North American Go Convention - Day 5

IntroductionDay 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Conclusion

For my final day at the NAGC, I woke up a little later since I was pretty tired from the past four days. After all, on top of all the go and staying out late, I had been working as well. So when I found out that the first round was starting at 8:30am, I decided to forgo competing all together and just get there later for the pro events.

When I arrived, it was approximately 9:15am. As I looked at the schedule for the day, I noticed that the pro events were once again scheduled during the second half of each round. In addition, there were no breaks in between the rounds. If you wanted lunch or dinner, you had better hope your match ends early. So in short, trying to compete, have your meals, and attend pro events would nearly kill you.

Since the first pro event was starting at 10;00am, I went ahead and walked upstairs to see how the tournament was progressing. You can imagine my surprise when I arrived at the playing room to find that they needed another player since someone didn’t show up. Since there was still some time before the match and I felt bad that someone was missing an opponent, I decided to go ahead and play to help out. Since there was only 30 minutes before the pro event though, I tried to play as quickly as I could with the most aggressive method possible so that the game could possibly end early.

Like I predicted, there was no chance of us finishing the game before the pro event. And to be honest, I can’t blame my opponent for wanting to take his time to see if he could actually manage to live. With the amount of fighting left to do, I would even be willing to bet that we still had a good 30 - 45 minutes left before we were close to finishing. So when the time came, there was no choice to resign. Below is the game record.

I will admit that I part of me wanted to see how the game might’ve ended, but I knew I was playing a rather high risk approach and could very well have lost anyways. So all in all, I was happy to give my opponent the win since I wasn’t going to win any awards anyways. =D

When the time came from the simul game with Myung, as one might expect with the schedule that day, I was the only one who showed up. So, in order to try and make things for interesting for him, we decided to do a 9 stone handicap where I could put the stones anywhere I wanted.

At first, I set up a setting relatively similar to your standard 9 stone handicap formation with a chance in regards to using a Chinese opening; but then Myung suggested it might be better for me to secure a couple of corners to begin with. I think he soon regretted his suggestion however, because when he looked at the board again and was about to play his first move, he said, “Oh man… this is going to make it a lot harder.”

When I played that final move, you have no idea the relief and rush of excitement I felt when I heard him say, “Oh! Good! You saw that!” and then put down his stone and focus his attention on the three players who had come in after we had started. So while my 9 stone handicap was a free placement style, this was a huge moment for me because I actually managed to win against a professional. It helped to renew my confidence in myself to feel growth over the past five days.

Afterwards, Myung and I went to pick up James and grabbed lunch at Cosi’s. We had fun talking about all sorts of random things, but tennis was a pretty big topic and it was fun finding out their different styles and such. I had no idea that there are certain types of racket strings that were specialized for specific playing styles! Definitely a fun time.

When we got back, it was time another lecture from Myung. This time we reviewed part of the 1st game from the Samsung Cup between Lee Sedol and Gu Li. The concept was a bit more abstract this time around. James and I discussed it while we played later on, so I feel like I have a better understanding of it. Granted, like the rest of the lectures from this convention, it will probably take some time before I get write a solid article on it.

For the final pro event, I had to make a choice between attending another lecture by Myung or play a simul game with Stephanie Yin (1P).

=Stephanie (Ming Ming) Yin (1P)

After a bit of thought, I decided that I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to play another pro. So with that said, I sat down for my final simul game of the NAGC. Below is the game record.

When the game was over, Stephanie told me that she definitely thought I was stronger than 6 kyu. She recommended I further practice my life and death and reading, and I would progress very quickly. ^.^ It made me happy to hear that and I was very grateful for her compliment and advice.

With all the events over, Myung, James and I tried to see if we could grab a bite to eat before the awards ceremony. Unfortunately there just didn’t seem to be enough time, but we decided that we would get food afterwards.

The award ceremony room was decorated quite nicely with various flags and all the glass trophies up front. In addition, they managed to fill the entire lecture hall and more with people, which was rather impressive.

There were all kinds of awards, but the most coveted ones went to a number of players from China who participated. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t the least bit envious and curious as to how I might have fared in the competition, but trust me when I say I do not regret my decision to not compete. Haha.

For the final night of the NAGC, Myung, James and I went back to Bonchon for one last hurrah. Like a blur, all the food and good conversation was suddenly over. Before I knew it, I was dropping them off outside their hotel. With a firm handshake and an assurance that we’d be in touch, we parted ways for the final time.

IntroductionDay 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Conclusion