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Contact: Joe Buhler, MSRI
(510) 642-0143

WHAT: Two of the world's top Go players, the Chinese couple Naiwei Rui and Jujo Jiang, will play a demonstration game to open a week-long research workshop on combinatorial games like Go, which in Asia is much more popular than chess. The workshop, hosted by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) at the University of California, Berkeley, includes a day-long session on the mathematical aspects of Go.  

Demonstration Go game:
10:00 a.m. Sunday, July 23

Session on mathematical aspects of Go:
8:45 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, July 24

WHERE: The Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, located at 1000 Centennial Drive, just above UC Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science.  

BACKGROUND: Go is an ancient, beautiful and intellectually stimulating board game played around the world. Its popularity in Japan, China and Korea rivals that of chess in Russia or golf in the United States, said Joe Buhler, deputy director of MSRI.

Naiwei Rui is one of Go's celebrities. "She is by far the best woman player in history, and may well become the world's consensus best player in the future," Buhler said. Her ranking has skyrocketed since she won the year 2000 Kuksu tournament in Korea, beating two of the three men formerly regarded as the world's strongest Go players. That was the first time ever that a woman had won a major open tournament, and her achievement is even more remarkable because of the legalistic hurdles that she faces when she tries to play in the major Japanese tournaments.

Naiwei Rui will be playing the demonstration game against her husband, Jujo Jiang, who is still remembered in China for routing Japanese professionals in the original Sino-Japanese matches in the mid-1980s. In 1999, he barely defeated his wife for the North American Masters championship. The couple currently live in Mountain View.

MSRI is a non-profit research institute at UC Berkeley dedicated to providing opportunities to mathematicians from all over the world to collaborate with each other, furthering both pure and applied mathematical research. For more information on the tournament and the workshop schedule, link to MSRI's Web site at


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