Go Congress 2014 – Day 4


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

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.

(Current side) One-space jump, (Bottom side) Large knight move, (Other sides) Small knight move, Diagonal, Two-space jump, Large diagonal move (i.e., elephant jump)
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:

  1. Start with a cross-fuseki formation with stones on the star points for both players.
  2. Black goes first.
  3. Player rolls the die.
  4. Based on the haengma that shows up, you can use any stone of the board to move according to that haengma.
  5. 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!

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

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<span class="dsq-postid" data-dsqidentifier="5710 http://bengozen.com//?p=5710">14 comments</span>

  • I was one of those who chose to play in the Die Hard tournament. You got close to the name… Die Hard… Hardcore… It’s the same idea. I was a little concerned about the main time being only 30 minutes. I heard quite a few complaints about it spoken out loud when the time was announced. It was a major time reduction, and shocking to some because in the past the Die Hard had 40 minutes of basic time. I do believe that they upped the byo yomi from 20 seconds to 30 seconds, but that is little comfort to those who fear byo yomi of any type… that would be me, by the way. Given how fast I play my concerns were unfounded and I found the time limits to actually be refreshing.
    It is always a shock to play four games in the Die Hard after devoting so much time to one single game per day for three days in a row. I did notice that this year I seemed to have more stamina for the four games in one day than i have in the past when I took part in the Die Hard. I don’t play it every year.
    The teaching die sounds like fun. I’d like to get my hands on one.
    By the way, is that a halo over your head?

    • Ah that’s the term! I knew I was slightly off. Now corrected in the post. Thanks!
      Oh man. I’m surprised that they changed the time settings for the Die Hard tournament. I wonder if it’s because of past experiences with time constraints. Nonetheless, I’m glad to hear that the new time settings weren’t a hindrance for you though! Did you run into any opponent’s who seemed to have difficulties with it?
      The teaching die was awesome. It allows the player to focus on shape and efficient stone placement since you have limited options. Perhaps one day it can be built into a go server as a game mode for people to play!
      And it’s funny you should mention that because I had no idea what you were referring to at first, but that was one of the light fixtures in the lobby (and not the result of my photoshopping). Haha.

      • My opponents used more time than I did for sure, and some seemed to have trouble with it. In one instance my opponent was well into Byo Yomi and I still had ten minutes on my clock. Why am I proud of that?
        I was actually quite pleased with the time limits in the Die Hard. On the few occasions when I had participated in that tournament I found that there was little time for me between games. This time there was adequate time between games to rest a bit before the next round even if my opponent was using all of his available time. I had a fair amount of time left on my clock in all four of my games if I recall correctly.
        I knew exactly what the halo was. At first I was going to comment on the excellent compositional skills of the photographer because it was used to very good effect. These are things that often go unnoticed when a picture is composed. I taught high school photography in a former life.
        Now if you wanted to photoshop it you could easily extract the halo from the light fixture resize it and position it directly above your head. That I would like to see.

        • I think having time between games is really important. In most of my tournament experience thus far, I usually have little to no time between matches (which was particularly painful when your lunch has to be rushed).
          Ah. Haha. How foolish of me to not realize you were joking. Went right over my head that time *whish*. That’s awesome that you taught photography! I imagine you and Gurujeet must have a lot to talk about then when you two are together! Haha.

          • The year the congress was in Tacoma we did a photo shoot in the woods on the day off. Great trees. But in general we are too busy talking about go to talk about photography much.

  • (catching up on my Go reading) I am SO making up one of those dice for club night! Just a big die with some tape with haengma written on it will make do.:)

    • You should totally do it! It’s a great variation that really made the game quite interesting since your options were limited.

By BenGoZen