Thursday, February 25, 2010


First off kudos to Jeff on the new logo for the site. He worked his magic and it came out REALLY nice, so a thumbs up to him. Until next week thursday I don't have any kindergarten classes and my birthday is a national holiday in Korea (how's that for luck?), meaning I don't have to be at work until 2:40 in the afternoon. The reason for that is the old kindergarten classes have graduated and the new kindergartners are coming in. In order to mark this auspicious occasion we had our very long graduation ceremony today with all the trimmings.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Today's Lesson

So I met my teacher Mr. O today (Yes, his last name is a letter of the alphabet) at a nearby go club and we played a teaching game as usual. I've found my play has gotten a lot less aggressive since I have to play little children all the time. Little children tend to overplay a lot and do not stop until all of your stones are dead, so in response I developed a style that is fairly solid and waits for the right moment to strike back when they play a move that just plain doesn't work. The problem is I stopped seeing the ultra-aggressive moves that were the hallmark of my Go style, so I miss golden opportunities to strike back.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


First watch this:


So, the dubbing is a little iffy but it gets the point across. Recently I entered into an agreement with a friend of mine, where we would play 10 games of Go each week until the big Go tournament back home in the U.S. which is at the end of summer. Should one of us not manage to do this we will have to pay $50 for each infringement. And by pay, I mean our conversation when I get back home will begin with:

(Jon gives Eric $50)
Hi Eric!
Hi Jon!


Monday, February 15, 2010

Getting started

Well getting this blog started was surprisingly easy, I was prepared for an entire day of aggravation but instead I got up and running within minutes!

Thanks for checking my blog out. My name is Jonathan Hop and I am currently studying Go (also known as Baduk and Weiqi) in Suji, South Korea at the Yu Changhyuk Baduk Dojang, a place where young children work to become professional players. That's right, I am another person starting a blog about Korea, but before you run screaming for the hills, I'm a bit different...

A. I did not name this blog revolving around puns using the word "Seoul", for instance "Heart and Seoul" or "Seoul Mate". They make me gag.

B. This blog is less about my escapades as an English teacher and more about how I train myself to get stronger at a game I love.

C. While Go enthusiasts will probably go for this more than the uninitiated I also think that it'll be interesting for those who don't understand how to play Go but want to know more about the lifestyle and world of the people who play.

Anyway, things you can expect in the future -

For Go types:
Games that I play versus the Yongusaengs (the children studying to become pro) with some of my own commentary and commentary from my teacher Yi Jae Il (8d on Tygem) as well as some of my teaching games versus Kim Sunmi 2p. I always keep my eye out for new patterns, sequences, and moves so you can also expect that in posts to come. I'll also try to keep my study guide up to date to show you what pro games I'm reviewing, what problems I'm doing, and if I encounter anything cool on Tygem.

For Non-Go types:
Cultural stuff and all the flowery goodness you can stand. Actually studying Go has been pretty rough and it's forced me to learn a lot about myself and competition. I also find the story of the people who learn to become professional to be pretty interesting.

It'll be fun so stay tuned.