Three WAGC participants explain how they started playing go.
Andrés Aguilar (Ecuador, 1 dan):
My adventures with go began 11 years ago. At high school I founded the first anime club in Ecuador. With the support of the government and Japanese Embassy (amongst others), this grew into a thriving cultural exchange group, gathering many resources and exhibiting them across the country. During these activities I met many people interested in Japanese culture, and one of them invited me to go along to a summer class introducing the game of go. I have been working very hard for the last four years to qualify for the WAGC and am very happy to be here. I am always comparing go to life, seeing the parallels with decision making and the emergence of great complications from the most basic of elements.
Krzysztof Giedrojć (Poland, 4 dan):
Krzysztof’s choice to learn go could be compared to buying clothes from a catalogue. Flicking through a book of 60 board games, from backgammon to Chinese chess, it was go that stood out as the one to try. Since then he has become a professional go teacher and enjoys watching the gradual improvement of his students, one point at a time. “A tournament is a different matter though. A half-point loss is just a loss. In teaching, everything is white, but in a tournament… black and white.”
Aleksandar Savchovski (Bulgaria, 1 dan):
My first encounter with go was not long after I learned to talk. At the age of four my father introduced me to the game. That was the last I heard of go for a long while. In the meanwhile I found a job in Sofia as a game developer, and since then have been enjoying creating historical and action games. It was at work many years later that I saw two colleagues playing go, reminding me of my first encounter many years back. Since then I have been active both online and over the board.
– John Richardson; photos John Pinkerton