Go Congress 2014 – Conclusion


PreludeI – II – III – IV – V – VI – VII Conclusion

Simul Games

Here is a summary of all the professional simuls I played in at Go Congress:

  1. Day 1 – Dahye Lee, 4p
  2. Day 2 – Ho Yuu, 6p
  3. Day 2 – Jungsang Park, 9p
  4. Day 3 – Bo Ding, 5p
  5. Day 3 – Mariko Deguchi, 1p
  6. Day 3 – Yuhong Zhao, 5p
  7. Day 5 – Jennie Shen, 2p
  8. Day 5 – Shirley Lin, 1p
  9. Day 6 – Francis Meyers, 1p

My goal was to play the strongest professionals that I could while experiencing as many brutal defeats from as many styles as I possibly could. In addition, while I am happy with my collection of 9 simul games, I must admit that I was aiming to hit double digits. Haha.

For those of you who noticed, I took some rather low handicaps in my pro simuls (went from 5 stones down to 3 stones). The reason for this is because after playing a couple simuls at the beginning, I learned that I was actually managing quite well at 4+ stones against professionals (though it’s important to remember that I’m talking about simuls which are vastly different from any legitimate game). And for those who know me, I’m always about taking a challenge head on (even if it’s completely crazy).
After withdrawing from the tournament, the professional simuls became my one venue for gaining solid go experience. So naturally, the best way to do that was to challenge myself to playing my absolute best with only a 3 stone handicap. When playing with 4+ stones, I personally feel like there’s not as much opportunity for practicing decision-making in the opening and it boils down more to punishing overplayed and keeping White split. With only 3 stones, the professional will have one corner which makes for a far more interesting game. Go big or go home right? Haha.

Final Thoughts

While I was not fully immersed in Congress and ended up withdrawing from the tournament, I really don’t feel like the trip was a waste in any sense. I made the best of it with great company and amazing food. On top of it all, I got to spend a lot of time with the pros, which was really what I wanted to do at Congress anyhow.
After talking with a number of Go Congress veterans, I came to learn that Go Congress in NY was quite different from the standard Go Congress. From what I heard, most Congresses are generally had at smaller community areas (i.e., college campuses) where meals are usually together which allows for a lot more socializing and interaction. With Congress being hosted in New York, you can only imagine how many people dispersed (like I did) to either eat or even just to do touristy activities. So while it was awesome having Go Congress in New York, I am definitely interested in experiencing Go Congress in its more typical environment.
At the end of the day though, I had a blast and am really glad that I got to see everyone in person. Many thanks go out to all of the professionals who took time out of their busy schedule to come and impart their knowledge to go enthusiasts like myself. Of course, extra thanks goes out to Myung (9p), Jungsang (9p), and Dahye (4p) for their help and spending time with me. It was great getting to see you all in person! Finally, a big shoutout to all my friends who I got to see and/or meet: Nate, Diego, Satoru, Michael, Dalan, Anders, Keith, Mark, Nathan, Gurujeet, Terri, Mark Lee, and Evan!
And to all those who couldn’t make it, I hope that you’ve enjoyed this series and will have the opportunity to attend a Go Congress sometime! Thanks for reading!

PreludeI – II – III – IV – V – VI – VII Conclusion

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<span class="dsq-postid" data-dsqidentifier="5847 http://bengozen.com//?p=5847">15 comments</span>

  • Great serie Ben, thanks.
    Seems this kind of Go Congress is so nice with plenty of pros and animations (except for the silly rule I have never seen in France in checkers, chess, go and scrabble tournaments).
    And seems you are at least 1p about food 🙂

    • Thanks Buck! I’m glad that you enjoyed the series!
      And to your last comment, that is very funny. Haha. I don’t know if I’m 1p, but I would like to think that I am at least 5 dan.

  • I agree that this was a great series of posts about the congress. It has inspired me to document my own congress more fully next year, and to share it in greater detail. It has also prompted me to think back and remember my own first congress in 1997 in Lancaster. Maybe that will be another blog post coming up.
    I would also like to mention that it was fine to read this more than a month after the congress was over. It didn’t need to be hot off the presses to be interesting.

    • That would be an awesome post! I would love to read about your first Congress!
      I’m glad that the fact it wasn’t hot off the press didn’t detract too much away from the quality of the posts. I do wish I was able to recount things a bit more precisely and with more description, but on the other hand, I am glad that I actually posted about it and didn’t simply let it sit in queue forever. Haha.

  • Well, I was worried that my post about the Congress was too late, and so I didn’t post much detail. I tried to take a picture of every one of my opponents in the US Open and I think I may have gotten all but one of them.

    • Oh nice! I might have done the same if I had played in the Open, but sometimes I worry that people will be weirded out. Maybe I’ll just ask them for permission to post their picture on the blog? Haha.

      • I do ask permission to take their picture before we play. I explain that I am taking pictures of all of my opponents in the US Open. I don’t say I will post the pictures on my blog, but maybe I will say that next year, or I’ll just do it. I think people like that kind of thing.
        I forgot to take a picture of the Round 3 opponent, and never did track her down to get one later. I didn’t take one of my 5th Round opponent until after the game was over. I had won it, and we went to report the results and then I asked him if he would return to the board for a photograph, which he did. He was really nice so I felt as if I could ask him. I said, “Pretend the game hasn’t happened yet”. Or something like that. I had a perverse impulse to say, “Pretend you still have a chance to win.” because he was a really nice guy, and was taking the loss well, but that would have been way over the top, so I held my tongue.

        • Hahaha. I think it’s great you ask them for permission. And I think it’s great that you almost got every single one of your opponents! For me, my key memorabilia from each match is the kifu. And I don’t know if it’s just me, but I’m always worried people would rather be anonymous than be identified (since I post all my game records on the blog). Maybe it’s just me being crazy though. Haha.

          • True true, but at least that would require some digging. And to be honest, I am probably just concerned with games that are one-sided where it could be embarrassing for my opponent. And since I think it would be a tad odd to ask every opponent if they are okay with me posting the game on my blog with their name on the kifu, I usually just anonymize it unless it’s a friend (just to be safe).

    • You’re welcome! And for future events, I’ll do my best to take better notes so that I can provide an even better account next time!

  • I love the Go Congresses. This year circumstances sent me to the European Congress in Sibu Romania, and it was really great! But I do miss my Go friends in the US. Thanks for the posts!

By BenGoZen