Real life go tournaments: how do you experience them?

I ll take that in pm (i said that’s fine before )

1 Like

Ah, my bad - I missed that part, sorry.

1 Like

To be fair, someone I met a few years ago in a tournament once visited us in another tournament just to observe games and play casual games. He said he stopped participating in tournaments because of previous bad experiences. I don’t remember the conversation but roughly speaking some of his opponents (not me) were sore losers and had an unpleasant behavior. So I agree that such things happen. But they didn’t happen to me after 17 tournaments.


I have had some unpleasant experiences in those 113 tournaments, but overall it’s been a big net positive for me.


I don’t want to troll you nor to annoy you, maybe I just should keep my thoughts to myself and be polite and kindly smile at what you wrote.
But I’m trying to think positively and I wish to help, if possible.

I had many of the bad experiences you’ve listed. Waking early and being the first where other players were very late, winning against friends, having boring games and so on.
I was lucky perhaps because I never played against very annoying or rude people.
But when I read your words I feel a lot of anger, disdain, rigidity.

This isn’t other people. This is you looking at other people and criticising them.
My personal opinion, without any intention of being rude nor offensive, is that you should first work on yourself in order to be able to enjoy such situations. People can be weak, selfish, dumb, silly sometimes and we should be able to deal with that.

I enjoyed all tournaments I attended, because these defects weren’t enough to spoil all the fun.

Talking about fun: winning is the goal in a competition, but ain’t the fun part. My opinion.
As a SDK I can’t compete against the top bar. I’m always in the lower part of the ranking, so that ain’t fun too.

What I enjoy is the IRL game under pressure, the challenge of controlling my time while thinking enough on my moves. Being alert and sharp as possible.

I enjoyed most the difficult games where I couldn’t say if I was ahead or behind, alive or dead.
I don’t like to be crushed, of course. But I definitely enjoy losses more than wins, because losses bring to light my errors and mistakes, while wins just show that my opponent was wrong and I noticed it.
When I lose, I have something to dig into.
When I win is mostly selfish pats on the back for exploiting someone else’s mistakes.


Sorry about giving my opinion about how I experienced real life tourneys under a thread that asks about how people experience real life tourneys, especially one that was made with a reference to my previous criticism of opponents and tournament conditions.

You say you don’t wanna annoy me but revive the thread after 5 days to criticise me with a condescending attitude. I fail to see how what you wrote is meant as any kind of help, in fact it seem the opposite. You basically say “I experienced the same things as you, but didn’t mind them. You do, just because you’re angry”. Maybe you meant “help” as in “help yourself feel better”?

I’m not a rigid person at all. I sense a rigidity coming from you though. You can’t stand a different opinion, a criticism of what you enjoyed so you try to talk down to invalidate my experiences. Publicly telling someone “you should work on yourself” while claiming good intentions… I guess this is the part of the “silly” I should be able to deal with?

Funny how you look at me and criticise me and then say that. The difference is, I criticised an attitude and not any individuals. You, on the other hand, are not just looking at other people and criticising them, you’re doing it with a target. This would be similar to me telling the sulker “perhaps you should stop sulking and play a move” or the rude guy “stop slapping stones and mumbling, youre rude” instead of being polite and parting ways, then trying to bring it up here as a theoretical issue. You might not be annoyed by those things but you are clearly annoyed by what I wrote and how you respond to me and handle this is much worse than what I did against people who annoyed me. You further the argument for no reason other than trying to feel better about yourself.

You do realize that I am talking about how I don’t attend tourneys because the wins by themselves weren’t enough? I agree an environment that encourages people to be more alert and sharp would be much more tempting, hence my complaints about stallers who don’t resign, people who get salty about losses and people who are rude during and after the game. I am complaining about the tournaments being too win-oriented and serious to the point of rudeness. These are things that make it hard to focus and enjoy the game, hence less sharpness and being alert.

Canadian byoyomi is the worst and that’s what is used in tourneys over here, so I take no enjoyment in controlling my time irl tourneys.

It is one thing to say “I take positives from my losses and learn” but to say you enjoy them more than wins… that just seems like wrong attitude towards the game. If you don’t feel that disappointment when you realize you have done your best but came short, you might not be motivated to reflect and improve in the future.

I assure you you have lots to dig into even when you lose. You don’t have to wait for someone to point out your mistakes clearly to start working on yourself. I definitely didn’t need your virtue signalling to reflect on how I handled those tournaments and this discussion.

You might get pats but it is up to you to ignore those and stay grounded.

I hope you see how your post would fall short of helping anyone it adresses. If it did help you and others who don’t sympathise with what I said, I can understand that. Pats can be nice indeed.

I’m sorry for bothering you.
Have fun with Go in whatever place and moment you like best.
Take care.

1 Like

It’s alright; I am sorry if I bothered you as well. I am also sorry that the discussion/argument got to the point where it became about people and not the topic of discussion. I’m sure neither of us meant it to be that way. Thanks for not furthering a negative convo any more.
I hope you keep getting nice opponents and games. Bye.


I do have two real tournaments. One is to join school board games club, the other is a contest held by the club.

To join the club, you have to choose a kind of board games and play with everyone in the club. I choosed Go for sure. They said “There are not many members play Go well”. I had reached 9 kyu before join it. And I start from zero without humen knowledge.(I mean I play with AI only) It’s the first time I play with humen. My Go style is weird to people. So I win every Go games until the last one. After the last game, the opponent killed all my groups on the board in several seconds while I spent half hour. So I knew he is the member who play Go well in the club.


I was late to join the contest. To my surprise there was many girls. I sat down in no time and began a game with a girl. The board was rare, it was 15x15. Ok, I would play at the center point if I play Black. You know, center is more valuable on small boards. Unfortunately I played White, the girl played at the center point as the move1. So I played at 3-4 as the move2. The girl laughed and played move3 at center again!? I was angry and fight against the girl around center. All of a sudden the girl laughed “I win!”!? “You win? But why? The board was so empty?” “Five in a row!” (The first game over of the contest)

So I did believe there was not many members played Go in the club.


I only went to a few live tournaments, and that was over ten years ago, before my “Go break” of 8 years.

I like the socializing aspect the most, but the thing is, big events of any kind are very exhausting for me (I’m very sensitive to noise and also can’t be around people the whole day; I need some long breaks where I can be alone), and playing several games of Go in one day is also very stressful to me by itself, so I’m more or less unable to participate in live tournaments.


I can imagine that you find tournaments exhaustive. I think that nowadays go tournaments are more flexible than they used to be ten years ago.

In the Netherlands there is a trend towards one day tournaments, exactly because of this. There are still some two day tournaments left. In some of them it is also possible to participate for only one day or even for only a few matches. So if you feel you need a brake after the first round, you can tell the organizers for example that you want to skip the second round an will be back for the third round.

Don’t know how this is Berlin / Germany, but it might be worth to ask the organizers around there.

And of cause, you are welcome to the Keizer Karel tournament in Nijmegen (near Kleve).


I think in almost every tournament it’s possible to skip some rounds, except important tournaments like national/European championships.


23 posts were split to a new topic: Arena Style tournaments

Yes, I go to two or three tournaments per year, which is about as many as we usually manage in Ireland — I’d go to more if there were more on. I’m a bit jealous of gennan having so many nearby. As far as I’m concerned, tournament play is the standard by which playing Go is measured: it’s very intense and focused, and is indeed exhausting, but I feel like it brings out the best in players. And afterwards (or maybe during) you can have a pint, relax, meet friends from other parts of the country.

I organise a lot of the Dublin tournaments so my perspective on what makes a good tournament is coloured by that. I think a good experience starts with good communication from the organiser both before the tournament and during. It should be easy to find information, whether it’s about the current standings in the competition or where you can get a decent cup of coffee nearby. You should stick to the schedule (which involves making a sensible schedule in the first place) both to avoid wasting players’ time and for your own sanity. A comfortable, well-lit, quiet venue is nice, preferably with a bar — I remember one or two tournaments over the years where it felt colder inside the building than outside and we were all wrapped up in every piece of clothing we had with us.

The challenge in starting out as an organiser is that there aren’t that many resources to tell you what to do if you don’t have an experienced mentor to hand. The BGA and AGA handbooks have some useful information in them but nowhere have I seen (for instance) a good guide to the preferences in OpenGotha or McMahon and how you should set them to get the perfect draw. But you learn on the job and after a while you’ve made most of the obvious cock-ups, gotten the hang of the logistics and you even get to the point where you can relax and enjoy the tournament while you’re running it. In my experience, most Go players are pretty sound individuals and grateful that someone is putting the work in so that they can enjoy a good tournament. I can really only remember one person who I thought was genuinely being rude (and I guess a lot of tournament directors had bad experiences with this individual over the years), otherwise any difficulty was either down to language barriers or my own feelings of stress.

I will finally get to the European Go Congress either this year in Leipzig or next year in Toulouse and I can’t wait…tournaments are the best!


How about a self supporting summer camp / weekend?
Rent a cheap place somewhere in the country and cook, clean, etc. it all by yourself (meaning the present go community). A week or weekend full of playing go, workshops, other games, a outdoor BBQ, etc. where you can come for the full period or just for a day.
In the Netherlands there are a few organizers using this formula and - from what I hear - players really do appreciate it.
If you organise this with a team it is doable. Individually it prolly comes down to quite a big enterprise.


Having software to help is a key element as things can get quite hectic, especially for tournaments over 20 people. I’ve run one with up to 80 players using a custom built software (inspired heavily by Mark Rubenstein from the Chicago Go Club)

For anyone interested in trying it out, it’s available via (it’s a webapp, so an internet connection is required). @antonTobi I’d be especially grateful if you took a look and let me know your thoughts as once I add mcmahon pairing I hope for it to be generalized in-person pairing software (along with player registration and reporting)

1 Like

You don’t really need computer and can use players cardboards. Even over 20. Could go to 80 easely so to say which exclude mostly only the big events like annual congress.
On one side you put the relevant info for the pairing: number, name, level, club.
Then each line, pairing, result, macmahon points if used. On the other side administrative infos not relevant for the pairing like accomodation and food, phone, what is paid, and more.
Essential is to well define your priorities like less handicap as possible and not let players from the same area have a game together for example.

Distortions due to computers happens at time, because organizers use the same program and then you’ll play the same opponents going from one tournament to the next. That was a reality years ago with the french pairing program, i hope it’s solved by now (i guess)
Another crucial point is: because of the need of an internet connection, you put the whole tournament under the risk of a failure of your connection. At least it’s more secure to have a program running offline, that could be downloaded. Anyway i don’t see why you have to stay connected for a pairing program.

Not talking in the wind, as i organized the Lyon tournament in the 80’s with cards and over 100 participants. The main was a regular format with fixed rounds, but we had a side one for beginners and ddk with like 40 players and that arena format. Was quite a mess indeed but mostly because they were very volatile participants (no show, come back…)! What is easiest, to put 2 cards together or to copy/paste in a spreadsheet? To watch a screen or a large table covered by the cards? Maybe just a matter of taste.


Maybe just put a sheet of paper on a table near the entrance of the playing room. Whenever two people agree to play, they agree on the handicap and after the game, they write their names on the paper and indicate the winner. At the end of the tournament, prizes are awarded for

  • most games played
  • largest number of victories
  • highest winrate.

I think a 13x13 tournament was organized like that in EGC 2019 (or was it in EYGC 2017? I don’t remember).


Very nice. I would add someone to help people joining and keep the papersheet in order.