Today was the official rest day for Congress. In other words, this meant that there would be no tournament matches so that people could go and explore New York if they wanted. As you might suspect though, there was a group of people who were here for go and just that alone. So in honor of these dedicated players, they had a “Die Hard Tournament” for these players.
When I arrived at Hotel Pennsylvania, I found Nate and the gang hanging out.
They seemed to have various plans for the day, so my brother and I decided to head out to try this soup dumpling place that he had been telling me about. Just as we were waiting for the metro to come however, I got a call from Myung inviting us for lunch. Doesn’t take a genius to guess what we did right? We hightailed it right out of the metro and went to meet up with Myung.
When we arrived in Koreatown, we found Myung, Evan Cho (who was a strong amateur dan player that I had heard Myung talk about numerous times), and Mark Lee (who was another strong amateur from Korea). Both Evan and Mark were participating in the Master’s Tournament for Congress (which was reserved essentially for 5d and higher). So we talked a little about that and proceeded with the normal introductions and conversation.
The food at the restaurant was traditional and authentic Korean food. And by that I mean we didn’t just eat Korean BBQ, but actual dishes that Korean people would normally eat at home or at a typical sit down restaurant. Apparently beef is pretty expensive in Korea. So while some of us would like to dream that every restaurant in Korea is just Korean BBQ, that is not the case. Haha.
After finishing a delicious lunch, my brother and I planned go with Myung, Evan, and Mark one of the popular museums in New York (I can’t remember which); but after some time projections, we realized that we wouldn’t have time to go to the museum and also get my brother back in time to Penn Station. So we parted ways with them and headed off to let my brother get his things together.
When the time came for him to leave, I have to admit I was a little sad to see my brother go. It might be some older brother instinct, but I had a great time hanging with him in NY and felt a little anxious watching him board the train on his own. I know I know… the guy is in his early 20’s, but I don’t think I’ll ever stop looking out for him. Haha.
To get my mind off whether or not he’d be okay taking the train back on his own, I went back to Hotel Pennsylvania to see what everyone was up to. As I walked into the lobby, a little serendipity to have been in play because I ran into Michael as he was heading out. For those who don’t know, he was only able to stay for half the Congress, so I was really happy to be able to catch him before he left.
When I got to the top floor, I remember that I couldn’t really find anyone. It seemed everyone had headed off to do their own thing, so I sat down with my laptop and started working on some things. Sometime later, fellow UMBC alumni Nathan Epstein (henceforth referred to as Nathan and is not to be confused with Nate Eagle) came over to chat.
In the midst of talking about the tournament and my withdrawal from the tournament, he pulled out this dice that he had gotten from one of the teaching seminars.
Apparently this was a teaching apparatus for helping teach players about haengma (i.e., stone movement) and shape. So when he asked me if I wanted to try playing a game, I couldn’t refuse! For those who are wondering how this variant of go works, the rules are pretty simple:
- Start with a cross-fuseki formation with stones on the star points for both players.
- Black goes first.
- Player rolls the die.
- Based on the haengma that shows up, you can use any stone of the board to move according to that haengma.
- After player makes his move, the other player takes his turn.
Though it took a little getting used to, I actually really enjoyed playing it and hope to play it again. And if anyone knows anyone selling those die, please be sure to let me know!
After that fun game, I headed out for the remainder of the day since my girlfriend was arriving in town. And with that, the first half of Go Congress had come and gone. Tomorrow, the start of the second half of Go Congress!