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 Post subject: Update on Taiwanese weiqi scene
Post #1 Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:31 am 
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A note that applies to all places about language in my experience. Usually, in every place there are a fair number of people with a basic level of English. Usually, there is at least one person who is fluent.


Paying Clubs

1.)
棋聖模範棋院
Kisei Model Go Institute
台北市106復興南路二段200號3樓
No. 200, Section 2, Fuxing S Rd, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106
3rd Floor
(Quick walk north from Technology Building Station on the West side of the street. Technology Building Station is on the brown line.)
Short info: It's a bit small, but nice. No smoking anywhere inside. Plenty of players. Open weekdays and weekends. Many players on weekends. Some books and magazines available. Lessons available. Free tea when you pay to play. When I was there it was 170 NT to play as long as you want.
Clemi notes below:
- if you are a student, it's 150NT instead of 170NT
- if you play there very often (some of the old grandpas are there everyday !), you can buy 30 tickets for 3000 NT (something like that)
- on thursdays at 7PM, there is commentaries of pro games by the owner (amateur TW 7D) for ~70NT

2.)
中華棋苑
No. 200, Section 3, XìnYì Rd, Da-an District
4th floor

This seems to be a combination of professional organization, school, and playing spot.
Quite small, but no smoking at all. Mix of people, some kids, some adults. Price quoted was 180 NT. I was here on a weekday evening but didn't play, but there seemed to be a good number of people. Not sure about tea or not. On the SW corner of Xinyi Rd and Fuxing street at the Daan station on the red line.

3.)
清峰棋社.
博愛路60號10樓
台北市,中正區

60 Bo Ai Rd, 10th floor
Taipei City, Zhongzheng district

Very large room. Not the most attractive place and very smoky. I went two times. On a weekday evening there was only a very few people in there, but it may have been a bit late when I showed up (after dinner). Packed with players on a Saturday during the day.
This is the central district. This location is very near the main train station. The club is just a block or two west and a block or two south. It's also on the road the runs right behind the Presidents office and is just a couple of blocks north of there. Free tea. I don't remember the price but I'm quite sure it was right in line with the other prices listed here.


Free Clubs

Min Sheng park. This place is slightly awkward via MRT. The nearest is probably the Taipei Arena stop. This is on the green line as it goes out to Songshan district. (Not the airport stop. That is on the brown line.) You will have to walk a little bit North and East to get there.

I got there at 6:30pm on a Wednesday and got a game with one of two guys there, but in general weekday nights you have better chances after 8 or 9pm. There weren't a lot of people later but there were some. Apparently the big time is on the weekend, particularly Saturday, after 3pm running till maybe 11pm. (As of right now I haven't been on the weekend yet but want to go.) There are a lot of chess players around too if you are interested in Chinese chess. There is a pavilion so when it rains there are at least a few tables under cover. In the evening I think everyone was smoking. If you are very sensitive to 2nd hand smoke it's something to be aware of.

Professional Organizations

海峰棋院
http://www.haifong.org/
Location info
地址:106台北市敦化南路二段105號9樓
電話:(02)2702-8898 轉163, 165
傳真:(02)2702-9268
Address: 9F, No.105, Dunhua S.Rd., Sec. 2, Taipei City 106
Tel: 886-2-2702-8898
Fax: 886-2-2702-9268
email: haifongigo@gmail.com

I have visited this location and can confirm that they are there as of the writing of this. They were closed at the time but everything seemed fine.


Taiwan Qi Yuan
Warning: As of the writing of this, there seems to be some issue with this organization. There is an address listed for them in several places, including on their own website. They are no longer at this address which I have confirmed. I will try to update if possible.

The incorrect address:

台灣棋院文化基金會
Taiwan Chi Yuan Culture Foundation
台北市100羅斯福路三段28號8樓
No. 28, Section 3, Roosevelt Rd, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100
8th Floor
(Quick walk south from Exit 2 of Guting Station on the MRT)

Bookstores
If you are interested in buying weiqi books in traditional Chinese, many bookstores have a small selection, but these stores have significantly larger sections.

墊腳石(Tien Chiao Shih)
墊腳石圖書文化廣場 重南店
No. 3號, Section 1, Chongqing S Rd, Zhongzheng District
Taipei City, 100
Very close to Taipei Main Train Station

三民書局
No. 61號, Section 1, Chongqing S Rd, Zhongzheng District
Taipei City
This is further south on the same street, which is a kind of bookstore row.


Other Cities

Tainan
Here is a link from an old forum post (viewtopic.php?f=10&t=10136&hilit=taiwan) to a facebook page for a group in Tainan. If you are interested in playing there, you might consider reaching out to them via it for more info.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/%E5%8F%B ... 3020047129


Last edited by globulon on Thu Jul 30, 2015 3:26 am, edited 23 times in total.

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 Post subject: Old place
Post #2 Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:16 am 
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Note: This post was originally the first one, but as I went on, it got messier and was in more of a blog format, so since I had both of the top two spots in the thread, I decided to switch this post down to spot 2 and make the 1st post info only. I am very happy to hear from anyone who has additional info to add to the pile here and will try to add it to the first post as long as I am maintaining contact with this thread.

As I mentioned in another post I live in Taipei and had tried a club one time. Basically, my wife and I just walked into a weiqi cram school near where I work and they recommended a place to us. It wasn't bad, but was super smoky and I never felt much desire to go back. The other games I have gotten have been through a bbs. (Yes, those still exist.) Those have been great.

Recently, I saw this post on reddit:
http://www.reddit.com/r/baduk/comments/ ... in_taiwan/

The place that this post describes as "Taiwan Chi Yuan Culture Foundation" is also quite close to my job, and today is a Wednesday where I had to be there so it was perfect. I had seen that there was a weiqi school at that location but I didn't think it was any different from the other place we went to. So, today I went over there, and sure enough the foundation is on the directory, but when I asked the guard he said they had moved away. (I had already suspected this because the signage I had seen outside before was gone now.) He was quite gruff so I didn't ask him where they moved to. Likely I can find out on the net. (OTH one time I did try that and ended up at an administrative office that didn't have a playing hall or anything.)

So I decided to try this other place listed in that post.
棋聖模範棋院
Kisei Model Go Institute
台北市106復興南路二段200號3樓
No. 200, Section 2, Fuxing S Rd, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106
3rd Floor
(Quick walk north from Technology Building Station on the MRT)

I was a bit apprehensive that it would just be like the other place I tried but it was totally different. It's much smaller, there are about 10 2 person tables out in the main area and that was filled up on a Wednesday evening after work. There's also a glassed off area that likely is a smoking area but I didn't smell any smoke. The lady who takes the fee was super nice, (note that the price was 170 instead of 150 as suggested by this post, that is just about 60 cents difference. ( http://lifein19x19.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=859 ). As usual you get bottomless tea. She found me an opponent. I had a good 6 stone game where it was fairly close till one of my corner groups died after I didn't treat an endgame move at its edge seriously enough. I didn't read it out very well and thought it was still a seki. He let me play on for awhile and then pointed out very nicely that my corner was dead and because of that the game wasn't close at all. I just asked a couple of quick questions and then he gave me a very nice review of the first part of the game suggesting improvements and even praising some of my moves and condemning some of his own. We talked mostly in English. My Chinese is not so great although for day to day stuff it's fine. For that reason I never press to speak it if they seem to want to speak English. I called it quits there for the night feeling that I had accomplished my mission to check it out and find out whether I like it. I will definitely go again when I have more time to sit and play a good number of games.


So, I have some items on my to do list.

1) I want to find where this professional association has moved (hopefully it has kept it's free Wednesdays). I know there are some complications on that front that there have been some splinter groups etc and I'm not up on all the politics. Anyway, I will try to figure it out and report for future reference of visitors etc.

2) I also intend to check out this place listed in the other post.
中華棋苑
No. 200, Section 3, XìnYì Rd, Da-an District
http://www.saigo.com.tw/page.php?c=4

7/23/15: Ok, I just popped in here today (a Thursday evening about 6pm). Didn't play but it seems great. It's smaller and tighter than the "Kisei" club. It wraps around a corner of a building. Just as ez4u described it's a nice friendly atmosphere with both children and older people. Apparently no smoking at all. There did appear to be some more rooms off to the left but it looked like maybe classrooms or something. A guy playing near the door immediately started talking to me in English to ask about strength and stuff. I didn't have time for a game but the price quoted was 180 NT. Also as ez4u described there are a bunch of pictures etc outside in the hallway. The face that jumped out at me was Lee Chang Ho.

One warning. I put the English address above into google maps and the location shown was not quite right. To me it showed the location as just across the street from the NE corner of Daan park but this is not right. It's actually further East. It's on the SW corner of Fuxing S and Xinyi Rd. This is right at a pretty new MRT station called Daan. (Don't confuse with the Daan Park station which is the next one to the west.) In general, in my experience, it is a very good idea to double check the result of any kind of automated map system while in Taipei. I think the best way to do this is just to make sure that the location you are getting is at least in the right district. When google maps is wrong, it can be wrong by a lot. It is definitely still useful though.


3) Somehow I also feel that there has to be more places to play so I will try to keep trying to find them.

I asked one of the players I met through the BBS and he gave me a tip about a club in a park.

It's in Min Sheng park. This place is slightly awkward via MRT. The nearest is probably the Taipei Arena stop. This is on the green line as it goes out to Songshan district. (Not the airport stop. That is on the brown line.) You will have to walk a little bit North and East to get there. If you are willing to brave the buses then you can get there pretty directly along Min Sheng Rd. (The buses in general are substantially less easy to navigate than the MRT). Of course a taxi will take you directly.

I have now visited this place. I went after work and got there about 6 or 6:30. There were two gentlemen playing. I just came up and started watching. They asked me if I knew and when I said yes, they asked how strong I was. When they were done one of the guys gave me a 9 stone game. I was able to win this. He then told me that mostly they play after 8 or 9 pm on the weekdays and that I should get some dinner and come back. So I did. Got back about 9:45pm to the park. Very friendly, played some good games. There weren't a lot of people there on weeknight but there were some. There are a lot of chess players around too if you are interested in Chinese chess. There is a pavilion so when it rains there are at least a few tables under cover. In the evening I think everyone was smoking. To me, it makes a huge difference it being outdoors, so I don't mind it at all. If you are very sensitive to 2nd hand smoke it's something to be aware of.

The 2010 GoGoD encyclopedia listed another organization. With some slow and painstaking hunt and peck bopomofo (I know, it builds character! :lol: ) I got this.
海峰棋院
http://www.haifong.org/
If their website is any indication they are still going strong. Will try to find out if they have playing space.

Location info
地址:106台北市敦化南路二段105號9樓
電話:(02)2702-8898 轉163, 165
傳真:(02)2702-9268
Address: 9F, No.105, Dunhua S.Rd., Sec. 2, Taipei City 106
Tel: 886-2-2702-8898
Fax: 886-2-2702-9268
email: haifongigo@gmail.com

via SL
http://www.taiwango.org.tw/
This seems to be the main professional org here in Taiwan.
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?ti ... edirect=no
Despite the name difference they seem to be the same thing.
I guess this means that probably they really did just change location and didn't evaporate.

Now I just got out the magazine they gave me when I went to that random administrative office. This appears at first blush to be another organization.
http://www.weiqi.org.tw/default.asp

Another org
https://sites.google.com/site/cpgatw/


Last edited by globulon on Thu Jul 30, 2015 3:23 am, edited 5 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Update on Taiwanese weiqi scene
Post #3 Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:21 pm 
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I went to Taipei about four years ago on a brief holiday and was taken to your alternative 中華棋苑. It was a quite large and active place with no smoke that I recall. The corridor outside the entrance has a collection of snapshots taped to the walls. It included pictures of many of the Taiwanese pros at the Nihon Ki'in that I know, all of whom played there as kids: Cho U, Han Zenki, Rin Shien, Rin Kanketsu. Joanne Missingham is in one of the photos on the site that you linked to. I was only there for about two hours on a weekend (so no clue on the schedule) and played only one game but there were many children and adults of all ages.

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Post #4 Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:55 pm 
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Photos, by any chance ? :)

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Post #5 Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:57 pm 
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EdLee wrote:
Photos, by any chance ? :)


I did think about but didn't actually end up taking any. :oops:

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Post #6 Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 7:00 pm 
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ez4u wrote:
I went to Taipei about four years ago on a brief holiday and was taken to your alternative 中華棋苑. It was a quite large and active place with no smoke that I recall. The corridor outside the entrance has a collection of snapshots taped to the walls. It included pictures of many of the Taiwanese pros at the Nihon Ki'in that I know, all of whom played there as kids: Cho U, Han Zenki, Rin Shien, Rin Kanketsu. Joanne Missingham is in one of the photos on the site that you linked to. I was only there for about two hours on a weekend (so no clue on the schedule) and played only one game but there were many children and adults of all ages.



Great I will definitely check it out!

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Post #7 Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 7:05 pm 
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EdLee wrote:
Photos, by any chance ? :)

Quite unforgivably... no! :oops:

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Post #8 Posted: Thu Jul 23, 2015 7:06 am 
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Thanks for the update! I wrote a couple of the posts, so it's unfortunate the Taiwan Chi Yuan moved. I thought they were renovating the last time I went (the tenant list actually had them listed at both the 3rd Floor and 8th Floor, but one was under renovation).

I'll be sure to check out the 中華棋苑/Saigo one next time I go in the winter. I think I searched for it before, but wrote it off since I thought it was a children's cram school.

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Post #9 Posted: Thu Jul 23, 2015 7:24 am 
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I just checked their website and it still lists them as on the 8th floor. Possibly there was a miscommunication between me and the guard. I will go back and double check.

7/24: I went over there this morning and checked. I didn't stop at the guard station but just went up. I went to the 8th floor, I went to the 3rd floor, and I went to the 2nd floor. Absolutely nothing. Additionally, I am definitely feeling there is some bad juju there because I was getting an attitude from a woman who came down and was standing at the guard station and asked me who I was looking for when I came down. I talked to her briefly, she reaffirmed they had moved and that they had no idea where they went to. So, the plot thickens.

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Post #10 Posted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 10:46 am 
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Wow, sorry it was a wasted trip, but appreciate the update! I'll be in Taipei at the end of the year and will ask around if you haven't already found it by then.

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Post #11 Posted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 5:09 am 
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misfire


Last edited by globulon on Sat Jul 25, 2015 8:49 pm, edited 11 times in total.
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Post #12 Posted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 6:22 am 
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Learn to put your attachments inside 'hide' tags. Those of us who are handicapped by Apple iOS find ourselves looking at pictures surrounded by tiny, tiny text otherwise. :)

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Post #13 Posted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 10:06 am 
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Visited the go club today. Played 8 games which is literally the most I have played in a single day before.

I did take a couple of pictures and tried to upload them from my phone but the results weren't very good for a variety of reason, and I'm feeling a bit frustrated with reading up on bbcode and not being able to get the result I want.



ez4u wrote:
Learn to put your attachments inside 'hide' tags. Those of us who are handicapped by Apple iOS find ourselves looking at pictures surrounded by tiny, tiny text otherwise. :)


For future reference, I strongly prefer not being given commands.

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Post #14 Posted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 5:05 pm 
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globulon wrote:
Visited the go club today. Played 8 games which is literally the most I have played in a single day before.

I did take a couple of pictures and tried to upload them from my phone but the results weren't very good for a variety of reason, and I'm feeling a bit frustrated with reading up on bbcode and not being able to get the result I want.



ez4u wrote:
Learn to put your attachments inside 'hide' tags. Those of us who are handicapped by Apple iOS find ourselves looking at pictures surrounded by tiny, tiny text otherwise. :)


For future reference, I strongly prefer not being given commands.

There are no 'commands' on the internet except those issued by admins with the power to ban you. Remember (this is advice, not a command), just because someone throws you a ball, doesn't mean you have to catch it! ;-)

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Post #15 Posted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 8:37 pm 
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Yesterday, I went by the Hai Fong Qi Yuan, which is a separate professional organization here in Taiwan. Unfortunately they were closed. I took a picture anyway. The building is a bank building and is a bit swank. Make sure you take the right elevator as they don't all go up to the 9th floor.

By the way, not sure how many people here will know. Lin Haifeng is the Chinese name of Rin Kaiho who you might know from such classics as "The 1971 Honinbo Tournament". He was from Taiwan but moved to Japan as child to study and became a very top pro. (As to the Feng/Fong SL for instance uses "eng" and the zhuyin is "eng" but the website uses "fong" so you decide".)

Attachment:
haifengorg.jpg
haifengorg.jpg [ 65.68 KiB | Viewed 9327 times ]


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Post #16 Posted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 8:48 pm 
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Here's the club

Attachment:
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Post #17 Posted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 10:03 pm 
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As to the club, it's very friendly. People were a bit reluctant to play me and had to be wrangled a bit by the club manager but when they did sit down they were very nice and focused on the game. There's also some wrangling every time about how many stones to give me. Since I've never really participated in club like this before I don't know, but somehow I imagine it will be easier when I am a known factor, but again it wasn't unpleasant.

Also, a few people speak enough English for a basic conversation. I was trying to use my Chinese some and that was accepted. I told them my Chinese name which sounds a lot like a Taiwanese pop star's name, so there were some jokes about that.

At times one or two people will break out in song.

There were several people studying at a board with a newspaper or magazine.

There was also a computer where people would play on the net I guess.

Also, the glassed off area is a classroom not a smoking area.

Behind me in the first picture is the desk, they also sell things like Weiqi Tian Di. I had tried to find this in the libraries and bookstores to no avail. They also have some books of various kinds.

I had 8 games. I think I went 2-6. My highlight was when I beat one of the older guys with 4 stones because I was able to kill a small corner group of his using bent four. Another game on 4 stones I came very close but a bit of carelessness cost me the game. I also had two games with kids, both of whom game me a handicap. I won one and lost the other. The last game was with a guy who is a weiqi teacher, he was quite nice and spoke a lot of English. It was entirely friendly but it was more of the order of a lesson where some of the moves were praised or criticized during the game. I think the idea was sort of that it was a bit of a trial run to see if I was interested in lessons but I don't know, I was happy for the teaching.

A note on scoring. They use Chinese or area scoring. The basic concept is pretty simple, but the process of actually counting a game on the board is quite a bit different. First you remove dead groups and stones. Secondly there is a phase that is basically the same as with Japanese style, here you are just trying to adjust things to make it easier to count, switching the places of stones without actually adding or removing any. Then what they do is they count the territory, but sometimes they will take stones off as well (since they are interchangeable) to make easier numbers. Also sometimes they will get a group of say 12 empty points and put two stones in it. The idea here is that since you are counting the territory first, and will count the stones later, for the territory count that area is an easy 10. One trick I saw the little girl use was to use the white stones to tally units of 10 of territory. Also, notice that they are only doing this for black. White isn't counted at all. Then when the territory has been counted, now you pick up all the white stones and put them away and start arranging the black stones in groups of 10 (two lines of 5 next to eachother, or 5 pairs in a row if you prefer). Now you take the territory count and then add the stone count.

Beware because if you are playing a handicap game, the rules are to deduct your handicap stones from your score at the end.

Quote:
Edit a few nights later: Well, I apologize for spreading the evil virus of misinformation on the web. I was able to ask a couple of questions about it tonight and I had misunderstood how the handicap stones were handled.

It turns out it's a bit more confusing to understand this part than I realized. I played a 6 stone game and they told me that if I scored 184 on the board (territory plus stone), then I win (I had 182 :grumpy: ). I'm going to leave it there for the time being. As some one told me tonight I need to study more. Likely the resources are available if I read up on SL to understand this issue clearly.


Oh, one other thing I almost forgot, I did ask about the Taiwan Qi Yuan but there was a strange thing that the head of the Haifong org was in the room sitting at one of the tables. When this was pointed out to me I'm not sure the intent was for me to let it go but they didn't seem too interested in the topic so I just dropped it.


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Post #18 Posted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 3:13 pm 
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I used to play there before leaving Taiwan two months ago. More information on this:
- if you are a student, it's 150NT instead of 170NT
- if you play there very often (some of the old grandpas are there everyday !), you can buy 30 tickets for 3000 NT (something like that)
- on thursdays at 7PM, there is commentaries of pro games by the owner (amateur TW 7D) for ~70NT

I'm a 2K KGS and used to play around 1D~2D level there.

PS: for weiqitiandi mag in taiwan, the simplest way is to buy it from the internet here (single or subscription).


This post by clemi was liked by: globulon
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 Post subject: Re: Update on Taiwanese weiqi scene
Post #19 Posted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:30 pm 
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Great! Thanks for the info.

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 Post subject: Re: Update on Taiwanese weiqi scene
Post #20 Posted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 3:16 am 
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I got to go to Min Sheng Park yesterday.

I arrived at 6:30 and found two players playing a game under a small pavilion in the eastern part of the park. I just sat and watched and was able to get a 9 stone game with one guy which I was able to win. Because recently I had lost a group to one of those endgame moves that fills the outside liberty and thus makes and attack inside possible I was more conscious of this and responded appropriately to maintain the life of my group, which he was quite happy about. I was able to keep his groups separated and a sizable one died. Near the very end, I made a tactical blunder near my lower left corner. Nothing died but I lost some stones and basically the corner flipped hands. He pointed out after the game that this was quite big.

After the game he told me that people usually come after dinner time so I should go get something to eat and come back after 8 or 9 pm. I did this, getting back about 9:45pm. There were several players gathered around in the pavilion. One weiqi game going on and some guys just hanging out and chatting around an empty chess board. I just came up and started watching the game. I think I was a bit on the timid side and they were too. When one of the games ended and it looked like they would play again, I picked up a board that was on the seat for the table behind me and put the board on the table and suddenly the ice was completely broken and we were all chatting happily. Most of the players were smoking, but to me it makes a huge difference that it is outdoors, so I don't mind it at all.

I was quickly paired with a bystander who was quite strong. He gave me 9 stones, and I managed to play well, winning handily. He told me my rank was a good deal too low and that I am actually stronger. By this times the manager of the club came by. It seems that this actually a real club in a formal sense, not just guys hanging out in the park. They have the use of the tables which have drawers for the boards and stones. They also have a bathroom in the basement of the parking garage to the NE corner of the park. This guy was super nice and spoke with me a good bit in English. Next I played the same guy but we played at 6 stones. This one I lost by 2 points. I took 6 stones, so the idea is I have to score 184 on the board (territory and stones together). I thought I was winning, but because I am aware that my positional sense is not good, and I could see his main area was quite big, it didn't surprise to find that he had edged me out.

On this note, I would say this has been my main study project lately. I have read through Dr. Straw's lectures on counting, and I have watched the Guo Juan lecture series on counting. I also got a copy of the Lee Chang Ho book that John Fairbairn recommended but haven't had time to work with it. This will be time consuming of course. My Chinese level is such that I can work through this kind of thing, where there are a lot of diagrams, not very much text, and many of the words are repeated. But even so, it is still a project. However, my idea here is of course that I am practicing the go-players much lauded virtue of efficiency and practicing my Chinese and my go at the same time. I am hoping to spend some time with it in the near future when I will be traveling for long stretches. However, I think for me the idea that makes the most sense is to start practicing some of the techniques, maybe not so much in my own games right away but in other games. When I get the counting skill up to speed I hope to incorporate it into my game. However, I am a person who often makes such plans and rarely accomplishes them. So, let's see what happens.

So, at the end of the evening, we just chatted a bit more, they told me the weekend usually has more players. Then he walked me over to the bus stop, which I appreciated.


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