Archive: undefined/2012

Things You Should Know Before Going to a Tournament

Weekly Go Wednesday, Issue #8

After my experience with the NOVA Pumpkin Classic Tournament, it occurred to me was that there were quite a few things that I wish I knew before going to the tournament. As a result, I wanted to pass on some of my lessons learned to you in hopes that you’ll find it useful in winning your next tournament.

  1. Don’t expect your opponents to resign. This may be more so in amateur tournaments than the professional circuit, but you have to remember that people are there for the long haul. These are not like the internet games you play where killing off a single group will cause a good portion of players to go running to the resign button.

  2. Be as familiar as possible with the format of the tournament. If at all possible, try and practice a few games online in the format you will be playing in just to make sure you have the hang of it. (I played Canadian byoyomi for the first time and it nearly cost me the game in the third round.)

  3. Keep an eye on the clock as much as much as possible. This is particularly true for people who are used to playing online since the clock is normally right in front of you and you might even have an alert to let you know if you’re running low on time (which would be useless in Canadian byoyomi). In my opinion, losing on time is probably one of the worst things that can happen to a player; so avoid it at all cost because it will eat you alive for the following rounds and possibly cause you to panic and rush instead of playing your normal game.

  4. Take a break after every round. At the bare minimum, I recommend walking out of the room and clearing your head for a few seconds so you are starting fresh every time. I didn’t do this for the first two rounds, but afterwards I washed my face each time to freshen up and it did wonders for me.

  5. Don’t expect to have a long and relaxing lunch. Unless you and your opponent are rushing to finish on time or happen to play quickly, the odds are pretty good that your game will eat into your lunch break.

  6. Expect the tournament to take all day and consume most of your energy. I was naive in thinking that the tournament would take half a day at most. In regards to my energy level, let’s just say I was ready for an activity that required low amounts of energy.

  7. Don’t forget that you’re there to have fun, socialize, and learn something as well. Although the victory and accomplishment were some of the high points that day, the opportunity to meet and talk with so many other Go enthusiasts is right up there as well.

As always, if you have any advice or tips from your own experience, please be sure to share below and I’ll add them into the list as they come!

NOVA Pumpkin Classic Tournament 2012 — Conclusion

IntroductionRound 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Conclusion

NOVA Pumpkin Classic 2012 Winners by Gurujeet

When I first walked into the tournament room, I remember staring longingly at the trophies lined up at the front of the room thinking, “Wouldn’t that be awesome if I could bring one of those home one day?” Never in my wildest delusions did I think that it would happen that very day. Nevertheless, there I was, with a 4-0 record and standing with the rest of the winners of the NOVA Pumpkin Classic 2012.

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NOVA Pumpkin Classic Tournament 2012 - Round 4

IntroductionRound 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Conclusion


FFVII - Cloud vs Sephiroth by Shld

Both players: 3-0, and I was facing my worst nightmare: another 4 stone handicap game.

In terms of competitive play, this is probably the most intense of all scenarios. Both you and your opponent are aware that only one will emerge victorious, so there is a huge pressure to fight with everything you have till the very end because neither will yield in this kind of game. And as someone who has never been in this situation before, it was an overwhelming feeling that made me shake with anticipation.

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NOVA Pumpkin Classic Tournament 2012 - Round 3

Weekly Go Wednesday, Issue #6

IntroductionRound 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Conclusion

Empty Board by Eidogo

I looked down at the empty board before me and waited for the third round to start. In all honesty, I was still shaken up from the second round despite the pep talk I gave myself at lunch. Part of me was worried that I would play another crazy game that would be disgraceful. Life has a funny way of jostling you out of your mood sometimes, and little did I know, but I was about to be given the spark I needed to get out of my funk.

Anderson and his friend had just checked the pairings list and were making their way into the room. I was still sitting at the table closest to the list, so as Anderson’s friend made his way to his table, he noticed that I was sitting there. He paused by our table for a moment, looked at me momentarily, then turned to my opponent and said, “You be careful! This guy is a wild player!”

I was a bit stunned and embarrassed for a second as I recalled the miserable game I had just played… but then a burning blaze took hold of me and I thought…

“Crazy player huh? I’ll show you how wrong you are about that!”

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NOVA Pumpkin Classic Tournament 2012 - Round 2

IntroductionRound 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Conclusion

4 Stones Handicap by Eidogo

In all my naivety, it never occurred to me that I might end up giving my opponent handicap stones. After all, the majority of the time spent playing online were either even games or against stronger opponents who would give me handicap stones, not the other way around!! To make matters worse, I had spent so much time studying how Black should deal with handicap games that I wasn’t quite sure what to do as White. And as if that wasn’t enough, my familiarity with handicap games extended as far as 3 stones. Now that I was facing an opponent with 4 stones, I couldn’t help but feel the blood begin to drain from my face as I stared down the menacing board.

“All four corners are gone… I don’t even have one corner of influence to work with… I have no idea what I’m going to do…”

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NOVA Pumpkin Classic Tournament 2012 - Round 1

IntroductionRound 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Conclusion

3 Stones Handicap by Eidogo

My opponent made his first move: upper left star.

I stared at the board as I recalled memories of playing with my friend Nate: the various approaches I tried before, the numerous times he gave me advice as to how he tries to play as white, and how I should try to play as black. I wasn’t sure what was in store for me, because this was not going to be a fun casual Monday night game. This was a game that neither of us wanted to lose. After all, I’m sure that neither of us wanted to start the tournament off with a loss. Nonetheless, only one of us would come out a victor…

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NOVA Pumpkin Classic Tournament 2012 - Introduction

IntroductionRound 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Conclusion

In my entire go playing experience, I have only participated in two tournaments: the UMBC Go Tournament (2010) and the New Jersey Open (2011). In both instances, I ended up participating because of friends who encouraged me to do so. Otherwise, I’m pretty sure my lack of confidence would’ve prevented me from doing so. When I recall both tournaments, I remember not doing so well at either. My record was 0-3 at the UMBC Go Tournament and (with confirmation from Nate) 3-2 for the New Jersey Open. (For those thinking that 3-2 isn’t so bad, I recognize that; but I assure you that I don’t recall the greatest feeling about my victories. Can’t say why, but that’s what I can recall.) I’m sad I didn’t blog more about those experiences, so I’m hoping to make up for that with this tournament.

This is a six part series that will be released once per day (excluding weekends). So as the hors d’oeuvre to next week’s entree of daily posts, let the story begin…

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Archive: undefined/2010

First Tournament!

So the UMBC Go Tournament was the first tournament I helped to run and play in. What a fortunate occasion! Anyhow, it was a bit of craziness trying to transport everything. I need to figure out a better system for the future (although thank goodness I had portable carts, an empty box, and an empty luggage).

Tournament Summary: We had about 20 people show up. It was apparently not a huge showing but I think it was pretty good for a tournament that was planned and announced within a month. We’ll aim for better next time.

Results: Justin Teng and Jason Long took 1st place in their respective divisions. How did I do? 0-3. (There was an odd number of players in Round 2 so I dropped out for that round).

Overview: The first two games I lost were against SDKs. I took no handicap against the first match which proved to be disadvantageous but I don’t think I played poorly. In the other SDK game I actually played quite well but my opponent managed to bring a large group back to life. In the final loss against a DDK, there was a lot of fighting but I spread myself out too thin.

Meta-Analysis: I’m happy with my results. I played interesting games where I wasn’t afraid to jump into questionable territory for fear of not gaining a win. I fought well and believe that my issue is the inability to maintain well balanced play throughout the entire game. That’s okay with me, because that means there is very obvious and definite growth in the horizon.

Take-Away Lesson: What does it mean to lose? What does it mean to win? There’s a scene in Hikaru no Go where Akira’s dad (who was considered the best player in that day in age) loss a game against Ogata. And instead of focusing on the fact that he lost, the audience focused on the fact that his game of Go had taken a new life and was evolving in new and exciting ways. That’s the way one should view the results. It’s always nice to have a solid win, but growing and learning from your game is the only we can progress not only on the board, but in life as well.