When I was four years old I started collecting beer caps. When I was five years old I had thousands of them. I was playing with the white and brown ones, because they were the ones I had most of. My father saw me playing with them and remembered the game of go, so we made a board out of paper and that’s how I got started. I began going to tournaments in Slovakia, and I had a teacher: Miroslav Poliak. He’s now 1 dan but he used to be 3 dan. We used to play, like, once a week.
In the spring of 2009 I went to King’s Baduk Center in Korea for three months. That was the first time I studied go from books. We had to solve life and death problems. I was doing that for maybe three hours a day. I also replayed professional games, and played against an 8-dan professional player. I went to Korea as a 1 kyu and came back 3 dan. That motivated me; that’s when I began playing go seriously. I started to play on KGS, and began to focus on doing better in tournaments. I don’t think I could play go professionally in Asia, but now we are starting to organize a professional league in Europe, with support from China. If it becomes possible to play go professionally in Europe, that is something I will really try to do.
- James Davies