The Seattle Go Center has been closed due to coronavirus precautions for over two months now. Brian still goes there to check on the building, and to do office work. The neighborhood is much quieter, due to a huge reduction in traffic on nearby I-5, and in jets crossing above. The veterinary clinic downstairs is still open for urgent care, so the building doesn’t feel too lonely. They recently changed their name to “Caring Pet Clinic”, and put up new signs.
Our financial situation is stable for now, but we worry about the effects of a long closure on the Go Center. Meanwhile, the plans for developing the property, with space for us in a new building, are proceeding energetically, despite COVID-19 worries. The property is owned by our benefactor, the Nihon Ki-in of Japan.
Tuesdays were our big days, with 20-40 visitors each Tuesday this winter. All that has changed. Some of those Tuesday players are meeting on go servers now at the same time of the week. Go Center Member Bob (Mingcun) Fan reports that he is now playing Mr. Yao on OGS, and then they have a phone call to review the game. This is happening with some of the meet-ups too. The Zoka coffeehouse group that used to meet in person on Monday and Friday mornings now meets on KGS, using the Go Center “room”. Member Frank Brown writes that about six players have made the transition.
Seattle Go Center members have been taking advantage of online Go education for years. Some have private online lessons with pros, while others are part of the American Yunguseng Dojang.
Our Wednesday SDK class with Jonathan (Chin Jung) Cheng has now gone completely online. This class is designed for 9K – 1D players. He is doing a series on using opening moves suggest by AI. Jonathan teaches the class live on Wednesdays from 6-7 pm PDT through Zoom, and later posts the lectures on YouTube.
Before COVID-19, Nick Sibicky used to give his DDK lectures in front of a live audience at the Go Center on Monday nights, and then post them on YouTube. Now he is recording them at home. He is up to lecture #388! Nick’s popular lessons were originally intended for double digit kyu players, but his scope has widened to include many issues of interest to stronger players as well. His most recent lecture at the Go Center was with Nihon Ki-in Pro Daiki Komatsu in early March.
Washington State Governor Jay Inslee recently announced “Washington’s Phased Approach” to reopening, with four phases. The Go Center Board of Directors will meet online to decide how our organization fits into the opening rubric. The earliest the Go Center might be able to reopen would be late June 2020. In the meantime, Brian is working on washing all the go stones.