American Go E-Journal » Youth

Ye Sweeps WYGC Qualifier

Monday April 18, 2011

Eight-year-old Aaron Ye 3d (at left) fought his way to victory in the Jr. Division qualifier for the World Youth Go Championships (WYGC), and will be going to Romania to represent the US in August.  The initial rounds were held online, with a live final at the BAGPA ratings tourney in Palo Alto, CA, on April 9th.  Ye faced serious competition throughout the event, and almost lost to Jeremy Chiu 1k (at right) who is just nine years old himself.  Ye made a strong showing in this event last year, but lost in the finals.  He studies with Mingjiu Jiang 7P, and has worked very hard on his game this past year.  Chiu’s AGA rank is lagging behind his ability, he is pushing 3d on KGS, and had a very strong performance in the recent School Teams Tourney, helping his team win first place.  In the semi-finals, Chiu knocked out Sammy Zhang 2d, while Ye defeated Luke Zhang 1d, setting the stage for a showdown between the pint-sized prodigies the following weekend.  Chiu got off to a strong start, and dominated the game, but an endgame error gave Ye the win at the last minute. Today’s 

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game commentary by Feng Yun 9P shows how both players could have improved their game.  The E-Journal is pleased to have Feng Yun on board for youth commentaries, and members can get game reviews like this in their e-mail box every week.  We are making today’s commentary available to everyone, as an incentive to join the AGA.  Youth memberships are only $10, and get you great games like this, as well as guaranteeing you will be invited to events like the USYGC and the Redmond Cup.  To join, click here. -E-J Youth Editor Paul Barchilon.  Photos:  Aaron Ye at left, Jeremy Chiu at right.

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AGA Go Camp Confirmed for Summer Fun

Monday April 18, 2011

The AGA East Coast Go Camp has finalized details for this year’s camp, which will be held at the Madison Suites Hotel in Somerset, New Jersey, July 23-30. Mingjiu Jiang 7p and Yuan Zhou 7d will be the primary teachers.  Jiang, one of the driving forces behind the incredibly successful Bay Area (CA) scene, and organizer of the Zhujo Jiang youth tourney every year, has a proven track record with kids.  He counts some of the strongest youth in the country among his students.  Zhou, one of the most popular teachers on the East Coast, is also well known for his many books on go.  His deep insight into what kyu players are failing to see make his lessons all the more valuable.  “Students aged 8 – 18 are invited to spend a week playing go and making friends,” says camp director John Mangual.  “Double-digit kyus, upper-level dans, and anyone in-between can all participate. At previous camps, beginning players rapidly improved between 5 – 10 kyu levels in just one week, while advanced players improved their fundamentals and learned more about life and death, joseki and midgame fighting.   Our professional staff will make camp worthwhile for even the strongest amateurs.  The camp is an exciting chance to play go face to face, instead of just online,” adds Mangual. For more information, visit the camp page here, or e-mail Mangual at agagocampeast@usgo.org. - Photo: Kids take a break from studying to bury one of their counselors in pillows, photo by Amanda Miller (who is at the bottom of the pillow pile) from last year’s camp. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.

Top N.A. & Euro Youth Play Sunday in 3rd Transatlantic Youth Match

Monday April 11, 2011

Top youth players from North America will square off against their European counterparts this Sunday in the third Transatlantic Youth Match, which will be held April 17 on KGS at 11am and 2pm. “Come out and support the North American side, featuring past Redmond Cup champions and US/Canadian representatives to the WYGC, as they take on the European youth,” urges organizer Lawrence Ku.

Sunday’s line-up:

1500 GMT (8a PST/11a EST)
Ali Jabarin vs. Bill Lin; Mihai Serban vs. Jianing Gan; Alexander Vashurov vs. Peter Zhang; Roman Ruzhanskyj vs. Andrew Lu
Vladyslav Verteletsky vs. Aaron Ye; Stepan Popov vs. Oliver Wolf

1800 GMT (11a PST/2p EST)
Thomas Debarre vs. Ryan Li; Pavol Lisy vs. Gansheng Shi; Mateusz Surma vs. Ricky Zhao
Vanessa Wong vs. Hugh Zhang; Lukas Podpera vs. Daniel Goureau

School Teams Tourney Draws 50 Teams

Monday April 11, 2011

Mandarin Language and Culture School from California took top honors in the 10th annual North American School Team Tournament. Organized by the American Go Honor Society (AGHS), the tournament was held on KGS over the weekends of March 5 and March 12.  More than 50 teams and about 190 players from America, Mexico, and Canada signed up for the largest national youth team tournament, with over $3,000 in prizes provided by the AGF and AGA. Justin Teng, one of the nine officials and a tournament participant, said, “People were pretty excited and pumped up. They were in quite a competitive spirit, encouraging and rallying their teammates while battling against other schools.” More AGHS tournaments, including the Doubles Tournament for Pair Go, are in the works.  AGHS Presidents Jack Ye and Jasmine Yan directed the tournament – many thanks to Meredith Leu, Joshua Wu, Ryan Ngoy, Viral Kotecha, Rebecca Cheng, Eric Chen, Tommy Liu, Justin Teng, and Tim McCaffrey for their invaluable assistance!

Winner’s Report: Varsity: 1st: Mandarin Language and Culture School, 2nd: Richard Montgomery High School, 3rd: SV Chinese School; Junior Varsity: 1st: Richard Montgomery High School, 2nd: Bellaire High School, 3rd: Mission San Jose High; Intermediate: 1st: Klein Oak High School, 2nd: Betcher Home School, 3rd: Escuela de Arte ‘Pipiolo; Novice: 1st: Jasper High School, 2nd: Manlius Pebble Hill School, 3rd: Richard Montgomery High School.  -Special to the E-J by Jasmine Yan, AGHS Co-President. Photos: Mandarin Language Team, with advisor, top; Richard Montgomery Team, with advisor, bottom.

Zhuang Sweeps World Youth Qualifier

Monday April 4, 2011

Dark horse candidate Vincent Zhuang 5d pulled off a surprise victory in the World Youth Go Qualifier this past weekend on KGS.  Zhuang, who is 14, only narrowly made it to the finals at all.  A last -minute change in the age requirements by the Ing Foundation disqualified two older players with better records, allowing only kids under 16 next August to compete. Interestingly, the AGHS Young Lions Tourney in November of last year foreshadowed this result, with Zhuang beating two of the same finalists who would compete in this year’s WYGC qualifier. On Saturday, April 2, Zhuang got off to a great start by defeating Hugh Zhang 7d, who was the top seed in the four player double elimination finals.  Next he took down Andrew Lu 6d, eking out a 1.5 point win in a complicated fighting game.  Round 3 saw Lu knocking out Zhang, and set the stage for the finals the following day.  With everything on the line, Zhuang and Lu went at it Sunday morning.  They played at a break-neck pace, despite having an hour each, with neither willing to give an inch as the game exploded into heavy fighting again.  Zhuang carved out large territories on the right and left sides, and sacrificed a center group, to pull ahead and win the game.  His victory will carry him all the way to Romania, where he will represent the US in the WYGC.  In the Junior Division (under 12) nine-year-old Jeremy Chiu 1k upset some apple carts in his own right, knocking out Sammy Zhang 2d, and setting the stage for a showdown with 8-year-old Aaron Ye 3d, who is undefeated in the event.  As both players live in the Bay Area, their final matches will be played in person, at the BAGPA ratings tourney on Saturday the 9th. - Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor.

Mexican Youth Sponsor Contest

Sunday April 3, 2011

Mexico is hard at work on developing a serious go community among kids, an effort led by Siddhartha Avila, a teacher at Pipiolo Art School in Mexico City. “Last December we organized an open tournament for children, and 37 kids participated from 4 different schools, ” reports Avila, ” those 37 kids are 90% of the youth go players for the whole country.”  Avila’s group, Comunidad Mexicana de Go Infantil y Juvenil, are sponsoring an international art contest for kids to help boost the community.  More information, including an application, can be found here. Go among kids is “growing faster than with adults, where the national tournaments haven’t had more than 40 players ever,” said Avila. “It’s ok to promote go among adults, but I seriously believe that the key for go development at this moment is working with children and taking it to a national level.”  The Mexican kids are playing internationally too, having entered three teams in the recently-concluded AGHS School Team Tourney, and even scoring a bronze medal in the intermediate division.  Avila’s students have become regulars at the monthly Tiger’s Mouth tournaments as well, which are sponsored by the AGF.
- Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor

Categories: World,Youth
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U.S. Youth Go Championships Held

Sunday March 27, 2011

The United States Youth Go Championships (USYGC) drew 58 kids and teens on March 26. Contestants vied for the top slot in five different sections.  Dan level youth also competed for entry into a qualifier for the World Youth Go Championships, which will be held next week.  Calvin Sun 7d again topped the Senior Dan Division, with a perfect record.  Sun, who has represented the US four times in a row as USYGC champ, is required to take a year off from the WYGC, and will not be competing in the qualifier.  The Ing Foundation, which sponsors the event, just changed the age limit to under 16 for the Senior Division.  While this unfortunately disqualified several U.S. youth, the tourney allowed all of them to participate in the USYGC Qualifier anyway.  Eligible finalists who will be advancing on for the right to represent the U.S. at the World Youth are Hugh Zhang 7d, Andrew Lu 6d, Vincent Zhuang 5d, and Yunxuan Li 2d (who pulled a surprise upset by defeating several four dans).  In the Junior League (under 12) Aaron Ye 3d, Sammy Zhang 2d, Luke Zhang 1d, and Jeremy Chiu 1d will all compete in the finals next week.  Both Senior and Junior division games will start at 9 am PT, Saturday the 2nd, in the AGA Tournaments room on KGS.  Calvin Sun 7d is the National High Dan Champion, and Yunxuan Li now holds the title for National Low Dan Champion, Senior Division.

The kyu level tourney was equally exciting, with kids ranked from 1k to 19k duking it out in multiple bands.  April Ye 3k is the new Single Digit Kyu (SDK) Champion in the 1-4k bracket, Senior Division, while Larry Qu 4k is the new Junior Division Champ.  In the 6-10 kyu bracket, top honors went to Joey Phoon 6k in the Senior, and  Raymond Liu 10k in the Junior.  Bennett Ji 11k won the Senior in the 11-19k bracket, and Julian Erville 11k won in the Junior.  Winners will be receiving trophy plaques with their names and titles, $400 scholarships to the US Go Camp, and gift certificates for audio go lessons from Guo Juan’s Internet Go School.  The USYGC was run by tournament directors Paul Barchilon and Jeff Shaevel.
- Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor

Amberly Elementary Gets Go

Sunday March 6, 2011

Kids at Amberly Elementary School, in Portage MI,  learned about go this year. “Each year Amberly offers an opportunity for parents and members of the community to teach classes for an after school enrichment program,” writes Jason Preuss, whose daughter attends the school. “I decided it would be a great opportunity to introduce go.  The class met once a week for six weeks and had six students ranging from 1st to 5th grade.  It was enough time to cover the material in the first Level Up book.  The students enjoyed the class and the parents gave positive feedback. For my first time out I was pleased with how the class went. I would like to thank the AGF for their support, in particular the classroom start up kit.”
- EJ Youth Editor Paul Barchilon.  Photo by Jason Preuss
photo (l to r): Jason Preuss, Deidra Preuss, Alyson Koh, Jonathan Koh, Jonathan Ballard, Jacob Ballard. Not pictured: Zyad Wallace.

USYGC and World Youth Updates

Sunday March 6, 2011

The United States Youth Go Championships will be held March 26, with finals on the first weekend in April. The tournament will be held online, and will select the US representatives to the World Youth Goe Championships, in Bucharest, Romania.  The Ing Foundation has just announced that the Senior Division will be limited to under 16, not under 18, as has been the case in the past.  The USYGC will still allow youth under 18 to compete for the US titles, and will determine National Dan, Single Digit Kyu (SDK), and Double Digit Kyu (DDK) Champions. The winners will receive trophies, and prizes will be awarded in the following brackets: 5-7 dan 1-4 dan, 1-4 kyu, 5-9 kyu, 10-15 kyu, 16-20 kyu, 21-25 kyu, 26 and up kyu.  Contestants will be entered into a pool to receive $400 scholarships to  this year’s AGA Summer Youth Go Camp, courtesy of the AGF, 16 Scholarships will be awarded. The Junior Division is for youth 11 and under, the Senior Division is for youth under 16 as of August 17, 2011. Only US Citizens may enter the finals, residents may compete in the qualifier; the winners must be able to travel to Romania for the finals, August 12-19 (expenses are covered for the youth players, but not for parents).  To register, e-mail youth@usgo.org with your name, AGA #, date of birth, AGA rating, KGS ID, and citizenship.
- Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor

AGF College Scholarship Apps Being Accepted

Sunday March 6, 2011

Applications are now being accepted for the American Go Foundation(AGF) college scholarship. The program  recognizes high school students who have served as important youth organizers and promoters for the go community . To apply, download and complete the application form here. Applicants should describe their accomplishments and volunteer work in a short essay. Letters of recommendation may also be included. Applicants whose enthusiasm and ambition have helped spread go in under-served areas will be given special consideration. Strong players who spend much of their time voluntarily teaching will also be considered, although the award focuses on promoters and organizers who have made substantial contributions during their go career.  To read about former winners, check out Sensei #6.
- EJ Youth Editor Paul Barchilon.  Photo: 2010 scholarship recipient Cherry Shen.