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Playing Go in Hanoi

Go, also called Baduk or Weiqi, is not a big deal in Vietnam the way it is in Korea, Japan or China. When I asked a few people about the game, they were unfamiliar with it. A search online revealed there were Go clubs in town, though I found figuring out details was challenging, as it seemed most useful information was in Vietnamese. I turned to my hotel’s manager, who was unfamiliar with the game but promised to look into it. Off I went for dinner and upon my return, he handed me a piece of paper with the name and location of a cafe and some times. The club was meeting last evening, so I made the 20 minute walk sorh and looked for the cafe.

There was indeed a cafe there, but with a different name than the one I was given. It was up a flight of stairs. I asked the fellow working there if this was where people played Go. He clearly did not understand me, but I heard a voice chime YES from a room in the back.

There were some very strong players there who could eat me for breakfast, as the saying goes. Although I lost both games I played, the players kindly reviewed the games for me, playing them back from memory. They went through alternative lines of play with me, suggesting alternatives to some of the moves I made which would have improved my game.

The group was happy to have a foreigner visit and said I was welcome to return back on Tuesday evening, which is the night before I fly out. I hope to be there!


  1. vox kadavergehorsamkeit

    i take it the photo is from the first game and the next move is yours. Interesting how white has done so well in the bottom right corner. It certainly isn’t a pattern we play through in our games. With it being your move (if i am correct — cannot see if there are any captured stones or know for certain that this was the first game) as i see it, did you make a big extension from your top left corner stone or try and find a position between his opposing walls along the right side?

    • I believe I made an extension on the left. He probed my top left corner, then made a move separating my extension from the corner, using the probe to force me to play on the corner side, gaining another move to attack my extension stone from underneath it. I didn’t handle it well and it got ugly pretty quickly. Also at some point He made a one space junm drop-down from his isolated stone in the top right area. I made a contact play against the top one, then a tiger-mouth to connect up to my 4-10 stone. This was poor. It didn’t give me enough profit and he took sente with tenuki. I have to stop making slow moves.

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