Nordic Go Academy Summer Camp 2014

Another year, another Summer camp! The Nordic Go Academy has been very proud to host its second consecutive Summer Camp and Summer Camp Tournament, gathering 34 go players from around the world (Finland, Norway, Canada, Germany, Austria, Spain, Belgium, South Korea, China, Sweden and US) for a week in wonderful Luukki camping centre, Espoo, Finland.

The first hours and pre-camp

The Summer Camp started unofficially on Friday, when the first participants (Désirée, Nick, Rubén and Kevin) and Lukas arrived at Helsinki Airport, spread through the day. This first day consisted of reaching Juri’s place and chilling during the afternoon, while he prepared lectures and coordinated some stuff with the other organisers. Of course, we also ate a neat maccaroni casserole à la Juri, watched some really weird blitz games by miao and had quite a laugh watching Akagi: The Genius Who Descended Into the Darkness, which is the Mahjong equivalent of Hikaru No Go.

The first real camp day was Saturday. Breakfast at chez Juri, a long walk and a long bus ride until we reached the site, Luukin Leirikeskus (which is more or less “camp house in Luukki”.) It’s a 40 minutes bus ride from central Helsinki station, so reaching it after arriving at the airport is not complicated either. Of course, foreigners are taken from the airport to the camp to make sure they don’t end on the other side of Finland.

Nordic Go Academy Summer Camp at Luuki

The main building

There was no official programme for Saturday (except planned meals, sure: go players need food in addition to stones) since a lot of participants would still be arriving during the day. So, it boiled down to free time, which most people used for, of course, some games.

Desirée and Nick playing at the Nordic Go Academy Summer Camp

Desirée and Nick playing

Lukas Krämer giving playing some simultaneous games at the NGA Summer camp

Lukas playing some simultaneous

It also involved a lot of presentations (and a lot of remembering Finnish names for Rubén, who was here last year) and discovering that the old sauna had been transformed into a new, awesome sauna building. With views over the lake: afternoon games had a new place, no longer in what is usually called “dining room” in the main building.

Nordic Go Academy Sauna Building

The wonderful sauna building

Nordic Go Academy Sauna Building

Views from the sauna building

New sauna building of course meant afternoon sauna as soon as we discovered how to turn it on. Finnish mode on (for foreigners, that is)!

The camp days

First real camp day was Sunday. It started with morning lectures just after breakfast was over:

  • Juri had “Shape 1” aimed at SDKs in the sauna building with a table board
  • Jeff had “Joseki/Fuseki” aimed at dan players in the main building with a demonstration board
Nordic Go Academy Summer Camp: Juri Kuronen taeching

Juri giving a lecture

Nordic Go Academy Summer Camp: Jeff Chang teaching

Jeff giving a lecture

We were also handed our first sheets of A (dan), B (strong SDK) and C (weak SDK) tsumego problems for the tsumego competition. The grades suffered from Törmänator style tsumego flavour, so A turned out more like strong dan, B closer to gap between SDK and dan and C not-that-weak SDK. For people wanting something easier than C-class tsumego there were printouts of Cho Chikun’s Elementary and Intermediate tsumego problems. There were also several random problem books lying around (a couple of Chinese “1000 tsumego” books and the Japanese edition of 6 dan tsumego and tesuji) in case someone wanted even more tsumego.

During breaks of playing, people kept solving tsumego, helped in the kitchen or played table tennis. Some others swam in the lake, and there were a couple volleyball and soccer matches and a few canoe trips around the lake.

Nordic Go Academy Summer Camp:  Table tennis time

Table tennis (Jeff and Nick, with onlookers)

After lunch we had our first “formal” games, to be reviewed later live by our teachers and also by our guest pro, Cho Mikyung 8p. Later we had a visit to the local go stuff seller, where Samu got an opening book, Rubén a 9×9 legged board and the Norwegians took home a great, thick 19×19 board.

Nordic Go Academy Summer Camp:  a nice 9x9 board

9x9 board

Nordic Go Academy Summer Camp:  playing outside the sauna building

Playing just outside the sauna building

Then, dinner, sauna and more go or mahjong games in the sauna building. Oh, or solving the tsumego sheets, sure :D

Nordic Go Academy Summer Camp:  Lukas Krämer and Juri Kuronen playing

Post-sauna match between teachers

The rest of the week followed a similar pattern of lectures in the morning and games in the afternoon, although there were some extras like simultaneous games with our teachers and Mikyung, a sightseeing trip to Helsinki, an exhibition game between Juri and Mikyung and another one between Juri and Lukas.

Nordic Go Academy Summer Camp:  Cho Mikyung and Juri Kuronen playing

Mikyung and Juri playing

Nordic Go Academy Summer Camp:  Helsinki sightseeing

Helsinki sightseeing

Nordic Go Academy Summer Camp:  Helsinki sightseeing

Helsinki sightseeing

Tournament day

On Saturday we had a 1-day tournament with 4 rounds, class C (MMS–1 handicap). Pretty intense, games having 30 minutes main time and being reviewed just afterwards. A lot of Finnish participants, not taking part in the camp showed up for it, so we had 34 participants (organisers and teachers in the camp didn’t take part in the tournament, hence why these numbers match.) The first boards played in the sauna room, and the first board had the best views and yunzi stones, in addition to being broadcast over OGS [1] [2] [3] [4]

Nordic Go Academy Summer Camp:  tournament first board

First Board

It also happened to be Yang Bean’s birthday, so we had cake.

Nordic Go Academy Summer Camp:  cake

The cake was not a lie

The tournament was won by Juuso Nyyssonen, improving his 2nd place of last year. The first 3 placed players got a special gift from the Korean Baduk Association: The profound and mysterious, the English translation of the classic tsumego book Xuanxuan Qi Jing. There were also go books for players with 3 wins and for the winners of the tsumego competition.

After the tournament, there was a barbeque for camp and tournament participants, and more sauna and lake.

Nordic Go Academy Summer Camp:  BBQ


Nordic Go Academy Summer Camp:  Lake


We hope to see you next year! For now, you could sign up for the NGA to get to know the teachers, participants and get stronger for the tournament :D