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  Jussi Ikonen's Blog  
My TWC 2008 diary2008-04-27 08:57:45
It is 2am on the Sunday 27th April. Today it starts. I am sitting at my computer in my apartment and take a pause. It has been an interesting last few months. Can it really be – are we finally there?

Past few days the organizing team has been rather busy with last minute preparations and welcoming teams to Helsinki. So far we have been honored to welcome Japanese, Chinese, Czech and Estonian teams and also Alyona Yakovleva from Ukraine team. I hope all the rest of the teams will also arrive to Helsinki safe and sound. In fact, in few hours I will meet Podyuka players.. :) This presented me a great opportunity to blog a bit.

At this point I want to state a few things about this article. My English is far from perfect, more than often my thinking can seem irrational and even plain odd. Basically I also have zero experience on keeping a diary. To borrow the warning text from South Park, which states something like that the following is not suitable for anyone..  

Grin. ;)

One and a half hours. This is the time reserved for the opening ceremony this afternoon. Gosh. How will we spend all this time.. :P Maybe no problem. At the moment many organizers would have an exact clear understanding of what will be done and how. I must admit that even as we have talked about many things, there is actually nothing in paper yet. So perhaps I should start writing… :)

As I go back two years to the opening ceremony of TWC2006 in Tallinn I get a bit of a mixed feeling. In my opinion the ceremony was presented with a really professional manner while it also was in friendly tone. We enjoyed many nice speeches and music presentations. Also the organizing team was introduced as well as the participating teams. I think everyone left the ceremony with a smile on their faces. I think we need to aim for the same here today as well! As the previous event was well done it presents us a real goal level. :)

What are the matters involving such a ceremony? Here is a brief recap for the matters I can think of at this moment. Perhaps I will use this list directly at the ceremony as a crib..

- Making sure the premises and the equipment are in order (the auditorium and IT-equipment was ready in Friday. We brought those small country flags already there for the ceremony.
- Welcoming teams to the opening ceremony
- Remember to say something funny to break the ice
- Remember not to say a word of the current rule change process at the ceremony
- Presentation of Finland and Helsinki. (maybe I will skip this part by handing the participants a visitors guide booklet – what do you think? ;) Anyway, this would easily “kill” several minutes if needed.. :)
- Mention the previous TWC tournaments (perhaps Peter Jonsson would like to say a few word on RIF behalf)
- Presentation of the organizing committee (this will not take that long)
- Presentation of referees (even not that long – or maybe they will like to speak something on their behalf..)
- Presentation of the tournament rules (perhaps referees would like to say a word in this)
- Presentation of teams participating (with national anthems in background this will easily take half an hour. Teams are registered to the tournament and players are given t-skirts and security padges.
- Lotting of team numbers (this is one of the most important matter in the ceremony)
- Presentation of the school (former principle of HBC will keep a speech)
- Presentation of tournament schedule
- Presentation of security matters (smoking, usage of the break room, lunch at the cafeteria and restaurants nearby, security passes)
- Presentation of uploading games to RenjuNet live show
- Musical presentations (two songs presented by Markus Laitakari and some music will also be presented from the Internet)
- awarding two honorary members of Finnish Renju Federation. We will remember Eila Huhtinen and Ants Soosörv for their tireless contribution for Finnish renju during the last decade.  
- Remember to wish good luck for all  teams
- Declare the opening ceremony completed.

Wow. It took almost two hours. :) The time almost four am now. Been awake from seven am yesterday… Perhaps it’s a time to drink a cup of coffee.

If you find something missing at the list of just feel like commenting anyway, please do. Hope we will not mess this one up.. :)

In case I have time and energy during the week I will write more “diary stuff” for this blog message. Perhaps I will comment on my games and introduce some side activities of the event...  

Attached a picture of the first arrivals in front of the hotel.

The first round of the tournament Finnish team had a bye.. This was lucky thing for us, since there were many smaller organizing things to during the morning.

My first game was against Vladimir Kolesnik from Ukraine team. He opened with d10, which surprised me a bit. At the beginning I thought I had a very strong position.  
alt="Your browser does not have Java installed. Please go to and press Download Free Java."
I wasn’t sure if the 9th move is the correct one, but I wanted to be aggressive. Mostly I was worried if h10 or g10 could make me some problems. After some thinking I made the move.
alt="Your browser does not have Java installed. Please go to and press Download Free Java."
At this moment I was sure I hade the game. So many lines and possibilities… However, I could not find a good plan for a kill. I naturally though about if I should play 11-k5, but decided I had a win in case 12-k5.  
alt="Your browser does not have Java installed. Please go to and press Download Free Java."
Amazingly, no matter how much I searched, I could not find a win. I had to make a decision. To make some moves like 17-j7, 19-h5, 21-j5, or 17-e8, but finally thought I should take a more cautious style and develop some more. 17-17 seemed not the worse plan.
alt="Your browser does not have Java installed. Please go to and press Download Free Java."
alt="Your browser does not have Java installed. Please go to and press Download Free Java."
23 were a weak move I think and 25 even weaker. I only briefly looked that there was no win for white, and was only lucky to dodge that situation. So many almost win situations for white!  

Now I had only like 8 minutes left and started to see for a plan. Made few moves just to see if something easy was coming behind the turn… Did not.
alt="Your browser does not have Java installed. Please go to and press Download Free Java."

After move 48 I had less than 5 minutes left and I did not have a good plan. I offered a draw, which was refused. 43 and 45 a bit gambling… and 47 was a total bluff. Paid off this time.. :)

To conclude… a nice game and I hope to learn which moves I could have played better.

If tomorrow I have time I will continue this diary.. Thanks for reading!


I just finished my game with Monica. It was unfortunately a short one. Let me preafly introduce it.

alt="Your browser does not have Java installed. Please go to and press Download Free Java."
The 9th move surprised me a bit. Thought for something like 20 minutes and played the three as I thought it was must. I did not have a clear plan at that time.
alt="Your browser does not have Java installed. Please go to and press Download Free Java."
I was arfraid to give her g9, so I played 12-12 , 14-14. Perhaps there is a better plan. It seems after 15 it is already very strong for black... :(

alt="Your browser does not have Java installed. Please go to and press Download Free Java."
I did not find a good plan and thought there was no win for white. I found many really dangerous points for black and played the way I did, because I thought there was easier ways to win... Oh well.... Hope the next game will be at least a little bit longer..

It is now almost a week after the tournament ended. Towards the end my own games went worse and worse. I really could not concentrate appropriately with preparations and I must admit I really did not have too big of plans with my games. At this moment I don’t have much to say about my playing at the rest of the game. They are published at the live game section with all the other games of the event;

Organizing the event was a challenging experience, but surely a pleasant one for the organizing committee. Based on the comments we have gotten from participants, it seems we have succeeded with a rather good level in the task. There were occasional organizing related problems occurring once in a while, but I hope participants and viewers know the organizing committee tried their best and worked long hours to make the event as enjoyable for all.

I would have personally wanted to write my feelings and experiences to this blog every day when I got home, but most often it was after 9 pm and I was 100% ready to have a rest. The wake up call was before 8 am each morning.    

Saturday after the RIF meeting, two hours of bowling and a dinner party with the Chinese team in my parents house, I had a gooooood night sleep –about 14 hours.. :) This week I have been busy with study–related matters and next week I have four exams to take; International economics (most likely hardest single exam in my degree), two exams of Swedish and one of German language. I´ll be glad if I am still alive after next week! :)

If so, I might write some more in my blog… ;)


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