How to Prepare for a Go Tournament?

There can be various goals while attending Go tournaments. Even though your first thought might be to consider winning as the only important reason for playing in a tournament, it’s also possible to visit tournaments to study Go, to meet friends and to party.

If you have a Go-related business, then your goal might be meeting your potential customers/employees/investors. And if you are an organizer, referee or a member of an organizing team of a tournament your goal might be to promote the game of Go this way or to simply earn some money.

Winning in a Go tournament

When your goal is to win a tournament (or e.g. reach top places in your category), it might be dangerous for you to go to party with some other participants (their goal might be to meet friends and to party).

Instead, you can consider going to sleep earlier and trying to sleep well.
If you live far from the tournament’s venue, you can try to come a day before the tournament (to be able to rest after the journey).

And if you go really far away and e.g. travel at night, change several time zones and/or go to a very different country, it might be valuable for you to arrive a few days before the start of the tournament. A reason is that it will be easier for you to get used to another time zone.

Another reason is that you should be able to get used to the local food. Getting diarrhea and sitting in a toilet when your time is running during your tournament’s game isn’t so comfortable and nowadays (when the machines are already stronger than human players), you might be even accused of cheating in your game.

Staying a few additional days in another place might be quite expensive, so you can also ask an organizer of the tournament if there are any local players who could host you at their homes during that time. Maybe you will find someone this way and you won’t need to spend too much for accommodation.

During the playing days better not to open your e-mail and any social media. If your goal is to win in a tournament, the tournament should be your focus at that time.
If you really need to check your e-mail every day and write back on some messages, better to check it only once a day (after you played all of your games), write back on everything you need to write back, and then forget about your mailbox and social media till the end of your next day’s games.

Before the games it’s recommended not to eat too much and not to eat too heavy food, so that your organism doesn’t need to spend extra energy for processing food (better if the energy can be spent for thinking during your games).

If you don’t know if there is going to be anything to drink at the tournament’s venue, better to organize some water for yourself before the games. You should be well hydrated while playing, so that your brain can think well (and also think about your game, instead of water). However, at the same time you shouldn’t drink too much, so that you don’t need to go to toilet too many times when your time is running out.

To try to calm down, breath fresher air and concentrate before your games, you can e.g. have a walk in a forest or park (if there are any next to the tournament’s venue).
Other way to calm down and concentrate can be e.g. a meditation or a prayer.

Your Go training before or during the tournaments might vary and better if you ask your Go teacher to prepare a special training system for you for your tournaments.

Studying at a Go tournament

When your main goal is not to win, but to improve during a tournament, you can behave “normally” instead of following the guidelines above.

If you can’t memorize your games yet, don’t forget to bring kifu and something to write with you to the playing room.

After each game feel free to ask your opponent if they would like to review the just finished game. On some tournaments you can find some teachers who offer live game reviews, so you can go with (or without) your opponent to such a teacher and get a review of your game.

On some tournaments you can also e.g. play in simultaneous games with professional players and take active part in some lectures. And of course you can also watch the top players’ games.

Meeting friends and partying at a Go tournament

On almost every tournament you will find some groups of people who play Go only for fun, who like to party with other Go players and who don’t care much about winning or improving.

After playing all the games from the main tournament, you can find some Go players playing also some other board games or sports.

Some participants can also go to pubs where they play some other variants of Go, e.g. pair Go or rengo.

On some tournaments you might be even able to join some crazy events like playing Go and getting extra points for drinking beers or shots… On the next day you can usually easily notice who participated in such events 😉

Getting financial benefits from Go tournaments

If you would you like to have a job connected with Go and you see some Go-related businesses at a tournament, why not telling those people how you could help them or what you can do and if they could have a job for you?

You can also try to become a referee and/or an organizer of a Go tournament and try to earn some money from it.