10th group


Next mission to accomplish is to stay in it on Monday... ^^
(that's all)

And Kim Man-su sabomnim said that I'm not thinking enough on the fuseki after playing with him. He advices that I should think at least 20 seconds on every move (I never actually realized that I would play fuseki that fast, but I will try to go with his advice..O.o)..

Well that's a fact that when I played with him I got into trouble so soon that after that it didn't really matter how well I played ^__^
(Ah, and Mum is coming in a day, and tomorrow is Hanbayon, and I sooo wanna be a 5 winner)

Wednesday (by Alexa)

Wooow, today I finally managed to wake up on time (8:20)!!! Unfortunately it wasn't worth much, as thanks to Javier we were still late from the dojang ;)... I just can't believe how a boy can't take a shower in less then 20 minutes, when I can.. But after almost 8 months I'm starting to get used to this ^.~

When we arrived to the dojang the others were already solving their life&death problems, which I'm really poor at compared to them, so the morning wasn't really about success for me. From the 4 pages of L&d (approximately 32 problems) I could barely solve 10 or so.

Lately we are playing a daily league in school, which has 11 groups, and in every group there are 6 to 8 people. In one group everybody is playing with everybody. I'm - what a suprise - in the 11-th group, which is not the best, but the worst ^^. At the end of a day the two students who had the best result in a group can go up, and the two worst ones go down - thanks god, this is not threatening me as there is no group under us, hehe.

Even though we only started going to Yu Chang-hyok dojang at the beginning of December, I feel I improved a lot. Before it barely happened that I won even 1 game, but nowadays I have at least 50 % score in my group almost every day. I even managed to get up to the 10-th group twice - even though I fell back right after, still have to work on this ^.~
Well, we will see if I really did improve or not on this weekend's Hanbayon tourney ... ;)

Today my result is exactly 50% from 4 games again, and I managed to freak out only after one of the losses , hehe
The little girl who I played with is the little sister of one of the stronger girls, but she is not one of my favourite opponents. I wonder if she even used her 10 minutes basic time in our game, and it's without exaggeration very rare that she is thinking on a move before playing it, which is just driving me crazy  -.- Still, I lost to her.

I was winning for a long time (with approximately 80 points of potential territory), when I had to make a decision if I should run away with one of my weak groups and maybe destroy some of my territory, or rather sacrifice the big group and maximise territory to avoid "complications". I chose this option, and I managed to avoid complications so well that 20 moves later I already had to resign ^^
I didn' t see a tesuji (and a ladder). Thanks to these all my territory suddenly vanished... huh -.-

I almost freaked out again (actually I wrote I did ) - which happens sometimes - but a chocolate and a coffee comforted me... (Javier's advice ^.^)
And after all, I play 5-6 games a day, 25-30 a week, and almost a hundred monthly, I shouldn't take them so seriously..at least that's what I'm trying to tell myself...

I couldn't study too diligently today again, because today Javier proposed to leave after dinner and look around at Seohyeon station. I liked the idea too as we are not spending too much time just the two of us, so we looked around in a big shopping center at Seohyeon...It looked luxurious  and it was also very expensive -.- ... I liked the basement the most, cuz there was a food mall, with wonderful cakes and cookieees ^.~

The best moment of tonight was when Javier managed to get out something from one of the game machine - some Hello Kitty stuff, which has two leaves on top of it's head, and the leaves are moving with solar power ^.^ (photos hopefully later)

And just 4 days and Mum is here ;)

And to end the post, a life&death problem from the book we are solving now, selected by Javier himself ^.^ Try to solve it! (both of them are black to play
Bye guys

Happy new year 2009!!!

Hey everybody!

Alexa and me (Javier) have been quite busy at the dojang since the New Year.
In Korea students have a really long 2 months holiday from Christmas until February. That's why our self-study session was moved from the morning to the evening. Every morning we had a 1 hour time trial for 20 problems of life and death and 4 pages of tesuji problems. After this we checked our answers with Kim Mansoo 7p for 1 hour. The ones who had the least mistakes got stamps for their great effort. Personally I think it was really nice solving those problems.
Actually the teachers are trying to encourage the kids to study even more on their holidays and most of the kids have written their goals on a piece of paper which is taped on their table.

A bit more than 1 week ago we had Hanbayon tournament. This time I didn't do so well. It felt like the opponents weren't too strong( I guess 4-5dan egf ). I think I should have slept more, in anycase I had 2 wins out of 5 (Hanbayon 3rd group, 2/5) so not a catastrophe either. Oh and the coolest thing at that day was when Alexa and Javier (that's me) went to a hairsalon to get me a haircut. I must say it was a positive suprise since the haircut turned out quite nice and it costed less than 10 euro. After that we even found out a bus which goes just around our subway stop and it was really quick just 40 minutes, with subway it took more than 1 hour 30 minutes.

Our last weekend was an extended holiday since the korean new year started on Sunday, so we had a 2-day holiday + weekend. Anyways we rested quite well and are ready to study with 100% again.

Today was our first school day and we started by playing Jubango, a 10 game match against the same opponents. Actually that's what we did in the morning and afternoon. I Played against a kid (his name is Lee Do-won),  who is 2nd group in Hanbayon ( I think 5dan egf). Some of our games were quite interesting and we kept winning in turns. After 6pm both of us were kind of tired and the score was just 3-3. Almost all the other kids had ended their 10 game Match and the fastest ones were even playing a second one.

At 6pm it was dinner-break. We went to eat chinese noodles and chicken rice, it was pretty tasty. After dinner luckily we didn't have to continue the Jubango anymore and instead we had a professional-game memorizing competition! For some reason Myongsu's chocolate bar was taken away from him by the teacher and it was a prize in the competition. At first it was "Level 1!" then the teacher yelled: " ready... go!" and we all started slamming the stones on the board really fast. The aim was to remember 180 moves, your result is based on how soon are you ready and how many mistakes did you have. At level 1 I had 5 mistakes and on level 2 and 3 none. In total I got a piece of chocolate and 2 candies, good job Javier.

That's all for this time, see you next time.



So as I promised, here is our story about moving. The idea of moving closer to the school came to us right after starting to study at Yu Chang-hyok baduk academy for the simple  reason that it takes at least an hour to travel from Myeongil to Migeum with 2 transfers on the crowded subway. We had to spend at least 100 thousand won every month for public transport, so we decided to search for a place closer even if it's a little bit more expensive.


First I tried to look around in Yongin city (it's approximately 20 minutes by bus from Bundang city, and the dojang), because the professor of the Hungarian department who I'm working to told me that it might be possible to find a place without deposit  money close to the university. Unfortunately it turned out that it's not only difficult to find a place without deposit, but the rent fee is also way more expensive then we can afford. Not to mentiont hat we would still have to spend a lot of money on transport.

So we only had two choices left: either staying at Myeongil and travel which I didn't really favour or look around Migeum station close to the Academy which we knew would probably be more expensive as Bundang is a really expensive city. We asked our teacher and "guardian" (she helped us in virtually every way we needed and she could over our 1 month at Yu Chang-hyok dojang to now), Lee Ha-jin sabomin to ask around in one of the budongsans (real estate agencies).

She did so, and even though the choices were very limited (we could only afford maximum 5 million won deposit money, and maximum 400 thousand won rent fee per month, here in Korea it's quite difficult to get even a really small one -room appartament for that price) the first place we have looked at we fell in love with. :)

Even though gathering the deposit money was quite an issue, we managed to collect it somehow, and the next day we already contracted for the appartament. We had to hurry, because until we don't contract, anybody could have took the appartament. Another happy fact was that the woman who lived there was about to leave to China, so she left there her gas range, fridge and washing machine with a few shelves for only 100 thousand won. This was quite a relief as we almost didn't have to buy anything!

By the way, the appartament is a semi-basement flat, it seems these places are much cheaper then appartaments, because they are sai to be really cold in the winter and too hot in the summer. We didn't experience any of these bad stuff yet, and I hope we won't either. The heating works well and that is the most important :) And that it's only 8 minutes by foot from the dojang.

The only negative thing is that it seems we won't be able to have internet in the appartament, because one has to contract for at least 1 year. We would also need an alien registration card which neither of us has. On the other hand the Pc bangs here are much more expensive then around Myeongil: there it's 1000 won per hour everywhere, but here it's at least 1500 won! ~.~


No posts in the blog

Hey guys!

Just wanted to let you know that the reason why nobody is posting on this blog is not because we died - fainted - got serious brain damage because of studying, but that just a few days ago we moved to Bundang city to be closer to Yu Chang-hyok baduk dojang. More on this matter later, what is important that thanks to the help of Lee Ha-jin sabomnim we managed to rent a small, but really cozy one-room appartament which is exactly 8 minutes from the Academy :)

The only defect of the new place is that there is no internet (hopefully only yet, but just today Lee Ha-jin sabomnim told me that it might be that it's not possible to contract for it because we don't have alien registration number :((( )

Anyways, we have to go to internet caffes (Pc bangs) all the time to use a computer. This wouldn't be a problem in itself, as most of the internet caffes are as cheap as 1000 won per hour, but for some misterious reason in Bundang it's at least 1500 won per hour everywhere :( So it seems if we can't get internet we will have to restrict blogging and other internet activities to the minimum :(

Hope it won't be so, because I have a serious internet addiction .. -.-

A weekend before Christmas

Hello everybody!

The past week at the dojang has been as hard as usually.

At the dojang a stamp system was created and now all the kids are fighting who has 30 stamps first. During the middle of the week I was leading in the stamp-race, but now other kids got many stamps.
The teachers set different challenges for the stamps like: team-baduk challenge, replay a progame or win games in the daily league.
In team baduk 2 teams play each other usually in many 1 vs.1 matches or sometimes there is even a pair baduk match included in the team baduk.

The dojang has it's own league as well. There are around 12 groups in which there are 4 players. The players play 2 games to decide who goes up(1st place) and who goes down(4th place) in the league.

The Christmas-week at the dojang is luckily relatively short since the holidays are from 24th to 28 of December.

During the weekends there are not so many things to do so usually I : sleep until 1pm, then take a shower and go to eat lunch at the Gimbap place! After that I study baduk a little bit, usually not more than 2 hours.
This weekend I was also playing on Tygem-Baduk server with my 5dan account. I played about 17 games from which 2 were losses :), and now its 6 dan.
After eating dinner at the Gimbap place! Alexa and me went for a small pc-bang session. Alexa is kicking me out of the computer because she wants to write something too~.


Today is Wednesday and by that I mean that it's the middle of the week, therefore the hardest day of the week as well.
Waking up was especially difficult today, and even the fact that we have TV (yaay) on our new mobile-phone couldn't really cheer me up, because after only 2 days of usage I broke it's antenna :D

There is a new Singaporean student who arrived to the dojang just this Monday and staying for approximately 2 weeks. Her name is Cindy, and she is either 1 or 3 dan (it's quite hard to know ones strength in the dojang, as there are no such things used as kyu or dan, people are either ranked by how many stones they play with a pro, or by their tygem account).
I played with her yesterday and managed to win. I think I had a good game before I overplayed (like usually), but at the end I got to kill her.

The main goal this month therefore is to get rid of the : I'm leading but let's overplay a little bit more strategy. Because I love to overplay, almost every weak player does... because how wonderful it is when the opponent falls into your trap, right? Well, these kids don't. So overplay strategy,... dropped. Easy to say.. :)

Anyway today finally I broke my 10 or so games loosing streak against the kids again. I played with Puppy (yes, it's a nickname) today and even though I self-ataried myself with 10 stones as a local ko-threath, I still managed to win. In the other two games today I wasn't so lucky though.. one of them was a 2.5 points, and the other was an overplay loss :)

Today I got like 3 of my games reviewed by the teachers, mostly Lee Ha-jin sabomnim, I'm kinda happy about that, because they really help get me a better feeling of the game as well as I learn a joseki almost every review.. there is a special English-speaking review session in the mornings just the 4 of us: Lee Ha-jin sabomni, Javier, Cindy, and me.  And it's nice.

Gotta go, that's it for today ~~
And just 2 days until weeekend ~~~

143-rd Hanbayon Tournament

Two weeks ago on Sunday Javier and me participated at Hanbayon tournament for the second time (for Javi actually it was already the third time, but because he probably doesn't have very pleasant memories from that day, let's just skip it).

Hanbayon stands for Korean Student's Tournament. Every high-school student and lower graders are allowed to participate on this event held approximately every 4 weeks at Sanbom city, except yongusengs (inseis) of course, who are usually not allowed to attend on any amateur tournaments.

Anyways there are 10 groups at Hanbayon, and each group has about 30 players. They play a 5 round swiss tournament.
The first few groups (1-2-3) are usually filled with future yongusengs (a few weeks ago a kid from Hanbayon 2nd group also passed the yonguseng preliminary tournament).

The players can move up or down in the groups depending on their result. Usually one with 3 wins or more can get into a stronger group at the next tournament. The ones with more losses then wins fall down.

The playing times are quite fast on the other hand. In the lower groups there are no clocks, as Korean kids usually play very fast, the organizers only make them play with a clock if the match is taking too long. In the upper groups the basic time is 10 minutes and the byo-yomi is 3 times 30 seconds.

Now, a little about our results. Last tournament Javier was playing in the 4th group, and I started at the 7th group, both of us managed to get 3 wins. Therefore I played at 6th group, but for some misterious reason Javier played in the 4th group again.

This time our cumulated winning percentage was a bit lower then last time, but the wins weren't shared as equally as last time.
Actually, they weren't shared equally at all. Javier did very good (4 out of 5), Alexa did very bad (let's not talk about it). :)

So the next Hanbayon tournament Javier will play in the 3rd while Alexa will play in the 7th group again.