When I woke up, I sat in silence for a while as I thought about what I was going to do. Although some would simply shrug off the forfeit and continue playing in the tournament, I couldn’t stand the idea of continuing in the tournament. And with my brother in town and my girlfriend coming up to visit the second half of the trip, my mind was made up.
When I arrived at Hotel Pennsylvania, I went and officially withdrew myself from the tournament. I know that this decision might not sit well with some of you, but it was really the best decision for me as a whole. While it would have been great to have played in the tournament, withdrawing from the tournament freed up my schedule to spend time with my brother (and girlfriend eventually) while also allowing me the freedom to do whatever I wanted (i.e., spending time with professionals).
Anyhow, I then entered the tournament room to see if anyone was up and around. As I walked around, I found Diego and Gurujeet in the middle of an intense game.
I vaguely remember catching Nate and Michael before the round started and wishing them the best of luck. And before I left, I went ahead and signed up for three simuls that day. After all, I could play in tournaments anytime I wanted back at home, it’s the professionals that made Congress as epic as it is.
After going to breakfast, I came back to play my first simul against Zhang Yu Hong, 5p.
The game record is as follows:
[download label=”Download Kifu”]http://bengozen.com//wp-content/uploads/2014/09/2014.08.12-US-Go-Congress-Yuhong-Zhao-5p.sgf[/download]
Shortly after finishing my simul, I got a call from Myung 9p asking me if I was free to help take pictures for him and Dahye 4p while they were teaching a class. Since the next simul was not for a while and I had finished my game early, I rushed off to help them take pictures.
Once the class was done, I headed up to the top floor (where the main convention was held). When I arrived, I ran into Michael who informed me that the store was now open. Words cannot describe how excited I was to go check the store out. After all, one of the major aspects of a convention is the store where you can spend your money on souvenirs and such!
It was like being a kid in the candy store. I seriously couldn’t believe my eyes as tables full of books were stretched across the room. There wasn’t as much go equipment as I would have liked to seen, but it was a respectable collection nonetheless. And on that note, they were selling autographed fans from professionals as well! Though memory isn’t serving me well at the moment, Michael purchased one of these fans. I can’t remember which professional it was, but I’m pretty sure he’ll be commenting below on which one he got whenever he sees this.* Nonetheless, it was great to see so much go merchandise in one place.
*Update: Michael got a Sakata Eio fan. Many thanks to Satoru for the reminder! I should’ve remembered! Haha.
Once we were done browsing the shop, I can’t remember if this is precisely when it happened, but Michael and I finished our game from yesterday. The following is the game record:
[download label=”Download Kifu”]http://bengozen.com//wp-content/uploads/2014/09/2014.08.12-US-Go-Congress-Michael.sgf[/download]
After the game, I was scheduled for another simul and parted ways with Michael. I was slotted to play against another Chinese professional, Ding Bo, 5p. The following is the game record:
[download label=”Download Kifu”]http://bengozen.com//wp-content/uploads/2014/09/2014.08.12-US-Go-Congress-Bo-Ding-5p.sgf[/download]
After the simul, I can’t really remember what I did; but I imagine it consisted of exploring New York city with my brother and trying more food. Towards the evening though, I came back to Hotel Pennsylvania to play my third and final simul of the day. Nate, Michael and Dalan were scheduled to play against one of the new Japanese professional, Francis Meyers, 1p. You can see them here in action!
I had signed up to play against a Japanese professional as well, Deguchi Mariko, 1p. Satoru was on the waiting list, but fortunately the people who signed up didn’t show up and he was allowed to play.
The following is the game record:
[download label=”Download Kifu”]http://bengozen.com//wp-content/uploads/2014/09/2014.08.12-US-Go-Congress-Mariko-Deguchi-1p.sgf[/download]
After the game, I ran into Myung who asked me if I was up for getting food. Like he needed to ask. Haha. Jungsang hadn’t even yet however, so we waited for him to finish him simul game before heading out.
To keep a long story short, Jungsang’s simul game was an informal one he agreed to that took FOREVER. Seriously, the guy was playing to win and taking forever to make his moves. And when it comes to go etiquette, that’s extremely rude when you consider the fact that it is an informal game that also is a simul.
While we waited, I went around and took pictures of the crazy go event that was going on on the other side of the room. Here you’ll see pictures of go in all shapes and sizes:
After what seemed like forever, Myung, Jungsang and I were finally off to grab Shake Shack again. Haha. Except this time, we didn’t have the luxury of eating in since it was so crowded. So we brought the food back to Hotel Pennsylvania and holed up in one of the lecture rooms on the 6th floor.
As we were sitting there and eating our delicious burgers, we talked about numerous things. Of course, as usual though, there were times where Jungsang wanted to say something more complicated and switched to Korean. And as I sat there listening to Myung and Jungsang talk, I came to a conclusion: I need to learn Korean. There’s just no getting around it. Haha. After all, with how invested I am in the go world and my increasing exposure to Korean professionals, it just didn’t make sense not to learn it.
Anyhow, before long it was time for everyone to head off to bed and get some rest. And as I prepared to go to sleep, I couldn’t help but feel even more assured in my decision to withdraw from the tournament. After all, if I had participated in the tournament, I probably would have been too tired to play in all those simul games. And if I left early to find food, I wouldn’t have gotten a chance to hangout with Myung and Jungsang! No matter though, I had experienced the day fully and nodded off to sleep with no regrets.