Saturday, December 27, 2008

New Apartment, Life, Departure

I have not written in month, but I have been busy...

This is more of a personal blog post.

In the past month lots of things have happened. I signed papers with my girlfriend. I got to "AGA 4k" I quit my job. I moved out of my house and in with my Sunny (Girlfriend). I said my goodbyes to my friends and packed my bag. On Monday I will leave to Korea. I will travel 11 hours into the future and arrive Tuesday night.

I will spend the first night at my Uncle's house, and then I will be joining the IBA.

As much as I am excited to go and travel, I am a little sad leaving my Sunny in our new apartment all by herself.

On why we moved in together, I love her dearly, and I have been planning to live with her for sometime now. All of a sudden, she decided to leave her home and move out. So I moved in with her. Her dad is helping us out a lot with rent and stuff, I can not wait to get back and continue living with her in our little broken down apartment.

Sunny is an artist, she is an aspiring mangaka. For the holidays I made her sort of a table easel so that she can draw more comfortably. I really hope that while I am away she creates her rough draft of her manga series.

In the past few months I finally reconected with my best friend from childhood, Roman. He got into go recently ^__^ he is already 13k KGS. He is helping me out running the tournaments while I am in Korea. Its a little sad to leave...he should be kidnapped and brought to me in Korea....

I moved out of my moms house so suddenly, she seems sad these days, I hope she will be Ok.

I have worked a lot at the New York Go Center in the past months... I hope it is still standing when I come back ^__^

I will be back in 6 months a better smarter stronger person.

As for my posts while I am in Korea... Likely tri-weekly. I will be posting experiences as well as My games and my teacher's comments on them...

Hope you guys keep reading. See you soon.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

My Girlfriend, and My Go

Girlfriend and Go ...

I am sure that more than once there has been tension between our Go and Our significant others.

I have been with my girlfriend for almost three years, I love her.

I have been playing Go for just under 5 years, I love Go.

It is very strange, but many Go Players will agree with me, sometimes, when it comes to Go, it is hard to get your priorities straight.

Several times, we have almost broken up over it. Several times I have tried to show her why I play, but she does not get it.

It is rather strange to explain to people that do not play that I am going to Korea for six months, not to travel, not to study abroad, but to play Go.

She does not get it either, but she tries her best to pretend to support me. She hates that I play sometimes, but she always wishes me well for tournaments. She hates that I would sometimes rather play than spend time with her, but she puts up with it.

I am sorry my love (My girlfriend, not Go) for all the trouble my mistress Baduk has put you through, thank you for putting up with my playing, thank you for staying with me when I will leave for 6 months. Thank you Sunny.

I will not give up playing for you, but know that you are more important to me do not doubt that.

To everybody else, sorry for the sappy post, but I think that some of you can relate to it. If you have any stories to share, E-mail me @ I will likely be writing a follow up blog about the effects of Go on peoples relationships.

Here is a little Comic relief to those poor Go widows and Widowers, I am sure you have thought about it more than once:

From Random Funny

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Masters Open

The Masters Open

This past Sunday I had the pleasure of running the Masters Open. I was the Director, and Kim Dae Yol was the organizer.

From Masters Open

Although only 12 people played in the tournament, it was pretty intense having so many talented players in one room. We had 4 former US Open winners! Andy Liu, Young Kwon, Dae Yol Kim, Lee Jong Moon.

From Masters Open
Young Kwon 7d

There where two things that stood out to me the most about this tournament. Although we had only 12 players we had 4 kids competing. We all know that there are these amazing kids out there that are 6d at 6 years old... well thats a bit of an exaggeration, but everytime I see these pre-teen 6 dans it always blows my mind.

From Masters Open
The 6d Children

There was a moment towards the end of the tournament that really stuck with me At one moment Mr. Tao came in the room to say hi to his old friends, and everyone was just so happy. The simple game of Go created ties between people that last your whole life. Personally, I have made friends from all over the world, from all walks of life, there is just something about the relationships forged over the wooden battlefield...

From Masters Open
Vincent Liu

My absolute favorite thing about go is that these 12 year olds could play with the 70 year olds and have the two players be equals on the board. This event had a lot of this. It was rather odd but we did not have any "young adult" aged players. Everyone was either around 13 years old, or in their 50's or 60's.

Andy Liu won the first prize of $800

From Masters Open
Andy Liu

Jie Liang, Jong Moon Lee, And Xiliang Liu where tied with 3 wins 1 loss each. Tiebreaking was used to determine the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place.

Jie Liang took home 2nd.

Jong Moon Lee took 3rd.

Xiliang Liu took home 4th.

From Masters Open
Coffee Go

From Masters Open
Young vs. Not So Young

From Masters Open
Friends in thought

From Masters Open
Xiliang Liu Vs. Jong Moon Lee

For all photos visit
Masters Open

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election Night At the Brooklyn Go Club + Go Club Review

The Brooklyn Go Club

Meets in Club Members Houses

(Ratings out of 5 *'s)
Average Attendance: ****
Events ***
Equipment ***
Beginner Friendly *****
Player Strength ***
Store *
Refreshments *****
Study Recources ***
Hours **

Overall ***

Smoking: Yes (Not only tobacco :-!)
Entrance Fee : Bring Food

The Brooklyn Go Club is a very interesting club. Unlike the other clubs that I have been at so far, It does not actually have a set location where to meet. Instead, week to week various members voulenteer to have the club meet at their house. And while there is no fee, generally it is expected that you bring food to share with everyone.

This club has a very different atmosphere than other clubs that I have been to, while playing go is an important part of the club, it is not the main aspect. In this club Go is more of a means of interaction as opposed to a main event. This is not a bad thing.

While my reasons for playing Go are to play go, many people like the sense of community that comes with the game. The Social aspect of it. In this Sense the Brooklyn Go Club is a great club to be at. Most of the members have been friends for a long long time, the ones who haven't certainly are not made to feel left out.

I have been only to a few of their meetings, and something that I really enjoyed is playing on all the different equipment. Since the club meets in member's houses, the playing equipment is always interesting to see.

Morrisarian, for example, has so many different boards from his travels. He has a traditional chinese board, with elaborate decorations. As well as a 8 inch thick floor board, that he got from Japan. Anyway the point is that every meeting it is pretty cool to see the different boards and stones that you can play on.

As far as players go, most of them are around Shodan, and the strengths range from beginner to 7d. You will most likely find a game easily, whether you are the teacher, or you are the student depends on the day.

It is actually rather difficult to describe this club with words, as I am not that great of a writer, but let me try to show you what it is like....

Election Night:

As I walked into the Go Club I was greeted by an older woman with a smile on her face. This is Barabara. I gave her some melons I had brought to share with everyone. I walked into the main playing area of her house, and was hit with a sweet smell. Everyone was happy with wine in their hands. Although I was slightly surprised at how relaxed everyone was, After I put down my things, and put some rice and crab balls on my plate, I walked over to the guys that were watching the election on TV and their friendly energy me. They were laughing and cheering everytime an important state was won.

Honestly I had come to play go, so I set out to find a game. Ron Snyder 7d was my opponent. I was surprised at how well I was doing, but I had relaxed too much towards the end, and let a group die. Anyway the onlookers proceeded to make comments on the game.

As more and more people came in to the club (there where about 20 at one point I think) there was more and more laughter. Old friends seeing each other, after either a week or longer I am not sure, either way they were happy.

Everyone was eating, sharing stories, playing go and watching the election. Everyone was jolly with wine. I managed to get a few games in, I was surprised that I was playing shodans even, and doing well. I won 1 lost 2. The house was warm because of the amount of people, and their energy.

When Obama finally got elected Everyone was so happy. The Go Club hugged cheered, dranks and cried.

The whole feeling I got from the place was like a family, like a bunch of old friends.

To sum this review up, the Brooklyn Go Club is a very social club, that is a great deal of fun to be at. The people are great, and the equipment is interesting. While I do not think that this club is meant to be a "study and get better club" it is certainly a "have fun while playing go and talking and laughing with friends club"

Overall : *** (score was brought down due to lack of hours, and a store.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Flushing "Hanguk Kiwon" Go Club

Hanguk Kiwon Go Club
36-18 Union Street
Flushing Queens, New York

(Ratings out of 5 *'s)
Average Attendance: ****
Events *
Equipment ***
Beginner Friendly **
Player Strength ****
Store *
Refreshments ****
Study Recources **
Hours *****

Overall ***
Smoking: yes
Entrance Fee $10/day $5/students

This club seems rather intimidating to newcomers. There is no sign hinting at a Go club, at least not in English. It is located on the busy Union Street, amidst a stew of hair salons bakeries, and travel agents. However once you figure out where it is, and enter inside it still seems pretty un-inviting.

That is wrong however. Although there are no beginners in this club that I know of, the Manager will find you a game, or give you a lesson regardless of your ability. He speaks english well, so you should not worry about the language barrier. There are good opponents ranging from about 10kyu to about 6 or 7d

Although there is a teaching board in the club, I have never seen a formal lecture, I might be wrong, as I was only there 5 or 6 times. There are also a few Korean Language go magazines, but overall study materials are really few.

This club has an interesting feature of having free refreshments, including tea, coffee, juice, and even a little Asian* yogurt drink.

There is also a Mah-Jong room, but I was not allowed to take any pictures.

Just a warning there IS SMOKING in this club like most other Korean Go Clubs.

To sum it up This is a good club for playing, if you can tolerate smoke. The entrance fee is low, you will find an opponent, and they have a fair range of strengths. You won't find formal instruction, or books to study, but there are free beverages to keep your energy up while you play.


*This is not meant to be racist, this yogurt drink is sold in China, Japan, and Korea and I do not know where else. Also I am not sure where it is from.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My Students

In the past two weeks, I seem to have picked up 3 students.

One of them, MayhemFrank, I met on Godisscusions. Timothy president of Neon Sandwich, I met while walking in the park, and the Third, to whom I have so far only spoken to through e-mail, I do not know anything about.

My students all pay me, but in various ways. Mayhem teaches me secret strategies to a certain videogame, Timothy is supposed to read my future, and the third and I agreed to cash.

This brings me to my next point, is it wrong for me to take money for teaching? I feel a little guilty considering I am only 4 kyu right now, but I need money to eat while I am in Korea. My only income is about $100/weekly from the after school go program I run, and about 3 dollars a day I make from you guys clicking on the Ads on this page.

I enjoy teaching, but I need a hand, To the stronger readers of this Blog: any reccomended lesson plans?
So far lessons that I have set:

Two Eyes/why corners first
Various Escaping from situations problems
Keeping your stones connected/Your opponent disconnected.

Thats all for now, let me hear feedback, and if you want to support my Go studies refer to 4th paragraph.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Masters Open

At the New York Open, Dae Yol Kim 7d, Young Kwon 7d and I met to discuss how to attract the Korean Community to the AGA.

There were many things that we spoke about, but that will come in another post... maybe.

For now we are going to have the Masters Open.

1st prize: $800 or more

2nd prize: $400

3rd prize: $200

The entry fee for the Tournament is as follows

AGA members : $40
Non Members $50 (includes 1 year membership.)

All games will be even, and only the top three finishers will recieve prizes.

This is the first step of our plan to get the Korean players to Join the AGA.

There are so many korean players, and I honestly think that they might enjoy a little heterogenity as far as their pool of opponents goes.

More on this later....

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New York Go Center: Reviewed

Hey guys since I have attended many Go clubs around, I decided that I will review them, maybe post a few pictures. Be sure to read the review and not just look at the star points

(Ratings out of 5 *'s)
Average Attendance: ***
Events *****
Equipment *****
Beginner Friendly *****
Player Strength ***
Store ****
Refreshments **
Study Recources *****
Hours ****

Overall ****
Entrance Fee $7/day $5/students

Although I am the Vice President of the New York Go Center I will try my best to be unbaised.

So lets start with the Bad. The attendance is low. The Heater makes a strange noise, that caused me to get rather sleepy all winter. The paint is chipped in a few places, and the club has been mis-managed for years. I would like to think that in the past year, my efforts have helped it along the way.

The good: Although there aren't that many players, there are always at least two just waiting to play with you and teach you. There is a resident instructor at all times, as well as the host. Our hosts range in strengths from 5k-3d.

The Resident Instructor is someone chosen by the Nihon Ki-in, who loves go and stays in New York For three months just to teach. Our current Instructor, Hyodo Shunichi, is an AGA 7d. The Daily host has a lot of experience teaching, and is always available for a game. On Average about 5 people are present at the Go Center. More on weekends

There is an extensive library of go books in English, Korean and Japanese. They have antique and out of print books.

Just recently the New York Go Center started selling go equipment, they have a 1 3/4 inch board for just 30 dollars. Stones start at 15, and wooden bowls are 18. They also have a large selection of books at discounted prices for members.

Monthly tournaments are held at the Go Center, as well as "Special" tournaments. Lectures are held at center, although these are rather irregular. If there are any strong local players interested, please contact the NYGC at

Honestly the Go Center is a great club for players of all strengths and ages. You always have an opponent, great study material, and no cigarette smoke.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Hello, and Welcome

My name is Boris Bernadsky.

I am 19 years old,
and on December 9th I will fly away from New York to join the International Baduk Academy.

When people ask me what do I do I tell them I am a Go Player.

I began playing about 4 years ago at summer camp.

We did not have our own board so we made on out of clay (pieces) and a piece of linoleum (board)

I started a High School Go club that had about 20 regulars, somedays we had over 30 attendees.

After high school I kept playing, and Became involved with the New York Go Center. I started running tournaments, and doing small upgrades to the club.

We started selling equipment, books, and started a game analysis night. I organized for other clubs to come visit us. This September on my birthday I got promoted to Vice President of the Club.

Over the last summer I was incredibly lucky, as I convinced an after school/Summer camp program to let me teach Go instead of chess. So over the summer I had about 150 students that I taught to play the game.

I got lucky a second time because I was allowed to continue my program into the school year.

Currently I have about 20 students whom I see once a week (two classes)

Anyway....that's me. I Play Go, I teach Go, I promote Go.

(I also have a Girlfriend whom I absolutely love, and will marry one day who abhors the game.)

-Boris ~4k

Sunday, October 12, 2008

New York Open 2008

The New York Open is a Tournament I created.

I enlisted the help of Christopher Vu to be my Tournament Director.

While I was the tournament organizer.

The Idea of it was to have a annually or Semi-Annually occurring large tournament in NYC.

I advertised it to have a relatively large first place prize of $500.

It would take place over 2 days have 5 rounds.

All games would be even, and it would be broken up into separate divisions.

Here is the report...

October 10th-
The New York Go Open is the next day. The New York Go Center was a mess. Christopher Vu, the tournament director, and I, The organizer were at the go center until 12 am reorganizing, and decorating. Hiding holes in the wall, shooing away moths and setting up all the tables.

We finally got home and to bed around 2 am. Chris stayed on my couch so that he would not have to trek 1 hour in the middle of the night.

My main concern was that we would have enough seats to fit everyone in.

October 11th-

42 people showed up for the tournament. 48 had pre-registered, and a few people promised they would bring friends. Only 42 people actually made it. The main problem with this was providing the $500 top prize that I had promised. We made it by, if the Go Center was more strict with rent, I do not know what we would have done.

Anyway it was a lot more action the our club had seen in a long time so we were pretty happy regardless.

We set up a Go In Our Garden Review Area where many player were studying in between rounds.

A notable quote from Andy Liu "When you are 1d you should be able to remember your games. This is one of the big differences between a 1d and a 4kyu"

I did awful in my games today. Although I won the first one I played by 5.5, I lost the second two. The second game, I lost when my opponenet threatened to, either a. Cut two groups in half, or b. capture a stone. I chose the wrong one. We went back and counted what would happen if i chose b....I would have won by 12.

The third game I played I just played horrendously the whole time, I lost an even game to a supposed 13k. (I think he was sandbagging since he finished 2wins 3 losses in the 9k-1k division)
BTW he was the Tournament Organizer, and he entered this division so that we would have an even number of players.

There was one incident at the event. One of the 5d players lost on time. He made a huge fuss about it. His logic was since his clock did not warn him he was running out of time, it was somehow not fair. Keep in mind the time settings were 1h base and 5 of 30 byo-yomi.

He was yelling and making threats, so to calm him down I gave him an additional 30 sec period, that beeped every second.

He lost the game by a large margin to a 12 year old 5d, Andrew Huang.

I felt awful for the kid because his opponent was creating such a fuss. I am not sure what I would have done in the kids place.

Overall the first day was a success. One thing that I must mention is that all the food that you participants ate was donated by our Tournament Director Christopher Vu. Next time you see him make sure to thank him.

Pictures from day 1.

1. Me (blue shirt) V. Chris Vu

2.Anthony Fiengold 3k John Mangual 5k
Matthew Palumbo 2k Robin Xu 4k (back to front right to left)

3. Howard Wong 5k

4. S-division (6d+)

1. Four 6d battling.
2. John David 5d vs. Andrew Huang 5d
3. Andy Liu 9d vs Jie Liang 8d
4. Dae Yol Kim 7d, and Xiliang Liu 7d in thought
5. Hyodo Shunichi 7d (second from the front)

1. Post game review
Haskel Small, Alfred Teng Michael Fodera (all 3d)
2. Kyu section
October 12th-

Chris and I made it over to the Center at 9:15 am, the tournament would be starting at 10, and we had a little work to do.

About 15 people dropped out of the second day, and 2 more joined in. The games went smoothly and people seemed pretty happy Overall.

The prizes were as Follows:

S Division
1st Place $400.00 (Andy Liu 9d)
2nd Place $100.00 (Xiliang Liu 7d)

A Division

1st Place $100.00 (Ke Lu 5d)
2nd Place $60.00 (June Joung Kim 2d)

B Division

1st Place $90.00 (Afa Zhou 1k)
2nd Place Book or Go Equipment of choice (Robin Xu 4k)

C Division
1st Place Book or Go Equipment of choice (Jesy Felicia 14k)
2nd (tie) Book or Go Equipment of choice (Betsey small 13k, and Fredrick Smadja 12k)

Winners Pictures

1. All together
2. C Division
3. A Division
4. S division

Anyway I hope everyone had a great time.

Next year I will try my best to make the tournament bigger and better, and more organized as far as starting times go.

Final standings whole tournament


  1. Andy Liu (9893) (5-0)
  2. Xiliang Liu (14179) (4-1)
  3. Young Kwon (433) (3-2)
  4. Oh Tae Hwan (4350) (3-2)
  5. Liang Jie (11018) (2-3)
  6. Zhong, Yu (8975) (2-3)
  7. Kim, Dae-Yol (3039) (2-1)
  8. Zhou, Xun (7316) (2-1)
  9. Hyodo, Shunichi (6157) (1-4)
  10. Chen, Yong (5018) (1-3)
  11. Verkhovsky, Simon (6769) (1-2)
  12. Liu, Yong-xin (3700) (0-3)


1. Ke Lu (11746) (5-0)

2. Kim, Joung June (99999) (4-1)

  1. Teng, Yu Jen (14233) (4-1)
  2. Andrew Huang (13637) (4-1)
  3. Chen, Walter (11796) (3-2)
  4. Paul Anderson (1448) (2-3)
  5. Marc Palmer (4291) (2-3)
  6. Fodera, Michael (16547) (2-3)
  7. Haskell Small (1062) (2-3)
  8. Saul Lapidus (10587) (2-3)
  9. Matthew Bengtson (19) (2-1)
  10. Yu, Stephen (4002) (0-5)
  11. John David (99998) (0-3)
  12. Justin Johnson (14909) (0-3)

Division B – Final Standings

  1. Afa Zhou (10817) [4.5-0.5]
  2. Robin Xu (16845) [4.0-1.0]
  3. Howard Wong (14893) [3.0-2.0]
  4. John Mangual (11454) [3.0-2.0]
  5. Anthony Feingold (14448) [3.0-1.0]
  6. Carrie Lapidus (10828) [2.0-3.0]
  7. Christopher Vu (11614) [2.0-3.0]
  8. Leonaurd Baum (9420) [1.0-4.0]
  9. Boris Bernandsky (13734) [1.0-4.0]
  10. Avi Mowshovitz (14885) [1.0-1.0]
  11. Joshua Gang (14514) [1.0-0.0]
  12. Matthew Palumbo (14643) [0.0-3.0]

Division C – Final Standings

  1. Jesy Feliccia (14592) [5.0-0.0]
  2. Frederic Smadja (16887) [3.0-2.0]
  1. Elizabeth Small (2098) [3.0-2.0]
  2. Barbara Huang (14149) [2.0-3.0]
  3. Diana Huang (14150) [2.0-3.0]
  4. Daren Huang (14165) [2.0-3.0]
  5. Joanne Huang (14145) [1.0-4.0]
  6. Janis Rancourt (16005) [0.0-3.0]

-Boris Bernadsky about 4k.