American Go E-Journal » Youth


Monday February 20, 2012

Nine-year-old Aaron Ye 5d, has done it again, defending his title as the US Youth Champion in the under 12 age bracket. Ye entered the finals in third place, having lost a game in the qualifiers to his rival Jeremy Chiu 4d, age 9, but went on to win all other matches and secure his spot on the US team at the World Youth Go Championships this summer. The qualifiers were held on Jan. 21 on KGS, with the top four youth moving on to double elimination finals. In addition to Chiu and Ye, Justin Ching 1d and Daniel Liu 3d also made the finals. Ye got even for his loss in the qualifier, by defeating Chiu in the second round, while Ching was knocked out after losing to Liu and Chiu, which made the final matches a showdown between children who all live in the Bay Area. The last rounds were held live, at the BAGPA ratings tourney on Feb. 11. Chiu played Liu first, drawing black and opening with the High Chinese, which led to a strong win, and set the stage for his  face off with Ye.  With no losses in the finals, Ye was in strong form.  He drew black and opened with the Low Chinese.  Chiu resisted strongly, but had to resign when Ye gained the advantage in a fight between dueling eyeless dragons. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo by Steve Burrall: Jeremy Chiu 4d (l) vs. Aaron Ye 5d (r).


Portland Elementary Schools Duel

Monday February 20, 2012

On Sunday, Feb. 19th, two eight player teams, from Irvington Elementary School and Sun Montesorri School, in Portland OR, played a two round match.  The score was 8-8.  Irvington was a player short and added a ‘ringer’ in Theo Balwit (organizer Fritz Balwit’s son) to even the playing field.  The players are in the 2nd through 5 grades and this is their first year in team play. Sunstone won 6 games in the opening round, Irvington 6 in the second. In a battle with big swings, Holden Anderson was able to hold out over Ellis Zehnder for a 2 1/2 point win.  It’s not clear which team won the game of tag after the go match. Both teams would like to play again.  Results: Irvington Team: Theo Balwit, 2-0; McCaleb Nesseler-Cass, 1-1; Jordan Reed, 1-1; Ellis Zehnder, 0-2; Aden Corkum, 2-0; Ben Snead, 1-1; Tyler Reed, 1-1; Alton Lechner, 0-2. Sunstone Montesorri Team: Amos Brown, 1-1, Holden Anderson, 2-0; Hanson Lian, 0-2; Ishan Varma, 1-1; Nico Karassik, 0-2; Soren Lindseth, 1-1; Shalem Len, 1-1, Dylan Lian, 2-0.   - Story and photo by Peter Freedman

Mexico Schools Portland

Monday February 6, 2012

Four teams of elementary school kids in Portland OR and Mexico City, competed against each other in a friendly inter-school match on KGS, Jan. 21st. The kids from Mexico attend Pipiolo Art Institute, and are taught by Siddhartha Avila, who is building a vital Mexican Go community  around his youth programs. In Portland, Peter Freedman is workingwith kids at the Irvington School Chess and Go Club. Each school fielded two teams of three kids, the youngest player was 6 years old.  The Mexican kids have been playing longer, and won an impressive 10 out of 12 games. “The kids on both sides were really, really, excited,” reports Freedman. “They chatted nicely with each other as they played: ‘How old are you?’ ‘You won. You are better than me.’…We Skyped at the same time, so the kids could see each other. We made introductions, saw Sid’s classroom…it was very, very cool,” added Freedman.
- Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor.  Photos: top: Peter Freedman and the Irvington School kids; bottom: Siddhartha Avila with the Pipolo students

Redmond Cup Open for Registration

Monday February 6, 2012

Young American go players can now sign up for the 19th annual Redmond Cup Tournament. Preliminary games will be played on the Internet, courtesy of IGS-PandaNet, and the four finalists will be invited to the 2012 US Go Congress to play the final games. There are two divisions in the Cup; the Junior league for kids under 12 years old, and the Senior league for those under 18, on August 1st 2012. Competitors in the Senior League must have an AGA rank of  1 dan or higher, in the Junior 5 kyu or stronger. 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. The tournament director for the Redmond Cup is Michael Bull; Ing rules of Goe for all games. To register e-mail with your name, phone #, date of birth, AGA rating, IGS ID, and citizenship. The registration deadline is March 8, 2012. The Cup is sponsored by Michael Redmond 9P and his family, the American Go Association and the American Go Foundation. Photo: 2011 finalists, Aaron Ye 4d (l),  and Sammy Zhang 3d(r) compete at the US Go Congres in Santa Barbara. – Paul Barchilon, Youth Editor.

Sun Wins U.S. Youth Go Championships

Monday January 30, 2012

Fourteen-year-old Calvin Sun 7d  reasserted his position as the strongest youth player in America this past weekend. He entered the double elimination finals for the US Youth Go Championships as one of four finalists, in the Senior Division, but went on to win every game in a dynamic show of force.    Andrew Lu 6d was the only player to beat Sun in the qualifiers,  also scoring a win against Hugh Zhang 7d, which gave him the top slot as the finals began.  Lu started out well, defeating Zhang again in the first round of the finals, while Sun beat Matthew Harwit 4d.  Round 2 saw Zhang knocking out Harwit, while Sun got even with Lu for his earlier defeat.  Next Lu and Zhang squared off, but Zhang was determined not to lose a third time to Lu, and knocked him out in a strong third round showing.  Zhang was now aiming for Sun again, the two boys have been rivals for years, competing in the Redmond Cup and other events since they were both small children.  Sun stood his ground yet again though, knocking Zhang out in the exciting final match – and claiming the championship.  The games drew over 200 spectators on KGS, and a great deal of enthusiasm from US youngsters who had competed in the qualifiers the week before.  Sun will go on to represent the US at the World Youth Go Championships this summer.  In the Junior Division, Aaron Ye 4d and Jeremy Chiu 4d faced off against Daniel Liu 3d and Justin Ching 1d.  Ching was knocked out,  setting the stage for a showdown between Liu, Chiu, and Ye.  As all three boys live in the Bay Area, they will compete live at the BAGPA ratings tourney on Feb. 11. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Brian Allen: Calvin Sun at the US Go Congress.

Lu and Chiu Top USYGC

Monday January 23, 2012

The United States Youth Go Championships (USYGC) pulled in almost 70 players this past weekend on KGS.  Kids and teens competed in five different bands, with players ranging from 7 dan to the double digit kyus.  Dan level kids were also competing for entry into the four player finals, and the right to represent the US at the World Youth Go Championships this summer. Fifteen-year-old Andrew Lu 6d (at left) finished first in the qualifiers for the Senior Division (under 16) while nine-year-old Jeremy Chiu 4d (at right) placed first in the Junior (under 12).  The finals are double-elimination, and the first two rounds were held Sunday.  The finals continue next week on KGS for the Senior Division, while Jr. Division kids will square off in person on Feb. 11th, at the BAGPA ratings tourney in Menlo Park CA.  For full qualifier results, go here; for schedule and results in the finals go here.   Senior finalists are Andrew Lu 6d, Hugh Zhang 7d, Calvin Sun 7d and Matthew Harwit 4d; Junior finalists are Jeremy Chiu 4d, Justin Ching 1d, Aaron Ye 4d, and Daniel Liu 3d. Winners Report: 1st place Sr. 5-8 dan: Andrew Lu 6d; 1st place Jr. dan: Jeremy Chiu 4d; 1st place Sr. 1-4 dan: Matthew Harwit 4d; 1st place Sr. 1-5 kyu: Anurag Varma 3k; 1st place Jr. 1-5 kyu: Austen Liao; 1st place Sr. 6-10 kyu: Louie Liu 7k; 1st place Jr. 6-10 kyu: Raymond Liu 6k; 1st place Sr. 11-15 kyu band: Kalinda Fraser 12k; 1st place Jr. 11-15 kyu band: Bryan Tan 12k.  The tournament was run by Paul Barchilon and Karoline Burrall. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor

School Teams Tournament Registration Opens

Monday January 23, 2012

Are you enrolled in a go club at school? If so, this is your chance to challenge other go clubs from all over North America.  Registration is now open for the American Go Honor Society’s (AGHS) 13th annual School Team Tournament.  On March 17th and 24th, go clubs from the United States, Canada, and Mexico will compete for $3,000 in prizes, with some for every club.  Which club will take home the glory of being North America’s strongest go club? Register from now to March 1st to take your shot at being the best. Gather your team mates and play in various divisions ranging from Novice to Varsity level. Teams must be composed of three people who are in high school or below and are all younger than 20. Each member of each team must be enrolled in the same school or learning institution, and each school/learning institution can enter a maximum of 3 teams for the tournament.  For more information and registration, go to or contact us at -Viral Kotecha, AGHS Tournament Coordinator

’12 Youth Go Camps Unlikely Unless Organizers Step Up

Monday January 9, 2012

As previously reported, the future of American youth go camps is very much in question (U.S. Youth Go Camp Future in Doubt 12/17/2011 EJ). With no volunteers as yet stepping up to organize this year’s camps, “It may be time to recognize that the Congress itself has become the go camp, and that the AGA should not guarantee funding for a separate camp anymore,” says American Go Association President Allan Abramson. Anyone interested in finding out more about running a camp in 2012 should contact Abramson at by January 31.
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 the 2010 camp.


Minicomic Teaches First Capture

Monday January 9, 2012

Yi Weng, of the Rockville Go Club in Maryland, has made a minicomic that helps teach people about Go.  Weng made the comic as an assignment in one of his classes, but decided to make it educational as well.  The nine-page story makes a great introduction for kids, or anyone, and directions on how to play first capture are on the last page.  The comic can be downloaded here: firstcapture. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  

USYGC Deadline Jan. 15

Sunday January 8, 2012

Just one week left to register for the US Youth Go Championships.  Registrations have been coming in steadily, and several brackets are looking interesting.  23 Dan level kids are in the top two brackets so far, competition will also be tough in the 1-5  kyu bracket, with 11 kids at the moment.  6-10 kyu players will have their own bracket too, and more double digit kyu players are encouraged to register.  To see who is signed up so far, go here.  To register, e-mail with your name, AGA #, date of birth, AGA rating, KGS ID, and citizenship.  You may enter at a rank higher than your official AGA rank, but may not enter at a lower one.  The registration deadline is Sunday, January 15th.  For more info, see the USYGC page. -Paul Barchilon E-J Youth Editor.