For Day 4, I had the honor of having my mom come and join me for the day! She just learned the rules recently and I was excited when she told me that she wanted to come to an all day go convention!! Woot!!
When we arrived at the convention, I was pleasantly surprised to see a lot of people at the registration room. As we settled down, I heard an announcement that everyone needed to check in if they wanted to compete. At the time, I was rather split as to what to do. On one hand, I wasn’t sure what the schedule for the professional events (i.e. lectures, simul games, reviews) was. In addition, I wasn’t sure I was okay with the idea of my mom sitting around for hours on end watching me play games when she was still so new to the game.
Once registration was finished, I thought it would be a good idea to show my mom what competitive go looks like. Upon our arrival upstairs, we found them posting up the pairings for the first round. For some reason, I had a feeling that I might have been included even though I did not check in. Sure enough, I found my name after a quick glance at the list.
Shortly afterwards, I noticed that they posted up the schedule for the day and saw that the professional events had been scheduled at the end of Round 1 and 3. To clarify though, I do not mean that the events were scheduled after the rounds were over. In fact, they were scheduled at the tail end of the round time which meant that if I wanted to attend a pro event, I would face one of two situations: (1) I play in every round, but I’m forced to rush and hope that the game ends before the event. (2) I play every round, but end up resigning most of my games since I like to take my time with each move anyways.
As I stood there trying to figure out what to do, my opponent found me. After panicking for a moment, I quickly found the tournament director and tried to tell him that I was not going to be playing (at least in the first round). Coincidentally, a fellow go player who was around our level had shown up late and so I tried to get the director to make a swap since it would keep the pairings equal. There was a bit of resistance at first, and it took quite a bit of back and forth before they resolved the situation amongst themselves.
In my defense though, I never checked in as they told us to do in order to be paired, so why would should I expect to be included? Not to mention, I was not in the mood to showing my mom a rushed game where I don’t play my best. And if that weren’t enough, I would probably end up resigning all my games since the pro events were during the rounds. So why make the day extra stressful and draining? No thank you.
While we waited for the simul game with Myung to start, my mom and I had the pleasure of chatting with a local player (by the name of Mr. Choi) who was a director of some sort at a local Korean Baduk club. We found out that he was a 7 dan amateur who had won numerous competition in the United States before and enjoyed teaching go. In fact, we seemed to get along so well that he even started a teaching game with me. Haha.
We only got a few moves into the game before it was time to start the simul game though. And before I knew it, I was sitting once again before Myung as I placed 9 stones on the board. With a renewed spirit from my defeat on Day 3, it was time to try again! Ikuzo!
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Once the game was over, Mr. Choi, Myung, my mom and I went out to grab lunch at El Pollo Ricco and had a delicious lunch!
Afterwards, we drove Myung back to the hotel so he could rest for the afternoon. Since we were going to pick him up later on and there were no pro events for the rest of the afternoon, my mom and I just went to a nearby mall to hangout. While it was a detour from the “all-day go convention,” we had some great conversation and the thought that I could be at the go convention instead never crossed my mind.
Later on that day, after picking Myung and James up, I found myself sitting in my first professional lecture. Myung was giving a lecture on the final game between Lee sedol and Gu Li in the recent Samsung Cup. Even though we were only able to really spend time on the opening (and a little bit of endgame), it was a really interesting review that definitely opened my eyes to some new ideas. I’ll be sure to write more about them when I’ve managed to digest them and can write them in a comprehensible fashion. One thing I can say for sure though, is that my appreciation for pro lectures has definitely grown since then!
With the day coming to an end, I thought that it would be a good idea to take Myung and James out to a local Vietnamese restaurant that we love called Viet Royale (FYI. The Yelp reviews do not do the restaurant justice. I don’t think people know what to order. =D). I wish I had taken pictures of all the food we ordered, but it is suffice to say that it was full of delicious food and great conversation.
All in all, it was a fantastic day full of great company and great memories. Here’s to hoping that Day 5 will live up to even 50% of it!