Halloween Special

Here is a juicy plum for the rules aficionados - a phantom triple ko. In the decisive game of the semi-final of the 5th Changqi Cup in September 2008, eventual champion Qiu Jun 8-dan got a lucky break when holder Gu Li made a big small mistake.

It is important to note that this event is conducted under Ing rules, even though it is almost entirely a domestic Chinese event. We say "almost" only because Zhou Junxun of Taiwan is allowed to play, although that is nothing new - he has often been welcomed into other Chinese events. With that minor exception, this is a case of the Chinese pros willingly electing to play under an alien rule set. You can decide for yourself if the eye-watering 400,000 yuan first prize has anything to do with that.

Other events have been held in China under Ing rules. Indeed, it has been said that the ground was prepared long ago. When woodcutter Wang Zhi was entranced as he watched two hermits play go, he was furious when the Ing clock woke him from his reverie by announcing that 100 years had passed. When he went to pick up his axe to smash the infernal contraption to pieces, he found someone had cunningly rotted away the handle and so he was forced to come back to human-land to escape the noise.

Malfunctioning clocks apart, the unpopular Ing rules have still managed to avoid too much controversy, but everyone has been waiting for Doomsday - the day when a real triple ko occurs and SUPERKO can save the world!

Qiu-Gu wasn't quite Doomsday, but perhaps can be labelled D-1. A phantom triple ko occurred (or did not) and apparently threw up enough wrinkles to make it worth thinking about what might happen on D-0.

We must declare at the outset that we have no idea what we are talking about here. Ing rules and superkos belong in the realms of the da Vinci Code as far as we are concerned. We will also take no responsibility for any headaches that result. However, if a rules aficionado can produce an explanation for us where we can pretend to know what is going on, we will happily post it in due course.


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