09 November 2005

Missing Post

My first post coming back from the workshop was on the site, and now it's gone? I even edited it after posting to fix two spelling errors...

Sorry about that, let me recreate it as best as I can...

Home Again

Sorry about the delay in getting this up, but work and life hit me head on as soon as I got back to New York.

Wow, now I think I know what it feels like to be an Insei. Ten hours a day of playing and instruction, then going home to stay up until 2 am replaying the day's games and playing new ones. Some of the college-level participants stayed up until 4:30, then fell asleep in class the next day.

The other participants were quite a group. Anders Kierulf, who invented the .sgf file format, spent about 20 minutes giving me a demonstration of the beta of SmartGo version 2, which should make playing on IGS quite interesting. Phil Straus is a former AGA President and co-author of Whole Board Thinking in Joseki, among other things. Chuck Robbins, who was our host, is one of the founders of Slate and Shell and holds the AGA record for lifetime tournament games. Sam Zimmerman co-wrote the AGA software for tournament pairing. Oh, and I started playing last month.

The great thing is that all of these people were completely supportive of me. I could very easily have been marginalized by this group but I was supported and encouraged the entire weekend. Mr. Yang put just as much time and effort into reviewing my nine-stone 21 kyu handicap game as he did the games between the 5-dans.

I want to extend a special thanks to Bill Hewitt. He allowed me to play our simultaneous game against Yilun Yang, letting me choose the moves and then coaching me on whole board thinking, strategy and tactics. Now I know how Hikaru felt with Sai over his shoulder!

Mr. Yang split us up into ten pairs, then played simultaneous games against all of us. We did pretty well for the first hundred moves or so, the Bill had me choose a move on my own as a test. It was pretty much downhill from there.

After the boards were cleared, he replayed and reviewed all ten games from memory. Amazing.

Game memorization was a recurring theme over the weekend. The guys from my Go club (Empty Sky) have a rep for not recording games and then playing them back accurately later. Two of them actually adjouned a game in class and picked it back up where they left off later at the house.

Man, I've got a long way to go.


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