25 October 2005

Greg Lefler Memorial Tournament, Pt. 1

Wow, if you’ve never been to a tournament, you’re missing out on a great experience in playing Go.

I definitely prefer playing in person over playing on the Internet.   On KGS, the only communication between you and your opponent is the moves you make and the chat screen.  In person, there is so much more going on.  

There is a great deal of satisfaction when you play a carefully thought out move and watch your opponent’s reaction.   If you’ve only played online, but you’ve seen Hikaru no Go, you may have an idea of what I’m talking about.  On the Internet,  you never know if that long pause is because she’s freaking out over your masterful tesuji or if she went to get a beer to celebrate the pending victory.

I also think people play differently when their opponent is sitting in front of them.   It pushes you to perform even harder.

All of this goes to another level when you’re in a tournament.   First of all, you have an AGA rating, just like a KGS rating.   (AGA seems about 4 stones higher than KGS; I’m 21k AGA).   You start off with a rank and a computer program is used to pair you with an evenly matched opponent, and your wins and losses are recorded and posted on the Internet at the AGA site.   Add to this having AGA representatives observing you as well as an official photographer taking pictures and the pressure is really on.    

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