Chinese New Year 2014 Mall Go Demo

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Right (Top): Dragon dec­o­ra­tion. Right (Cen­ter): Two ban­ners with Chi­nese cal­lig­ra­phy. Right (Bot­tom): Per­for­mance stage at the cen­ter of the mall.

Some of you already know, but I went to one of the local malls and vol­un­teered to teach go for the Chi­nese New Year 2014 cel­e­bra­tion. As you can see in the lit­tle col­lage I put together above, there were nice dec­o­ra­tions along with per­for­mances in the cen­ter of the mall. Def­i­nitely felt like Chi­nese New Year! Haha. And of course, how could you have a Chi­nese New Year cel­e­bra­tion with­out go? (I might be a lit­tle biased though xD)

When I got there around 2pm, they had already fin­ished set­ting up the booth. We had one large 9x9 demo board, a 13x13/19x19 board, and  mul­ti­ple begin­ner boards for new players.

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This was a lit­tle later in the day, but you get the idea!

At each sec­tion of the table, we had mul­ti­ple brochures along with “The Way of Go” book­lets for any­one who showed any interest.

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There weren’t too many peo­ple at first, so I got the oppor­tu­nity to finally meet fel­low local go player Kevin (seen below) and play a game with him. (Right before we started play­ing, I found out that he was 5 dan. Hyuk hyuk hyuk…)

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Let the games begin!

The fol­low­ing is a kifu I recre­ated from mem­ory later on that day. Other than one move (which I’m not 100% sure of, but I am 100% sure of the pur­pose behind it), this record is accu­rate and con­tains some point­ers from when we review some of the game later on.

Down­load Kifu

After the game, more peo­ple began show­ing up and we started teach­ing first cap­ture and the rules to every­one. My big cus­tomer of the day was a lit­tle girl who was about 5. We played a cou­ple games of first cap­ture that went well, and it seemed like she had fun. =)

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Here’s a shot of her and her mom. They were both engaged and picked up on con­cepts like lib­er­ties and cap­tur­ing stones really quickly!

Later on in the day, Kevin and I sat down to review our game. You can see his com­ments in the kifu above, but over­all it was a great learn­ing expe­ri­ence and eye-opening.

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Here’s us going over the lower left cor­ner variations.

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After kneel­ing on the ground for a while (teach­ing the lit­tle girl go), I needed a break and stood while Kevin talked about how he was sur­prised that I cut so quickly in the upper right corner.

Towards the lat­ter half of the work­shop, my fam­ily showed up to show their sup­port! Haha. It was really kind of them and it was great hav­ing them there. In the shot below, you’ll see my dad and my brother play­ing an intense game of Con­nect 5 (which is prob­a­bly the sim­plest ver­sion of “go” that exists).

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Here are some group shots of the volunteers.

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Pic­tured: Me (left) and Kevin (right)

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Pic­tured: Me (far left), John, (sec­ond to the left), Yee (sec­ond from the right), and Kevin (far right)

Con­sid­er­ing we weren’t in an ideal loca­tion in the mall, I thought the foot traf­fic we got was still pretty great and we had a num­ber of inter­ested peo­ple stop by to play and ask ques­tions. Def­i­nitely a suc­cess in my book! It’s def­i­nitely got me think­ing about doing more things like this in the future. Will be sure to add it to my long list of things to do. Haha. Hope you all enjoyed this post!

PS. Credit for all the amaz­ing pho­tos goes to my incred­i­ble girl­friend. =D

  • Todd Bowlby

    Way to go! It’s awe­some shar­ing our love of Go with oth­ers. I don’t know about you, but now that I’ve started, I’m feel­ing like I want to do just a lit­tle more…:)

    • http://www.bengozen.com/ Ben

      Haha. Amen to that. That is def­i­nitely some­thing I want to do more of. I just wish there was a bet­ter net­work for let­ting peo­ple go off into the wild. I know it was tough for me when I first started out (and I was really moti­vated), so I’m try­ing to cre­ate a good envi­ron­ment for them to fall into if they do want to find out more.

  • Ris­ingStar

    Great game Ben! I wish I had an oppor­tu­nity like this… Any­ways, that game was AWESOME! I have a ques­tion though. Instead of G4 (the los­ing move as you called it), where would have been a bet­ter place to play?

    • http://www.bengozen.com/ Ben

      I’m glad you enjoyed the game! Instead of G14, extend­ing at G10 would have made it more of a fight and dif­fi­cult for White. =D Com­pli­cated fight, but bet­ter than get­ting crushed. xD

  • Excal­i­bor

    Fan­tas­tic! You surely had a great day, and your match against Kevin was really inter­est­ing! I’ll have to find out about that trick move… :-)

    Keep up the great work!

    • http://www.bengozen.com/ Ben

      Thank you! hope all is well with you!

  • Insom­nia

    Hello! I just stum­bled across your blog and I was won­der­ing what 19x19 go sets are you using? I’m in the process of start­ing up a Go Club at my school and I was look­ing around for equip­ment. I did read an arti­cle where go stones had traces of lead in them so prefer­ably, I would like to avoid those stones.

    That aside, great blog you have going on! Keep it up!

    • http://www.bengozen.com/ Ben

      Greet­ings! If you’re start­ing up a go club at your school, I would first rec­om­mend check­ing out the Amer­i­can Go Foun­da­tion (if you live in the US). They might be able to pro­vide you with fund­ing / free equip­ment. Oth­er­wise, check out my equip­ment on the fold­able goban (http://www.bengozen.com/equipment-review-folding-go-board/) and go bento set (http://www.bengozen.com/equipment-review-go-bento-box/)

      Glad you like the blog! Let me know if you have any questions!

      • Insom­nia

        Thanks for the tip! I’ll check out AGF right away!

        About the stones with lead traces in them, what type of stones usu­ally have this problem?

        • http://www.bengozen.com/ Ben

          So I don’t know if you saw YMIm­ports’ response, but the lead trace was below the rec­om­mended amount that is to be put in prod­ucts. But the prod­uct you’re refer­ring to are “yunzi stones.” I really haven’t had a prob­lem with them, but other stones to con­sider include glass stones, slate and shell (but these are expen­sive), or ceramic/poly-material.

          Check out my review on GoGameGuru’s glass stones here for an exam­ple. http://www.bengozen.com/equipment-review-glass-go-stones-size-36/ Let me know if you have any other questions!

          • Insom­nia

            Is the AGF still active? I sent them a few emails but have yet to receive any sort of response. Do they take long to answer emails?

          • http://www.bengozen.com/ Ben

            They should be… Let me know if they’re still not respond­ing after a few days. I’ll try and reach out to some peo­ple if they aren’t responding.

          • Insom­nia

            Haven’t received a response yet and its been quite a while. Could you pos­si­bly reach out to the peo­ple you know? That would be incred­i­bly helpful! :)

          • http://www.bengozen.com/ Ben

            I’ve reached out to a cou­ple of peo­ple and let you know what I hear from them.

          • Insom­nia

            Thanks for the help and the incred­i­bly quick responses

          • http://www.bengozen.com/ Ben

            Any­time! And just to update you, I got in touch with one of their staff and they said they nor­mally respond within a few days. Can you send me your email address so I can have him check? Thanks!

          • Insom­nia

            For sure! Is there an email I can con­tact you with?

          • http://www.bengozen.com/ Ben
          • Insom­nia

            Just sent out the email. Really appre­ci­ate all the help!!

          • http://www.bengozen.com/ Ben

            No prob­lem! I’ll send you an email directly when I hear something.

    • Ris­ingStar

      Hey Insom­nia. I started my own Go Club at my school. Just won­der­ing though, which area do you hap­pen to be in? If you’re in the Michi­gan area, our clubs can meet up. Good luck with your club :)

  • Ris­ingStar

    Dude , you’re famous to all amer­i­can go play­ers now…

    http://www.usgo.org/news/2014/02/celebrating-the-year-of-the-horse-by-teaching-go/

    • http://www.bengozen.com/ Ben

      Haha. In all fair­ness though, I sub­mit­ted the con­tent for the E-Journal. =) I fig­ured it wouldn’t get sub­mit­ted oth­er­wise and would be good to let peo­ple see go out in the pub­lic. =D

      • Ris­ingStar

        XD That’s pretty cool. But now, the sad souls that didn’t know about your blog, do.