On March 26 the press conference of the 2019 IMSA World Masters Championship (held in Hengshui) was held in the Golden Hall of the Beijing National Stadium (‘Bird’s Nest’). Representatives from the local administrative department, host city, IMSA and the co-organiser company attended the press conference, unveiling the event emblem and mascot.
Representatives included: Chen Zelan, President of IMSA; Nie Weiping, Vice Chairman of the Chinese Go Association; Guo Yujun, Deputy Director of Board and Card Games Administration Center of General Administration of Sports of China; Chen Fei, Deputy Inspector of the Hebei Provincial Sports Bureau; Ma Fuhua, Member of the Standing Committee of the Hengshui Municipal Committee; Cui Haixia, Deputy Mayor of the People’s Government of Hengshui City; Li Shaoyuan, Vice Chairman of Chinese Association of Automation; Ke Jie, Chinese number one go player; Wu Hao, Director of Board and Card Games Administration Center of Hebei Province; and Liu Yan, Chairman of Five Forces Culture and Sports Development Co. Ltd.
An International A-Level Mind Sports Event Makes Its Debut in Hengshui
The event was approved by the Board and Card Games Administration Center of General Administration of Sports of China, hosted by IMSA and organised by Hebei Provincial Sports Bureau and Hengshui Municipal People’s Government. It will be held in Hengshui on May 13–18.
A promotion video was released at the press conference. It tells the profound charm of mind sports through various footages such as the origin of human wisdom, the emergence of mind sports games, and the application of artificial intelligence. The event slogan was unveiled at the end of the video: ‘Beautiful Hengshui, Bright Future,’ showing Hengshui authorities’ strong resolution to organise a successful international A-level event.
Hengshui city, located in the southeast of Hebei Province, is a lake city with a comfortable living environment and featuring Confucius culture. Hengshui Lake in the center of the city is a national-level wetland and bird sanctuary and a national eco-tourism demonstration area. It is known as the ‘most beautiful wetland in Beijing Tianjin and Hebei’ and the ‘sapphire of East Asia’. Hengshui is also known for its education quality, especially for basic education, given that its college entrance admission rate ranked first in Hebei Province for many years. Hengshui successfully held the Hengshui Lake International Marathon for seven consecutive years and has rich experience in international events. Based on these factors, Hengshui was chosen to be the host city of IMSA World Masters Championship.
The event includes five mind sports: Bridge, Chess, Draughts, Go, and Xiangqi. Altogether 17 different tournaments will have a total of 99 medals in gold, silver, and bronze. More than 200 players from over 40 countries and regions will gather in Hengshui and fight for championship.
The highlight of the press conference was the unveiling of the emblem and the mascot of the event, which embody a typical Hengshui style. The overall shape of the event emblem is the ‘horse’ piece of chess, where the letter ‘h’ (the first letter of Hengshui) takes the place of the horse’s head. The blue-green colour implies Hengshui Lake. The prototype of the mascot ‘Wisdom Doll’ was taken from the characters in Wuqiang New Year’s Painting ‘Daji Tu’, which was collected in the State Hermitage Museum in Russia, highlighting the regional culture of Hengshui and the international elements in the event.
Mr Nie Weiping, the professional go master was appointed as event promotion ambassador and Mr Ke Jie, prestigious go player ranking No 1 in the world was appointed as event charity ambassador at the press conference. Mr Nie said that mind sports have added new meaning to competitive sports, even though there is some room for improvement. He is very pleased that such an event can be held in his hometown, which will be a great opportunity for the development of the mind sports industry.
Mr Ke, as the charity ambassador and representative of the contestants, said that he is honoured to participate in the event and will engage in the competition in his best status. He extended his belief that all athletes will have a perfect experience in Hengshui and expects to deliver a speech in May in local schools to inspire students.
Authorities of Hengshui City announced that an ‘Artificial Intelligence Summit Forum’ will be held during the event, kicking off a deep co-operation with Chinese Association of Automation. They will invite well-known experts and representatives of relevant enterprises from the field of artificial intelligence to discuss how artificial intelligence can be better used for board and card games education and promotion.