Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Timisoara Walter Schmidt competition

Next week, 20-22 April 2007, I am going to take part in this annual GO competition in Timisoara.
Never been there and I am anxious to go and visit the city and play some GO. Now there are over 60 participants signed up for the competition. Taking in account that the biggest competition I have seen was the ING last year in Bucharest with about 40 players, I think the place will be crowded and a nice opportunity to make new friends.

I'll try to keep a record of all my games and take as many pictures as possible. As soon as I'll return I'll post a review of the event here and my impressions about the city.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Problems and Pro games

I've just started replaying pro games without trying to understand the moves. Just an exercise. I want to associate this with many simple problems.

The player I have chosen is Takagawa .

The first game that I replayed was a game from 1970 between Takagawa and Go Seigen.

It took me an hour to replay the game on my goban.
Made some mistakes and had to do it all over. It took about 25 - 30 minutes this time.

Tonight I'll try again. If I manage to do it in 10 minutes, I'll take a new game... and so on.

Don't know how good this method is, but I'm going to try it. Seems to calm me down (especially combined with Chinese music :)

I have found this site with famous Go games and tsumego collections.

Take a look.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Bucsoaia Go camp 2006

Last summer I took the opportunity to participate in a children camp as a Go instructor with a friend (Sorin) and my girlfriend (Laura). It was a beautiful experience for me. I hadn't taught Go to anybody but friends (and my girlfriend).

We took the train from Bucharest to Suceava.

"Suceava's throne citadel"

We were prepared with Go equipment (a large 19x19 folding wood board and glass stones) and played Go on the road. It was very nice. We also had about 8 carton boards (9x9) with plastic stones for the kids and problems for beginners.

From Suceava we took a buss to Bucsoaia (Gura Humorului) and arrived at the camp.
Our visit was somehow "unexpected". They seemed to have forgotten about our announced visit. But after a few phone calls and an hour waiting outside we were granted access to our dormitories.

Tabara Bucsoaia 2006 035
Tabara Bucsoaia 2006 040
We were to have the children "entertained" with logic games.

They did not know what Go was.

So we scheduled our "lessons" every day after their afternoon sleep. We had a special conference room for the lessons.

But, for some strange reason, they preferred to play Go in any other place than that conference room.

After all, Go is better played in cozy places like bedrooms, sunny fields, playground.

Tabara Bucsoaia 2006 045
Tabara Bucsoaia 2006 056
Every day, the kids and teachers had a field trip to either visit an historical place like "Voronet" monastery, or a trip to a sunny field with beautiful view and lot of grass and trees.

Living in Bucharest, this kind of outing is a blessing for me every once in a while.

And I also get to play and teach GO. Cool!

The historical places are great and provide the necessary energy and stress release for another year of work and stress.

The "Voronet" Monastery

Tabara Bucsoaia 2006 021

My girlfriend and I decide to buy a few souvenirs for home.

One night, after dinner, when we were preparing to go to sleep, we had an unexpected visit. A battalion of kids eager to play more Go.

Tabara Bucsoaia 2006 071
Tabara Bucsoaia 2006 131Not even the 6 hours trip, nor the soccer games could exhaust them. So we started giving them easy problems to solve and decided that for our last day of staying we will organize a Go tournament.

They were thrilled and begun to work hard for the tournament.

All three of us (Laura, Sorin and myself) were very happy that they liked the game and they were coming back for even more every day.

Tabara Bucsoaia 2006 139
Tabara Bucsoaia 2006 148

At first, I thought that if we succeed to "corrupt" 5 kids to learn the game, it will be nice.

But from about 60 children that played Go for the first time (that was a huge number for us), 15 of them remained and played the last day tournament.

Each of us had a favorite kiddo.

Tabara Bucsoaia 2006 143
Tabara Bucsoaia 2006 136Mine was Carla, a sweet, red-head little girl with pimples. She was very smart but very emotive and did not finish in the first three places in that tournament. She was very tired and upset.

When we left we gave them all our 9x9 carton boards and plastic go stones as prizes.
I decided to give my folding wood go board and glass stones as a prize to her. She cried.

We started the games at about 10-11PM with cookies and drinks for the kids. The tension was as great as the tension I feel in a real Go tournament.

This is a photo I took at 1AM the night of the tournament.

Nina (center) had just recovered from crying (she had lost her last tournament game). I can't believe that they took this game serious and got so attached to us just in five days of Go.

Tabara Bucsoaia 2006 151

On my way back to Bucharest I felt a mixture of feelings covering me.
There was the sadness of leaving the camp and the children, there was the happiness of the achievements we had, there was the hope that we shall return some day and see them again.

I can't wait for our next summer holiday!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Beautiful game with Codin - 3 kyu

Last week I took part in the ING Open Tournament in Bucharest, Romania.
I won 3 of 6 games, but this is the game I like the most. It's played with a player from my GO club: Codin Cocioaba.

He is 4-5 stones stronger than I am and he can give me 4 stones handicap in our club games.

For some reason I like this game (a short game in witch I resigned after black' s 123 block).
I am going to have this game commented by Dragos Bajenaru 6 dan (toxxicu on KGS) and learn a lot this weekend.

Black: Codin Cocioaba 3 kyu
White: Cosmin Duta 7 kyu
Result: B+Resignation

diagram 1
moves: B1 - W50

diagram 2
moves: B51 - W100

diagram 3
moves: B101 - B123

I'll post toxxicu's review soon.

Monday, September 04, 2006


I am 7 kyu now. I play GO for 2 years, but my first year was a bit slow. Made it from 18 kyu to 7 kyu last year. This required a great deal of work, time and money. But this is the smallest price one can pay for this passion.

The greatest challenge I have to face is (brace yourselves) my girlfriend. She is a constant challenge always complaining not giving her enough attention and she thinks I don't care about her (this is not at all true). She has the idea that when she is around I should ignore everything, not even talk with my friends, but devote my entire attention to her. She thinks I love GO and my go friends more than her.

This puts a great deal of pressure on me. I decided to tell her that this is a passion that she can't control and I would not give this up for anything in the world. She is not very happy about this and didn't talk to me for two days.

Is this a common problem among GO players?

You can follow this discussion here.

Later edit after I had a discussion with my girlfriend:

She is not "around 15 kyu" (as I said on godiscussions.com forum), she is better that 15 kyu but I can't figure out how much better, she rarely plays with me now (she stopped playing with me recently because I annoy her with my moves). - her request to add the info about her rank :P

I also have to mention that the above events happened in the recess before the final round of a GO competition and I was very stressed by my results. She was also having a hard day preparing for school and that made the conversation a bit edgy for both of us.
She told me that I did not understand her that day, and that she didn't have a problem with my go or my go friends. She just thought that I should spend time with her when I can because we see each other once a week (1-2 days) and I can see my go friends every other day at the club.

Fair enough. Let's see how this works. :)