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Charles Matthews: Pro Small Talk

The top title matches in Japan take place over two days, and are usually set in ryokan (traditional inns) in peaceful areas. The contestants have to spend a concentrated 36 hours or so in quite close proximity - by convention they eat together. But what can they talk about to ease the tension? All was revealed in a 1996 Go World. The veteran Otake Hideo to the upcoming Yoda Norimoto, half his age and who appeared in rumpled traditional dress at the second game of the Judan match, wearing the same kimono as at the first: "You should iron out the wrinkles before putting it away."