Once again unto the breach! Today my opponent was a 6 kyu. This pairing was particular interesting since it was someone I knew from Life in 19x19, a really fantastic forum for go players.
My opponent was tough and I tried as hard as I could to follow the principles that Kevin demonstrated the past two evenings. As you might have predicted I ran my clock down to the last byo-yomi. This was another very a close game that I almost lost control of due to a blunder that put a whole group of stones into a unfavorable life and death situation. By some kind of miracle my opponent didn’t see the move that I thought would pretty much kill the group and I was able to salvage the stones. With that near miss behind, we went into endgame where I was able to eke out the points I needed for the win. I won the game by 8.5.
My opponent and I agreed to meet at 12:55pm for a review with Stephanie Yin at 1pm. I found Ien and headed to lunch.
We hopped on over the Beijin Cafe yet again. It really is a decent bite and if you get there around noon then you can sit down almost immediately. The service is also quite quick which was nice since we wanted to get back for the reviews. While we ate we chatted about our games - Ien lost his. Ien entered the congress at self-declared 15 kyu and ended up winning his first two games and losing his third. Live Go is still a new thing for him so in many ways he’s still getting his bearings (I am too of course but I play more regularly at Mostly Go).
We wolfed down our lunch and headed back for the pro reviews.
My opponent and I were third in line for Stephanie Yin’s reviews. She didn’t comment too much on the opening, she said it was “just like the pros”. Ha! As we moved into the middle game she had pointers here and there about specific moves and less about direction of play. Things didn’t get really interesting until my opponent’s very sharp move at 63. She immediately saw the killing potential of black 73 at J17 after white extends at H16. Of course I got lucky and the game transitioned into the end game. I was only able to record to move 114 due to being in byo-yomi, but we both mostly had questions about the first half of the game anyhow.
After the review I poked my head into Feng Yun’s invasion lecture but I was a bit too unfocused today to stick around. Downstairs I spotted Nathan and a friend in a Rengo game which I observed for a little while. Nathan’s side won. When they wandered off I took a second to work on a blog post and Brady Daniels came by to say hello. We chatted about our US Open games - he lost to Keith Arnold today. There was a critical move that Brady missed so we joined some of his friends to go through a fairly fast review.
Once Brady showed the move and the consequences it was pretty clear that it would have been a game changer. I asked if he was going to record a Brady’s Blunder episode about it and he said absolutely. Watching dans review a game is still a bit too fast paced for me but the friendliness that everyone shows certainly makes the experience a whole lot less intimidating.
I had to head out before the end of the review as Ien had arranged a dinner get together with the OGS developers.
We walked down to the pizza spot from the first day and shared some tasty slices and a couple of beers. The OGS folks were incredibly nice and incredibly enthusiastic. We talked a lot about the state of online Go and I think the OGS folks are doing many of the right things to attract newcomers into the fold. While I don’t think much can be done about the entrenchment of IGS, KGS, Tygem, etc. for serious players, I do think there’s still an incredible opportunity to build friendlier platforms for people who are just beginning their journey into the land of Go.
Around 6:50pm we headed back to the congress venue for Pair Go and the Evening League.
Pair Go & Evening League
As we walked into the main hall, Pair Go was just getting started. Ien made a quick dash into the other room to get a Evening League game in but I stuck around to observe. Many pairs were dressed up for the event and quite a few pros were participating. Once the games were underway I did a quick walk around to scope out the boards before going next door to observe Ien’s game.
Ien was playing a game with a fellow named Shawn, and Harry was playing a game with a fellow whose name escapes me. I also saw Ethan playing a game as well. I thought about playing but instead I wandered around between these boards. I spent a particularly long time on Ien’s board since I originally taught him Go, and I try to give him what tips and principles I can for my level.
Ien’s friend Nassos stopped by around 9pm. Nassos also brought a friend who had never played go before. I ended up demonstrating the basic rules of the game. After that we went next door to browse the various Pair Go games underway. On Stephanie Yin’s board where her side was playing white, we noticed a black stone placed on the 1-1 point which seemed quite strange (I ended up getting an answer about that from Stephanie the following day).
After Nassos’s friend took off, the three of us sat down to review Ien’s game. There were some very simple things that I wanted to cover and the review had the side effect of getting Nassos really excited about the game. Even though he’s just learned how to play he could see the dramatic “twists and shakes” that make the game of Go so thrilling.
After the review we grabbed a night cap at a nice cocktail spot near our AirBnB. The evening air was pleasant and I don’t even remember what we talked about, I just recall feeling pretty content.
Eventually we headed back to rest. I’m 3-1 so far and hoping to seize 4-1 tomorrow.