Members of the Twin Cities Go Club last weekend participated in Passage to China, an annual event celebrating Chinese culture. Held at the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN, and sponsored by the Chinese Heritage Foundation, this event welcomes visitors to experience Chinese dance, music, arts, and crafts.
This is the fourth year the Twin Cities Go Club has participated in the event, hosting a table at which attendees can learn the basics of go, or weiqi, as it is known in China, where the game originated. “Typically, we teach how to surround and capture stones, and then encourage visitors to play a game of capture go,” reports local organizer Aaron Broege. “We also are pleased to play more experienced players in a game of go on the 19×19 board. We have the pleasure of teaching individuals from small children to adults, and most people seem to catch on to the basics quickly. We find that this is great exposure for the game and for the club. Many people seem genuinely interested in finding out more about where to purchase a board and stones, and we have also had people attend our club meetings as a result of seeing us at Passage to China.”
The annual event “has been a great experience for us,” Broege adds, “and opened up some additional outreach opportunities. Last year at this event we connected with the group ‘Families with Children from Asia’ and this past fall we had the opportunity to work with that group at one of their own events near the Twin Cities. This year we met other individuals who would like us to teach go at this year’s Dragon Festival to be held in St. Paul. From exposure through this event, we have found inroads into other outreach opportunities and we are very enthusiastic of the positive effect this will have on the Twin Cities go community.”
photos: (top right): Agnes Rzepecki teaches basic life and death to a particularly curious new student of go. This young individual learned capture go and then insisted on learning the “real game,” and stayed around to play multiple handicap games with us on the 9×9; (bottom left): Yanqing Sun plays a game with a young boy. photos by Aaron Broege