My first ever real life tournament experience

I attended AGA South Central Go Tournament, and had a blast. It’s a small tournament with 30+ players. I played in the handicap division as a 5kyu players.

  1. It’s so exciting to play Go in formal setting with clock etc.
  2. The time pressure is horrifying. I was told 45 minutes main time; 5 byo yomi periods of 30 seconds is not bad. Maybe it is not, but the mental pressure is huge, at least to me as a newbie. I lost 1 period unnecessarily without me even noticing.
  3. It’s so cool to play purely with mind. I came home and first thing I did was to disable Analyze the game in my OGS setting. :smile:
  4. Play normal moves wins. I had advice before the game to play simple, and play the same opening. I felt some of my opponents got bored with low approach to 4-4, which I only play, and tried to be creative and ended up losing control.
  5. It felt so good when my opponent had to leave the room, to pee or what, I don’t know, twice. I placed my normal move, he lost at least a couple of minutes each time. :joy:

It is so cool, isn’t it?

I might form the “we only play with analysis disabled” club! Maybe you would join!? Then there would be at least two of us :smiley:


45 minute per side is pretty cut throat.

Over here 60m is most usual and I had couple 90m tournaments. As for normal moves. Really depends what your goal is. Whether to win or to have fun/learn. I found recently that latter is more conductive to good go in long run.

Oh, one more big lesson, never resign unless it is too obvious.

I misread sante, twice, and lost 5-6 stones at the beginning of mid game. I thought about resign and decided to play on cause I had nothing better to do for the next two hours. So I played on and ended up winning 16 points. I was told after that my loss was not as big as I thought, apparently true.


Guo Juan once told me, “At your level never resign.”

It was her nice way of saying that amateurs are so bad they can screw up absolutely anything.

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I read same advice on SL before and thought it is talking about people below my level. :joy:

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Smurf told me not to resign before move 150 FWIW.

I wonder if this is a measure of how good you are. “Oh, I am so good I can resign at move 50” :smiley:


I thought that’s the case. It’s embarrassing not to resign in time.

If I remember correctly, in one of the Japan vs China annual team competition in old days, a Japanese player resigned early. A senior player rushed into the game room and asked: how much do you think you are losing?

“Half point.”

The senior player thought so too, but just had a hunch. They reviewed the game and concluded if both side made perfect moves, the Japanese player won half point.

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that sounds great! i played my first tournament a couple of weeks ago and i can only agree that it is awesome :grin:!

though i have to admit i was a bit nervous too. time settings were 60mins each and a really scary byo-yomi to follow. canadian progressive starting with 15 stones in 5 mins, then 20… and so on. my plan was to avoid it like the plague.
it took me a day to relax, which is why i found the second tournament day much more fun.

i recommend anyone who to go for it and sign up for irl tournaments!

just yes :smiley:


All my tournament games ended in counting and i didnt have the feeling that there was any problem with that. But then, I was way too immersed to call it quits at any point… I also had a 1 point loss, a 2 point loss and a 3 point loss. call it a streak.

By embarrassing, I meant the tradition to pro. Now I only worry about embarrassment being told after resign I was actually not losing. :joy:

I did resign one game against a 2d with 5 stone handicap. It was too obvious and he mentioned to me one wrong move that i did it twice at line 1. If I dragged the game for half an hour more, guess he might not. so learned one small tip in exchange, worth it. :grinning:

Another thing is it is probably a wrong tactics to count unless one can do it very quickly and accurately, which i don’t, so should not spend the precious time to count anyway.

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Hey. This is very interesting. My friend has long been participating in tournaments in real life. So far, I’m new to this business. I really liked it.

Tournaments are great! If ever you are in Blighty, find one here -