American Go E-Journal

5 MINUTES WITH: The Harwit Twins

Thursday August 5, 2010

Twin brothers Matthew and Nathan Harwit finish each other’s sentences, are virtually the same strength and are hardly ever seen apart but they’re quick to tell you that Matthew’s the older one. “Two minutes,” the twelve-year-olds say together. Matthew’s 4d and Nathan is 3d but they both agree they’re very close in strength and indeed Nathan won when the two were paired in Tuesday’s third round of the North American Ing Masters tournament. They’ve only been playing a couple years, learning the game after seeing it played at a chess tournament at their elementary school in Boulder, Colorado. “We thought it was cool,” says Matthew, “and the go players were friends of our mother,” adds Nathan.  The boys are regulars at the Boulder Kids and Teens Go Club, run by Paul Barchilon and David Weiss.  The club boasts four dan-level children, all of whom are at the Congress. The fraternal twins are fiercely competitive with each other, of course, and play at least one game every day, in addition to taking on other players on KGS. They cheerfully admit to having been caught playing go by flashlight under the covers after bedtime, and are thrilled to be playing in the Ing this year. “It’s great to get your butt kicked by 8-dans,” says Nathan, “yeah, we learn a lot and it’s fun,” adds Matthew.
- report/photo by Chris Garlock