Sunday, December 10, 2006

Tournament Tales II: Early Morning

When you live in the middle of nowhere, you can not just take the bus or metro to a go tournament. No, you need to drive through snow covered mountains for hours, and hours. Which also means you have to get up at some ungodly hour to arrive there in time.

We had it all set up perfectly. I left my house at 7am, to pick up a friend and we would meet two other friends at 8:45am in Vermont to car pool from there. I arrived at my friend's house and waited for him, but nothing happened. I rang the bell, knocked the door, nothing happened. Time was passing.

Decided to check his fraternity to see whether he was there, but no luck. Back to his house, where I finally managed to wake up his room mate who woke up my friend. Time was passing.

By now it was so much past the original time to meet, that we knew we would have to drive to the tournament ourselves. So we bought a map of Vermont, and desperately called around to people, finding out that Vermont doesn't have much cell phone reception. Eventually managed to reach the Tournament Director, to tell him that we were late, but would be there in time for the second round.

We relaxed and talked about go, and arrived there while the first round was still going on, all was good.

I found that I still was stressed though, so decided to play through some memorized games to calm myself. I started with the ear reddening game, and managed to screw up the taisha like four times before I got it right. Not a good sign. I guess I wasn't as calm as I had envisioned myself.

Moved on to Go Seigen's Game of the Century, and it didn't take long before my friend joined me and he played W, I played B. We were fuzzy on a few details, but managed most of it. After playing through most of it once, went through it again, this time straightening out the details we missed before. I found that playing out a pro game on a board really helped to ground me and get me ready for my games.

Almost time for the second round, the pairings were being decided. I had entered as a 2k, and my first game was against a 1k. Good time to measure whether the 2k rank was a reasonable guess.

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