American Go E-Journal » Youth

North American Youth Overwhelm Europe in Transatlantic Match

Friday June 21, 2013

For the second consecutive year, top young North American players have defeated their European counterparts in the Transatlantic Youth Go Friendship Match. “The Europeans lost by a large margin last year,” reports organizer Andrew Huang, “and were certainly looking for a more positive result this year. However, the North American team was keen to stifle the Europeans’ ambitions, and won the first seven games, eventually finishing with an 8-2 victory. We are looking forward to another exciting event next year, as the European team will be thirsty to exact revenge.” The match was held June 2 on KGS, and marked the fifth year for the Transatlantic Youth Tourney. Ten players representing the United States and Canada teamed up for North America, while ten European youngsters  were chosen from Russia, Germany, France, Austria, Romania, Czechia, Slovakia, and Poland to compete for the Europeans. Lawrence Ku and the American Go Honor Society organized the event, which was held in the Transatlantic Youth Go Tournament room on KGS.  Previous years events are listed here; for this year’s results, click here. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Image by Paul Barchilon, based on a graphic from DairyReporter.com

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Go Catches On in Rural North Carolina

Thursday June 20, 2013

“Who would have guessed that go would catch on so well in a tiny rural town where hogs outnumber humans?” asks a school librarian in rural North Carolina.

The American Go Foundation has sent hundreds of copies of Hikaru no Go manga to schools and libraries across the country. One set went to a middle school in Burgaw, North Carolina. “Ninety percent of our students receive free or reduced price lunch,” writes school librarian Kathleen Stewart-Taylor. “Most of our 275 students are African American or Latinos. Some of them are children of migrant workers; a few of them work in the fields/farms themselves. Many have parents who can’t speak English or can’t read or write in any language. We live within 20 minutes of the ocean, but most of my students have never seen it.” But, says  Stewart-Taylor, “I would bet that 75 % of my students now know about go and at least 25% have tried to play a game.”

“Several months ago you sent us a free set of (Hikaru no Go) manga,” says Stewart-Taylor. “It worked.  We now have a go club and they are talking about going to a tournament next year! This is a big deal for us. We have tried chess, but our students didn’t like the deep game trees, they prefer  the sense of ‘aliveness’ that they have with go.” The Hikaru no Go series was among the top 10 books circulated during the second semester and “Top 5 for the last 9 weeks,” Stewart-Taylor reports. “Many students now come in to the library during lunch to log on to Tigers Mouth. One of the Hikaru manga even got swiped! This just doesn’t happen. Check out books and lose them, sure. Drop one off the combine and run over it, you bet ya. But stolen?” (He returned it.)

“Next year, If I can get a nucleus of students who know the game well enough to teach others, I’m going to print off small go boards and have them play during lunch,” Stewart-Taylor adds. “Go is cheap — just give them a printout of a board and a couple of different colored markers. Lunch can be a hard time with lots of discipline referrals.  I’m hoping that playing go will reduce the problem behaviors.”

“A student ran up me this afternoon and gasped ‘Mrs. Stewart!  Did you know about the agfgo website?! (pant pant) . . . It’s so cool!’ He’ll be at the local public library this weekend, studying go.”
- report by Roy Laird

6/20: Burgaw is in North Carolina, not South Carolina, as originally reported.

Wilson Zhang Wins Happy Cup

Monday June 17, 2013

Seventh-grader Wilson Zhang 1k topped the Sixth Sunflower Happy Cup Youth Go Tournament, with four wins, on June 1 in Cupertino, California. “Forty-one elementary and middle school kids gathered together on a beautiful Saturday afternoon and played four to five rounds of 19×19 games,” reports Wenguang Wang, who organized the event. “To ensure a really fun experience for every kid, players earned prize tickets after each round, and then exchanged their tickets for various fancy prizes. Each participant was also rewarded with a trophy, and at the event’s conclusion all the kids and their parents enjoyed a refreshing ice cream party.” -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Ming Liao. Wilson Zhang is at left, in the blue shirt

Google Donates $120,000 in Free Ads to AGF

Monday June 17, 2013

Google has agreed to donate up to $120,000 per year to the American Go Foundation (AGF) in free AdWords, those text-based ads you see to the right when you search on Google. The AGF received this benefit by qualifying as a Google Nonprofit, a status available to 501c3 corporations. “This is a great new way to reach out to players, teachers, librarians, organizers and people who ought to be players,” said AGF President Terry Benson. The AGF’s first AdWords campaign attracted almost 200 hits in the first week, with a “Got Best Game?” theme; traffic on the AGF website is up at least 30%. Another benefit of the program is access to One Today, a crowdsourced microfinance fundraising app for 501c3s. The app, currently only available for Android, presents users with one charity every day, and asks for a donation of one dollar, or more if a donor is so inclined.  Multiple charities are displayed each day, and users can pick who they want to donate to. The AGF is working on a One Today profile, and will go live on the app in the near future.  Like Microsoft, Exxon, and other major corporations, Google also matches the contributions of employees who make charitable donations to organizations like the AGF. -Roy Laird

New AGA Pro To Play in First Korean Tournament

Saturday June 15, 2013

Gansheng Shi 1p, who qualified with Andy Liu 1p as an AGA pro in last year’s certification tournament, is scheduled to play in his first Korean pro tournament, the KT-Olleh Cup, on Monday June 17th.  The young Canadian will play alongside Korean professionals and even receive a small game fee for playing.  Top prize in the tournament is $100,000.  The KT-Olleh is one of five tournaments that the Hankuk Kiwon (KBA) agreed to allow newly certified AGA pros to play in, and the first to start since Shi traveled to Korea last month. The next scheduled of the five is the Samsung Cup in August.  “My goal in tournaments would be to win at least one game but it seems very difficult,” Shi told the EJ.  Shi is studying at the Choong-Am Dojang in Seoul, with travel support from the AGA and tuition support from the KBA.

Shi says he is enjoying Korea, Korean food, and some new friends. He describes the Choong-Am as a “really quiet nice place to focus on go,” although he had difficulty adjusting at first. “I started off in league C … The first 2-3 weeks were really bad and I had a horrible losing record of something like 3-9, then I managed to stabilize in the league and was able to stay in league C without being moved to league D.  The new month just started and I have been doing great so far, winning most of my games and I really hope to move to the next league after this month.”  Shi fills his days with self-study of pro games and life and death until lunch, a game and then review with a teacher in the afternoon, more self-study and some exercise, and then a game after dinner. “I do feel like I’m progressing, because I have been improving in my record and winning a lot of games lately. Perhaps that is just me stabilizing but I do feel that I am learning a lot in the dojang.”  -Andy Okun.  Photo: Shi playing a simul at the Spring Go Expo earlier this year, from The Surrounding Game’s Facebook Page.

Go Helps Minority Cultures Preserve Their Traditions in U.S.

Wednesday June 12, 2013

How can minority cultures gain acceptance in American society without abandoning their cultural values and traditions? The game of go may be one way.

One Friday last month, Academy of the Americas (AoA) students traveled to Kalamazoo, Michigan with the Go Cultural Ambassador International Program (GCAIP) where Detroit and Ypsilanti youth taught Kalamazoo students how to play go. They related the ancient board game to community building, anti-bullying and peer mentorship in the kindergarten through higher education continuum, influenced by the anti-bullying work of top pro Yasutoshi Yasuda.

GCAIP’s mission is to promote global citizenship and cultural validation with an emphasis on academic excellence in the social sciences and humanities. It uses go to bridge and even transcend cultural differences. Eighty students aged 9-13 attended the daylong event at the Western Michigan University College of Health and Human Services.  Participants analyzed the first Hikaru No Go anime with faculty assistance using the theories of “cultural humility” and “transformative complicity.” The young students “grasped college-level theory leaving Diana Hernandez, WMU’s Director of the Division of Multicultural Affairs,  in shock,” according to WMU Assistant Professor  Dr. Roxanna Duntley-Matos who is also the co-founder of the Asociacion Latina Alcanzando Suenos (ALAS) and GCAIP.

Detroit youth paired up with El Sol Elementary teachers and students and with University of Michigan faculty Dr. Robert M. Ortega (known for his promotion of cultural humility in child welfare) to discuss how their game strategies reflected their personalities (i.e. risk taker, adventurous, aggressive or cautious).   WMU provided university flags and patches to inspire participants to work hard and return in a few years as college students. Live music and a karate demonstration led by Martin Gatlin added to the festival-like atmosphere. “The day ended with students dancing the bachata and merengue giving the entire day a true Latino touch,” Matos said. “All in all, we had people from two universities, three schools and one community program blending elements from Latino, African American, Euro-American and Asian cultures.”

GCAIP has other activities in the works.  It plans to visit groups in Grand Rapids and Wayne State University and hopes to connect with a new program in Puerto Rico. They already have ongoing relationships with programs in Oregon and Mexico. “Go is more than a game of strategy, it is a way of life. It connects people and communities together,” says Oscar Hernandez, one Detroit youth GO Cultural Ambassador;

GCAIP, AoA and ALAS credit Dr. Earlie Washington, Dean of WMU CHHS and Dr. Linwood Cousins, Director of  the WMU School of Social Work for providing invaluable institutional support. They also thank Kelly Alvarez, Terry Gay, Anne Bowman, Jinny Zeigler, Ernestina Iglesias and Jennifer Clements for helping to organize the Kalamazoo event celebrating AoA’s 20th anniversary and honoring GCAIP co-founder and recently deceased AoA Principal Mrs. Denise Fielder. AoA’s GCAIP Director Mark Duffy played a crucial role continuing the instructional work of Siddhartha Avila, GCAIP co-founder from Pipiolo Elementary School in Mexico. Special thanks from ALAS to Portland organizer Peter Freedman and karate instructor Martin Gatlin for weekly go training over the Internet for the past year.
- Roy Laird; photo: El Sol students learn go; photo by Diana Hernandez

Go Camp Updates: Video Posted; One More Camper Needed

Tuesday June 11, 2013

AGA Go Camp Director Amanda Miller is gearing up for this year’s camp, and has nine students enrolled so far.  ”We need just one more student to break even, so if you have been thinking about camp, now is the time to sign up!” Miller says.

Camp will be held July 20-27 at YMCA Camp T. Frank Soles in Rockwood, Pennsylvania. A promotional video from a previous camp captures the exciting camp experience on film. Check out camp information, pictures and news on the camp’s website.

AGF Scholarships are still available to help defray the cost for kids who need it. AGA President Andy Okun has confirmed the camp will run this year, even if it’s at a small loss, “but breaking even would be much better.”
-Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. 

Third International Children’s Art Contest

Wednesday June 5, 2013

The popular International Children’s Go Art Contest is back for the third year in a row, and children are invited to submit their pieces.  Last year’s contest drew almost 70 entries, from ten different countries, and this year organizers hope to pull in even more.  The entries will be exhibited at the US Go Congress in Tacoma, in August.  The categories will be for under 12 and under 16, with three winners, and 2 notable entries in each category.  Magnetic go sets for the top six winners will be provided by Yellow Mountain Imports.  To see some highlights of last year’s entries, visit the online gallery on the Go Symposium site.  The contest also has a Facebook page here.  Complete entry information is available in the pdf file attached to this link (right click to download once it takes you to the page with the file) GoArtContest2013. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor

Mexico City Beats Portland in Youth Team Rematch

Saturday June 1, 2013

Mexico City, Mexico, beat Portland, Oregon 8-0 in a May 25 team match between elementary school players, taking revenge for their 8-4 loss the last time these two teams met up. Four players from Mexico City competed against eight Portland players, with each Portland player playing one game and Mexico City players playing two games in this two-round match. Playing for Mexico City were Leo, Samuel, Dante and Diego. For Portland: Hikaru, Nicholas, Wilson, Aden, Jordan, Noah, Tyler and Cameron. This was the first match for Nicholas and Cameron.
- Peter Freedman; photos by Freedman (left, Portland) and Siddhartha Avila (right, Mexico City)

Transatlantic Youth Match Sunday June 2

Thursday May 30, 2013

The fifth annual Transatlantic Youth Tournament will take place Sunday on KGS.  Ten young players from Europe will face off against ten from North America, the team with the most wins will be the victor (captain’s game will be the tiebreak if needed).  North America won last year, with an overwhelming 8-2 finish, and the Europeans are itching for paybacks this time around.  Most of the matches will be held Sunday June 3, in the Transatlantic Youth Go room on KGS (under tournaments).  The schedule will be:
13:00 UCT/GMT:
       1. Andrew Huang (donvalley) – Jonas Welticke
15:00 UCT/GMT:
2. Jianing Gan (hkkyeen) – Alexander Vashurov (ALEX575)
         3. Yunxuan Li – Stepan Popov (StepanP)
         4. Aaron Ye (hyperbeam7) – Denis Dobranis
         5. Oliver Wolf (sinsai) – Schayan Hamrach (schayan355)
18:00 UCT/GMT
6. Calvin Sun (kbag)  – Pavol Lisy (cheater)
        7. Bill Lin (billlin) – Lukas Podpera (Lukan)
        8. Lionel Zhang  - Tanguy le Calve (Welvang)
        9. David Lu  - Valeriy Kulishov
4:00 UCT/GMT, Monday, 3rd June
       10. Hugh Zhang (sume) – Mateusz Surma (drakula)

Categories: Youth
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