American Go E-Journal » Youth
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Sunday March 2, 2014
The 21st annual Redmond Cup will begin in April, and registration is due by March 15th. Preliminary games will be played online and the four finalists will be invited to the 2014 US Go Congress to play the final games. There are two divisions in the Cup; the Junior league for kids 12 and under, and the Senior league for 17 and under, on August 17th 2014. Competitors in both leagues must have an AGA or CGA rank of 1 dan or higher. Redmond tournament director Michael Bull, who ran the event for the past twenty years, has retired this year, and the event will now by run by Paul Barchilon and Justin Teng. The Junior league has been expanded to include 12 year olds, and both leagues now require a dan rating (kyu players can compete in the North American Kyu Championships instead). Players who complete the tournament will be eligible for $400 scholarships to the AGA Go Camp, or $200 scholarships to the US Go Congress, on a first come first served basis, courtesy of the AGF. Competitors from Mexico are also invited to the event. The participants must be members of the American Go Association or the Canadian Go Association and either residents of the U.S., Canada or Mexico, or citizens of the United States living anywhere in the world, provided that they are also members of the AGA. For more information on the event, read the rules document here. To register click here. -Story and photo by Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: David Lu 6d (l) vs. Aaron Ye 6d (r), while Justing Teng records the game for broadcast, from the 2013 Go Congress in Tacoma.
Wednesday February 26, 2014
The Ing Foundation has announced US qualifiers for their World Youth Goe Championships (WYGC), reports Mingjiu Jiang 7P. The qualifiers will be held online, March 15 and 16. The two highest placing youth in each age bracket will then be invited to compete live in Menlo Park CA, March 29 and 30. The winners will receive an all expense paid trip to the WYGC in Kuala Lumpur, Malayasia. A third seat has been added as well, which is intended to help promote Goe in the US, and will be open to players 5k or stronger, and under the age of 13. Application information and registration is attached to this story. Click on the links here: Requirements, Application, to load a new webpage, and then click on the titles to download each document to your computer. All inquiries should be addressed to IngsYouthTournament@gmail.com. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: The Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, which were the tallest buildings in the world until recently.
Tuesday February 18, 2014
48 kids and teens competed in the AGA’s new North American Kyu Championships (NAKC) for youth, held Feb. 15th on KGS. The event was dominated by younger players, with 41 kids competing in the Junior Division (12 and under) and just 7 players in the Senior (13-17). Mexico made a strong showing, with 17 players, competing from the Biblioteca de Mexico (a public library in Mexico City), with 11-year-old Valeria Gonzalez 17k (r) taking top honors in the 16-20k bracket. Everyone who entered became eligible for AGF scholarships to Go Camp or Go Congress, and first place winners will receive personalized trophies with their names engraved.
Nine-year-old Raymond Feng 1k was the Jr. winner in the 1-5k bracket, while Yukino Takehara 2k won in the Sr. For complete results in all brackets, click here. The event was run by Paul Barchilon, with very able support from new Assistant Youth Coordinator Justin Teng. The NAKC replaces the former US Youth Go Championships, while the Redmond Cup will provide dan level players in Canada, the US, and Mexico with the chance to compete (dan players can register here). -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photos by Siddhartha Avila: top: Valeria Gonzalez 17k contemplates her next move; bottom: at the Biblioteca de Mexico.
Tuesday February 4, 2014
The annual School Teams Tournament is set for March 22 and 29 this year. Run by the American Go Honor Society (AGHS), and co-sponsored by the AGA and the AGF, the event is the largest annual youth competition in North America, drawing players from dozens of schools across the continent. All K-12 schools and organized learning institutions (such as Chinese language schools) in Canada, the US and Mexico, can register teams consisting of three players. Each school is allowed a maximum of three teams. This year, all teams that complete their matches will also receive an entry prize (regardless of their score in the event). Teams can choose between a full set of Hikaru no Go manga (23 volumes), two classic go books from Slate and Shell (Fundamental Principles of Go, and Master Play), or a $50 gift certificate to the go vendor of their choice (due to customs fees, not all gifts may be available for Mexico and Canada). For more details visit the AGHS website. The event is “a good opportunity to see which school club is the best in North America and a chance for young players to communicate,” says AGHS Promotion head Yunxuan Li, “our recent champions in 2012 and 2013 are High Land Park High School and Albert Einstein High School. Will we see the returning of a defending champ or the rise of a new champion?” Rules for the event are here, to register, click here. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Double click on the image to enlarge it to full size.
Saturday February 1, 2014
Young players, in the US, Canada, and Mexico have until Feb. 11th to register for the North American Kyu Championships (NAKC). The tourney will be held on KGS, on Saturday Feb. 15. Brackets in the NAKC will be divided by rank, with a new bracket formed approximately every 5 ranks or so depending on the range of participants. Within brackets, all games will be played even. Dan level players will be able to compete in the Redmond Cup (including players from Canada and Mexico). Youth who compete in either event will also be eligible for $400 scholarships to the AGA Go Camp, or $200 scholarships to the US Go Congress, courtesy of the AGF, on a first come first served basis. Registration is now open for both the NAKC and the Redmond Cup, and more information can be found on the AGA webpage for youth events. The deadline for the NAKC is Feb. 11th. to register, click here. For Redmond Cup registration, click here. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.
Saturday January 25, 2014
In Portland, OR, there are now over 100 children in chess and go programs, spread over five schools, and organized by Peter Freedman and Fritz Balwit. Freedman teaches go and Balwit teaches chess in most schools. “We decided to leverage our long-running chess and go program at Irvington Elementary,” Freedman told the Journal, “I approached several school chess coaches about the idea of morphing their chess clubs into chess and go clubs. The Richmond club got off to a rousing start in November, with 41 children, 1st-5th grades, coming to the first meeting. Limited to 40, we were oversubscribed, with parents coming to the meeting with checks hoping there was still room to enroll their children. It was the best response ever to a new chess and go club, and confirms our view that ‘the way to a new go player’s heart is through chess.’ While Richmond is a Japanese language magnet school, where go is more familiar than the average school, a great many of these children did play chess, or want to, but had never heard of go,” said Freedman. Parents are enthusiastic too, with one writing in to say:”just wanted to let you know Ben had a great time today. He had said earlier that he didn’t want to learn go, but after one lesson, he is begging me to buy him a go board. I will sign him up for the rest of the year and will put a check in the mail tomorrow.”
For several years Freedman and Balwit had tried to establish go clubs in schools, but they were short-lived and drew minimal numbers. Meanwhile, Irvington chess and go club had run for many years, with upwards of 30 students every term. “It is quite clear to me that chess and go clubs have a much better chance to introduce children and teens to go than free-standing go clubs,” says Freedman. “John Goon has a similar approach in Maryland. There is a segment of our culture that knows, appreciates and respects chess, while only a few know of go. Yet, many of us were chess players before we were go players. It seems like a nice path. We need a new motto: chess is our friend, not our enemy.”
In addition to the Irvington and Richmond programs, Freedman reports that several other schools are picking up the model. The Grant High School chess club morphed into a chess and go club this year, with about 12 students. Beverly Cleary elementary school did as well, with Freedman teaching go and long time chess coach Brad Kerstetter continuing his work. Freedman also envisions that his model should be economically sustainable, is actively pursuing this: “At Irvington and Richmond we charge $75/term, or $150 for the year, per child, for a one hour/week club meeting. In Irvington, Beverly Clearly, and Richmond we divide the group in two. For the first month half of the kids play go, half play chess. The second month, they switch. After that they choose: chess only, go only, or, chess and go. If they choose chess and go, they play one game for 4 weeks, and then switch each four weeks until the end of school,” reports Freedman.
“Needless to say, the starter kits and technical support we get from the AGF are an important part of our success,” notes Freedman, “we order and pay shipping for a Hikaru no Go manga set at each school where we teach as well.” Freedman and Balwitz have put together curriculum guides and outlines for their method, which can be downloaded on the AGA Teaching Page. Free equipment, Hikaru no Go, and other resources are available on the AGF website. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo from the Irvington Elementary School Yearbook (click on image to view it at full size).
Monday January 13, 2014
The AGA is launching a new event for young players, the North American Kyu Championships (NAKC), to be held on KGS, on Saturday Feb. 15. The event will replace the USYGC, which had been tied into the Ing Foundation’s World Youth Goe Cup. The NAKC will welcome kids who live in both Canada and Mexico to compete with their counterparts in the US. Dan level players will be able to compete in the Redmond Cup (including players from Canada and Mexico). Youth who compete in either event will also be eligible for $400 scholarships to the AGA Go Camp, or $200 scholarships to the US Go Congress, courtesy of the AGF, on a first come first served basis.
Brackets in the NAKC will be divided by rank, with a new bracket formed approximately every 5 ranks or so depending on the range of participants. Within brackets, all games will be played even. Depending on the number of entrants in a given bracket, there will be either 3 or 4 rounds. There will be a trophy for the best Junior player (under 13) and the best Senior (under 18) in each bracket. Jr. and Sr. level youth will compete together. Registration is now open for both the NAKC and the Redmond Cup, and more information can be found on the AGA webpage for youth events. The deadline for the NAKC is Feb. 11th. to register, click here. For Redmond Cup registration, click here. The AGA is no longer involved with the Ing Foundation’s private tournament for youth. AGA members who wish to play in Ing events can find information on the Ing Foundation’s website here. -Story and Photo by Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: Kyu players competing at a tournament in Colorado.
Sunday January 12, 2014
More than half a century ago, a small gift changed Terry Benson’s life. His parents bought him a go set at a mall bookstore in 1960. “It was a flimsy, cardboard set with small, flat bottom, plastic stones and a 1949 AGA rule book,” says Benson. “As plain as a game could be. But it was the best gift ever!” Now Benson, President of the American Go Foundation (AGF), is urging go players to also give the gift of go. “Think about what a little go set can do or what the first set or the first experience with go meant to you,” says Benson. Contributions help the AGF work with go organizers to spread the game. “The number of children that the AGF can reach is only limited by the gifts we receive from players who value go,” says Benson. “We need your help to find the next kid who could become an organizer, a champion, the parent of a go fan, or a lifelong player.” AGF projects this year alone include teaching teachers at a dozen schools in LA, where over 300 kids are now learning the game. “Jay Jayaraman in Memphis has started First Capture Go programs through The Confucius Institute at 18 schools with more signing on,” adds Benson. “Peter Freedman and 2011 AGF Teacher of the Year Fritz Balwit have a half-dozen programs in Portland with a chess and go hybrid model,” and the AGF sent more than 100 free Starter Sets to schools and libraries throughout the US that are starting go programs. Another 119 sets of the complete Hikaru no Go manga have been added to libraries and community centers, many of which now sport go clubs or teaching programs run by youth librarians with equipment from the AGF. The AGF also supported the Teacher Workshop at the 2013 Go Congress, provided $3,000 to help the US Go Camp this year in Pennsylvania and another $7,000 for kids coming to the Go Congress, as well as awarded a $1,000 2012 AGF College Scholarship to go organizer Joey Phoon and a $1,500 earmarked donation covered online teaching games for kids who had never experienced professional training. “We’re doing what we can but we need you to keep the game going,” says Benson. “What we can do depends on you.” Click here for details on how to contribute.
Monday December 30, 2013
“The kids at our school, Gimnasio de Go, had a very busy December with three tournaments at different places,” reports Mexico City organizer Siddhartha Avila. “On December 4th Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México ran the El otro Tesuji tournament organized by college and high school students. We sent four elementary school representatives, Paula Corona, Valeria Gonzalez, Mariana García and Omar Zavala-who got 3rd place, pictures here. On December 7th, our group played in the Biblioteca de México, Torneo de Go 2013, a children’s tournament organized by myself, in collaboration with Biblioteca de México José Vasconcelos, a library where we are offering free go workshops on Saturdays. Winners report: 1st place: Fernanda; 2nd place: Diego Alí and Akira; 3rd place: Naohmi and Kairi. Pictures here. Finally, on December 13th, we played in the Torneo de Go Invierno 2013, this was our winter elementary school go tournament, which was divided in two brackets.” Winners report: 20kyu-25kyu division: 1st place: Sebastián; 2nd place: Marcos; 3rd place: Diego Alí; 10kyu-19kyu division: 1st place: Omar; 2nd place: Diego Armando; 3rd place: Valeria, pictures here. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Siddhartha Avila: At Biblioteca de México José Vasconcelos