Go Congress 2014 – Day 7

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

When I woke up, I realized that today was the last day of Congress. Man, where had all the time gone? It seemed like just yesterday I boarded the train with my brother to embark on an epic journey to New York.
The morning consisted of grabbing breakfast and checking out this cool place called The High Line that Anders recommended the night before. Luckily for us, it was still beautiful weather so we had a great time exploring the sights.
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Around lunch, I got a call from Myung letting me know that Jung, Evan, Mark, and him wanted to try a steakhouse in NY before they left. So after meeting up with them at the hotel, we went off to look for one. We found one not too far: Wolfgang Steakhouse.

One of the items that caught my eye on the menu was a $200 steak (to be shared by 4 people). We had five people though, so I didn’t suggest it. Instead everyone went with their Wolfgang’s Steakhouse from their lunch menu.

Look at the size of that thing!
Look at the size of that thing! And they really got the medium rare down perfectly!
To be honest, I was expecting to get a small piece of steak for the $30 we were paying, but it was HUGE! And though you don’t see any sides in this picture, there was large sides of mashed potatoes and spinach for everyone to share. To say the least, everyone was very satisfied with lunch. Haha.
After being stuffed with a delicious lunch, Myung had to go attend to some matters; so I was left in charge of helping to guide the rest of the group around New York. So for the rest of the afternoon, we explored Time Square and had a lot of fun seeing all the fun things going on in the city.
Soon it was time for us to return for the awards banquet though. And when we arrived, everyone went to their respective rooms to get ready (except for me). As I looked around for everyone, I noticed that Satoru wasn’t present. Unfortunately, I found out that he had already left and thus we would be unable to say goodbye in person. Nonetheless, it was great seeing him and I certainly hope to see him again in the near future!
Finally it was time for us to enter the banquet hall.
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The menu consisted of pasta with cheese and tomato sauce, chicken fingers, cookies, brownies, bread and drinks. Considering the places I had been eating the entire week, I have to admit I was a little disappointed. However, I just want to stress that I understand that we were primarily paying for the space and not for a top notch meal. So while I was a little disappointed, it was just a personal feeling at the time and not some reflection on the event itself.
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The awards ceremony was fun though. For a summary of friends who placed:

  • Diego and Terri both placed second in their respective divisions!
  • Mark Lee went undefeated and won 1st place!

A huge congratulations to them on an awesome performance!
Once all the awards had been announced, I realized that this would probably be the last time I would have a chance to talk to the professionals and went to say my final goodbyes and get some pictures taken with them.

Dahye (4p)
Dahye (4p)
Myung (9p) [left] and Jungsang (9p) [right]
Myung (9p) [left] and Jungsang (9p) [right]
Francis Meyers (1p)
Francis Meyers (1p)
Evan [left], me, Myung (9p), Mark Lee, and Jungsang (9p)
Evan [left], me, Myung (9p), Mark Lee, and Jungsang (9p)
And with that, my first Go Congress came to a close. While I was sad that it flew by so quickly, I was happy to be able to experience the trip in the best way I could possibly have: great food, great company, and tons of go!

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

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BenGoZen

<span class="dsq-postid" data-dsqidentifier="5816 http://bengozen.com//?p=5816">10 comments</span>

  • The Congress was one of the best I ever attended, but the banquet was probably the worst ever in terms of the food. But you are right, it’s about having the space for the ceremony. Plus was wine, which is not always the case, so it wasn’t all bad.
    Thanks for mentioning my award. I was totally taken by surprise when my name was called, as I thought I had missed my chance when I had not been included in the third place winners.

    • It makes me so relieved to hear I’m not the only one who thought the food was abysmal! But you’re right, I completely forgot there was alcohol, which probably factored more into the cost than I’m thinking (since I don’t drink anyways).
      You’re welcome! I’m always glad to share the achievements of those around me. Maybe next year I’ll be able to compete fully and have a chance to be placed with winners like you and Diego!

      • I heard a lot of complaints about the food at the banquet. The worst congress food ever over all was in San Francisco. I think the year was 1999.
        Not everyone plays in the main event at the Congress, though most people do. A woman at the congress told me one year that she never plays in the Open, but stays up late and plays a great deal of self paired games.
        Forgetting about why you decided to spend the Congress as you did, it might actually be good for you since your main objective was to interact with the professional players. So don’t automatically assume that you must play in the Open next year.

        • Worst food was SF?! How is that possible?! That place is crawling with amazing food!! Haha. I just have to ask, what food was served?
          Thanks for the reminder Terri. If it hadn’t been for you, I probably would have felt obligated to play in Open every time. I’ll be sure to keep that in mind when thinking about Congress next time!

          • The Congress in San Francisco was at a college campus with a meal plan. I am not sure if the meal plan was required or not that year. Sometimes the venue does not allow people to pass up the meal plan. I think that was the case in Tacoma. The food in the cafeteria on the SF meal plan was horrendous. I believe that they said that the meal plan will not be mandatory in Minneapolis when they were doing the presentation to the chapters at the General Assembly at the Congress this year. However, there may not be a lot of options for dining off campus. One way to meet new people has always been to fill out a table in the cafeteria. That wasn’t an option this year, so I had my fears of being a mealtime wallflower. It wasn’t as bad as I had expected. but I did have a fair number of meals alone.

          • Yeah. I imagine that MN would not have a lot of food options outside of campus. Ah well, I think the social factor would be a fair compensation even if the food were mediocre. Let’s just hope it’s not as bad as SF! And next time, we should grab meals together when possible!

  • I almost feel like I attended. Thank you so much for such a well written series on the congress. I know it’s late in the day to comment, but I just enjoyed reading these so much I had to say something!

    • You’re welcome! I’m glad you enjoyed it so much. Hopefully we will have the pleasure of enjoying a Go Congress together in the future!

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