Friends... Choices and Baduk

I've been blessed my whole life with great friends.
And thanks God, I met a lot of wonderful people thanks to the Baduk!

Recently in the last First Minister Cup, in Korea, our representative told me: "you should give me money: I've been answering for you" .. the fact is that some friends ask him: "why Mario wasn't coming around"

I will get back Korea! I want to go China! Japan! Europe waits for me! In Spain some friends asked me to join them next Feb. in a tournament! I hope I can get there!

Meeting all this wonderful people it's amazing. I've shared great times, great moments, jokes, problems (like the day in Tokyo when the last train let a group in the other side of the city....lost!), stories...

And also one person I am proud to be her friend.
Without Hikaru No Go...
Without the anime on TV
Wihout somebody who bring it to Costa Rica
without one friend who learned Go...
without some friends of his who joined him to create the Costa Rica's Association..
without an accident with the Japanese Embassy that lead to teach Go in the Japanese Cultural Week
without me choosing to go there instead of seeing a movie
without me taking seriously Go..
without somebody who decided to make a would amateur tournament in korea..
without somebody who took 2 pro players to play there, in Suwon
... I probably could never meet her!

Now, thanks to two great friends! A couple who loves Baduk! and with a huge heart! I managed to send a present.
Small.. but now it makes a bigger bridge from here to there!
They could have say "We can't!" But they said yes! we can! and they make magic!
When we all help each other we make magic happens! and miracles can happen.
I guess whenever we do, God smiles with hope because it's a small step toward him! Even we let him to take a break because we are finally doing what should be our primary work: being happy while helping each other!

Thanks God for my friends!
And in this post, THANKS to all friends, and not friends yet who helped this little bridge to be built!
너무 행복하다!
제 이름은 마 리 오 입니다.

I hope you enjoy the book, and make a bigger room for my Costa Rica in your heart!
A deeply happy friend.

Sonrie! (Salsa Time!)

I don't know why. Now in the last days I am starting to discover the Salsa songs. There are some that have a very exotic way to transmit beautiful messages. Also, others really say nothing to me.

I found some jewels! The funny thing is that I've never felt the rythm of Salsa before. May be some of my latin blood is awaking O_O well... who knows. But I still don't dance it. :P there's a long way before that.

One friend gave me this song today, what a positive message: Smile! (Sonrie)

Si acaso sirve que te diga
Perhaps it may help to tell you,
lo que pienso lo que veo
all that I think, all that see
Nunca olvides que el dilema del problema
never forget that the real dilemma of a problema
Es encontrar la solución
is finding the solution

Ten confianza que hay un ángel que vigila
Have confidence, because there's an angel watching over you
Y cuidara siempre de ti
and taking care of you!
Vuelve a comenzar
Let's start over!
Vuelve de nuevo a soñar
Let's start dreaming again!

Sonríe y nunca te rindas
Smile, and never surrender!

Con la fe vendrá tu suerte
With your faith the luck will come
Otra batalla
there will be another battle
Una estrella en el pecho te hará mas fuerte
and one more star in your chest will make you stronger
Suena fácil
it sounds easy
Se que piensas que es sencillo en teoría
and you may think it's only theory
Nunca olvides
but never forget
Al mal tiempo buena cara
Against a bad weather, put a good face
Así es la vida
that's life
Una y otra ves Se cierran puertas y otras se abrirán Para ti
once and twice the doors will close, but other will open!
Se vuelve a comenzar
It's time to start again
Se vuelve de nuevo a soñar
It's time to dream again

Sonríe nunca te rindas
Smile and never surrender

Aférrate a la vida
Hold tight to life
Muchas veces andamos abajo
lot of time we are down
Y hay que visualizarse arriba
but we must see ourselves up again

Sonríe nunca te rindas
Smile and never surrender
La fe será tu guía
your faith will guide you
No hay mal que dure 100 años
there's no evil who can stand 100 years
Ni cuerpo que lo resista
and there's no body who can stand such evil
Deja que te rescate mi abrazo sincero
Let my sincere hug to rescue
No estas solo amigo llora pa desahogar
you are not alone my friend! take out all your sadness

Sonríe nunca te rindas
Smile and never surrender
Mira le sigue otro día
look forward for the next day
Que hara realidad la fantasía
it will make your fantasy a reality
Se vale dudar pero jamás te me rindas
You can have doubts but you must never surrender!
Ahora …

Recuerda que una sonrisa
Remember: one smile
Puede cambiarte la vida
can change your life
Si es que andas volando bajo
no matter if your a down
O cuando andas por arriba
of you are up!


te pido jamás te me rindas
Smile and never surrender
Mira que linda se ve tu sonrisa
Just look how beautiful is your smile.

:D SMILE!!! :D


In the last 3 thurdays, I've been in classes with Fernando Aguilar.

I am deeply impressed: how easy he explains the variation, the "good style" he is always looking for. The concepts of conectivity and separation of the stones, the good shape, the rythm of the game. It's incredible.

He praised my tactical reading and imagination, but also critized and pointed out that sometimes I don't counter attack and also in periods of the game I just become very submissive.

In Japan, in the WAGC, I enjoyed the reviews with the pros. But this classes are really impacting my game and surely the wild crazy Kuzu-ryūsen (九頭龍閃?, lit. "Nine-headed Dragon Strike") style may finally start to give its place to the Amakakeru Ryū no Hirameki (天翔龍閃?, lit. "Heavens Gliding Dragon Flash"; - "Dragon Flight of Heaven") style.

I won't stop attacking and going after the other, but I must adquire a superior technique and speed in order to make this to happen.

And yes, if somebody noticed, my style name comes from an anime fictinal sword technique: but the philosphy behind is the same. Or I want to think like that.

I want to know one day, how a game with my friend, Hye Yeon will be.
I will surely will.
By the way.. I am worried for her. Did she survive the projects? I didn't ask her how she did with the Regular expressions.

Now... let's connect some stones.

I like this

I found this:
"Think freely,
help people,

Time ago, a baduk teacher from the Baduk Career (.... sounds like I am walking in circles!O_O)
told me "Be humble about Baduk".

I can't deny I have one virtue, that can become a problem: my pride.
There's one thing that is my dignity and there's one problem when I think my pride is my dignity. There are things I can't do... I know I have hundreds of gifts since I was born, but also I received limits.

I allowed my pride guide my Baduk, so I tried to play at a level I am not ready for. I played better in Beijing because I knew my limits and did the best I could within it.. and played wonderful games. This time I barely could coordinate ideas... I was overloaded.

I am sorry to say that in the end I even didn't learn a thing from my friend Hye Yeon: she is at a level I can only dream of and she says she doens't understand the baduk as other players like Lee Se Dol or Gu Li.

I missed the biggest lesson at all. I must return to hard work. To the hard work I can understand.

Until now I've been walking alone... no teacher. Nobody has ever guide me in the Baduk. I read what I find and let myself built on it. I reached the place where my effort to advance is not giving the same results it used to do. I need guidance.

I gonna take classes. First time ever. And learn and apply humbly. As a disciple.

I should have been a disciple of HY humble heart before.


the first paragraph of this is from the song "CELEBRA LA VIDA" = CELEBRATE LIFE!
Here is the lyrics with translation to english.

and here is the video. I think is a good message!

sad mood... close doors?

I played bad in the preparation was wrong in objectives.
and I failed to one person I shouldn't.

my mood... Sad... can't stand it.

I can't think of a more descripting song that this one: "Komm Susser Todd" (Come, sweet death)

"I know, I know I've let you down
I've been a fool to myself"

"So with sadness in my heart
(I) feel the best thing I could do
is end it all
and leave forever"

"what's done is done it feels so bad
what once was happy now is sad
my world is ending"

"I wish that I could turn back time
cos now the guilt is all mine
can't live without
the trust from those you love"

"It all returns to nothing, it all comes
tumbling down, tumbling down,
tumbling down
It all returns to nothing, I just keep
letting me down, letting me down,
letting me down"

"In my heart of hearts
I've lost everything
everything that matters to me, matters
in this world"

Enjoy Baduk

One of my favorites characters of Anime is Captain Tsubasa! I really enjoyed the series "Road to 2002": I think it has a lot of positive messages! I really like the second half of Episode 30: Tsubasa remembers the teachings that his soccer master gave him and find inside him the straight to win! what's the secret? "Enjoy Soccer!" Change the word Soccer for Baduk! And the message applies! When I first heard this, I realized that's the way I want to play! The message is between min 5:00 and 7:15 and he remembers the words written by his master, Roberto.

Here's the video! I repeat, change Soccer for Baduk! and it makes sense!


Today I received a message from our Office Coordinator: you can't go to Japan if the project is not finished.

I was like... WHAT??? you know about this travel months ago! I asked even minutes before sending the confirmation of registration... I was completely upset. I am still... somehow, they said it was a joke... I don't see it like that. If you have no respect for whatever is important to the others, it shows things I don't want to have in my soul. I even started to look for a new job. I can loose a job, there's another! but this is my chance to be in a WAGC! May be I will be back, but I really hope that CR grows so good that It may become very hard for me to return. I can't not loose this chance! this is the moment, I am the man!

I took this lightly in the office, they don't deserve my rage. I really felt I could explode there but I was thinking: "is not worthy".

Baduk is very important in my life. I am not a pro.. I know there's like 0% chance for me to become that, but I want to have it in my life, I want somebody by my side who understand that, and I just ask respect for it. They also hide from me my Invitation Letter from Korea almost 2 years ago, and now this? Tonight, I will pray for they realize it's not good to hurt people like this, but also for that my soul never fall to do something like that. Amen.

mmmm I really want to fill my lungs with kimchi-full-air in Seoul!!

Baduk Style (or approach)

I don't think there are styles, but there are expressions: for different styles to exists, the rules of baduk should be different in Japan, Korea, Latin America, ... but they are the same. And since there are no different rules, there are not different styles.

Everybody should find his/her own expression in Baduk: there are principles, yes: but the how we can create our own way using that principles is what make every player an artist. When you worry more about following the rules and not playing your own, then you become a product; one more in a production line, and even worst: you can't take advantage of what everybody knows and everybody is doing, since is all the same.

Greatest warriors and strategist in all fields made their own way: even created positions/situations where the principles don't work, but a new approach does. Waiting for the circumstances to happen is to be a slave of the fate, and those who are free make their own circumstances.

If the adversary retreats, I advance to take the bigger territory, if he advances I should go back but preparing the counter offense. A real master is not worried, is always ready and when the opportunity shows, he even doesn't execute the hit against the adversary position: the hit does itself!

That's why our duty is to become ready to use whatever tool that work for our expression. We need to be complete: we need to master the simple position to bring our opponent to a fight where we are stronger, we need to master fighting in order to stop his efforts to mess and steal our win. Like ying and yang, we should become the opposite force (that's also a physics principle: any action creates an opposite force). He must take the proper shape, but have an undefined shape by our own. We must be like water.

The ideal is that our opponent understand our plans until it's too late for him. We must be as a blue ocean, making any effort to come back useless.

At the end, no matter how beautiful Baduk is, victory is the only thing that matters: if we can simply accept defeats and let them go away, we can't win. They should be triggers that our goal is still far.

I will keep playing aggressive Baduk: I will try to dominate, not giving the smallest chance to comeback my opponent..., but I should learn to keep a solid basis in my position too: the punch sent if your legs are weak, will surely fail and you will be exposed to counter attack.

Winning is all in a single game: If winning is not all... then why to score at the end? But in order to win, the really important thing is the proper preparation. Practice can't make perfection, but it does excellence! We must play every move putting all our heart to win, but we must train with even a bigger obsession to minimize our errors. As usual, the goal has its bigger meaning in the way we walk to get there.

We should look for the victory with the happiness of the discovery, of the expression of our own.. with the freedom of being! If we are not enjoying the game, probably there's something wrong.

I know I learned Baduk late, I know I can't dedicate 8 hours a day to study or sit down to memorize and compare joseki sequences in all the recent pro games. But If I really love Baduk, I will keep solving problems in the buses, I will keep waking up at 3:00 am to try to replay a pro game. I won't give up to become a stronger player.

At the end of the day, I also found out a treasure that is a blessing: Hye Yeon, Alexandra, Francesco, Dimas, Cornell, Christian Pop, Hu Yuqing, Javi, Tabares, Cesar, Oscar, Zurime, Marija, Valjhe... I can't enumerate all them, but meeting all these people is real blessing! I am not alone: my family is bigger than I ever thought!

Fourth place

The National Tournament is over. I got a fourth place thanks to unfair pairings made by hand just to keep a game that should have been played in the third round played in the last (5th) round.

I serious about that I am stronger that the guy who got the third place. I know how New England's Patriots felt like in the last NFL season when they have a superior and winning record that other teams that get in the playoff stage... while they don't.

I can't change how bad and really disappointed I feel. I need to recover. I need to show off in the WAGC, to put things back in place.

The games:
+ 1st round: Karla, as usual she does a good opening but get lost in the middle game. No problems to win.
+2nd round: the first bad made pairing, I faced Patrick and we did a great game. And error in the end game made loose 3.5 points. Anyway I feel ok about the game. I knew it was one of the 2 games I could lost, but obviously I did all to win.
+3rd round: the top wrong pairings: if there are only two players with 2 points in this stage... they should play against each other! is plain logic, but not.. they were arranged and I was sent to play to our #1 player. I started very good but missed some timings and one dragon came in danger and I couldn't save it. The easiest win against me this guy had in the last two championship.
+4th round: Juan, he simply is not my match. It was a territorial game: I did all the territory and I don't know if he even managed to had some...
+5th Round: Now faced with the fact that there are no way to gain my really deserved third place, I wanted to do the same I did in the last round: erase the oponnent. But Diego is a good player and has a superior sense of shape and calculus than Juan. Even with that, I was repeting the recipe: everything to the neck vein! I was going pretty well (and quickly) until I noticed he started to show some interest in the game.. then I realized just in time that one group of mine was about to be captured. I started a battle in the center where I was superior and connected. Game over, but it could have been an ugly defeat.

Now, let's keep on studying harder for the WAGC... then the Tournament in October... then next year National Championship.. where I am asking all the pairing should be done by computers and not by hands.