Enter the Eagle

Weekly Go Wednesday, Issue #1

Welcome to the start of my Weekly Go Wednesday (WGW) series! This purpose of this series is to add some excitement to the middle of the week, so that before you know it, it’ll be the weekend again! If you have any requests or would like to be a guest writer on this series, be sure to let me know!

Unlike the games I’ve posted so far, today’s opponent has a bit of history that deserves to be recorded down for the ages to come. For those who want to check out the game commentary beforehand, go ahead and scroll down to the bottom before settling down with a hot beverage for a tale of a chance encounter that has been a big impact in my life ever since.

Enter the Eagle

When I had just begun to become immerse in the world of go, I decided that even though I was stuck in DDK land, I would try and get private lessons. Looking back on it, I shake my head and laugh at myself since I had not even taken the time to properly learn the basics, and there I was trying to get private lessons. Anyhow, during my first lesson, my go teacher happened to mention that one of his students was around the same strength as I. Needless to say, as a new and enthusiastic player, I was thrilled at the idea of being able to play in person with someone around the same strength as me. After all, online go is fun; but it doesn’t come close to the enjoyment of being able to play on a real board with real stones.

Unfortunately, that would be my last lesson due to financial constraints; but coincidentally, my go teacher also went to one of the local go clubs to teach/review games. I had not attended club meetings as consistently as I would have liked, but I decided to go on one of his teaching nights. My go teacher had mentioned that the player he had mentioned might be attending that night, but let’s just say that I was not prepared for what the night would bring.

With my eagerness to meet this player, I couldn’t help but nervously scoping out the attendees in an attempt to figure out who it was. I can’t quite remember who attended that night, but one thing I’m utterly clear on is that I saw an American guy there with a motorcycle helmet and related gear. I remember looking over at him and thinking, “Whoa! What is a guy like him doing here?!” And this wasn’t in a bad way at all, in fact it was more of a “What is a cool guy doing here?! And wait a second, he’s staring at the go board intently?! What’s going on?!?!?!” After all, in all my naivety for being new to the go scene, I just had this mental image of all go players being skinny Asian guys who were a bit shy and reserved. In fact, I half expected to meet a little kid that night who would be around my rank and then promptly school me.

The night went by with everyone huddled around the board as my go teacher went over games and questions. After all was said and done, in the midst of goodbyes with my go teacher, he signaled for the cool motorcycle guy to come on over, and as you might have guessed… this was the player he told me about. Needless to say, I was flabbergasted… although I did my best not to show it in my face. Haha.

Since then, there have been many go games and adventures which would take many more blog posts for me to properly recount. Although I would have to say that one of the major highlights was getting to eat at this incredible ramen place…. what I would give to have a bowl of that right now… sigh….

Delicious food aside, he has not only served as a fantastic rival (who has trounced me time and time again); but a valued friend that I look forward to knowing for a long time.

That being said, we began a weekly tradition of playing each other once a week, and this game is the first that I have posted since well… the other ones were pretty miserable. In fact, I’ll probably post some of those up in the future when I do a series on lessons that DDK players can learn from.

Overall, I felt that this game was a sign of even greater games to come. Even though I lost a major group towards the middle of the game, I feel that it was a sign of growth to know that the game was not yet over. And with the proper fighting spirit, I’d be able to make it a decently close game. Hopefully, you’ll feel that I managed to do so as well. Till next week!