Yesterday, at the V+A Waterfront in Cape Town, members of the Cape Town Go Club braved the beautiful weather, tourists, and the light breeze to teach baduk at the Korean Culture Festival 2014; supported by the Korean embassy, it was organised by South Africans interested in Korean culture. For the most part this mean lots of K-pop and the obligatory dance competition (which was kinda the star of the event, and probably the entire point for those who organised the festival), but also – of course – a taekwondo demonstration, and baduk…
When I packed up my board and stones in the morning, I expected that we’d just be a bunch from the club sitting there and playing matches amongst ourselves; I mean, we were right next to a table with face-painting and make-up, how could we hope to compete? To our surprise we generated quite a bit of interest. The key was that we just started playing matches, which led people to watch and ask what for the sake of cute puppies on the internet we were doing. In the end I think more than 10 people sat down to learn the rules and play a game on a 9×9 board with one of us; we handed out about 15 flyers, and I saw none of the lying around the waterfront afterwards, so in my book that’s a success!
The festival itself was kinda drowned into the usual buzz of the waterfront, but I think it definitely helped to get people to stop and look, most who had no clue that the festival was happening in the first place. Also, presenting the game as “baduk” made me happy, and definitely helps my underground movement aimed at changing the name of the South African Go Association to South African Baduk Association… Those 15 flyers had BADUK printed in large letters on it, and even our banner promoted this superior name for the greatest game ever. (Apologies, I’m just a bit high on Korean pride after the festival.)
So Victor Chow (7d), the highest ranked player in SAGA, and thus probably in South Africa, has graciously reviewed the recent games of the South African team at the Pandanet European Team Championship 2014/2015. Just to reiterate: South Africa drew 2-2 against Spain; next round we’ll go up against Cyprus. The reviews are posted online at the SAGA website, but I’ve linked them through directly here:
You’ll need a viewer of some sort to view the files and the comments; if you are on any online server through a client, your client probably can open these files as well. If not, here is a list from which to choose an sgf editor/viewer. I haven’t gone through the comments yet, but I’m looking forward to it; while not everything will be comprehensible to me, I always find it useful to see the kibitzing when observing games on KGS; I imagine this is similar, but more static, and less sarcastic humour.
So SAGA (the future SABA) has gained some sort of observer status with the EGF… Kinda sounds like the start of a a post for my other blog, all about acronym ridden NGO issues, but it isn’t; SAGA, also known as the South African Go Association, became an observer member of the European Go Federation; because South Africa, in defiance of its name, is in fact a country in Northern Europe. Okay, all jokes aside, I do understand the reasoning behind this, as there are no other countries with the amount of active baduk players as South Africa has in the rest of the continent (and I think SAGA has only two digits on its membership list.) I guess if we set up an African Baduk Federation, and create a team championship, I’d have more luck in snatching a title at some point in my amateur career, though that is the only sense that would make. In any case, yesterday at the weekly Cape Town Go Club we ended up spending quite some time watching the South Africans play as it is an online tourney on the IGS server; we’ve got a team of four players ranked around low dan who were taking on Spain in Round 1 in the C League, outcome was a draw 2-2, and they better don’t pull a Bafana Bafana stunt on us after this. I mean I really hate supporting anything rugby related, but that is the safest bet when it comes to South African sports; please let this be my alternative! The official results are online, but I’ll spell the ones relevant to me out here:
Spain vs. South Africa 2 – 2
Tuesday 30 September 2014, 20:00 CET/CEST
Juan Francisco (“Paco”) García de la Banda (palmero) 3 dan
The links under the score lead to .sgf files with the actual games, both game played by South Africa that we won (those were the ones I was paying attention to while I should have been paying attention to the game I was playing at that time) were very close throughout the matches. So Tuesday 21 October South Africa will move to play Cyprus at 8pm SAST. Cyprus lost to Portugal 1-2, with the remaining game ending in no result (because they didn’t pay their ADSL bills on time, my theory.)
So after looking at the three tablet screens for a while we decided to play an actual game, instead of commenting on the games that our South African compadres were playing. The guy (4k) I played against last time, played simultaneous games against me and a 10k that beat me the week before. Actually let me call the 4k dude “The Corner Killer” because every-time we play, he manages to live in my corner and annihilate my stones there. So my game against the Corner Killer was as usual, I got ripped to pieces… We didn’t even bother counting, see the result for yourself here by way of a picture of my obvious defeat. When I finished, I observed Corner Killer take on… lets call him 10k Master, cause he might be 10k but loves teaching others, to my delight. That game was close, Corner Killer won by 10 points in a 3 stone handicap game, which means that 10k Master might actually be closer to a 7k than a 10k.
Part of my feels that I’m not improving, but I’m rebuked quickly with a lot of baduk theory as to why it feels like that and why I am improving and why they can see that I am improving… Though I have to watch out, Corner Killer and 10k Master might just be toying with me, I mean the latter has a cat… and he has pictures of his cat playing baduk… so you never know.