Sunday, January 27, 2008

New Haven Go Group

There's a small group of Go players in New Haven which meets regularly. I've been waiting for a chance to go down and visit and last Friday I convinced Dee to go with me. We brought the kids too, although it was really more for me than for them since I knew no other children would be there. The group met at a coffee shop in downtown New Haven. The premises are a little cramped to play comfortably, but anyway including me there were 5 people that came. One of the players, Mark, is 4d, I think, and I very much looked forward to meeting him and others to play with in the area. Both he and Greg were very nice and I think Mark, in particular, has a lot of experience teaching high kyu players so that's a real boon. He's now watched a few of my games online even and given me some helpful reviews. At the meeting I played with Greg who is about 11k, I think. I am a weak 13k so we played with a 2 stone handicap. I lost the game after I failed to prevent a snaking reduction from ruining the central influence I was aiming for. I think he is at a very good level for me to learn with since he's somewhat stronger but I can still make things competitive. I watched Mark win a 13x13 game with a 7 stone handicap against another member who seems a bit less experienced than me. That was pretty impressive.

Alyssa and Richie played a couple small games which Mark watched. I was a little engrossed in my own game so I wasn't able to pay too close attention to it, but Alyssa was seemed to be dominating the board by the end. Mark mentioned that it was neat to watch them play--I don't think he has any experience teaching such young kids--and that he could see them learning new basic concepts by the second game.

I'm hoping to enroll Alyssa and Richie in Feng Yun's go class for kids in Flushing which is supposed to start up in February. I'd like them both to learn a little more about the game. I actually think that knowing some Go will help with chess and vice versa, but maybe it all becomes too overwhelming. One of the players mentioned that a 7 year old girl was competing in the North American Oza tournament and was doing very well in the beginner section. I guess there are some youth players out there though I don't know how they learn since there's so few opportunities relative to chess. Fortunately for us, I think Feng Yun's school is the East Coast center for go instruction for kids as far as I can tell which is convenient.

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