Rui Naiwei: A Legendary Chess Player’s 50-Year Journey in Go

2023-10-27 19:07:32

  Four Games Intelligent Games has been in the chess world for nearly 50 years

  Rui Naiwei: Still able to get happiness from playing Go

Guangzhou Daily, Hefei, October 27th: Special all-media reporter Huang Wei

As you are about to enter your 60th year, what is it like to embark on a journey to compete in the Intelligent Games for the fourth time? Legendary female chess player Rui Naiwei told reporters: “The most important thing when playing chess is happiness.”

Happiness is the true meaning of Go

Yesterday, Rui Naiwei completed the fast chess competition in the professional (professional) group of the women’s Go competition of the Intellectual Games.

In this tournament, Rui Naiwei received a bye in the first round and then defeated Guizhou chess player Zhou Yushan. She lost to Beijing chess player Cao Youyin, then lost to Sichuan player Zhao Yifei, and competed with Shanxi player Li Xinyi in the seventh or eighth place competition, and finally won seventh place. After defeating the 23-year-old player, Rui Naiwei and Li Xinyi reviewed the game for half an hour. Rui Naiwei placed the chess pieces and laughed while arranging them. It took a long time before he shook hands with Li Xinyi and said goodbye.

After finishing the game, Rui Naiwei didn’t want to leave yet. In the court, she looked left and right, and when she saw someone she knew from the chess world, she simply sat down, and they sat around the chessboard and studied it for a long time. After chatting with her friends, she slowly put her glasses into the case, carried a simple canvas bag, and walked out of the stadium slowly.

He learned chess when he was 11 years old. He is now nearly 60 years old and has been playing Go for nearly 50 years. When Rui Naiwei talks about Go and sees Go, he can’t help but smile. When a reporter asked her if she could still get happiness from playing Go, she nodded without hesitation: “Of course.”

Rui Naiwei has a close relationship with the National Intellectual Games. She was a registered chess player of the Korean Chess Academy in the first Intellectual Games and has not yet returned to China. After returning to China, she represented Shanghai in the second, third, and fourth Intellectual Games, winning gold medals in all of them. In 2017, Rui Naiwei also won the women’s individual gold medal in Go at the National Games on behalf of Shanghai, becoming the oldest chess player to win a gold medal in the history of the National Games; at the 2021 Shaanxi National Games, Rui Naiwei won the mixed doubles open championship for Shanghai. It is worth mentioning that the last time Go was an official event at the National Games was 28 years ago, when Rui Naiwei won the gold medal for Shanghai.

It was the fourth time to participate in the Intellectual Games. Rui Naiwei said that compared with the previous Intellectual Games, he felt better. “Whether it’s the scale or the number of people participating, I feel good. I feel the scale is the largest.”

But the more important meaning of the Intellectual Games to her may be meeting friends. In the past three years, there have been very few offline games. Being able to play chess face-to-face with friends and review the game after playing is a long-lost experience. It makes people feel familiar and friendly.

In the final analysis, the happiness that Go can bring her now may be the most important thing.

The legend will continue

Rui Naiwei, who was born in Shanghai in 1963, is a legend in the world of chess. She learned chess at the age of 11 and became the only female ninth-dan player at the time at the age of 25. In the Yingshi Cup in 1992, she reached the semi-finals historically after defeating Hideki Komatsu, Lee Chang-ho, and Yang Jae-ho. In the end, she lost to the Japanese chess player Hideo Otake in the semi-finals. This was her best result in the world competition. This record lasted for 30 years until last year when it was broken by South Korean female chess player Choi Jing. In the 27th Samsung Cup last year, Cui Jing defeated top players such as Yang Dingxin and Bian Xiangyi to advance to the finals. In 1993, Wu Qingyuan accepted Rui Naiwei as a closed disciple. In 2000, during the heyday of Go in South Korea, Rui Naiwei defeated masters Lee Chang-ho and Cho Hun-hyun one after another, and won the oldest national championship in South Korea-even top-notch male players can achieve such an achievement.

The glorious history makes Rui Naiwei’s legendary status unshakable. Unlike many chess players who retire from first-line competitions after becoming famous, Rui Naiwei has always been active in the chess world. This year, she also represented the Shanghai team in the Women’s Siege League.

Rui Naiwei once said in an interview that at her age, she may not be able to play chess at any time, or may not have the strength and qualifications to compete anymore, but before that, she must seize every opportunity to play chess. “Go is like air and water to me. I don’t usually think about it, but it (Go) is always indispensable.”

The word “happiness” is very important to Rui Naiweilai. In the joint chess session before the opening ceremony of this year’s Weijia League, Rui Naiwei, as a player representative, stepped forward to place a piece, and played Master Wu Qingyuan’s iconic Xiaomou Erjian Gaogang. Rui Naiwei said with a smile: “I am very happy to participate in the Weijia League. I am very happy when I can play chess.”

Rui Naiwei’s Go legend will continue.

“Guangzhou Daily” Page A7, October 28, 2023

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