American Go E-Journal » U.S. Go Congress

KBA Names Two Pros for US Go Congress

Wednesday May 29, 2013

The Korea Baduk Association is sending Kim Hyunghwan 6p and Lee Dahye 4p to the US Go Congress in Tacoma this year. Kim Hyunghwan, 27, is a student of famed teacher Kapyong Kwon, whose students include Lee Sedol 9p and Park Junghwan 9p. He distinguished himself as a youth player, and was unbeaten in the 2001 WYGC in Maui, Hawaii, becoming pro the following year. The Maui experience  prompted him to study English. He is also a student of Chinese and teaches go at university clubs. Lee Dahye, 28, aside from representing Korea in international play, is a specialist at teaching beginners, expertise she will be sharing as an instructor at the first ever AGA classroom teaching certification workshop at Congress. Since 2008, Lee has amassed an impressive record broadcasting lessons on Baduk TV, K-Baduk and Cyberoro (you can see some of her lessons on YouTube here).  She has also taught soldiers in Korea’s military, students at university clubs, and multicultural youth. She  edited the Korean edition of Hikaru no go as well. Most relevant for the teaching workshop, she is co-author of the Korean-English go book, Falling in Love with Baduk, which will be distributed to workshop students free in PDF form (it is available for download through the AGF here as well). She graduated Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, majoring in Japanese, and is in graduate school in the same university. -Andy Okun, with assistance from Myungwan Kim 9p. Photo: Lee Dahye 4p

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Go Congress Site Posts 60 Local Attractions

Tuesday May 21, 2013

Go Congress co-director, Gordon Castanza, has compiled a list of 60 diverse activities that are “sure to fascinate those who want to see the attractions of the Seattle-Tacoma-Olympia area,” says Castanza. “From aquariums to arboretums to beaches, parks and zoos, the Pacific Northwest has something for even the most fastidious visitor.  Find the trolls of Fremont, the wonders of the Chihuly glass sculptures, the gastronomical delights of 5 species of oysters from the bays of Puget Sound, and the dizzying vistas of the Space Needle. So get a group together and eat your box lunch while reveling in the panoramic views of the Olympic Mountains to the west or one of the many volcanoes (Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier, and Mt. Baker) of the Cascade Range to the east. You will find the ‘Non-Players’ Activities’ list on the Congress web page here. The activities are self-propelled and self- guided.” Day off tours for players are also posted on the site, and players can of course engage in the the non-player activities as well.  Local residents will be available to help people make plans.  Photo by Gordon Castanza: “The architecture, and the layout  of the Seattle Chinese Garden is the same as in Seattle’s Sister City, Chongqing, China. These rocks not only come from, but also imitate the mountains around  Chongqing, which is in Sichuan Province.

Four American Pros Coming to Congress

Wednesday May 15, 2013

Myungwan Kim 9P, Yilun Yang 7P, Mingjiu Jiang 7P, and Jennie Shen 2p have confirmed they will be teaching at the US Go Congress in Tacoma this year.  Co-Director Chris Kirschner reports: “Pros from Korea, China, and both Kansai Ki-in and Nihon Ki-in in Japan will attend, but we aren’t sure of the names yet.” Korea also plans to send two additional pros to the Teacher Workshop. See the What’s Happening link on the Congress Website for more details and frequent updates.

Historical Exhibit to Debut at Go Congress

Sunday May 12, 2013

“The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience will be assisting us to present items of significance to the history of go in this country,” reports Congress Director Chris Kirschner. “We  will have a collection of AGA Journals from the 1940′s and 50′s. Japanese players in Seattle have donated old books dating back to the early 1920′s, including some that were hand written during the wartime internment. Copies of some of these will be available for purchase at the Go Congress.” Also on display will be a floor board and stones, along with a doll that traveled West from Japan about 1900, to Austria, and continued from Europe about 1950, landing in Seattle ultimately.

“We will  have a piece by well known Japanese calligrapher Taiun Yanagida, stating 10 rules for playing well,” said Kirschner. “It was a feature at the original Seattle Go club in Seattle’s international district, which was a chapter of the Nihon Ki-in. It was donated to the Seattle Go Center by surviving members of that club shortly after the Go Center was founded in 1995. A translation will be available.  Copies of early books in English will make an interesting comparison with our modern book style,” adds Kirschner. The organizers are looking for additional display material.  If you have material you would like to see displayed , contact Kirschner at director2013@gocongress.org. -Paul Barchilon. 

AGA to Issue Rank Certificates at Go Congress

Tuesday May 7, 2013

Top winners at this year’s U.S. Go Congress will receive the AGA’s first-ever Rank Certificates. Although the automated rating and tournament reporting system may not be ready by August, “AGA President Andy Okun looked at reports of US Open winners and determined that over 90% of those who place in the top three in their band, or top 6 in the open section, hold or exceed the rank,” reports Congress Co-Director Chris Kirschner. “That’s good enough for us to jump-start the program with certificates based on placing at least third in your band,” said Okun. When the automated process is completed, players who meet the standard for their next rank will receive an email notifying them of their achievement and a printable PDF certificate. Fancier certificates and plaques, suitable for framing, will be available at a reasonable cost. “This is an exciting addition to the tournament scene,” said Karoline Burrall, AGA National Tournament Coordinator. “Since the only way to get the certificate is to compete in AGA tournaments, we are expecting more and larger tournaments.”

U.S. Go Congress Registration Passes 100 Mark

Saturday May 4, 2013

Over 100 early birds have registered for the 2013 U.S. Go Congress, which runs August 3-11 in Tacoma, Washington. Registration cost rises $50 after May 31; payment must be made in full to receive the early-bird discount (which is why only 48 show on the “Who’s Coming” page, though some registrants simply may not yet selected room and board plans).

“This Congress has new exciting plans,” says Congress Co-Director Chris Kirschner. “The AGA will issue official rank certificates, a teacher’s workshop will inaugurate an AGA teacher certification program, and The Pentathlon is a new competitive opportunity for the truly dedicated.” Combined scores from the U.S. Open, Self-Paired, 9×9, 13×13 and the Lightning tournaments will determine the Pentathlon winners. photo: Mt. Rainier, nearby the Congress site

Teacher of the Year Deadline Extended

Thursday May 2, 2013

Nominations for the American Go Foundation’s  Teacher of the Year award have been extended until May 30th. 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 (during the school year) 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 apply for this award, e-mail mail@agfgo.org.  Nominations are due by May 30th and should include a description of the teacher’s activities,  how long they have been teaching, and how many students attend their program. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo: 2011 winner Fritz Balwit teaching his son Theo. 

Korean Pros to Attend Teacher’s Workshop at U.S. Go Congress

Sunday April 28, 2013

The Teachers Workshop planned for this year’s U.S. Go Congress has attracted the attention of the Korean Baduk Association,  which is sending two Korean pros who are recognized experts in teaching techniques, to add to the program. “They are very enthusiastic about supporting go education in America,” says Myungwan Kim 9P, whose diplomacy made the visit possible.  The Koreans are particularly interested in sharing their techniques for bringing youth players into the low single-digit kyu level within a year or two. “Our curriculum this year is aimed at those teaching absolute beginners,” says workshop coordinator Bill Camp. “The Korean expert teachers will allow us to expand the program to include those who want to teach at a higher level.”  Enthusiasm for the workshop is much higher than expected, according to Congress co-director Chris Kirschner, who reports that “16% of Congress attendees thus far have registered for the workshop. We aren’t planning on turning anyone away, but we do want people to sign up early so we can plan the workshop sessions to fit the number and types of people attending.” – Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor

$200 Congress Scholarships Offered for Youth

Saturday April 27, 2013

The American Go Foundation (AGF) is offering $200 youth discounts to this year’s US Go Congress.  Interested youth must write an essay on why they want to go; the application deadline is May 30th. Twenty-Five scholarships are available, and up to 15 awardees will be selected by June 1. Five scholarships are available to residents of Canada or Mexico. Applications received after May 30th will be placed in a lottery with the remaining scholarships  awarded at random from qualifying essays.  The scholarships are available for youth who are under 18.  For more information, and to apply, click here.  - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: In the Youth Room at the  2012 Congress, photo by Paul Barchilon.

2013 U.S. Go Congress Registration Opens

Thursday April 11, 2013

“Registration is now open for the 2013 U.S. Go Congress!” says Congress Co-Director Chris Kirschner. Click on “Sign In” at the top of the Congress website  and you can register, choose your housing and meal plans and even sign up for Day Off activities. Although technical glitches delayed opening registration, “We’re back on track and excited about our plans,” adds Kirschner. Carrying on the Northwest tradition of providing something new at Congresses there, Kirschner says this year’s Congress “will include a special workshop for teachers who will get a $50 rebate of their Congress registration courtesy of the American Go Foundation.” The Korean Baduk Association is considering sending Korean pros who are particularly interested in meeting and teaching the American baduk (go) teaching community. And in a groundbreaking style development, Kirchner reports that “There will be alternative Congress tee shirt styles and colors,” including three styles for women and alternative colors in all styles. This year’s Go Congress also features a brand-new competitive event, the pentathlon. “Only for the truly dedicated competitors, the pentathlon will combine results from the U.S. Open, Self-Paired, 9×9, 13×13 and Lightning tournaments,” says Kirschner. “So far as we know, this has never been done before.” - photo: Point Defiance Park, near the 2013 Congress site