American Go E-Journal » Youth

School Teams Tournament Set for March

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.

 

Share

Kyu Championships Deadline Feb. 11th

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. 

Portland Chess and Go Programs Booming

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).

North American Kyu Championships Launch for Youth

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.

“The Best Gift Ever!”

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.

Mexican Kids Sharpen Tourney Skills

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

US Pro Final Adds Youth Tourney

Tuesday December 17, 2013

The US Pro Qualification Tournament, which will be held in Los Angeles  Jan. 2-8, is adding a youth tournament for all ranks, to be held Jan 4-5, announced Myungwan Kim 9P, chair of the AGA’s pro system committee.  The event will be called the Milton N. Bradley Youth Go Championship, in honor of the late Bradley, who was devoted to youth go.  Players must be under the age of 17 (born on or after Jan. 5th 1996).  ”I think it’s a good idea to hold a youth go tournament in LA area every year,” Kim told the Journal.  ”We already have a great location, the Hotel Normandie, and kids can see professionals, the professional system and very serious games. It will help to stimulate kids to learn go, watching all these top players and their games.  I will play 13×13 simul games as well.”  Orange County organizer Kevin Chao will be the Tournament Director, and will handle registration.  He plans two four round tournaments, both 19×19 and13x13, for a total of eight games in two days.  19×19 games will be AGA-rated.  To register e-mail pogychao@yahoo.com. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Image: a page from Bradley’s Go for Kids, illustration by Seho Kim. Bradley’s cartoon form is seated at right.

From STEM to ST∑@M®, Teaching Go Along the Way

Monday December 9, 2013

“I taught go to 371 classroom teachers in 12 states last year,” Georgette Yakman (right) told the E-Journal over lunch recently on New York’s Upper West Side before heading home to Vermont. She had attended a math education conference to promote ST∑@M, the framework for integrated instruction she began to develop in 2006 (YOUTH GO: Improving School Scores 11/19/2007 EJ). ST∑@M has become a full time occupation, with certified educators and programs throughout the US and as far away as South Korea, where ST∑@M is now a part of the standard national curriculum for K-12 public schools. “When I help a school begin to apply the ST∑@M framework, I start with a two-day workshop,” she said. “I spend about two or three hours of that time teaching them go. It’s a perfect medium that pulls together science, technology and engineering concepts in a mathematical context – you need math skills to figure out who won – while also presenting challenges in the realm of the arts. The game itself has a kind of aesthetic; players need language arts to learn by studying and analyzing games; and go players can further enrich their connection to the game through the fine arts, understanding its context in history social studies and ethics and so on.”  ST∑@M is a further evolution of the STEM framework, which encourages educators to blend lessons from the fields of science, technology, engineering and math into integrated lessons in project-based learning applications. Yakman contends they didn’t go far enough. “Without the language arts, how will students communicate with each other to build projects? Without the liberal and fine arts, how will they appreciate and express the context and meaning of what they’re doing? What good is an architect who builds ugly or non-user friendly buildings, or a scientist that can’t explain what he’s doing? I use go for interdisciplinary learning, because it offers a fluid blend of technical and human-related (left and right-brained) skills, and is a natural way of progressing all types of intellectual development.” photo: Yakman delivering acceptance speech for NCTC’s STEM Teacher of the Year 2009
- Roy Laird 

 

Nihon Ki-in Announces New Under-20 World Tourney

Saturday November 30, 2013

The ‘GLOBIS Cup World Go U-20’, a new Japanese world championship for under-20 players, will be held May 8-11 2014 in Tokyo, the Nihon Ki-in has announced. The winner will win 3 million Japanese yen (about $30,000 USD) and all players will receive 35,000 JPY (about $350) for participating. Sixteen players under 20 years of age (as of January 1st 2014) will compete: six from Japan, three each from Korea and China, and one each from Chinese Taipei, Europe, North America and Oceania. “After the termination of the Fujitsu Cup, I am very glad to know that the Nihon Kiin is back to sponsor a world championship,” says AGA Vice President for International
Affairs Thomas Hsiang. The AGA will soon announce a selection procedure for this tournament.

Categories: Japan,World,Youth
Share

Li Three-Peats in Young Lions

Wednesday November 27, 2013

Yunxuan Li 6d has won the American Go Honor Society’s (AGHS) Young Lion’s tournament, for the third year in a row. “The tournament was very competitive,” writes organizer Calvin Sun, “with many new faces appearing this year. The first board topped the Active Games list, attracting almost 100 observers on KGS.” Competing on Nov. 16th and 17th, Li topped a field of 34 players with a 4-0 record. “The tournament was really great” Li told the E-Journal, “it is amazing to see new players each year. I want to thank the AGHS for giving this opportunity to North American youth, to compete and communicate with each other. All the games I played were so difficult. This was probably the most competitive year for the Young Lion’s yet.” Li graciously agreed to provide commentary on his crucial 2nd round match with Jimmy Yang 5d, and the attached game record is a freebie for all E-J readers.  ”I think it is very beneficial for young people to play go, it helps enlarge our imagination, and develops a sense of logic,” says Li. “It is very cool to have go as a friend when you are young, because it really helps you mature a lot.” 11 players 3 dan and up competed in the Open Section, which Li won. In Division 1, from 2d to 3k, Jeremiah Donley 1k took top honors; Division 2, from 5k to 9k was won by Frederick Bao 5k; Matthew Qiu 16k took the prize in Division 3, from 10k to 21k. Stay tuned for AGHS’ next big tournament, the School Team Tournament, which will be held in March. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo by Wenguang Wu: Li, at left, plays with Fang Tian Feng 8P. The kid with the yellow shirt, who is watching the game is Ding Hao 6d, an insei from Beijing Ge Yu Hong Dojo.

[link]