Monday April 25, 2011
Elementary school go programs are on the upswing, with organizers across the country launching programs for young kids. Xinming Simon Guo used the Chinese New Year last February to introduce 64 second-graders at Hawthorne Elementary, in Chicago, IL, to the game. “We celebrated a special Chinese Spring Festival. Besides having delicious food for the celebration of the Chinese New Year, the students were treated with ‘delicious’ Chinese culture in the game of weiqi (go).” Guo reports that some of the kids will soon join his weekly program at the local Chinese school.
In Camp Hill, PA, Mark Lichtenstein started a program at Eisenhower Elementary. “I received go equipment from the AGF last school year,” reports Lichtenstein, “it got some use at the high school where I was teaching part time but the school closed over the summer, which I had anticipated. I brought the equipment with me to my new location, and I am glad I did, because it gave me the opportunity to lead a small go club at Eisenhower. I had 6 to 8 children in the club plus an assistant from the high school for each meeting. We met in February and March every other week for about an hour. Everyone learned some basics. Due to time constraints and attention spans, we started on 9×9 and moved to 13×13 but never went to 19×19. A few parents approached me at other school events and told me that their children were having a great time. The highschooler downloaded a go app for her smart phone. The parent running the chess club a few tables over was intrigued but I’ve not got him playing yet.”
Programs like these are directly supported by donations to the American Go Foundation (AGF). The AGF offers free equipment to any go program for kids in the US and Canada (through the CGA). They also offer free sets of Hikaru no Go to school and public libraries. For more information, or to make a donation, visit the AGF website. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo – at Hawthorne Elementary in Chicago, Guo is at far left, in the rear, wearing an orange shirt. Photo by Xinming Simon Guo.
Monday April 25, 2011
The Mexican youth go community helped raise funds for the Japanese at their Pray for Japan Festival on April 16th. “It was a great event,” reports organizer Siddhartha Avila, “we had 50 people participating, both children and adults, at the go workshop. Ranging from absolute beginners to dan players, everybody was teaching and learning, the public came by to learn about go during the day and we held the tournament at the end. It was a cultural event with many activities like painting, sculpture and photography exhibitions, conferences, music, movies, and workshops where children taught go and gomoku to the public. All the artistic and cultural activities at the festival raised approximately $1,300 (in US dollars). The funds were transferred to the Japanese embassy in México City.” More photos from the event are here. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Siddhartha Avila.
Sunday April 24, 2011
Over 1,000 spectators showed up to cheer on their favorite youth players at the 3rd Transatlantic Youth Match, held Sunday, April 17 on KGS. From the start, it was a very close match, as the two under-12 boards split their games 1-1 early on in the first series. While the North American side took the lead with victories by Andrew Lu and Jianing Gan, the Europeans quickly answered, tying the match 3-3 at the end of the series with Ali Jabarin’s victory over Bill Lin. The second series was equally nail-biting. Although the Europeans were seemingly down on their last leg, with victories by Gansheng Shi and Daniel Gourdeau putting them in a 4-5 hole, a close win by Thomas Debarre over Ryan Li tied the match up once again. In the last game to finish, Ricky Zhao had a slight lead against Mateusz Surma, but a large ko in the end proved to be too much for him to handle, giving the Europeans a 6-5 win, their first ever in the history of the Transatlantic Youth Match. More details, including game records, can be found on the TrabsAtlantic Youth website http://www.usgo.org/tournaments/TransAtlanticYouth/3/
- reported by Lawrence Ku, who also organized the match
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
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.
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 email@example.com. - 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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