Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Had Fun At The Jennie Shen Workshop

We had a good workshop last weekend with Jennie Shen at the University of Pennsylvania.   I played three even games with players very near my own strength.   The B group had a concentration of players in the 10k through 8k range.     

Jennie provided good analysis that went deep into the middle game fighting.  I found it very interesting watching not only the B analysis (my own group), but also catching the tail end of the A analysis when I was lucky enough to conclude one of my games early on with a resignation, my own, of course.  :-)

I was very pleased to have the time to sit in on the A analysis while my peers were laboring to conclude their own games in the next room.   I can never understand the desire to finish workshop games which are probably only going to make it to move 100 in analysis, although Jennie went deeper into the game than I am accustomed at workshops.

We all were able to see the A analysis on the final day since it made little sense for B players to play a game with each other that would not see analysis while a pro was in the next room.  I don't think anyone in the B group opted to play rather than watch A analysis.

I also found it a contrast to what I am accustomed to that handicap was used in the games.  At Yang workshops games tend to be even regardless of the disparity in rating in order to allow for more natural opening play for analysis.  That makes sense given Yang's emphasis on opening theory.   In contrast Jennie seemed more interested in getting to the very late opening and early middle game.  She mentioned a part of the game that we, in English, do not even have a name for: the part which is actually between what we call the opening and what we call the middle game.   She told us the name for it in Chinese, but I didn't quite catch it.  Maybe we need another go word in English.   I imagine there is no word for it in Japanese either, because if there were we English players would undoubtedly be aware of it, and using the word as our own, as we do so many other Japanese terms.

Jennie informed us that you can't lose the game in the first sixteen moves, but when a strong player interpreted that to mean that she did not think the opening was important, she was careful to correct him on that.  The opening isn't unimportant, you just can't lose in the first sixteen moves, barring a very unusual situation.

I got to see some players at the workshop that I had played in previous tournaments, and I got to meet some new people too.   One of the highlights of the weekend was our trip to Chinatown for a nice dinner.   I was in the same car with NannyOgg from KGS who had come down from New Hampshire in a rental car.  Through failure to observe on all our parts that car was impounded that night.  When we walked back from dinner we could not find the car and confirmed with a passing police officer that it had been towed.  The four of us from that car, including Jennie, got an exciting and lengthy trip to the impound lot to reclaim the vehicle.   Jennie characterized it the next day as a super tesuji.  

1 comment:

NannyOgg said...

Ah, good , you posted. I am still in the middle of my life's quicksand and think I won't be able to post today, maybe late tonight.

It indeed was a wonderful workshop and what adventure we did have! I especially loved the barbed wire, which did not come out as well as I wanted on the pic, but i'll point it out anyway.

Glad I could attend with all you guys, and great post!