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
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 email@example.com with your name, AGA #, date of birth, AGA rating, KGS ID, and citizenship.
- Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor
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.
Sunday February 27, 2011
Nominations for the AGF Teacher of the Year are now open. The award is presented each year at the U.S. Go Congress and recognizes an outstanding American teacher. The winner will receive an all expenses paid trip to the congress. To be eligible, a teacher must be a member of the AGA, have been teaching go to children for at least two hours a week for two years, have started a go club or organization for youth, and have helped their students enter appropriate tournaments, if possible. If you would like to nominate someone for this award, including yourself, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday February 21, 2011
Winston Jen, who previously donated thousands of dollars worth of anime (cartoons) and manga (comics) for AGA youth programs, is now donating 1,000 sets of the Hikaru no Go manga series. At 23 volumes of roughly 200 pages each, this represents 23,000 books. The series follows the adventures of a 12-year-old boy in Japan, who becomes a professional go player. Reading the series sparks tremendous interest in playing go among children (and adults too). The AGF is handling distribution of the sets, and is providing them for the cost of shipping to school and public libraries. The AGF is also using the donation as a springboard for major outreach to libraries, and will be attending the American Library Association’s annual convention this June, in New Orleans. 15,000-20,000 librarians will be attending, and the AGF will staff a booth in the vendor area, where 2009 Teacher of the Year Josh Frye will join AGF board members in teaching librarians about go, and offering them free manga and equipment to launch programs. Jen discovered go through Hikaru, and wants to share his love of the series with American kids. Jen lives in Japan, and adds English subtitles to anime series, which are distributed on the internet. Known as “fansubbing,” thousands of volunteers translate various series that otherwise might not receive an audience outside of Japan. Hikaru was first translated by fansubbers, and might never have made it to the US if fansubbers hadn’t created a market for it first. “Fansubbing has increased my empathy for other cultures and inspired me to study harder than ever,” Jen told the Journal, “I’m currently in the midst of correcting TokyoPop’s Fruits Basket localization as part of my PhD in applied linguistics.” Jen’s fansub group C1anime, is looking for volunteers. Current projects include Perrine, from the 19th century novel by Hector Malot, and a translation of the Anne Frank anime movie. Interested parties should e-mail email@example.com. Those who use Internet Relay Chat (IRC) can find C1 at #c1anime on Rizon.net. Various C1anime series can be downloaded online. - Paul Barchilon, E.J. Youth Editor
Sunday February 20, 2011
The United States Youth Go Championships will be held March 26 and 27, 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 finals will also 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 18 as of August 1, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, AGA #, date of birth, AGA rating, KGS ID, and citizenship.