Sunday, December 27, 2009

Wbaduk becoming shiny!

Today I come home and log onto the usually broken godiscussions.com to see if there were any important Baduk things to know.

I found a post concerning wbaduk, knowing that they are in a state of change I checked their homepage again, and indeed it had changed! Very much! Everything is new and shiny, they now got English news sections, a lection section, a test section, community boards and a new lay-out.

I very much like their test section and the theory articles they publish, you can see and monitor your progess through their statistics system.

There is only one down-side to this website and that is because it is typically Korean, so it only works properly with IE and not with Firefox. I can live with that though! If you want to check out here is the link:


- adorable_plum

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My thoughts on a pro game

After a long period of not posting I am back. I even brought a little gift with me. A commented professional game between two female Japnese professionals. I uploaded the game to Eidogo as blogger makes it difficult to figure out how to imbed a flashplayer that displays the game and it's comments.

Be aware my comments may not be correct or appropriate if you have doubts just ask!


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Waiting time


as many of you guys know already I have successfully ventured to Germany again. I am kind of trapped here for the next three years except university vacations, in which I pan on visiting Korea to study Baduk even more.

About home? I do not know if to feel happy or sad. I miss Baduk very much and here the city, the people and everything else stayed the same it was before. I had no trouble resuming exactly what I was doing just six months ago. I started working part-time at Burger King again, I am studying Baduk and playing computer games the rest of the time.

I have learned a lot about studying, the places where one can study and I of course studied a lot. Even though I somehow play quite a bit weaker than before I left Korea one week ago there is hope that once I stop missing Korea so much that my Baduk will return to normal again.

In the future I plan to blog about my study of Baduk, my experiences, preparation of going to Korea again and how to stay longer there. Additionally I am welcoming any questions about studying Baduk abroad as I have a lot new information about possibilities.

Another thing I was thinking about was designing a small study guide for those of us who are stranded at home and bound by obligations we cannot get rid of so easily.

Look forward the future! Korea I can't wait! Hye-yeon will get her ice-cream!

- adorable plum

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009

It has been ages

As the title says. Long time no see for everyone who actually reads this blog.

These days I have a lot of bad news and just a few maybe neutral news. First of all today I lost two league games straight. (Remind to not play self-atari when winning.) And of course worst of all I have lost the battle with my parents and have only 25 days left here in Korea. I will have to continue university in Germany and that doesnt fit to well with me. I went on a 4 weeks losing streak while searching for a way to stay but well in the end there was not.

Depending on the point of view I have good news to. I can spend up to 4 months a year in Korea or China studying Baduk for the next three years due to university holidays. At least some time of the next three years not wasted Baduk-time. Downside is part-time-jobbing. Yay! Who needs sleep anyways. :)

I stocked up a lot of books from the Hankuk Kiwon for my studies at home and I am trying to enjoy my remaining time as much as I can.

Departure time is Saturday 22. August 13.55 o'clock Korean time. So anyone please help me!!!!!!! T.T

I have planned a few informational posts for studying Baduk in Korea, I have more info on studying in China (they allow foreign pros now! Finally!) and I have quite a few things to say about IBA, which I have visited quite often during my stay here. However what I have to say might not be so pretty for past students but please do not take offense. I mean to do good and improve IBA. :)

- adorable plum: "Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Long time no see.

It has been a few weeks since my last post and July just has begun. In the last month I had to say goodbye to a lot of friends. It was fun being with you all. Not only students of KBC have left Korea but also a lot of my friends in Seoul studying in other schools. Let us meet again someday!

Today Kim-sabomnim announced that we will be going to Seoul this weekend, the women will play in a woman's tournament while we guys are commissioned to play teaching games there. The new thing is it will be the first time being paid for teaching here in Korea.

If you are in Korea come by and visit us at the "Hi Seoul"- Festival on Sunday, if not come by anyways.

The week after that we will have visitors at KBC. About 50 young Korean professionals will spend one week of vacation here at our school. I think it will be fun to have 12 times more professionals here than amateur players.

I am excited!

- adorable plum

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The next 3 months in KBC

I just on tuesday returned to KBC from a youth tournament in China but these days I am very busy as we are only 6 students currently the focus of our teachers on us is quite sharp, so to get the work done I go to school earlier and leave school later.

Where is my sleep?! >.>

Friday, May 15, 2009

Training diary

30-04-09 Lost my league game today due to some grave mistakes and in the end i could not recover from them. The next exam we have is on Monday on the Avalanche joseki in a whole. It is just 120 pages to learn and memorize aside from our daily tasks and homework. Gotta hang in there!

12-05-09 I lost to Scott today, an very embarassing loss to. I did not feel well after the game. The good news is that I passed all tests, even those which I had to retake yesterday. Need to train more. Back with Kim Sung-Ryong-sabomnim I learned some important things about my Baduk. My weaknesses are shape and reading ability and there are two ways to fix my problems. Either study and improve my shapes, which is a very hard thing to do, or improve my reading ability and keep the attitude of killing stuff by superior reading.

As a side-note: Kim-sabomnim back when he was fourteen had an intensive professional game training session. He replayed 200 professional games a day up to move 50 to study the opening. Advise was to do it with at least 10000 professional games.

14-05-09 Today not much training happened. Most of us were gone to the beach so I only played one league game and after that had some excercises on Cyberoro. Sometimes when playing there I just cannot understand how unreasonable some players can play there. I just cannot.

15-05-09 This morning I played Kim Sung-Ryong-sabomnim at three handicap stones. Sadly I lost badly due to some mistakes I better should have seen but I was rather light-minded today. Other than that I was out of KBC for most of the day as I had to take some pictures for my China-visa later this month. I got free pizza and icecream!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Training diary

21-04-09 A new Mongolian 3dan is now studying with us. I played with her right after breakfast to see how strong she really was. It turned out to be quite a lot difference between us, I would say maybe two stones now. After that I mainly solved Tsumego and played an league A game which I won. At 15:00 o'clock Kim-sabomnim (the 9p) played a teaching game with me. I won by three points at three handicap stones and ten points reverse komi. It is amazing that my opponent won or lost every game he played with us in the last two days by exactly three points. Way to go for me!

25-04-09 Today's event was a team-match between our school and some older Baduk-players Kingsfield invited to the school. I played two matches. One against and CyberOro 4dan which I won and another match against a CyberOro 5dan which I lost.

29-04-09 Yesterday my scholarship for the next three months has been confirmed. It is such a relief to be able to stay here for at least another three months. There are quite a few things to organize, especially having my parents to agree with my longer stay, but I think that it should be possible. I have been growing stronger and I want to reach the very top now.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Training diary

20-04-09 Today was a rather quiet day, no test or heavy duty tsumego solving. In the morning I played some blitz games with Pavol and did tsumego until lunch, after that some more tsumego and in the end a league game with Klara which I won. Kim Sung Ryong-sabomnim came back to ou school again and played several teaching games. I did not get a game today so I hope I will get one tomorrow. In the evening I played my Cyberoro games very slowly progressing up to 5dan. I should go a little faster I think but I keep making quite some serious errors.

21-04-09 A new Mongolian 3dan is now studying with us. I played with her right after breakfast to see how strong she really was. It turned out to be quite a lot difference between us, I would say maybe two stones now. After that I mainly solved Tsumego and played an league A game which I won. At 15:00 o'clock Kim-sabomnim (the 9p) played a teaching game with me. I won by three points at three handicap stones and ten points reverse komi. It is amazing that my opponent won or lost every game he played with us in the last two days by exactly three points. Way to go for me!

- adorable plum

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Training diary plus photos

18.04.09 There was an unexpected turn of things today as we returned to KBC already Saturday evening but as always the trip to Seoul has been totally inspiring for my Baduk. Despite watching the LG Cup premiliaries live I played 4 games with non-KBC players. I won against Tatu a Finnish 1-2dan at the IBA playing white in a no-komi game and against Pascal from Cannada, a 3dan, in an even game at the IBA where we stayed from Thursday until Friday. On Friday we were visiting a Baduk-English class where actually only high-dan ex-insei attend usually so the median of level there is Korean 7dan or TYGEM 9dan. I got to play an ex-insei at 4 handicap stones and in the end I won by 5 points! This means my current score is: Me 2 - Korean 7dan 0!!! After the game my opponent commented on my play estimating my current level to Korean 4dan. Yay!
On Saturday we visited a Baduk school which is run by a friend of Kim-sabomnim where we played a competition between both schools. Thirteen players vs thirteen players. Sounds like a fair match... but the crux is that every student there, even the elementary school kids are at least Cyberoro 7dan... Needless to say we lost all games but 1 which Gabriel won. He is CyberOro 7dan to. Apparrantly I lost my game to and that by 9,5 points in the end. I could not recover from a blunt mistake giving my opponent a 20 point lead right in the beginning. In the end Kim-sabomnim had to pay the price of our defeat and had to treat all the kids to icecream. We of course asked for a rematch in a couple of weeks!

Here are some more photos I made up to now:

Monday, April 13, 2009

Training diary

13.04.09 Monday has passed. I barely made it for the homework, my head was spinning after the last page but I made it! The test today went well to I think even thought I messed up one variation so I will not get full points it seems. I played two league games today.... both I had easily won but then two oversights let me lose these games. How can I lose such games I keep asking myself.... really annoying.... My CyberOro games are going better these days I have won 16 out of the last 17 games and only a few more wins and I will level-up once more.
Today Kim-sabomnim told us we are leaving for Seoul on Thursday and stay until Sunday. Yay!

- adorable plum

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Training diary

12-04-09 Sunday has been a busily lazy day. I have updated my blog's appeareance and reissued my teaching offers. Other than that I am working on my homework for tomorrow. It consists out of 15 pages in my tesuji-problem book and the study for the test tomorrow. They will be testing the mini-Chinese opening so I have been studying it today. I am a little lucky that before I had a time were I used to play it, so the basics are still here and I only need to refresh. It seems that this week will be intensive mini-Chinese-opening study as the three opening and joseki books we have all have a chapter on that and Kim-sabomnim already told us which things to study.
My CyberOro winning streak was broken today as I lost one game due to some obvious mistakes but I am still going up!

Well then I am off to get my homework done.

- adorable plum

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Short notice

Just a short notice.

I am working on more posts and stuff.

I have been looking into ways to earn money in order to support my stay in Korea. For once I will be asking Kim-sabomnim to help me finding a job as German teacher or as something working for the KBC. Probably tomorrow I will ask him.

The other things are that I installed Google AdSense on my blog, that's why there are ads on the side and bottom of my posts. On the other hand I offer offline game reviews again. Basically you send me a game, I will review it and then send it back.

For more info on that mail me at s.rieche@googlemail.com.

- adorable plum

"All for the money............ hahahaha"

Monday, April 6, 2009

Training diary 2

03-04-09 - 05-04-09 Two and a half day in Seoul. Friday afternoon until Sunday evening. In the morning we studied for the test and after that was written Kim-sabomnim announced that if we wanted could go to Seoul in the afternoon. Needless to say that despite a few exceptions we instantly agreed on going. It was decided that five of us ten who would go could stay at the International Baduk Academy. So naturally our first stop was there. We met a few students of the IBA and a few of their teachers along with Professor Lee Kibong. The others engaged playing or chatting with the other students quite fast my the group I arrived with first set out for dinner first. Up on returning I tried to chat with that one Korean girl who just had finished beating Pedro soundly. After a few minutes of more or less unsuccessful conversatio n in Korean, as she could not speak Korean I asked: "Baduk dubsida?" I challenged her to a game. She, Park Ji Young, 20 years old vs me, same age. After telling me that she was KGS 6dan and others telling me she was really strong we settled on a 2 stone handicap I felt comfortable to win with. However... how fooled I was.
After seeing the most gentle moves I have ever seen, I was left puzzled. Such kind moves and yet I resigned the game.

I had a slow talk with her and another Korean boy after reviewing the game just talking in Baduk which worked much better than trying to do casual conversation. The boy however could speak English quite well so we got along quite well. So I got to know that she very very very rarely plays on KGS and only with other Korean insei. She smilingly told me that she was a star. And indeed she is. One of the famous TYGEM 9dans Jiyoung.... No wonder I was defeated with just a smile. But be asured next time I will win. :)

06-04-09 Monday has passed by now and I practiced more again than in the last days. Tsumego and learning for the test today were primary in the morning hours and after lunch I played 3 league games. Won two and lost one. One of those wins concludes my B league with a result of 7-1 and for now my A league result is 1-2. I need to work on more consistency in my play. In the evening I played my mandatory Cyberoro games which ended in another 2-1 score for today. All in all a good day even though I did not solve enough Tsumego.

- adorable plum

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Start of the training diary

Training diary

02-04-09 Today I played two league games after working on my Tesuji book. I am on page 12 now. I lost both of the games, which I should not have lost. But no excuses a loss is a loss. Mr. Kim gave the usual common mistakes review of our Cyberoro games. There was not much study today because the weather was very good and Mr. Chun and Ilya Shikshin were leaving so we played more Volleysoccer than studying Baduk in the afternoon. In the evening we talked about our personal Baduk in general and what each of us lacks. For myself generally? In short everything and a little bit longer escpecially reading plus talking with the board.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


*Just a short notice about recent happenings apart from my usual articles*

Yesterday Kim-sabomnim updated us about changes and news concerning us and the KBC. He told us that at the end of April they will announce the students who will get a scholarship. About 10 will get a scholarship and thus are enabled to stay longer in Korea to study Baduk. As we are only 15 students currently my chances are good to get a scholarship.

Additionally the most exciting thing however is that those scholarship students will probably become Yeongusaeng (Insei). So we will be participating the Insei-leagues and tournaments. Soooo exciting! Maybe from May on i will be a Yeongusaeng.

- adorable plum

Monday, March 23, 2009

Seoul Part 1

14-15th of March, Seoul: Part 1

As usual we woke at 7.00 am and quickly showered, usually I am first to shower as the other are a little too slow in the morning. More hot water for me! Breakfast is at 8.00 AM and usually we get toast marmelade, kimchi and other stuff accompanied by water, milk and coca cola as drinks. Shortly after that we left for Heongseong to fetch the bus to Seoul. The old men taking care of us were so kind to drive us there. In the small town we had a awful cup of coffee for which we luckily had not to pay. The bus however surprised me it was very comfortable with enough space, even for me. There is not much to say about the 1.5 hours to Seoul. Korea is still a huge constructionsite and our busdriver seemed to be very good as he even took more risks than the previous ones.
In Seoul Mr.Kim awaited us at the main busstation which is approximatly as big as Colognes main trainstation. A lot and I mean an awful lot people were fluttering through the station and streets we passed through. Everything is so colourful and lively and my memories of German towns seem deprived of colour and beauty. It looks like a dream. Three streets further there was a big subway-station. Mr. Kim showed us how to buy a subway-card, which is very comfortable to use. It works like a prepaid card. After buying it first for 9500 Won you have 7000 Won on it to use. It is surpringly easy to use the subway in Seoul. Basically each ride costs 900 Won which is not even half an Euro and after existing an line which is not connected to another line directly in the station the bus-transfer to it is free for 30 minutes. There are several main-lines, which are coloured and named differently which makes navigating easy. Stops are announced in Korean and English and shown on one of the many TV-screens in the subways. Using the subway is like checking in and out at work. You put the subway-card on a field prepared for it and the machine electronically deducts 900 Won from it at lets you pass after that, leaving the line you entered works the same except that it does not cost money. Very easy, smooth and especially inexpensive in contrary to Germany which's system cannot even be explained without writing an bigger essay.
Our first destination was the Hankuk Kiwon, the Korean Baduk Association, as we had a team participating in an amateur team tournament but not before eating lunch in an nice restaurant which served various fish and sushi menus. We had grilled fish and some kind of salad-rice-mix which was flavoured with a red and really spice sauce. The spice is not the problem but have you ever tried to eat a nicely grilled fish with chopsticks? It is hard to even pick up just a tiny bit. The fish was really lucky, if it had not been we would have killed it a couple dozen times. While the waitresses secretly laughed at our primitive attempts to eat our meal, Cho Hye-yeon joined us for a short while, promising to take us out for dinner in the evening.
For those who do not know her. Cho Hye-yeon is an 8dan professional player with an cheerful and kind attitude and perfect English and Japanese. So she is not only very strong at Baduk, probably currently the strongest Korean femal pro, but also talented in languages.
Lunch ended more or less satifying at we finally were going to the Hankuk Kiwon.
The building itself is rather plain but quite big. Greyish in colour and only the sign "Hankuk Kiwon" written in Hangul decorate the front. It is a multistories building with 5-6 stories. In the groundlevel is the reception, the shop and the Baduk TV studios. The 1st floor holds the main playing-room for the Insei and a few smaller rooms which were locked or empty. In the 2nd floor are the mainoffices which I did not see this visit. The 3rd floor has several smaller rooms with TV's and boards to play on for those who want to observe high-level matches in the titel-match room. 4-6th floor are professional-area with their main-playing and study rooms.
After arriving our attention immediatly fell on the tiny shop of the Hankuk Kiwon. It is stuffed with hundreds of books and magazines. There is just place for 2-3 persons to stand in and if you are not observing closely the shopkeeper is not even visible behind all the books. But for now we had not the time to dive and see through all the material there, we had to go to the opening ceremony of the tournament. It is rather boring to look like you are attentivly listening to the speeches even if the host was a very attractive woman in a shining red uniform consisting out of a blazer and a short skirt. Soon after the tournament started but sadly I was not strong enough to play for KBC so I just watched a few minutes and then intended to browse through what the shop had to offer but Mr. Kim had already other plans and was trying to organize a few professionals to play a teaching game with the lot of us who were not playing in the tournament but they would not do that free of charge of course so that idea was cut out fast. Mr. Kim was not out of ideas though and found five amateur players to play a friendly game with five of us. I was fast enough to raise my hand and thus allowed to play. Here I for the first time would have needed one of those cards which display your name and telefon number. I might have disappointed my opponent a little because I did not have one. I had to place a three stone handicap and we started to play. I had a solid game and was leading throughout the whole game but my opponent was not overplaying and still steadily was catching up little by little as I failed to kill his dumpling but at three stones such a thing is not game deciding. In the endgame I was leading by about 15 points and played an bad endgame move which should have given me 2 more points but I oversaw on thing and swiftly the strike came and killed half of my group and this I lost. It was close but no way to win anymore so I resigned. After a discussion of the game I asked him about his level of play and he said he is a Korean 5dan. Quite surprising as I deemed myself not so far away from his level of play. (Was he just kind?) Anyways our teams one female and one male team continued to get beaten or win one or two games while I finally found the time to wander through the building and buy some books. Mr. Kim helped me to choose a few and the shopkeeper swiftly supplied me with more similiar books. Additionally to those problem books I bought I bought some pocket-books for inseis which contain some easy and in higher volumes very hard and even harder problems. All in all I bought 11 books for just 68000 Won, very very cheap compared to the shops one usually buys in and the sortiment is much bigger than anything I have ever seen.
Meanwhile Cho-sabomnim (Cho Hye-yeon) joined us again after her meeting with a publisher. She wrote a problem book named "Creative Life and Death problems" which should be published in the next week. It ranges from simple dan-level problems up to cracking hard professional-level problems, so if you want challenge go and get that book. I am sure I will!
I returned into the main-playing room shortly after purchasing my books and suddenly was halted by Kim-sabomnim who shoved me to a Korean person I at first did not recognize but then I remembered it was the 5dan I played just an hour ago. He babbled some stuff on Korean, which of course I did not understand at all, until he muttered something like "Pro ku-dan" while pointing at a person in the room. He then pulled out a book out of his bag and gave it to me, signaling me to open it. It contained signature in Korean which dated back to 2005 and besides it was the photo of the professional who just stood a few meters away. "Well...?" I thought a bit puzzled as I did not know what to do or to say but the 5dan somehow made it clear the the book was a gift from him to me. A pretty cool gift I must say, not only is it signed by 9dan professional but also is a book about trickplays which I have been struggling with in the last days.

Perfect book! With signature! Hehe how lucky I am. :)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

First days


Today two more students arrived in the morning and at breakfast-time they were introduced to us. For breakfast we had toast with strawberry-marmalade and milk, very western. It seems they are going easy on us food-wise.
Until 10.00 a.m. we had free time and visited the convienience store near by, however it was quickly was labelled nano-market as it was a really tiny and very lonely store. (I need to take photos of it.) A small selection of every daily-need items is offered so it suits our need as we get to visit Seoul soon enough.
Finally at 10.00 a.m. the "Welcoming ceremony" was held, the headmaster, the director of the hankuk kiwon, and the director of Kings Field held a speech each and our teachers were introduced. Kim Sung-Rae 4p our headteacher and headmaster, Kim Sung Ryong 9p a former titleholder and Hong Seul-ki 7dan a former insei will teach us from now on. Diana Koszegi is still in Europe and another 5dan teacher is busy in Seoul collecting another few students.
My speech went well and soon after the ceremony was over. The TV channel "KBS", which recorded everything, requested the 9p to play a simul game and that was my chance to play a professional for the first time in Korea. Needless to say that I lost easily on 5 handicap stones by 6 points. The review was very interesting even though the teacher does not speak English yet but Baduk players understand each other easily on the board though.
The daily routine started today with after breakfast studying Baduk problems and the starting our weekly league games. There are three leagues, A B and C, we play each opponent twice in one week and the best move up and the last move down. I am currently in league B and surely planning to move up next week of course.
After lunch our league games continued as the game reviews of them by our teachers. Then more study and finally around 17.00 pm the first language class. It taught us the basic Baduk terms we need for our visit in Seoul next weekend.
Except the occasional visits of the Korean TV reporters who eagerly questioned us and who will put us on nation-wide broadcast sometime next week.

The story about Seoul will follow later.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Photo update

Today only a short post to link all the photos i have made so far.


I have been busy cramming for the daily tests we are writing. Today is large avalanche and failing is not permitted! Gotta hurry to study it some more...

- adorable plum

Monday, March 9, 2009

Adventures in Kimchi-land 1

Adventures in Kimchi-land

Today I arrived 12.15 pm at the Incheon Airport in Korea, no special things happened on the flight. I talked with an Austrian who got interested in trying Baduk after I told him about my journey, so he gave me his card so I could contact him again. 10 hours and 15 minutes it took me to arrive in Korea and I was glad to be there. At first the jet-lag was not that bad but it got worse later. Mr. Hong Seul-ki awaited me with 6 other students at the exit-gate so it did not take long to find him after I passed the immigration-matters.
There were one Slovenian, one from Portugal, one from Czech Repulbic, two from Italia and another one from Peru i guess. And after we found the the three lost people even three Thais. Kingsbaduk had rented a small bus for us to get to Hoenggeosong (still can't spell it...).
so with 9 people we made our way slowly trough the Korean mountains. It seems that Korea in winter is a very dry wasteland as there is not much green or other colour than yellow-brownish prominent but what really strikes the eyes is that on every end, every small space, town or road there is building in progress. The whole of Korea is one building and constructionsite, everywhere even on a Sunday workes busily build streets, houses and other things. Even here at the academy there is building in progress, the academy seems not completly finished yet and the streets and bridges, houses around here all seem to be in a state of being renovated, newly build or planed.
Another cool thing is traffic in Korea. They for the high-way have a toll-system where you have to pay in order to go on. The streets on the other side are poorly maintained or evily planed. Every few minutes there is a bump in the road which shakes the car so that you can easily hit your head on the car if you do not watch out. We learned that rather quickly but I cannot ward of the feeling that those "badly" build roads are perfectly planed for that use.
What is missing when talking about traffic? Of course a trafficjam! And just 10 minutes from leaving the toll-gate of Incheon we hit one right on the head but wait trafficjams seem different here. Not stop'n'go as we know rather a smooth snail-like steady pace throughout the complete thing! I do not know if it was pleasant or not, as I was too busy taking all that input.
German drivers beware of Korea though, even if they have the same directions as we do, they are completly different. You drive there where you want at the pace you want, only switching the paths if there is someone as stubborn as you and slower than you. In the mountains, driving hard serpentines, small vehicles will try to overturn you at a incredible high-paces. Suicide you think? I do not think they think so.
Do Koreans love high cramped places? It seems so, everywhere on the way to KBC there were German Democratic Republic-style concrete building in process. All the very same, all everywhere grouping themselves together as close as they can. It looks interesting indeed A funny country it is, might have fallen in love with its uniqueness to me. Completly different than Germany.
At the KBC I am sharing a wooden log with two other students, Pedro and Gabriel. Pedro from Portugal and Gabriel from Peru, both nice and friendly guys. I think we will get along nicely
The log is really comfortable. It looks cute and adorable, cuddling with the mountains and the other logs. It has a bath, a kitchen and best of all a ground-heating. Soooo cozy!
Our TV swiftly was programmed and now air SkyBaduk as long as it runs. Even now while I am writing my diary here we have it turned it on. True, Gabriel already is sleeping and Pedro is writing his own diary, but we have it in the background. We probably all are quite tired and exhausted because of the flights and the jet-lag. Just two and half hours ago our teacher Hong Seul-ki gathered us in his log to play a Rengo with us. "Three vs three"we played and I had Seul-ki on my team. Seul-ki is his sur-name and he told us to call him like that and to view him as a friend and mentor rather than a real teacher. Also he told us that in Germany people always called him by his last name "Hong" because it was easier for them. But he did not like it that much he prefers Seul-ki and so we try to call him now, even though we still fail...
The game itself was funny, from 5kyu to 4dan our strengths are distributed and I made the game fail for my side as I kept napping of while waiting for my next turn. Luckily the others where not angry at me because they all are sleepy to. Seul-ki shortly reviewed the game and then dismissed our study-meeting for today. Next time we will bring snacks and beverages to spicy up the nice atmosphere even more. Just as we wanted to leave he called me though. Now I have to hold a speech at the opening ceremony now. Got to thank the sponsors and teachers for taking us in and saying how nice everything is. I wonder how I should say it. Now it is nearly 0.00 pm and soon I will fall asleep as I am so tired I even start to talk German to my room-mates.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

My journey to Kimchi-land 3

Just 3 days left. I will leave Saturday 17.55 pm from Germany. I am packing my things, buying the still needed things and getting more and more excited as the time goes by.

So far everything is organized and settled and soon there will be the first pictures from Korea.

A little info for you guys:

There will be 15 foreign students and a few Korean students. Additionally Mr. Kim told me that the weather around this time in the Korean mountains.
And the coolest thing of all is we will get school-uniforms. That truly will be fun I guess as I never was required to wear something like that before.

- adorable plum

Thursday, February 5, 2009

My journey to Kimchi-land 2


Five days have passed and a lot of things have happened again. Originally the plan was to take the flight on the 28th of February but due to some changes of Mr. Kim it now takes of on the 7th of March and last up to the 29th of May. I cannot wait! Those who know me on KGS probably already have seen me counting the days, hours and minutes..

A few days ago I provided another player with all the info about Kingsbaduk and the special event, he probably should have send his application already by now or it will be too late. I hope he will get invited because the more players come and study there the stronger we all can become!

My to do list:

- book the flights
- issue my formal application (done and approved)
- get the appropriate passport (ordered)
- get the need vaccination (my arm hurts!!!)
- crash course in Korean
- cancel one appointment left at university for march (don even if i got to work 5 hours extra for that)
- finish three essays left for university in February
- buy a low-budget digital camera
- at least learn how to make tea ( instant-tea does not taste so bad at all)
- board the airplane on the 7th of March

Friday, January 30, 2009

My journey to Kimchi-land 1

My journey to Kimchi-land


So this is the start of my journey to Kimchi-land, well it started a few days ago and ever since it was a series of ecstasy and disappointment but today my estimated success rate finally reached 75%. Three days ago the German national mailing-list distributed a message from Kingsbaduk. A company dedicated to start a Go school in a serious manner, actually they will give out 10 scholarships for aspiring western players who want to be professional players. They if accepted will study at least five years as scholarship students in the Kingsbaduk Academy. But first of all Kingsbaduk offers a three months special event! Three months studying there for free with only two conditions:

- must be under 30 years old

- must be at least 10 kyu

Luckily I fulfill these conditions. So I decided to go there, in contrast to studying Baduk there by normal means it saves about 1500€ at least for now.

My first success: my parents agree with me that I should go and see if I like studying Baduk seriously. Yay!

My to do list:

- book the flights

- issue my formal application

- get the appropriate passport

- get the need vaccination

- crash course in Korean!!!

- cancel one appointment left at university for march

- finish three essays left for university in february

- buy a low-budget digital camera

- at least learn how to make tea

- take the airplane on the 28th of February

Well I think that is all I can think of for now. Tomorrow I'll get the photos for the passport and then promptly will try to get the passport.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Losing equals improving?

Lately due to a sudden surge of motivation I have been practicing a lot more but ever since I have started to lose even more games than before, that is kind of strange. My teacher told me that I am improving so I am content with what I am doing and I am practicing more and more every day!

Next weekend I can, thanks to one of my students, attend to a real tournament in Bonn which excites me to no end. Basically I am hoping up and down the floors these days. A tournament with six rounds to play, six times I will have an opponent who will try everything to make me lose. This kindles a lovely exciting feeling in my chest. I want to win those games no matter what! There is none but one sad backside of a real tournament, always when returning I tend to become melancholic about leaving the place where I had so good games and my inevitable return home where online Baduk is the only option left for me. A few days later I will be fine again though.

On a side note, despite my blitz-nature in online games I like to draw out the games in reality as long as possible, making them as complicated as possible. Perhaps to enjoy the games for the longest time possible?

So what is left to tell for today? ... Ah yes...

Japan is not as closed as it is perceived for foreigners in matters of Igo. Currently through the efforts of Chizu Kobayashi three German speaking insei study in Japan. One German 3dan and two austrian players, from whom I don't know the ranks. From investigating the issue a little I have a small intelligence on what the probable cost for studying as insei is currently.

Lodging is about 400-500€/month in a small 8m^2 room in Tokyo plus about 200€/month for food plus an unknown amount of money needed for other stuff neccesary. So in conclusion studying as insei in Japan, assuming the tution as insei is for free, amounts to at least 800€/month. Quite expensive if you ask me, but Tokyo seems always expensive.

Additionally you will have to be quite young to be invited to study as insei, 15-25 as maximum?

I myself study shapes and tsumego for now, got to improve a bit to make a 3dan promotion next weekend!!!

- adorable plum

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


It has been three days since I returned from my first tournament in quite some time. I promoted to German 2dan now. I had so much fun there so I was quite sad when I returned home sunday evening. Online games just cannot produce the same exciting feeling in my chest as games on a real board. I loathed for all those games that weekend and just all the time I had to play. :)

I might post a few sgf's later. This is a little short but it cannot be helped.

PS.: I found out that there is currently a German 3dan studying as insei in Japan.