Sunday, April 19, 2009


Three old men sitting in a bar.
They seem to only know how to yell.

Dicussing issues of great importance,
They get ready to go back to work on monday.


Its not really a poem, I guess it was a thought as I sipped coffee in a bar Saturday night.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Chunpyeong Baduk English Weekend

On Saturday morning Tatu (Finnish 2d) and I left our houses early. I suppose it wasn't early, but we sleep late, so 10 o'clock was a relatively early for us.

We were supposed to meet our teacher 중협 (Joung Hyup) at 11 and go to the Chunpyeong river training area.

Joung Hyup

In the country side along a river there is a place where baduk players come to play. The owner of the place is about 2d, he has a large collection of baduk boards and often invites pros to come and play at his, lets say, club.

Shortly after getting there we played some card games.  I became tired of the game and went off to explore.

Playing Cards

Smelling Flowers

Old style building

Land Scape

I walked around the property until I found a dog, it seemed to want me to follow it. I did so, but I quickly lost site of it, however I found to mating snakes.  After observing them for a little while, I walked around in the woods for a while.  It was really nice to have a break from the city...


There was a family fishing on the river, and they invited me to join them, failing to catch anything, we got to talking.  One of the men was  a baduk player.  He asked me to play so we went back to the playing area. 

After we played a game, a tournament started.  I lost all two of my games, by 130 points and 54 points.  It was a bangnegi style tournament, but with no limit, meaning you were not allowed to resign even if you lost by 100.  In my defense, I had to play with a 2d and a 3d even....

Dinner was yummy, we ate barbeque.  Baduk playing continued well into the morning, and I fell asleep and woke up to the sounds of stones being placed on the board.

The following day was short, I had to get back to Seoul to teach my student.

Bus From the Netherlands

Proffesor Han, Incredibly insiteful man

Katherine From Belgium

My lovely face

Bus at play

Hae Kwang observing a game

Proffesor Han Playing

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Player Profiles: Jang Bi (KGS Gentlerain)

How I met him:
I first had contact with Jang Bi about a year and a half ago, when my friend Andy Liu (BigBadWolf) recommended him as a teacher. Although we never managed to actually enter a student teacher relationship, I learned of his existence.

Some time the Summer of '08 he visited the New York Go Center along with a Korean Pro. He played a teaching game with me at 9 stones and I was thoroughly crushed. Again, I did not talk to him much at the time.

The next time I saw Jang Bi was shortly after I came to Korea. Even though our previous meetings were so brief, when we saw each other, it seemed as if we were old friends. He came to visit the International Baduk Academy, and quickly we all took to joking and laughing.

Jang Bi then helped me with several things, he took me site seeing, and helped me get a Korean cell phone.

From Jang Bi

Jang Bi's personality:

Although we have only hung out a handful of times, Bi's generosity was instantly visible. The cell phone incident is a good example. After hanging out for the first time in Korea, he decided that for me to have a cell phone was a necessity -- and volunteered to take me to TechnoMart, a giant electronics store, to get a phone.

He proceeded to wait with me for 5 hours doing nothing while the cell phone guy tried to activate the phone. We were not particularly close, nor did he have any obligation to wait with me.

In an interview, he told me that happy means to give others his love.

Baduk History:

Jang Bi started playing Baduk because he simply enjoyed playing with his father. With full support from his family, he became yonguseng at age 13. At that time he was about KGS 4d. He progressed to be a first group yonguseng, however he did not make it pro. Apparently he never won many tournaments in Korea. Bi told me that he did not put his full effort into the tournaments.

In the summer of 2007 Jang Bi went to Seattle, Washington (USA) to study English, and western culture. He became involved at the Seattle Go Center teaching there several times a month. At this time he became a KGS Celebrity, Gentlerain.

He quickly became KGS 9d, and seldom lost. I asked him why he preferred playing on KGS to the more popular Cyberoro, and Tygem. Apparently when he first came here he didnt want to be rude and install Korean on his freinds computer, so he just used KGS. One of his frequent opponents BigBadWolf told me that Jang Bi had become stronger since coming to the USA.

In the US, Jang Bi dominated the western tournaments including the Cotsen Open. He is currently 9.39 Dan AGA, and listed as 5th in the country, the only amateur ranked higher than him is Jie Li.

He came back to Korea in early 2009, and currently he is teaching Baduk at an elementary school. He plans to go abroad and continue teaching Baduk some day.


His KGS handle is a rough translation of his Korean name. He told me that many girls would get mad at him since he shared a name with popular Korean Singer Rain (Bi in Korean.

When Jang Bi served in the Korean military, all males must serve 2 years, he was stationed as a General Out Post at the DMZ watching and guarding the North-South Korean border.

I asked what his strongest memory was, "I climbed the dragon ridge of Seorak Mountain when I was 12 years old, the ridge is a famous steep mountain path even for adults"

In addition to playing Baduk, Jang Bi enjoys Karaoke, Soccer, computer games, and music. Ironically, he doesn't like playing computer soccer games whilst listening to music.


Well that's Jang Bi, or Gentlerain as most know him.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Last Days In Japan

I have been back in Korea for a few days now, but I hadnt finished my Japan posts.

This is mostly pictures so enjoy...

Nihon Ki-in

From 4-2
The general playing area of the Nihon Ki-in for Insei

Some hidden bowls

Pro's Tournament

The legendary Cho Chikun

Some random trees outside of the Ki-in

Some more ^__^

Some sort of tournament..

Me thinks it might be only for geezers...

Tournament Sign

Asakusa, and Club Super Deluxe with Kanoko-Chan

A few old fashioned buildings

A golden Poop

Kanoko-chan looking stuff up in a dictionary


Adorable Neko-Bus plate ... only 63 dollars >_<

Big Buddhist Temple

Unfortunately it was closed so we just took pictures in front of it.

A cool old building

Konami headquarters, Roppongi

A dance at club Super Deluxe

I could not capture the picture better on purpose. His dance was very dynamic featuring roosters, Heaven, blood, death rebirth, struggle to live, and some cool clothes.

A Day with Hiroto Suzuki, a former teacher of the NYGC

Random orange tree

Miki, Hiroto, Hikari (left to right)

Pretty Trees


People I dont know on a picnic

More people, lots of people

A really cool tree

Shusaku Go Club in Shinjuku

I did not actually play in this room, but it was interesting with floor boards et all

My opponent

People playing

Club Host, Me, Hiroto