Origin of Othello


Although there have been a few different versions of how the game Othello came about, the person who defined the modern game of Othello was undoubtedly Goro Hasegawa of Japan. He invented the game in 1971 with rules that made the game playable with general simplicity yet combined with complex possibilities. As the founding father of Othello, he has made it a point to attend the most prestigious Meijin Tournament in Japan every year as much as possible. Till today, he still attends the Meijin Tournament and confers players with honour.

The Rise of Othello

A Classic Othello Set

After Othello was invented in 1971, the popularity of the game grew tremendously and game sets were produced in a large scale for the consumers of the world. According to the game's International Licensor, Anjar Co., over 40 million sets of Othello have been sold worldwide. This does not even include the great number of "Reversi" sets that have been also sold worldwide which are in fact the same game. Othello's distinct colours are green, black and white. The colour of the board is usually green with black lines defining the playing regions. The discs are two sided with black on one side and white on the other.

The World Othello Championship (WOC)

World Othello Championship 2011 at Newark, New Jersey
Since the year 1977 when it was held in Tokyo, the World Othello Championship has been held annually across the globe for a consecutive 35 years till today. This most prestigious Othello tournament has seen the birth and rise of many legendary players such as Hiroshi Inoue, Ken'Ichi Ishii, Hideshi Tamenori, David Shaman, Takeshi Murakami, Ben Seeley and more recently, Takanashi Yusuke who all have at least 2 World Champion titles to their name.  

The Strongest Man in Othello History
Defined by his stunning total of 7 World Championship titles to his name, Hideshi Tamenori is widely recognised as the strongest man to ever play the game justified by his dominating number of World titles. Second to him, are David Shaman and Takeshi Murakami who each have 3 World titles to their name.
Source: Federation Francaise d'Othello
Hideshi Tamenori triumphed in the years, 1986 in Tokyo, 1988 in Paris, 1989 in Warsaw, 1990 in Stockholm, 1995 in Melbourne, 2005 in Reykjavik and finally his last title coming back in Tokyo in the year 2006.

Young Othello Geniuses
There is really no limit to how early you can start your path in Othello. However, there are some people in this world who have started their Othello paths really early in their lives. Most notably, there are many children in Japan who enjoy one of their national past times by practicing really hard in it. The talented few individuals who start around the age of 6 actually attain the level of 1-3 dan by the age of 8 or 9. To give a more useful comparison, if we bring these kids to any other nation besides Japan, they could easily contest competitively in the national tournament and vie for a top 10 position. Some of these Japanese kids include the Shinohara brothers who are twins from Tetsuya Nakajima's Othello School as shown below:

Another notable young Othello genius is none other than Arthur Juigner from France. He finished 14th in the World Othello Championship 2011 which was his debut entry in the tournament at a young age of only 9 years old. He also went on to represent France in the 33rd Meijin Othello Tournament in the under 12 division and finished strongly as the 1st Runner Up in that division.
From left: Me and Arthur at the World Othello Championship 2011
On a similar note, the youngest ever World Othello Champion in the history of Othello so far is none other than Kunihiko Tanida of Japan who won his lone title in 1982 at an amazingly young age of just 15 years old!

From left: Kunihiko Tanida and Me at the World Othello Championship 2011

The Blind can play Othello too!

Kelvin Yang at the World Othello Championship 2011

The boy in the picture is Kelvin Yang from Hong Kong who was at the World Othello Championship 2011. He is neither trying to act cool with his shades on while playing Othello, nor trying to cheat by putting his hand all over the discs of the Othello Kiwame board. This admirable individual is in fact like many of us, a passionate Othello player. However, he cannot see. The fact that he is visually challenged, however, does not stop him from pursuing his love for the game! Driven by his dedication and committment, he was able to obtain 5 wins in the World Othello Championship 2011. There are in fact, many others like Kelvin who cannot see but pursues their love of this game whole heartedly! Truly inspirational!

No comments:

Post a Comment