Archive: undefined/2014

Go Congress 2014 - Day 1

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

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.

Read More

Go Congress 2014 - Prelude

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

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.

Read More

Monday Go Meditation: Game 64

Contrary to what I said last week, this week’s Monday Go Meditation features my Yunguseng Dojang game from last week. The reason for this is two-fold: (1) I didn’t play any other games over the past two weeks and (2) I’m still trying to keep MGM as current as possible.

As I mentioned before, I was feeling rather iffy before this game. My opponent was around 4–5k in strenghth, and with my ups and downs lately, I wasn’t so sure that I could even beat him. But before I could wallow too much in my own insecurities, the game started.

Note: Similar to the other YSD match I posted last week, any specific things I learned from the review will be omitted in this game to respect other members’ paid membership.

Read More

Trying to Put the Pieces Back Together

I played the second round of my Yunguseng match tonight. To be honest, it was a game of mixed feelings. Though I hate to admit it, I’m not quite out of my slump yet. I could definitely feel it as I started getting antsy when the game began. I started being negative and worried that I would lose again. Yet on the other hand, there were moments where I managed to give my game some life as I surged forth with a desire to attack and try to harass my opponent’s group with as much vigor as I could muster up.

It was a bit weird being in this bi-polar/gray area of feeling like my go was rather aimless, having it spring back to life, making bad moves where I was completely off with my reading, and then having lively energy again. Then again I guess this is all part of trying to put the pieces together again. They don’t quite fit together at the moment, but I’m optimistic that they will become whole once again.

And though I would normally be concerned with how fast it would take or when it would happen, I’ve realized that doing so will not do me any good. I’ll just keep working on my weaknesses and play to the best of my ability. Everything will fall into place in due time.

PS. There won’t be any detailed commentary for this game, but I just wanted to mention that there are quite a number of mistakes and overplays in this game. So in case anyone wants to point out things like my lower left corner was supposed to die and so forth, no worries, got it all in the review.

Monday Go Meditation: Game 63

For this week, I’ve decided to honor a request made by my friend Rob who asked that I review the game that was the cause for my post on being confused. Though I haven’t been commenting on games from YSD, I’ve decided to make an exception for this one.

Just to note though, any specific insight that was taught by Inseong is withheld from the commentary in order to respect other member’s paid memberships. So while I will comment on what I understood on my own, any specific details will be omitted in this review. Hope you enjoy this review!

Read More

Monday Go Meditation: Game 62

About a week ago, there was a bit of discussion about the importance of endgame. Now while I would never even begin to propose that endgame is not important or can't make a huge difference, I was saying how I didn't think studying it would serve kyu players as much as say dan players.

Ironically, the game featured this week was played shortly after the discussion and happened to feature endgame as the shining star of the game. In addition, this game is also a good example of competing moyos and how critical points in shape and boundaries can make a huge difference in the resulting outcome. Hope you enjoy this review!

Read More

Stumbling Through the Dark

Today I added another notch to my losses. It was a 2 stone handicap game against a 1k and I completely goofed at the end. No reason I shouldn’t have won, but I just couldn’t see it through.

And the funny thing is that this trend seems to be consistent with other things I tried to switch my attention to momentarily (like League of Legends). Part of me wonders whether I’ve acquired some sort of “losing” mindset; but on second though, it’s rather unlikely since I know that starting off any game being like “I’m going to lose anyways” is a recipe for disaster.

As this is the first day in my quest to return back to my origins, I shouldn’t be surprised that things are not much different than yesterday. There’s a big mix of frustration, loss, and clarity all at the time. And to be honest, it feels as if stumbling through the dark blindly reaching for anything I can hold on to to feel like I’m making progress. I have no idea if it’s going to get me where I want to go, but it certainly seems to beat standing still.

On the bright side, I’m glad I’m not gambling any time soon.

Losing Sight of My Go

Today I played a game against a 2k as Black (with 45 min main time settings). It’s been a long time since I’ve played a game with such long time settings where the opponent actually used up most of his/her time. In fact, it was a little nerve wracking because the quality of the moves were quite different. Far less impulsive ones and much more proper moves that were given a lot of thought. I felt I had decent control of the game for the most part, but started losing control of it towards the later half of the middle game. Around this time, my opponent misclicks.

At first I was thrilled to see the mistake, but then the undo request instantly popped up and I was confronted with the conflicting decision as to wheter I should give him the undo or not. Long story short, he was supposed to gain about 8 points in sente, but misclicked and put his own stones in atari so that I could capture them instead, save my stones, and gain a few points myself.

For 95% of spectators out there, the answer is crystal clear: it was an obvious misclick. In that moment however, though I’m ashamed to say it, I wanted to win so badly that I tried to brush off his undo and play on. I tried to resolve my cognitive dissonance by telling myself that it was his fault that he misclicked. Not my problem. Within a few moves however, I woke to my senses and realized how pitiful I was being. So I resigned in order to try and pick up what little self-respect I had left.

The reason I’m writing about this is because I realized I have become too caught up in winning. Even though my name was created with the idea that I had found zen in go, I think that it has become so far from the truth (especially as of late). With each game recently, any sense of calmness or zen has been consistently disturbed by the notion of winning or losing. And with each game, I am concerned that I am losing sight of my go.

This ends now. I don’t care if I have to drop ten stones to get back to it, but I’m going to put the pieces that started this blog back together: Ben + Go + Zen.