On Thursday I was off to BIBA around noon, but somehow ended up with Blackie and Thomas in an indoor golf course. Only it's not a course. Quite honestly, it kind of made me think of an advanced Wii. I'm pretty sure I just insulted somebody, but really, it was a room with a computer and on a (non-breakable, flexible) screen was a virtual golf course. They were using real balls and sticks (I don't know the name of those things.They look like hockey sticks, so I call them golf sticks) to hit the balls to the screen. It was interesting.
After that we went out for lunch (Dia had joined by then) and that was also the last lunch with Blackie and Dia, because they were leaving that night for Hawaii, for the BIBA winter camp. Yup, a wintercamp in Hawaii. Poor them.
Anyway, we went back to BIBA after the awesome Korean food, and Blackie helped me out with some of my problems. Then he reviewed a game with us again (no chocolates this time).
I worked on some more problems, and that was actually about it for the day.
Friday wasn't too eventful either, as Blackie and Dia had already left. I replayed a professional game, worked some on my problems and watched the others review their game, and well, that was about it.
Also Friday was my 'official' last day at BIBA, as I was only studying there for one week. I am still staying at Blackie's house for the coming week, but I will mainly be sightseeing, although I might pop by BIBA sometimes.
My overall experience was quite nice. But really, a week is very, very short, and that's a shame. Although I did learn many things, I believe that I am too weak to really profit from it right now. But that's ok. I am having a good time, and I do know that if (when!) I get stronger and if I ever get the opportunity to do something like this for a longer time, I would grab the chance!
And the most important thing of this trip for me is to experience the culture. I did that, and will do it in the coming week too.
So that was it. My week at BIBA. It was a nice and good experience, although not completely over yet. I hope you enjoyed reading about my experiences :).
As for the blog, next week I am moving to Australia, and I have no idea how things will be then. I have some ideas in mind to give the blog some real direction (because face it, right now it's just me blabbering on (which is fine, but gets a bit boring after a while)), but I am not sure when I will have time. Regardless, I promise not to abandon this blog (unlike my 'daily updates', this promise I will keep).
See you soon and thank you for reading :)!
It's time for an update on the second and third day at BIBA :).
On Tuesday I went to the Baduk school a bit before noon, and spend quite some time working on problems. During the afternoon we got a sort of lecture from Blackie. He replayed some pro games and asked everybody's opinions, gave comments, etc. Actually, most if it was a little hard to understand for weak little me, but it was still very interesting! He also made us guess moves (or changed the situation and then made us guess the best move), and there happened to be chocolate on the table, so whenever somebody got the right answer, they got chocolate. I got some easier questions, and won the great number of 1 chocolate in total. But hey, at least I got some :).
Afterwards I went back to my problems for a bit, and then played another game with Blackie's father. The game was a little more even this time around, although I was still losing, and then I made a few very stupid mistakes in a row, and one pretty big group died a horrible death. I resigned, but then Blackie walked by, took a 2 second glance at the board and said there was still a chance for ko. So we continued, and after an eternity of staring at the board I finally found it. My group came back alive, and miraculously I managed to self-atari it during end-game. No kidding. It was no problem to take it back and just go to counting, and I still lost by quite a few points. So basically I lost this game 3 times. Isn't that just wonderful?
Next time I play him I get two stones, so maybe I'll stand a chance. It was still a very fun game though.
Wednesday both Blackie and Dia had to play in a tournament at the Hanguk Kiwon (Korean baduk association). I really wanted to visit the Kiwon and Jon still had to buy some books there, so we went with them.
Actually, the visit was very short and I don't have too much to write about, since we were a bit late.
The bookshop in the Kiwon is actually hilariously small, but there are a whole lot of books there, it is so full that the lady had to climb over a wall of books the get the ones Jon wanted.
We also walked past the Baduk TV studio, but I didn't really see anything because nobody was there and the lights were turned off. We quickly went for lunch at a nearby restaurant (FYI, Korean food is awesome), where some of the other pro's playing that day were also eating. By that time the games were almost starting already, so we basically ran back to the Kiwon, and were just in time for the games to start.
Me and Jon were then standing in the hallway, where I was very casually (not) staring into the room where the pro's were playing. A girl got out from another room, and looked as us utterly confused. She stared at us for half a minute, turned around to go the playing room, turned back around to look at us, got ready to ask something, shook her head and then left. We're not sure what happened there. Maybe she just thought we were not supposed to be there or thought she knew one of us, but I just arrived two days ago and Jon didn't know her either. Anyway, the situation was very funny and extremely awkward.
We then went back to BIBA, where nothing very special happened.
At night Blackie reviewed some pro games with us again and gave me some impromptu problems. He also showed us a very funny, infinite problem. I don't exactly remember it, but it involved an under the stones tesuji and some other things, creating an infinite loop of capturing and re-capturing.
So that is what I did the past few days. I apologize for the big amount of boring text and the horrible writing, but I'm tired, so please don't judge me :(.
Anyway, I hope you still enjoy reading about my experiences here.
As I said before, the past few weeks I have been travelling, and pretty much ignored go for a while. While I was in Hong Kong I went to the go association a few times, but not much, because I obviously wanted to see the city. And the two weeks with my parents before that I was too busy relaxing to do some very serious studying aside from a problem here and there. Regardless, Sunday I arrived in Seoul, where I will spent one week at Blackie's Internatiobal Baduk Academy (from henceforth mentioned as BIBA), and one week sightseeing.
I will try to update on what I do everyday, so if you're interested, keep reading :).
Sunday I got picked up at the airport by Blackie (Kim Seungjun 9p) and Diana Koszegi 1p. I was extremely tired, because I my flight was very early and I didn't sleep the night before, nor can I sleep on an airplane. So I was very happy they came all the way to pick me up.
I am staying at Blackie's appartment, together with his family (obviously) and the three other students, Thomas, Jon and Richard. They're all around 4/5 dan (official ranks).
On Sunday itself nothing much happened because I may or may not have fallen asleep after a while. We did have awesome homemade korean food, and I played Catan against Blackie and Diana.
Yesterday we went to the Baduk school, basically a school for kids, and BIBA has a room there. Most of the kids weren't there yet though, because they had school. There was one kid who was playing on the pc in BIBA's room, and they told me he is a Korean insei. I just happened to see that he is 9 dan on Tygem (actually I was kind of staring in awe, but that's irrelevant) (also, he's an insei so I probably shouldn't be surprised about that).
Anyway, on the first day I played 3 games. One against Thomas with 6 stones, which I won by 9 points (which is really not impressive since I started with a sea of my own stones).
One against a very young girl (I'm horrible at guessing ages, so I won't even try), with a 2 stone handicap as black. I also won, by quite a bit this time.
Then I played a game with Blackie's first and last teacher, his father. He is about 1 dan EGF. I played as black, no komi. I resigned, because I was losing by about 20+ points and we were going to eat.
After dinner I got a pretty big set of problems, all basic shapes I should know (but I don't), so I did a few of those. According to the others they're one-second problems, but they take me soooooo long, it's a bit sad, haha.
Anyway, that was my first day. Aside from the horrible freezing cold I really like it so far and we'll see what the rest of the week brings!
(Also, I'm not really a picture person, so I'll try to take some, but it won't be a lot, haha)
(And I wrote this on my phone, so the post might be a little messy, sorry about that.)