For this week’s meditation, we are turning back the clock to my first game at the Go Congress 2014 — Prelude! For those who need a refresher, this game was from the day I arrived in New York and was asked to play a match while we were waiting for people to arrive. It’s a fun game that shows just how you can find the opportunity to reverse a game if you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and complicate things. Hope you enjoy this game!
Here is a summary of all the professional simuls I played in at Go Congress:
- Day 1 - Dahye Lee, 4p
- Day 2 - Ho Yuu, 6p
- Day 2 - Jungsang Park, 9p
- Day 3 - Bo Ding, 5p
- Day 3 - Mariko Deguchi, 1p
- Day 3 - Yuhong Zhao, 5p
- Day 5 - Jennie Shen, 2p
- Day 5 - Shirley Lin, 1p
- Day 6 - Francis Meyers, 1p
My goal was to play the strongest professionals that I could while experiencing as many brutal defeats from as many styles as I possibly could. In addition, while I am happy with my collection of 9 simul games, I must admit that I was aiming to hit double digits. Haha.
When I woke up, I realized that today was the last day of Congress. Man, where had all the time gone? It seemed like just yesterday I boarded the train with my brother to embark on an epic journey to New York.
The morning consisted of grabbing breakfast and checking out this cool place called The High Line that Anders recommended the night before. Luckily for us, it was still beautiful weather so we had a great time exploring the sights.
Around lunch, I got a call from Myung letting me know that Jung, Evan, Mark, and him wanted to try a steakhouse in NY before they left. So after meeting up with them at the hotel, we went off to look for one. We found one not too far: Wolfgang Steakhouse.
With the tournament officially off my mind, I have to admit it was kind of refreshing waking up without the worry of getting there at a specific time. I still got up a bit early though, as I wanted to run on over to sign up for simuls before the spots filled up. After all, since I wasn’t playing in the tournament anymore, I decided to set a new goal for myself: get as many simul games with professionals as possible!
After putting myself down for two games, my girlfriend and I went off to try a popular breakfast place: Clinton St. Baking Company. And while there was a decently long wait (considering it was a Thursday morning), it was definitely well worth it.
By the time I got back to Congress, the match had already finished and people were getting ready for the pro events (i.e., lectures, game reviews, simuls, etc.). I would be playing Jennie Shen 2p, who was Michael’s teacher.
Today was the official rest day for Congress. In other words, this meant that there would be no tournament matches so that people could go and explore New York if they wanted. As you might suspect though, there was a group of people who were here for go and just that alone. So in honor of these dedicated players, they had a “Die Hard Tournament” for these players.
When I arrived at Hotel Pennsylvania, I found Nate and the gang hanging out.
When I woke up, I sat in silence for a while as I thought about what I was going to do. Although some would simply shrug off the forfeit and continue playing in the tournament, I couldn’t stand the idea of continuing in the tournament. And with my brother in town and my girlfriend coming up to visit the second half of the trip, my mind was made up.
When I arrived at Hotel Pennsylvania, I went and officially withdrew myself from the tournament. I know that this decision might not sit well with some of you, but it was really the best decision for me as a whole. While it would have been great to have played in the tournament, withdrawing from the tournament freed up my schedule to spend time with my brother (and girlfriend eventually) while also allowing me the freedom to do whatever I wanted (i.e., spending time with professionals).
Anyhow, I then entered the tournament room to see if anyone was up and around. As I walked around, I found Diego and Gurujeet in the middle of an intense game.
I vaguely remember catching Nate and Michael before the round started and wishing them the best of luck. And before I left, I went ahead and signed up for three simuls that day. After all, I could play in tournaments anytime I wanted back at home, it’s the professionals that made Congress as epic as it is.
The next day I woke up late. Since I knew that my games took a long time, I figured that it would be best for me to grab breakfast before heading off to the match. After all, the worst thing that would happen is that I would have less time. Right?
When I arrived, I found everyone sitting and playing their matches. As I looked down the pairings list, I noticed that my name was already marked with results. F? My opponent’s name circled? What the heck? Does that mean what I think it means?
As I scanned the list, I saw there were quite a few others as well. So I rushed off to find the tournament director, and sure enough, it was what I feared: forfeit.
The first official day of Go Congress! Woot! Needless to say, I was up bright and early and on my way to the hotel.
The tournament was supposed to start around 9:00am, so I stopped by the hotel cafe to grab a quick breakfast (which ended up being a croissant and an orange juice) since I wanted to make sure I got there on time.
When I arrived, the simuls and events were mostly filled; so I made a mental note to myself to aim to arrive earlier in the future if I wanted to get in a simul game.
As everyone shuffled in, we all waited for the tournament pairings to be put up. And while we were all trying to relax and enjoy simply being at Go Congress, there was definitely a bit of anxiety throughout the air as this was our first match of the tournament. After all, everyone was hoping to start off the tournament with a win.
Before we knew it though, we all went off on our separate ways to find our opponents. My opponent was an Asian girl named Kelly who was probably around fourth or fifth grade. After sitting down and setting up my iPad (for recording the game) and getting my headphones ready, we fiddled around with the clock for a bit to make sure we had the right time settings.
When I woke up that Saturday morning, I was excited that the day had finally come. My first Go Congress ever! Woot!
I had the pleasure of having my little brother come up with me for the first half of the trip. And while packing was more of a hassle than I anticipated, we were on our way before we knew it.
When we arrived in NY, the first thing we did was check-in to our hotel. Though pretty much everyone was staying at the Hotel Pennsylvania, I was staying at a Marriott about two to three blocks away since I had guests coming up to visit. In addition, since I was going to be living there for over a week, I wanted to get a nicer place anyhow since the price wasn’t that much more expensive.
After checking in and unloading my backpack, we went to a nearby Japanese curry shop that was highly rated on Yelp called GoGoCurry.
My brother got the pork katsu while I tried the grand slam (which was everything they had: sausage, chicken, pork, tempura shrimp). And while everything was delicious, I think I’ll opt for one of the regular plates next time since the grand slam was a lot more food than I was bargaining for. (Don’t get me wrong though, it was a fantastic value for the price!)
With our stomachs full of good food, we headed off to check-in at the Go Congress.
This week marked the start of April and thus the official countdown to US Go Congress! In addition, I am uber psyched to announce that I officially joined the Yunguseng Dojang and will definitely be part of Season 9 2014! Even though it hasn’t started yet, since it’s a break month, I was able to get started on checking out some of the recorded material in there. And while I would love to rant on and on about it right now, I will keep it short and just say that there is a lot of great stuff waiting for me to discover.
I think I have come up with a new training regimen for my training my tsumego and reading, but I haven’t finalized it yet so I’ll wait till next week to update the section with what I’m doing. And in terms of playing go, it has been a bit quieter this week, but I’m definitely hoping to get online and play a game soon! Hope you all are doing well and I’ll see you next week!
Reading Ability - Work on the tasks below until whichever comes first.*
* Work on go problems for 30 minutes. * Work on 300 go problems.
*This is a way to split the difference between task based versus time based training. If you work faster than normal, and can get through 300 (or whichever number you decide on) problems. Kudos to you. But in the event you’re having trouble and need more time to work on the problems, just keep at it until 30 minutes is up (or whatever time you think it best for you).
- Worked on Life and Death Problems 1 - Basics by Robert Jasiek.