American Go E-Journal » Youth


Thursday August 5, 2010

Thirteen-year-old 7 dan Calvin Sun (at right in his match against Korea) placed fourth in the recent World Youth Go Championships, representing the U.S. Nine-year-old Kevin Fang 1d was the Junior Representative, placing eighth.  “I am happy to have this opportunity to be in the exciting WYGC tournament,” Fang told the E-Journal,  “I got to play with the top junior players in the world.  I did not reach my goal this time, and ended up with the youngest player award.  I hope I will do better next time.”   The boys won a free trip to Penghu, Taiwan, to compete at the finals, July 22 – 28.  Mingjiu Jiang 7p went as team coach (see below for his commentary on Sun’s critical Round 4 match against Czechia).  “This was my sixth time representing USA in the WYGC,” writes Sun, “I placed fourth in the senior division this year and Kevin tied for eighth in the junior division–which is a very good outcome considering he was the youngest player participating in the competition. He also got the award for ‘Youngest Player’.  Other than the players from China, Korea, Japan and Taipei, the European Go players were also very strong. My most important game was the fourth round against Czech Republic’s representative, Lukas Podpera, 15. The winner would advance to the finals. Before the game, Mingjiu Jiang 7P helped me study all of Podpera’s games, and I played a fuseki he was not used to, thus leading throughout the game and winning by 17 points.  In the Senior Division, Korea’s Insei Han Seung Joo placed first,


China’s Baolong Zhao 2P placed second, Chinese Taipei’s Jiayuan Xu 6d placed third, and I placed fourth. In the Junior Division, China Qicheng Li 1P placed first, Korea’s Insei Min-Jun Shin placed second, Chinese Taipei’s Zhengxun Cheng placed third, and Singapore’s Yifei Yue placed fourth.  Penghu is an archipelago made up of 64 small islands west of Taiwan. The tournament took place on Penghu’s largest island, Magog.  The last day we went to another small island and went swimming and crab catching . Unfortunately, it was raining that day so many activities such as snorkeling and fishing were canceled. For dinner, we ate the crabs we caught that afternoon,” said Sun.
- Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor, Photos by Yanchen Sun.  From left, at left, Mingjiu Jiang 7p, Kevin Fang 1d, Calvin Sun 7d


5 MINUTES WITH: The Harwit Twins

Thursday August 5, 2010

Twin brothers Matthew and Nathan Harwit finish each other’s sentences, are virtually the same strength and are hardly ever seen apart but they’re quick to tell you that Matthew’s the older one. “Two minutes,” the twelve-year-olds say together. Matthew’s 4d and Nathan is 3d but they both agree they’re very close in strength and indeed Nathan won when the two were paired in Tuesday’s third round of the North American Ing Masters tournament. They’ve only been playing a couple years, learning the game after seeing it played at a chess tournament at their elementary school in Boulder, Colorado. “We thought it was cool,” says Matthew, “and the go players were friends of our mother,” adds Nathan.  The boys are regulars at the Boulder Kids and Teens Go Club, run by Paul Barchilon and David Weiss.  The club boasts four dan-level children, all of whom are at the Congress. The fraternal twins are fiercely competitive with each other, of course, and play at least one game every day, in addition to taking on other players on KGS. They cheerfully admit to having been caught playing go by flashlight under the covers after bedtime, and are thrilled to be playing in the Ing this year. “It’s great to get your butt kicked by 8-dans,” says Nathan, “yeah, we learn a lot and it’s fun,” adds Matthew.
- report/photo by Chris Garlock


Monday August 2, 2010

Curtis Tang 7d (r) won both Redmond Cup games, shutting out Jianing Gan 7d in the Senior Division.  Gan had been favored to win, placing first in the qualifiers, while Tang placed third, and was only selected to play when second place finalist Gansheng Shi was unable to attend the Congress.  Tang, now 17 years old, has a long history of success in the Redmond.  He took the Junior Division championship in 2001, 03, and 04, and then again in 2006 in the Senior Division. Both finalists won a free trip to the US Go Congress to compete, and will receive cash prizes as well, and this year None Redmond herself will present the Redmond Cup at the awards banquet. Click here for both game records (under Redmond Cup Senior Division).
- Paul Barchilon, Youth Editor


Monday July 26, 2010

Curtis Tang 7d (r) will be competing in the Redmond Cup at the upcoming U.S. Go Congress.  Gansheng Shi 7d was slated to play, but was unable to attend Congress.  Tang, who placed third in the finals, will face Jianing Gan 6d in a best-of-three match in the Senior Division.  In the Junior, eleven-year-olds Oliver Wolf 2d and Henry Zhang 1d will square off.  All Redmond games will be broadcast live on KGS in the AGA Tournaments room.  The action starts Sunday August 1 at 3p MTN time, with additional matches on Monday at 3p, Tuesday at 7p, and Thursday at 3p.
- Paul Barchilon, Youth Editor

Categories: U.S. Go Congress,Youth


Thursday July 22, 2010

Marjorie “Su Co” Hey has been chosen as the AGF’s Teacher of the Year.  An ordained Buddhist nun, she is in good company, joining Honinbo Sansa, the 16th century founder of the Honinbo House, among notable go playing Buddhists.  Hey, who lives in Medford, MA, has been a dedicated go teacher for the past seven years, with go programs at elementary schools, libraries, and Boys and Girls Clubs, often running five or six separate clubs each week.  “For those people who are afraid I am teaching their kids Buddhism, I point out that go was being played at least a thousand years before Buddhism or Christianity were established,” Hey told the E-Journal, “go teaches us to do our best, treat our opponents with respect and to avoid being greedy (the surest way to lose).”   Hey seems never to have been worried about the competitive aspects of the game, and instead delights in teaching and helping beginners.  She is not a strong player herself, with an AGA rank of 18 kyu, but she possesses a special gift – the ability to fascinate and delight children.  Her main interest is in helping her students, and she enjoys seeing their progress. “Ralph St. Louis (age 14) and I played to see if he would be eligible to play in the Massachusetts Go Association (MGA) tournament. Playing even, he won by a half point,’ said Hey.  “The next morning I loaned him my 10 volume set of Level Up and he set to studying it before the Sunday tournament. I entered him as a 20 kyu. He played me the first game and mowed me down. He went on to play a 6 kyu and won and then lost to a 4 kyu. I only won two and lost two. Last night I checked the new ratings and I had gone from 19+ kyu to 18.9 kyu but Ralph went from 20 kyu to 16.6 kyu. WOW!!!! Ralph is more than 2 kyu stronger than me.”  Tom Bahun, a teenaged 2 dan, tells a similar story:  “the first tournament I went to at the MGA was dull and boring, but the next one was run by Su Co, and we had tons of fun.  All the kids had huge smiles on their faces they were  so happy, including me, even though I had lost.  She is all around a great person and a great teacher of go to children.” The Teacher of the Year Award has become quite competitive in recent years, and many excellent teachers are finding themselves on a waiting list for the honor, which includes an all-expenses-paid trip the annual US Go Congress.  Honorable mention goes to Portland go teacher Fritz Balwit, and Colorado teacher David Weiss, who were also nominated for the award this year. Hey will hold a round-table discussion — for those who teach and those who would like to — at the Congress, on Monday Aug. 2 at 5pm.
- Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo: Hey, at center, teaching children at Brooks Elementary School in Medford MA.


Friday July 16, 2010

The American Go Association’s youngest member, 8-month-old Madelyn Terpstra — AGA #18087 – tries out her new go set, a birthday present from proud grandfather Ted Terpstra (AGA #754). Click here for membership info; send your membership stories to us at


Monday June 28, 2010

Will Hamilton, a 7th grader at Crane School in, Montecito, CA, scored big with go this year.  Students were assigned a Quests Explorations Discoveries (QED) project,  which is an “opportunity to explore an interest, embrace a challenge, make a ‘quest’ into a new area of interest, or work toward a personal goal,” according to the school’s website. Will contacted Ed Lee of the Santa Barbara Go club, who agreed to act as his mentor, and the two met weekly for five months.  “Early on, like many others who first discovered Hikaru no Go, Will was very enthusiastic,” reports Lee, “Then, little by little, like many other teenagers before him, he found out for himself that go is deep and the journey is very long and that it takes tremendous hard work to improve.”  Hamilton persevered though, and continued his studies. “I explained to Will that studying go in many ways is like studying a musical instrument  or a foreign language: just as a 3-hour intense Spanish lesson once every Sunday is not as good as a daily 30-minute class from Monday to Saturday, a little bit of go every day is better than cramming all on Saturday,” Lee said.  Crane School held a ceremony for all the QED students to share their projects on June 1, and Hamilton and Lee scored an extra bonus by bringing Jennie Shen 2P along.  Shen wrote about the project on her blog,  it is in Chinese, but can be translated roughly by going here.
- Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor;  Photo by Ed Lee (l-r):  Jennie Shen, Will’s parents, Will Hamilton, Ed Lee


Monday June 28, 2010

After three weeks of intense competition, the American Go Honor Society (AGHS) has named seventeen members to the US Junior National Team, who will  compete in the 2010 Brunei Friendship Games  later this week. Six students had earned berths directly for superior performance in the School Team Tournament, while the remainder were selected by a qualifying tournament. “From last year’s gold medal winning squad, we’re glad to welcome back two members who earned berths in the qualifying event,” reports organizer Ashely Wilson; “we look forward to repeating our performance and taking top honors again. Games will be played on KGS, so we hope you all will come out in support of the Red, White, and Blue against Southeast Asia.”  For more information, go to the AGHS website.


Monday June 21, 2010

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Monday June 14, 2010

Six young go players have won national titles in the recently-completed U.S. Youth Go Championships, which were held online.  Curtis Tang 7d led the High Dan (5-7d) division, narrowly defeating former champion — and current World Youth Representative — Calvin Sun 7d.  In the Low Dan (1-4d) division, which had both senior and junior sections, Justin Shieh 4d took top honors in the senior, while seven-year-old Aaron Ye 1d won the junior.  Van Tran is the new Single Digit Kyu Champion in the 1-4k range, while Larry Qu won in the 5-9k range.  The Double Digit Kyu Champion is Raymond Liu 10k.  The new title holders will receive trophy plaques with their name and title, and partial scholarships to the Go Camp or Go Congress.  Everyone who entered will also receive free audio go lessons, courtesy of Guo Juan’s Internet Go School. Click here for full standings in each division.
- report/photo by Paul Barchilon, Youth Editor; photo: Boulder youth compete at the USYGC Qualifier in April 2010