Tuesday December 4, 2012
The United States Youth Go Championships will be held Saturday, January 19th, on KGS. The tourney 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 -30 kyu (depending on number of registrants). The qualifiers will use several formats for pairing, and all dan level youth will compete in an open section. The top four eligible youth will then move on to a double elimination final held on January 20th, and continuing the following weekend. Contestants will also be entered into a pool to receive partial scholarships to either the AGA Summer Youth Go Camp, or the US Go Congress, courtesy of the AGF, 16 Scholarships will be awarded.
The Junior Division is for youth under 12, the Senior Division is for youth under 16 as of August 15, 2013. Only US Citizens under 16 may enter the finals, youth who are under 18 may compete in the qualifiers and kyu brackets, and so may residents who are not citizens. To register, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org 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 13th. For more info, see the USYGC page. -Paul Barchilon E-J Youth Editor. Photo: USYGC Sr. Division Champion Calvin Sun 7d, (at left) competing against Alexandru-Petre Pitrop, of Romaniam at the 2012 World Youth Go Championships, in Luoyang, China. Photo by Abby Zhang.
Wednesday November 28, 2012
Fifteen-year-old Yunxuan Li 5d once again led the pack of youth go players, with a convincing 4-0 record, in the annual Young Lions Tournament, held November 17th on KGS. “The final round of the tournament, with Li facing off against USYGC Champion Aaron Ye 5d, was especially breathtaking, with Li playing an exquisite tesuji combo while under time pressure to save his group from death and clinch the game,” reports tourney organizer Hugh Zhang 7d. The tournament, hosted by the American Go Honors Society (AGHS), is one of the premier youth competitions in the US. “I think the AGHS did a great job with this tournament,” Li comments, “they kept the tournament organized and fun, and made a good opportunity to play against youth players in America.” Li, as well as second place finishers Aaron Ye and Eric Su 4d, will receive as one of their prizes a free teaching game from newly minted go professionals Andy Liu 1P and Gansheng Shi 1P. Willis Huang 1d, another strong contender in the open division added that “I think the Young Lion’s Tourney was intriguing. It shows the potential younger players [like me] have.” Winners of the Young Lions tournament usually go on to do extremely well in the United States Youth Go Championship. Vincent Zhuang 6d, the 2011 winner went on to win the USYGC, while last year Yunxuan Li nearly made the finals. This year, Li is one of the top contenders and has a strong chance of winning the USYGC and representing the US at the world championships. The American Go Honors Society also hosts the School Team Tournament, in which schools each send teams of at least three players, and fight for the title of North America’s strongest school, more info here. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor, with Hugh Zhang. Photo: A crowd gathers to watch Yunxuan Li 5d, at left, in a match with Yoo Changhyuk 9P, at right, at a simul in LA last April. Photo by Wenguang Wu.
Monday November 19, 2012
The AGA Board voted to approve funding for the College Matching Program at its October meeting. Originally launched by former AGA President Mike Lash, the program allowed college clubs to receive financial support for starting go clubs. The program was canceled when the AGA lost Ing funding several years ago, but has now been re-approved. Colleges can apply to be AGF programs, which gains them access to go equipment from the AGF store. Although no equipment is provided free, the AGA will pay for half of any purchases, up to $50, or up to $100 if the program is also an AGA Chapter. As the AGF store is a non-profit, full board sets can be purchased for just $10. Equipment can only be used for in club play though, not for any specific individuals, and may not be resold. Colleges also gain access to items like Hikaru no Go for the library, go books, and a host of AGF resources for supporting clubs. More information can be found on the new AGF page for the program here. -Story and photo by Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.
Monday November 12, 2012
Thanks to a generous donor, the American Go Foundation is able to grant a select number of young players the opportunity to have a series of professional lessons online. Yi Lun Yang 7P, Janice Kim 3P, and Jennie Shen 2P, have generously agreed to support the program. Applicants must be AGA members, currently in grades K-12, and have never had a professional lesson before. Applicants will be judged on their demonstrated interest in go, their short essays and any letters of recommendation. Finalists may be asked to play a game against a strong amateur to confirm their enthusiasm. Six lessons will be provided to each player selected. The deadline for applications is January 1 2013. Apply to get stronger today, click here to download the form. -Report by Keith Arnold, Photo by Paul Barchilon: Yilun Yang teaching kids at the 2010 Go Congress.
Monday October 29, 2012
The 11th World Students Go Oza Championship will be held in Tokyo, from Feb 25 to March 1, 2013. Preliminary rounds will be held on the Pandanet IGS Go Server, and 16 students will be selected to proceed to the championship in Tokyo. Details are on the website for the event. “University/College students under the age of 30 can participate in the preliminary rounds,” says Makoto Moriwaki from Pandanet, “we would like as many students as possible to participate in the internet tournament.” The application deadline is Nov 25th, any questions can be directed to email@example.com. The entry form is here. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo courtesy of Student Oza website.
Monday October 29, 2012
Longtime Portland organizer Peter Freedman has been devoting his efforts towards school programs recently, with notable success. “The photo is from the Irvington Elementary School Chess and Go Club,” writes Freedman, “it has 30 students, in 2nd through 5th grades. The students can, play only chess; play only go; or, switch between chess and go each month. New students must play a month of go before they decide on their option. Go is played on KGS, and a self-pair tournament runs for go each month.” Freedman has also organized live match-ups with Sunstone Montessori, also in Portland, and has his kids competing online with students as far afield as Detroit and Mexico City. Read Freedman’s tips on running a successful program for children here. There are many more helpful links on the AGA’s teaching go page here, and the AGF will provide free equipment for K-12 go programs. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Peter Freedman: Jordan (l) and Aden (r) at the Irvington Club.
Thursday October 25, 2012
A newly acquired set of the Hikaru no Go manga is on prominent display at the entrance to the high school library in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. “The students were fascinated by the go display,” says Capri Stiles (at right in photo), Carlisle High School librarian. “Expanding the knowledge of the students through authentic experiences is always a great way to promote literacy. The display encouraged students to start the series, and ninth graders who started reading them at one of our middle schools were delighted to be able to access the rest of them here. A playing board and a collection of go magazines really increased the interest in the books.” The American Go Foundation makes the popular manga series available to school and public libraries for free, with just a $20 charge for shipping, click here to order a set. The donation to Carlisle High School was arranged by Fred Baldwin (AGA 8k), a member of the Harrisburg Area Go Club. Baldwin, who is also a long-term member of the Carlisle Area School District board, also arranged for two Carlisle middle school libraries and the local public library to receive their own sets. “Several kids at one of our middle schools have developed an interest in go, thanks largely to Hikaru,” Baldwin says, “and two or three of them are regular participants in club play. It’s good to see teenagers learning to love the game and benefit from the mental discipline it requires. I especially appreciate how our school district’s librarians, Ms. Stiles and Stephanie Weimer, have worked with other faculty members to encourage Carlisle students to give go a try.” -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo and reporting by Fred Baldwin.
Wednesday October 17, 2012
The popular Young Lions tourney, for school aged youth, is back with a new twist. Based on the tournaments in Hikaru no Go, where the newest professionals take on the top insei, the Young Lions has become one of the premier youth tourneys online. This year the winners will get a special treat though, 1st and 2nd place in the top bracket will get a chance to play a game with our very first crop of American pros, Andy Liu 1P and Gansheng Shi 1P. The event is run by the American Go Honor Society (AGHS) and has developed a reputation for picking some of the top young players in the US. “Returning competitors, are you curious how much you have improved?” asks AGHS Promotion Head Junhee Kim, “new go players, are you up for the challenge? Come sign up for fun, experience, and most importantly because of your love for go!” The tourney will feature brackets for all levels, with prizes and glory for all skill levels. See www.aghs.cc for rules and registration. The tournament will be held on KGS in the AGHS Tournaments Room on November 17th and 18th. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.
Monday October 8, 2012
The Nihon Ki-in has just released an English version of Cho-U’s 4×4 Go Puzzle. Cho-U 9P came up with all of the problems for the program, and has developed a clever system for introducing go to young children. The app is available for iPhone and iPad, and is being offered on the App Store at an introductory rate of just 99 cents, until October 19th, when the price will increase to $2.99. The app introduces a colorful cast of cartoon characters, including Minigo, a black cat, and Diego, a big white dog who is taking over the playground and won’t let the cats into his territory. Children can enter story mode for flash animations that teach the basic principles of go as part of the cat’s quest to get back to the playground. The graphics are terrific, and the stones are cats and dogs. When “stones” are in atari, they shake and shiver (this can be turned off in settings for a bigger challenge). The story is interactive, and kids are asked to help Minigo solve various problems as he confronts various opponents. Players can also go to the free and challenge levels, where they can solve go problems directly. The board size is limited to 4×4, but Cho-U has made very clever puzzles within this limitation. Many of the problems revolve around seki, and you can choose what level to play with, or progress through the levels as you improve. Players can also buy more problems for the program, which come with all new festive graphics. The Snack Pack problem set gets you 100 problems, with chocolate and pink frosted donuts for pieces. The Rainy Pack and the North Pole Pack offer additional cute themes and more complicated problems. I bought the Rainy Pack for .99 and was charmed by frogs and snails playing on a lily pad field; the first problems I tried revolved around snapback. This app is perfect for kids from 5 to 10 years old, and even older kids will enjoy some of the more challenging problems. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Picture courtesy of the Nihon Ki-in.