Sunday, April 30, 2017

Rank Update

I finally clawed my way up to 1 dan on IGS!

I'm proud of this because it's really hard to win your way up in rank.  (The other option is to start a new account at a higher level and try to defend it, which can be easier to do.)

Of course, my AGA rank is higher (though, after the last MGA tournament, no longer at my high-water mark):

But Sensei's Library puts IGS 1 dan as equivalent to AGA 3 dan:

So if I can defend 1 dan on IGS, maybe I can justify entering an AGA tournament at 3 dan at some point.  (I just got to 1 dan on IGS, so I might very well drop back down.)

Saturday, April 29, 2017

West of the Sun

In addition to chipping away at my Japanese language skills (わたしの日本語がおじょおずじゃありません)I thought I'd read some Murakami (in English) to get ready for my trip to Japan this summer.  I just started reading South of the Border, West of the Sun, in which the main character (Hajime, meaning "beginning", which I know from "Hajimemashita", meaning "hello" when meeting someone for the first time), is complaining extensively about being an only child.  He says,
I detested the term only child.  Every time I heard it, I felt something was missing from me -- like I wasn't quite a complete human being.  The phrase only child stood there, pointing an accusatory finger at me.  "Something's not quite all there, pal," it told me.
Since I'm reading a translation in English, this made me wonder what the corresponding phrase for "only child" was in Japanese.  Then, in my Mango lesson today (#103), I learned how to say "only child"!  :)  It's ひとりっこ、which is literally "one child".

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

New Hampshire High School Club

Eva (our intrepid tournament director) shared this delightful photo of part of the crew that came down from NH for our MGA spring handicap tournament:

Monday, April 10, 2017

MGA Spring Handicap Tournament 2017

I played in a tournament!  I missed the Boston Spring Open (too busy with work).  But this one was right at the start of spring break for me, so it was perfect timing.  I actually played all four games too!

  • Game 1: played white, no komi vs. Karen and won on time
  • Game 2: took five (five) stones from Ethan (7 dan high schooler from Philly) and lost by 1.5...  yeesh!  The time setting is just too fast for me.  Basically the whole game was on my clock.
  • Game 3: It was such a beautiful day, so Shawn and I went outside to eat lunch...  and came back late for round 3.  I lost 5 minutes on my clock, and lost by resignation to Cam (black, no komi).
  • Game 4: Gave three stones to Charlie and won by about 15 points.  It was so nice to see him again!  Apparently he played in the Boston Spring Open a few weeks ago, but he hasn't been around much lately.  Even so, I think he's gotten stronger.  He's counting and doing a better job of taking sente.  He'll be stronger than me in no time.
I think the best part of the tournament was our new out-of-towners.  Ethan has been playing Go his whole life, but only recently learned of our American organization, and was happy to travel up here on his spring break to play with us.  We tried to emphasize all the great colleges in the Boston area.

We also had a contingent of new players from a high school Go club in New Hampshire:

They've only been playing for about a year, and this was their first tournament.  It was really fun to have them join us.  Their visit sparked some discussion about how we can get more high schools in the area to do this.  The AGF starter kit is fantastic, but you need someone at the high school to take the lead.  

I'm on spring break for the week and it feels like summer: warm weather and unscheduled days ready to be filled with Go study & play.