Intl Go competition restarts in Rugao
Two top Go players compete at the 4th "MLily 0 Pressure Mattress" Cup World Go Open Tournament in Rugao on Dec 29. [Photo/ntfabu.com]
The quarter-finals and semi-finals of the 4th "MLily 0 Pressure Mattress" Cup World Go Open Tournament kicked off in Rugao, Nantong on Dec 29, after months of delay due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Go is a popular game in Asia and increasingly throughout the world, especially since Google's artificial intelligence program AlphaGo made headlines when it beat South Korean Go champion Lee Se-dol.
The competition, founded by native Rugao entrepreneur Ni Zhanggen, has been held biennially since 2013 and has become one of the top seven international Go open tournaments in the world.
A reward of 5.46 million yuan ($791,154) is offered every year. Champions of previous competitions include Chinese players Mi Yuting and Ke Jie and South Korean player Park Jung-hwan.
MLily, China"s leading memory-foam manufacturer, originated in Rugao in 2003. It has built R&D and production centers in China, the United States, Serbia, Spain and Thailand, with products sold across 73 countries and regions.
Over the past few years, the Go tournament of the same name has not only helped raise the brand"s profile and expand its overseas market, but also promoted the development of the sporting industry in Rugao.
Rugao has seen a boom in its sporting industry in recent years, with a series of international events, such as the 20th Asia Masters Athletics Championships and the 2019 Rugao Marathon, being held in the city.