By Edward Wang (age 10)
Ahhhh... lightning, I am playing Go with lightning! No, that's not what Lightning Go is all about. If fact, it is about an ancient board game called Go and the sound of BEEP, BEEP, BEEP (that’s the chess clock beeping if you haven’t figured it out). On Saturday March 14, my brother and I went to The Golden Key Cultural Center for a Lightning Go Tournament.
For people who don't know what Go is, here are some things you might want to know. Go is a two-player strategic board game like chess. The earliest written reference to the game is generally recognized as the Zuo Zhuan. It said something that seemed like a Go event happened in 548 BC. Also, Go is mentioned in the book of XVII of the analects of Confucius. Above that, Go was known as yì. Now, in Chinese, Go is known as Weiqi (Wei-chí). And literally means “encirclement board game.” Go was originally played on a 17×17 board but by the Tang Dynasty, 19×19 board became the standard, up until today. Go was first seen in Zhou Dynasty and has been active since. Later, the coolest form of Go-- Lightning Go -- was made. Lightning Go is just like regular Go, but it is a game rely on speed. A regular Go game in a tournament can take up to 1 hour to a whole day to finish, but in Lightning Go, each player only gets 15 minutes. So the game finishes in 30 minutes.
“I always wanted a Lightning Go Tournament to be held, it's the most fun form of Go I ever played. And even though I had to travel one and a half hour to get here,” said Matt Mennie, a Lightning Go tournament participant.
Lightning Go is awesome, maybe you can try too. Go is an easy game to start learning, you can start at as young as 3 years old. . How many times have I played lightning Go? Once, that's right, only this once. And I really liked it because I get to think faster for each move.
“The most challenging thing about Go is that you really want to play well, you have to spend a lot of time and I did that when I was younger,” said Dix Sandbeck, another lightning go participant who started playing since 1975. I have to say I agree with him because I played go for four years and it's still very challenging even if I practice regularly.
At the tournament, three higher level Go players also gave lectures. My Go teacher, Louis Liu, gave a lecture first, and Mingsung Suh, a former Korean Go Institute Student gave a lecture on currently famous Joseki (game opening). Then near the end, James Sedgwick, the president of Canadian Go Association gave a lecture too.
The winner of the tournament with five wins is …Mingsung Suh. I personally won three games which I thought it was pretty good for my first time playing lightning Go. After the Lightning Go Tournament, I felt more confident for my tomorrow’s Children’s Go Tournament, where I have to compete with other children to earn a certificate for my next level.
“I want to keep on playing Go, because I want to get better and I really enjoy playing it,” says, Liam Hinzman, the Champion of the Children’s Go Tournament. I feel the same about Go and I was happy to be raised to 7K.
Now, I have to go back to playing Lightning Go. Ahhhh...I am running out of time!