The Go school we CEGO-scholars are attending is housed at two different places: the main school building with the first ten classes and another school building with the lower classes, which we call kindergarden, since there are almost only small kids in this school, but the level of these kids is already quite high and so it’s not surprising, that several of us need to go to kindergarden too, that is Kim, Valerij and me, Johannes and for half of the time also Grischa and Timur had a short visit to kindergarden, too.
The kindergarden has some nice features: taking the loud and sometimes annoying kids aside, there is quite good lunch and dinner in the school. There are normal western style toilets and there is even Wifi in the kindergarden.
Our daily schedule is quite a lot of fun: it usually starts around 7:30 with the extremely difficult task of leaving our beds. (more details about that later). The kindergarden is bit far, and therefore we meet at 8:00 to get the school bus. Of course our lectures start with a one hour tsumego test in the morning, followed by the first league game. Then the 2 hour lunch break and in the afternoon the second game. In the evening we have usually some lectures about fuseki or yose or other stuff followed by 2 hours of game reviews. In the meantime we are supposed to correct the tsumegos of the morning session, but since there is almost no spare time I guess the best would to have less mistakes in the tests. The day ends at 9 pm. Fortunately we have no 13h day on weekends, but only some hours of blitz games and self study.
Every month there is a big tournament for all students of the school, which decides about the groups we are playing in, and we all of course aim to got to the kindergarden, as mentioned advantages are supercool. But every now and then we visit tournaments (see the tournaments report). Thus, even though the working load is quite demanding, we experinece a lot of great experiences.
Getting up in the morning is an extremely difficult task for some of us. Especially Tanguy and Ali seem to enjoy their bed so much, that they’d rather never get out of it. Luckily they have more time in the morning since they are going to the big school. The big school is nearby our apartment but we kindergarden-students need to go by bus and thus, leave half an our earlier. That is probably the main reason for Tanguy not descending to a kindergarden group.
Valerij, for some reason, sometimes puts his alarm clock on 6 am. Luckily for us, he wakes up, and jumps out of the higher part of his loft bed producing an earthquake for Grischa who is sleeping in the lower part. He turns of the alarm clock and continues sleeping until I wake him up at 7:30. The reasons for this procedure are not really clear to me, however, surprisingly some earthquakes in the morning doesn’t seem to bother Grischa. I am getting up quite early anyway since I need to eat breakfast, the others appearently do not. Sometimes, Kim, Timur and Valerij also succeed to get up early enough to eat something.
The first weeks, we were living in an appartment right next to the big school. However later, we moved to another flat. I, personally, like our second appartment better, although it is a 15 minutes walk to the school: We have a huge living room, even with some kind of balcony. Since it is a completely newly rented flat, there were almost no facilities at the beginning. However, after some time we got a WIFI connection, a fridge and something we can use as chairs. Even all the problems dealing with no electricity, no water, no gas, down falling floor tiles, lath floors not strong enough holding a person sitting on the bed, we solved eventually with the untiringly help of our special assistant Liang Zhijie. However, sometimes we felt like being in a reality show: Find the gas and electricity cards in the trash and give the number to your special assistant if you want a hot shower. However, then after months of hard work convincing CEGO to buy us a sofa, we finally have a lovely and comfortable home. Tanguy is always anxious to make it even nicer with arty decorations. We bought some stuff for the kitchen and made pancakes which is one of our main food resources now. Another main food resource are sunflower seeds and a tremendous amount of sunflower seed shells is beautifully decorating our floor.
Beside the numerous league and tournament games we play regularly in our school in Beijing, we also participated in several big tournaments. The first tournament we all participated was in Huai’an, a city 300 km northwest from Beijing. The tournament was very nice but, unfortunately, the city not very lovely. We felt a little like in a zoo since everybody on the streets were starring at us as if they never saw a foreigner before. Moreover the hotels internet connection was hopelessly overloaded. But at least that made us spending the evenings together playing cards or reviewing the games from the day. As usual, in these kind of tournaments none of us was able to compete for the top places but at the end, most of us had an even result with 6:7 wins.
We did better in a small team tournament at Qinghua university in Beijing. Probably because we had the chance to win an air cleaner. We won that tournament and since the air pollution in Beijing becomes worse and worse, our air cleaner has an important job. Moreover, we are arming ourselves with funny looking gauze masks.
Probably the biggest tournament we played here so far, was the tournament in Xi’an. A detailed report can be found on the website
By far the most beautiful tournament was on Hailing island, which we called ocean tournament because it was on a small island south of China directly at the sea. Since it was an amateur tournament only Tanguy, Grischa, Kim, Valerij and me went there. Tanguy won all his 5 games and became first in his group, and won a lot of glory. He was a bit disappointed about this glory, expecting 30.000 RMB price money for the first place, as I had told him before. Later we found out, that I understood the chinese tournament rules correctly, but unfortunately had read the rules for another tournament. On the other hand, Grischa was relieved after I told him he did not through away a lot of money after his unnecessary loss in the fourth round.
Even without price money, this was a very nice tournament. Beside the perfect beach and 20 degrees in December, another highlight were the A League games that were played here, giving us the chance to meet players like Lee Sedol.
Some information on Sensei's Library