Thursday, February 26, 2009

I declare this my Ascension to maybe 3k....

Ok, so maybe I can't pinpoint my strength but...

I have been having good results against my Monsterously strong teachers, and I am almost finished with Baduk for Little Children Volume 4....(4k-1d) I have a few problems left, which I will finish tommorow.

This week I have a pretty oggd record against the our teacher, 2 wins 2 losses. I hope to be able to make it 3-2 tommorow ^__^

Here is a gamewith commentary, (my win woot woot)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

BC Card Cup and an Annoying Problem

BC Card Cup

(Also in case you are wondering what the BC Card is, here is a commercial...)

Try to solve this problem before moving on, you are supposed to capture the marked stone (Q2).

From SGF/games

I had forgotten all about the BC cup, but when my friend jeered me about not going to baduk events, I suddenly remembered it. I checked to see when it was and woah and behold it was the next day. (This happened yesterday) After trying to solve a certian go problem for about 30 minutes I gave up and went to sleep

This morning I woke up nice and early, (9:45) and set out to the Hanguk Kiwon. On the train I continued to try and solve the problem, but was not successful. I even enlisted the help of some 2d ajishi I happened to meet on the train this morining.

After getting of the train, I was not sure where to go. A nice police man helped me out.

The Hanguk Kiwon was surprisingly empty, apperently I arrived 3 hours early. I wandered around a bit and in the end decided to give the problem another shot. Again after playing it out on the board a man came over and we started to try and solve it together. We had no luck.

I moved to a new spot, and decided to skip the problem and move on the next one. As time passed by a nice man sat down next to me and we started to talk. His name Jang Myeonghan (4p) His english was quite good so we were able to talk. He told me that he was planning on visiting New York sometime, and asked for my contact info. I was embarresed, not having a business card, so I ran to a PC Bang and made some simple paper ones. (Better than nothing I guess?)

Jang Myeonghan 4P

The tournament would be starting soon, so he had to go, but not before I showed him that pesky problem. Try as I might I could not capture that stone, he glanced at it and solved it. The solution is at the bottom.

At the actual tournament I was only allowed to spend about 10 minutes taking pictures.

It was an interesting thing that happened. Before the games started everyone was relaxing in their own ways, meditating, talking to friends, laughing. There was nothing that special going one, but once the anouncment for the games to begin was made the air became heavy. Maybe it was in my head, but I found it difficult to breathe, it felt as if I was in a steam room (not as hot or humid though)

I took as many photos as time permitted. Sorry if they arent the best quality.

from 2-22-09

From 2-22-09

From 2-22-09

From 2-22-09

From 2-22-09

From 2-22-09

He said connecting is good enough. so here is the solution. In a game it is likely white would not play 30, and just tenuki; so for all of those who, like me, loathe that little marked stone, you can go ahead and ignore whites 30 (presumably elsewhere) and capture it.....

From SGF/games

Monday, February 23, 2009

Segregation on the Dance Floor


On Friday night we did the usual thing we do. We ate and then went to drink. This time was a bit special since one of our friends Tony Adria (2d) was going back his home in Canadia. Instead of the regular kimbap place we always go to, we went to a meat bar (Samgyupsal) It was nice because it was so cheap. We ate beef and pork.

After dinner we went to Tudari, which is a really cozy pub type place. Kind of hard to explain, the main purpose of it is to drink, but there is no bar. People sit in these booths and order. There isn't much selection either, beer, Soju or plum wine.

In Korea if you are a foreigner you are loved, you have no problem getting people to buy you drinks or show you around. I do not know why, but Koreans have been really hospitable to me. I can not tell whether its fake or not, but its nice.

I will elaborate on this more later, now back to the story....

We sat down, and shortly after ordering drinks and more food, we started talking to people around us, soon we were invited to sit with these two guys in their 30's, and a few younger ones we were talking to joined as well. To put things simply, we walked in the place a group of 4, and walked out a group of 8.

Jin with no descriptor, and Lukas the German language student

Tony and 36 year old special ops Ajisji

Pascal and gonna get married March 7th Ajishi

Finally getting to the point of this entry, Afterwards 6 of us went to a dance club.

When we got there it seemed nice, the place was comfortable, drinks were not too expensive, and music was fun. I proceeded to go tot the dance floor. At first I did not realize that something was strange, but slowly I noticed that girls were dancing on one side of the room, and guys on the other. Some people were not even really dancing just vaguely moving their bodies imitating the dance from the current song's music video.

When I tried to dance with the girls they would run away T__T;;

Anyway I had a lot of fun dancing alone.

Another funny thing happened there too. We were sitting at our table, and this girl came over to us. She sat down across from me, and made me criss cross arms with her as we drank beer. She said things along the lines of you are very handsome and hand fed me squid. I was surprised at how straightforward she was. Then all of a sudden she started to shake her head saying something. Then she left. Apparently (according to Korean guy next me) she decided that she doesn't want to continue a relationship with someone who doesn't speak Korean. This whole encounter left me frustrated and confused.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Graduation at Myongj University

Myongji University.

MU is a school in Korea, it is unique in that it is the only school in the world that offers a Masters and a Bachelors degree in Baduk Studies (Go studies)

The Baduk department was started in 1997, and has provided many yonguseng (Korean Insei) an opportunity to get a college degree. (Generally yonguseng don't have a chance to study in high school, as they devote all of their time to Baduk. When it comes time to get into University it is difficult) Myongji's classes teach them "how" to teach. Also about how to teach abroad. For weaker players they offer theory and technique classes. Most of the students are quite strong though (7d) This school accepts players of all strengths 18 kyu- 9 dan Pro.

I was considering to go to this school before I found out about the IBA. I still would like to go, but I have to learn Korean better. We came late to my friends graduation (she almost missed it) but it all turned out OK. We walked in just as it was ending, we got to miss all the boring stuff.

Diana Koszegi

Diana (Dia) is a professional Baduk player. She is one of the few westerners to ever make it pro. She grew up in Hungary, and learned Baduk from her father (2d) and helped him teach at his go classes. Last year after making it to 2nd class yonguseng (out of 5) the Hanguk Kiwon promoted her to Pro. This was not undeserved, as she proceeded to defeat her first opponent (8p)

Anyway this Wednesday she graduated from Myongji University, I followed her around as a photographer sort of... Anyway here are some pictures.

Apidet (Mod) and Dia not noticing the Camera

Dia and Mod posing looking happy

I gave her that hammer as a Graduation Gift

Dia, and Mod receiving their diplomas

Professor Chihyung Nam.
This was my first time meeting her.
She gave me the impression that she is very nice.
She also seems to be a very strong woman.
I got some free Baduk books from her, *yay* ^__^

Hey Look Simon and I graduated Myongji...
Anyway just a bunch of people that came to say thank you to Professor nam

Lee DoYun (right with the peace sign)
Lee Chang Ho's girlfriend graduated last Wednesday too
Unfortunately he was not there, so I could not meet him.

Ji Young another one of my teachers, she came to celebrate Dia too.
Nandor is a Serbian 1d, he is a cool guy currently studies at Myongji
Professor Nam

Simon Sleeping on the ride back from Myongji

Monday, February 16, 2009

I get by with a little help from my friends....

I set out to Korea to study baduk (go wei chi) It was also supposed to be the start of my adventures in the world. Its been 6 weeks since I got here.

What have I done so far? Sure I studied baduk daily but why have i dropped down to 5kyu on kgs? Where have I traveled?

Well honestly I do think I have gotten stronger at baduk, but I am not satisfied with the games i have been playing. I have developed a stupid habit of relaxing in endagame and following my teachers aroudn the board, just responding to their moves.

So for three weeks i studied diligently, and went up a stone.

I have encountered some relationship problems, namely the end of one. This unfortunatly is not a pleasant process and required proper dealing with. So for three weeks, I have not ben able to concentrate on important things, and I ended up sick.

Those three weeks were not wasted. I made some new friends, and genuinly experienced the Korean lifestyle, that is to say during the day do what you have to do (which i didnt but pretended to >__>) and at night play PC games, or drink.

That is what happens here. Work all week to drink on the weekends. It was fun for me because its not my usual, but I cant see myself living this way.

Anyway I started studying hard again. A friend reminded me to play just because playing is fun... No need to worry about stuff like improving. Another friend reminded me to do what i came here to do, and not worry about other things....

These past two days i have been playing games that I really enjoyed. I have a bet going with one guy best out 15, wins a pizza..

A few days were my style... Ill write about them soon...

A friend's Goban, my hat, her bag