American Go E-Journal

Eric Cotsen, Happy Warrior

Saturday October 25, 2014

You can tell how some go players feel about their game by the expression on their face, nervous if they’re losing or cheerful if they’re winning. But not Eric Cotsen. He always looks happy and excited to be playing, no matter what the situation is on the board.2014.10.25_Cotsen-Yang-DSC_0040

“It’s just the way I am, I guess,” Cotsen told the E-Journal in an interview Saturday morning at the Los Angeles Korean Cultural Center as players registered for the Cotsen Open, which he’s been sponsoring for “about 25 years now.” Cotsen’s proud of the tournament’s “different vibe,” pointing out the free lunches and team of masseuses for players, the refundable entry fee for players who attend both days, and the club team prizes. “I wanted it to be something out of the ordinary,” he says.

The 2-kyu started playing in the mid-80’s and while he admits that “sure, I’d love to have a higher rating,” that would mean more intensive studying at the expense of his family, work and other interests. After some three decades, the ancient game continues to fascinate and entertain Cotsen (center in photo), a longtime student of Yilun Yang 7P (at left). “I do feel like I’ve gotten stronger,” Cotsen said thoughtfully. “I can see things I couldn’t see before, though often they’re just shapes and sequences and I have to figure out how they go together.”

Cotsen also says the game has helped him in his business dealings, “though of course my strengths and weaknesses tend to manifest themselves in similar ways.” But his go rank seems to concern Cotsen as little as appearances, whose preferred attire is a comfortable t-shirt, shorts and Crocs. “I learn something new every single time I play,” said Cotsen. “That’s something that never gets old.”
- report/photo by Chris Garlock; check us out on Facebook and @theaga on Twitter for more photos.

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