Go Congress 2014 - Day 2

Prelude - I - II - III - IV - V - VI - VII - Conclusion

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.

Needless to say, I was furious. After all, the worst I expected was that my time would be reduced. I was fuming for quite some time, and tried my best to calm down. I even tried to read through the entire handbook thinking that at least if it were written somewhere I would at least acknowledge my ignorance. Nope. Nothing.

To be honest, this bothered me for quite some time. I tried my best to let it go, but I just couldn’t help myself from feeling so wronged. Some tried to tell me that it was announced during before the match, but announcements are only useful if you were there to hear it. And if you were there to hear it, I don’t really think you need to worry about a forfeit rule. And also, during the registration phase, they ask you point blank if you plan on playing in all the tournament rounds. What’s the point of that if you’re going to forfeit people after they’re late?! Especially when the rule is nowhere to be found!!

Once all the matches were over, I caught up with Michael and started a game with him. We had to adjourn midway through the game since the pro events were starting, but don’t worry, we get around to finishing the game (which I’ll show the kifu of later on).

As Michael went off to his pro event, I waited around in hopes of getting a simul game against Ho Yuu, 6p. Fortunately for me, the people who had signed up didn’t show up and I was able to get a seat.

Here are the results of that game:

Though I ended up losing, he told me that I played quite well and would have actually won if I had not let me connection get cut apart. It was a game I was certainly proud of and one that helped me release some of my frustration since I poured all my energy into playing the best go I could possibly play.

Everyone had dispersed at that point, so I wandered around a bit while waiting for the next simul to begin. For this next one, I was really hoping to be able to get a simul against Park Jungsang, 9p. Yes, the very same person I just had late dinner with last night! The reason I was a bit iffy on this one however, is because it was a simul that was reserved for dan players.

Nonetheless, I went ahead and asked if I could play anyhow. Thanks to Jungsang’s kindness, I was allowed to play even though I wasn’t technically registered as a dan player.

The following is the game record:

Here’s the thing. I’ve played against a fair of number of professionals at this point in simul games, but the feeling I was left with after Jungsang crushed me was incredible. Even though I was well aware of how strong professionals could be, the simul against Jungsang took it to a whole new level of respect and awe.

Once I was done with the game, it seemed like everyone had run off in different directions. Since my brother and I hadn’t eaten lunch yet, I decided that we would go ahead and go grab something to eat.

After being indecisive for a while, we finally decided on this sushi place. Funny thing is that we didn’t see anything impressive on the menu when we got there, and ended up trying their yakitori instead.

It was a fantastic time and I had a blast hanging out with my brother. During this time, I vented about my frustration with what happened and my thoughts on what I wanted to do next. To experience that injustice of getting burned by a rule that wasn’t written and available to all players really put a damper on my experience at Congress. I mean seriously, it’s the equivalent of finding out that there is a rule that your opponent gets an extra 20 points of komi if the game is longer than 250 moves.

To be honest, the rest of the day is a bit hazy to me as I try to recall it now. The forfeit was rather traumatic and affected me more than I would like to admit.What I can say for sure though, is that I spent a good part of that day evaluating whether or not I actually wanted to continue playing in a tournament.

And if memory serves me correctly, my brother and I wandered around a bit more and got Halal Guys (aka famous food truck in NY for a $6 meal that is amazing). And after that food adventure, I went to dinner with Diego, Michael, Satoru, and Diego’s friend Mark. It was a fun dinner full of great conversation and I got a glimpse into the awesome world of judo as well. While the forfeit was a big damper on the day, I’m glad I was able to end the day with friends and good times.

Update: I just wanted to clarify that I’m not in any way saying that my conduct in being late to the match is excusable or acceptable. If I could have gone back and done it again, I would have ran to Congress first and at least let my opponent know I would be back after 10-15 minutes. The reason for my frustration and rant resides in the way the rule itself is implemented / enforced. While it is common courtesy to simply be on time for things, there are numerous reasonable situations where a person could be running late. And yes, sometimes people make incorrect decisions in the moment, but it should be penalized in a way that is fair for all.

Prelude - I - II - III - IV - V - VI - VII - Conclusion