Sunday I paid my first visit to the Montogomery Go Club, which meets at the Barnes & Noble Bookstore in Montgomeryville, Pennsylvania. I wasn't sure if they would have extra go boards so I brought a really light weight set with me. It consists of a set of 6 mm stones in fabric pouches I had bought at a Go Congress and a leather 19 x 19 board which was part of a set I bought from Samarkand. (I have since discarded the bags that came with the set since I prefer the fabric bags.)
This was the first time I played Go across the board in six or seven years except for AGA tournament games. I forgot how much fun it can be, and I intend to do it again soon. Since my mother lives near the club I can combine an overnight visit with my mother with a few games at the club. That is definitely a dual purpose move.
I played two very close games. One of them was an even game that I won by resignation after I managed to set up a double atari. The other game was with an AGA 3 kyu. He had never played on leather before so we used my board. I took six stones and lost that game by 6.5 after getting caught in a shortage of liberties. Before that I was ahead by about five points. So it was a really good game. Since Sunday I have spoken with my 3 kyu opponent online in the Wings Go Club room on KGS a few times and have interested him in playing in the Wings Go Club monthly leagues.
The thing I really enjoyed about playing face to face is that the games stayed with me in a way that online games don't seem to do. I found myself thinking about them over and over again over the course of the next couple of days. It may have been the novelty of it, but it sure felt good.