for quite a long time that we are capable of doing this, that we have a lot of people who want to, that we have partners and sponsors who want to support this project, that we want to hold not only the World Championship, but also side events, which will allow the development of Go in Russia and in the region as a whole. And in the end, one might say, with small local wars, we won the right to conduct it.
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Mikhail Emelyanov: We are making a festival on the fields of the World Championship. I understand that we were the first to come up with such a story. I hope that all Russian guys will take part there, maybe someone will come from abroad. Festival "Genius Extreme". By the way, there will be not only a sports part, there will be, one might say, an open history for any city dweller, and I am very interested to see how it works. Usually, tournaments have always been held for those who are already inside the community, and here we will try to expand this framework. I wanted to ask you to invite all our members.

Natalia Kovaleva: Our event is unique in the sense that absolutely any Go player can take part. Usually only one representative per country can come to the World Championship, but here, if you are not the strongest in your country, it's okay. You can also come and play in a fairly professional tournament - the Russian Cup. Whether you're just starting out or want to get to know the game, the Go Festival is for that. It will be fun, interesting, exciting. Of course, in many respects it will be for the inhabitants of the Far East region, but, of course, both the European part and the whole of Siberia really want to visit Vladivostok. I know that this is such a dream for many.

Mikhail Emelyanov: Thank you for the interview. See you in Vladivostok.

Natalia Kovaleva: Thank you. Absolutely!

Mikhail Emelyanov: In 2021, from 3 to 7 June.

Natalia Kovaleva: We are waiting for everyone, thank you very much.
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