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.