American Go E-Journal

Exhilaration in both victory and defeat abound at Lightning Tournament

Tuesday August 8, 2017

“Lightning tournament in five minutes!” called TD Keith Arnold outside the main playing room Monday night as players gathered to test IMG_0439themselves against the clock. After subsequent three and one minute warnings, Arnold lined all the fullsizeoutput_a9cplayers up along the wall according to rank and began explaining the rules. Most of them were common rules for a normal tournament with a notable exception: each player only gets 10 minutes on the clock with sudden death, no overtime. “If your opponent forgets to hit their clock, think very carefully about your next move,” Arnold quipped before counting the players off into tables of six players each. In the spirit of his speed tournament, the rules announcement and pairings are done in less than 10 minutes, and games commenced immediately. Choruses of laughter and surprised exclamations resounded as players did their best play as quickly as possible without making foolish mistakes, especially as the clocks ticked inexorably down to zero. “Oh my god, why am I so dumb!” came the plaintive cry from one table, followed by “What am I doing!” from another. Even AGA President Andy Okun (right) got in on the fun, taking a break from his numerous official duties at Go Congress, and hilarity ensued around the room as players explored the limits of their go abilities at ludicrous speed.

-photo (left): a player reacts to his mistake under time pressure
-report/photos by Karoline Li, Tournaments Bureau Chief

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