I like to play pair go at the congress. Women are at a premium at the congress and never have a problem finding a partner. I could go without a plan and easily find a partner and have a good time.
However, I wanted to make a good choice in advance, so I asked the advice of my long time teacher Yilun Yang. During our lesson on Thursday I asked him if he thought it would be better for me to seek a partner of my own strength or if I should seek a stronger partner. His advice was to seek someone a little stronger than myself.
I know someone from the DC area who I have played a few times at tournaments because we have been progressing/stagnating at the same pace for a little while. Recently he rose to 7k and hopes to feel strong enough to promote to 6k for the tournament. That puts him at just the right level for me. I suggested this to Yang and he said that a couple stones higher will be good, and that I may even play better than him sometimes. I assured Yang that my potential partner had read "The Fundamental Principles of Go", so he "knows something" as I put it. Yang thought it was great that we would have a common foundation.
Last night we talked online and I asked him if he would be my pair go partner and he agreed. Even before he knew I was coming to the congress he had asked if I was interested in some slow games for analysis with his teacher as he prepares for the congress.
When he said that he might not be good at pair go, having never played it before, I assured him that the important thing is to have fun. I think we will try to play some rengo games on KGS so he gets an idea of what it feels like to lose control of the game. I think that is the most important thing to know about pair go. That, and the fact that it is sudden death, so you have to watch your time, and you have little time to read because you can't depend on byo yomi at the end.
I'm getting excited.