American Go E-Journal

Hai Li 5P plans to spend more time teaching US amateurs after a successful US Go Congress experience

Tuesday March 20, 2018

4.pic_hdImpressed with the dedication and focus of amateur players at the US Go Congress, Hai Li 5P is planning on coming back to the US to teach in the LA area. Attendees at the 2017 US Go Congress in San Diego will recognize him as one of the pro teachers, and the leader of a large delegation of his students and their families from China. Fourteen students aged seven to eleven and ranging from 2d to 5d came with Mr. Li (photo at right) to the Go Congress and participated in many of the tournaments and youth events, including the US Open. According to Mr. Li, they had a wonderful experience and felt challenged by their tournament games, which Mr. Li hopes will motivate them to study even harder after their return to China. All fourteen students expressed the desire to return for the next Go Congress, and Mr. Li hopes that he can bring an even larger group of students to this year’s Go Congress in Williamsburg, VA.

While observing tournament games at the Go Congress in San Diego, Mr. Li was struck with the focus and attention given to the games by the amateur players, particularly the kyu-level players. As a teacher, Mr. Li has trained many top players, including Shi Yue 9P, but now focuses most of his teaching on his go school in Tianjin, China that he built from just three students. JinHai Go School now employs nine other professional teachers – seven full time, two on contract – who train over 200 students in the main campus and satellite campuses around Tianjin. The focus of the go school is young amateurs, based on the belief that training in go is beneficial for the formation of good habits – focus, manners, intelligence, and improved academic performance. 20180101_084503The students also train to improve their ranking, of course, which they can do at a large annual tournament around the turn of the new year. This past January, Mr. Li’s Bohai Rim Tianyuan Go Tournament (photo at left) concluded successfully, with nearly 800 players from Tianjin and five surrounding provinces participating – and even a few players from the US – participating. Mr. Li hopes that more go lovers from the US will attend the tournament in the future.

Mr. Li was moved by the importance with which the amateur players at the Go Congress treated the one-on-one playing experience, particularly the adult kyu-level players. This inspired him to return to the US to promote Go to these players and more generally, and he is hoping to help grow the American go player base more actively by starting a branch of his go school here in the US this year, beginning in the LA area. Stay tuned!

-photos provided by Hai Li 5P
-report by Karoline Li, Tournaments Bureau Chief