It turns out that Nate Eagle (of GoKibitz), Ien Cheng, Logan Buckley and myself share quite a few interests: Go, literature, poetry, and a mean cocktail. A couple months ago Nate and I decided it would be great to have him drive up from Washington, DC for a weekend of Go. His visit would be the perfect excuse to round up some friends and make the trek out to Flushing to visit Stephanie Yin’s (1P) school, the New York Institute of Go. We decided that the first weekend of November would be a good time for all.

Nate arrived at my Brooklyn apartment late Friday afternoon, November 4th. I, of course, pulled out my Kuroki Goishiten set. We started an even game which didn’t go so great for me. To be fair, Nate’s knocking on the door of 1 dan AGA, so this was to be expected. When playing against much stronger players, it’s always illuminating to see many of your assumptions put to question. We had to pause to head off for dinner; Ien had picked a really nice classy spot in Manhattan and we ended up having a long, laid back meal and talked about pretty much every topic imaginable.

The following morning over green tea, we wrapped up our game from the day before and Nate won by killing a weak group thanks to sharp reading and good utilization of thickness. It was the second proper game I’d played on my board which I use mostly for self-study.

By the time we finished it was time to head off to Flushing. Logan stopped by and we all jumped on the 7 train. The trip took about an hour and a half from door to door and we walked into Stephanie’s school around 2pm. Saturdays were clearly a slower day as we were the only people there.

There were four tables and two decent table boards each. There was also the typical big lecture board you saw at the US Go Congress. One wall was covered with pictures of Stephanie with legendary Go players: Nei Weiping, Lee Chang-ho, Masaki Takemiya, Cho Hun-hyun, and more. We settled in and the person running the school that day was incredibly nice and made us tea.

Logan and Nate paired off while we waited for other people to arrive.

By 3pm Ethan Cahn, Harry Teitelman, and Ien Cheng had all made it. Ien and Ethan paired off for a game, and I started a 2 stone game with Harry. I won my game and I decided to try my hand at another round against Nate. This game was also on its way to a quick finish due to my overplay. We didn’t have time to see it through though as I wanted to get everyone over to Han Joo, one of the best Korean BBQ spots in Flushing.

It was about a 30 minute walk to the restuarant and everyone enjoyed the food and drink as much as I hoped. After a long dinner suffused with good natured and emphatic discussion we all went our separate ways.

The following day Nate and I played one more game which I lost yet again due to misjudging my opponent’s position, so the game ended pretty early on in a fairly complicated (for me) capturing race. We reviewed the game for a good bit, and Nate was kind enough to point out the mistakes from much earlier in the game that led down the undesirable path.

After the game we went and met one of his old friends at a popular Williamsburg diner. They had brought their kids along and it ended up being a really fun and energetic breakfast. Nate needed to head back after that so the Go weekend finally came to end.

Now that I’m a much more avid player I suspect these Go weekends will become something of a regular thing. On the horizon we have the Maryland Open and the New Jersey Open and I’ll do my best to get this great group of folks together again for these tournaments.