Round 3

The same drill this morning. Felt relatively rested and I walked up to my board right around 9am. My opponent was Tevis Tsai 7 kyu and I had black again. I played the low Chinese and we ended up playing a very memorable, fun and challenging game. I lost by resignation this time due to a blunder as we entered the endgame. It was slightly disappointing but Tevis’s win was certainly very well deserved! So far I’ve been pushed to my limits playing against AGA 7 kyus so I’m starting to think my self rank estimation ended up being pretty darn accurate.

Tevis was a swell fellow and did a quick review afterwards in the lounge area. We differed on a few points with respect to our analysis of the game and we both agreed it would be nice to get the feedback of a stronger player (side note: we reviewed using single convex stones and Tevis showed how useful they are during reviews - variation stones are played curved side down so they are really simple to spot!).

Playing Go for three hours is a good way to work up an appetite so we headed off to lunch. This time we had lunch in the congress building food court since Tevis had a meal plan.


We chatted for a long time about the Go scene in Baltimore, Maryland where Tevis hails as well as the Go scene in New York City. We also talked about our mutual excitement about the National Go Center - it could very well become a mecca for East Coast Go events. I discovered this wasn’t Tevis’s first congress. I asked if the US Open was always this hard at our levels and he confirmed. When we sat down we were joined by Nathan Eagle, Ien Cheng, and Harry Teitelman. We talked about our pro simul experiences, Go playing styles, Lee Chang-ho, Go Seigen, Lee Sedol - you know the usual stuff when you’re having lunch with people with a passion for Go.

I was surprised many of the folks at the lunch table weren’t familiar with GoKibitz so I sang Nathan’s praises a bit more and gave a little demo with my US Open records.

Pro Reviews

I wanted to get my round 2 game reviewed by Feng Yun but I arrived too late. Still I stuck around to watch several commentaries because as usual there was tons to learn. She finished a bit early since she needed to prepare for her invasion lecture so I wandered down into the main hall to kill some time.

I spied Nathan Eagle - he looked like he was reviewing something with Yuan Zhou and his other students. They looked pretty intense so I didn’t bother them. However Jonathan Hop was standing nearby and I said hello. While we were talking I noticed a very familiar face. I glanced at the badge - Daniela Trinks the translator of Level Up and Jump Level Up!

I introduced myself and thanked her for her translation work. As it turns out Jonathan Hop was also a fan of the series and so that’s how I found myself standing with two very nice authors and contributors to popular English Go books.

Daniela and I chatted a bit about South Korea where she is now based. She teaches in the Baduk studies program at Myongji University. I’m half Korean and as a child I’d spent quite a bit of time in South Korea. Chances are I’ll start traveling there regularly to see family so she encouraged me to visit Myongji University the next time I’m there and I most definitely will!

Before I headed off upstairs for a game review with Yang Yilun I spied Fan Hui playing a game with Guo Juan observing. I couldn’t help myself and I snapped a picture. I ran into Tevis and we both headed to the Beginner to 5k reviews area a few minutes early so we could be first in line for the review.

Yang Yulin walked up wearing a cap and a Cotsen Open t-shirt which said “Go Big or Go Home Just Go”. On the back was an image of Alien vs. Predator playing Go. It was pretty awesome. Yang Yilun had an incredible sense of humor and he had us laughing during the whole review. The whole experience took the slight sting off of losing the game.

Yang Yilun ended the commentary by saying we both played very reasonable games for 7 kyu players. I stuck around for two more interesting reviews before taking a short break from Go playing activities.

Evening League

I came back for the Evening League which, once again, I didn’t actually end up participating in. Instead I played a really fun even game with Ethan from Mostly Go. It wasn’t a super serious game in that we spent a lot of time discussing while playing. David 1D (not me, the person who we met in the Amtrak line) observed our game and patiently answered many questions we both had about various board situations. Eventually David had to leave but he said he would be attending the Mostly Go meetup more frequently now.

While we were playing our game Kevin Hwang of Go Talk came by and introduced himself. He had seen my daily blog about the congress and wanted to say hello. I told him how much I liked Go Talk and he sat down for a bit and we chatted briefly.

Ethan and I wrapped up our game and I won by around the value of komi. Ethan played well but I thought I personally needed to spend a lot more time on my understanding of the endgame.

Right as I was about to leave Kevin Hwang returned and Ethan and I both talked about how much we struggled with the opening as well as the transition to the middlegame. Kevin (as well as some other dan level observers) were kind enough to walk us through a bunch of concepts explained in a simple way that I hadn’t quite encountered before. The whole experience reminded me how much easier it is grasp concepts through conversation and face-to-face demonstration then it is to eke it out of a book and self-study.

It was getting a bit late for me so I had to eventually excuse myself but I decided that I would definitely be coming back tomorrow for the die hard day. If anything my experience so far has shown me that in order to improve I really need to play more games.