American Go E-Journal » U.S./North America

AGHS Seeks New Officers

Monday July 2, 2012

“Are you a good leader, and  do you want to contribute to the future of youth go?” asks Justing Teng, Co Vice-President of the American Go Honor Society (AGHS), who run the popular School Teams Tournament every year. Applications are open for officer positions for the 2012-2013 school year including Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Promotion Head, Tournament Organizer, and Webmaster. These positions are limited to Go enthusiasts under the age of 18 and in grades 6-12. The window for applications closes on August 15. More information as well as the application itself can be found at the AGHS website (http://www.aghs.cc). “Feel free to email any questions to AGHSpresident@gmail.com,” adds Teng. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.

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AGF Twitter Feed

Monday July 2, 2012

Part of the new AGF website is a Twitter feed, which drew the attention of  #Engage365 for an interview with AGF VP Paul Barchilon last week.  Learn more about the redesign, and the AGF’s goals in the transcript of the interview here.  The AGF hopes to build a voice on Twitter, by sharing information about new Go clubs and resources nationwide.  Interested readers can follow the AGF at AGFgo on Twitter.

 

$8,000 Needed to Get U.S. Team to Mind Sports Games

Sunday July 1, 2012

With less than a week to go, the fundraising goal for the U.S. Mind Sports team is $8,000 short, reports American Go Association President Allan Abramson. The U.S. has been invited to compete in five tournaments at the 2012 World Mind Sports Games in Lille, France. “This is a great opportunity for our players to participate in such a high-profile event, but we need your support to get our team there. Please donate online.”

TygemGo Online Pro Prelim Down to Final 21

Wednesday June 27, 2012

The field in the TygemGo Online Pro Prelim has been narrowed down to the final 21 players, six of whom are Canadians. The tournament’s last round will be this weekend, with the last seven players qualifying to go to North Carolina in late July for the ‘face to face’ final rounds with the other nine finalists. The top two winners in North Carolina will be the first American-certified pros. Myung-wan Kim 9P will provide live commentary on Tygem on Saturday and Sunday starting at 12:30p EST at Korea1 server. “I think observers will see very interesting games in this final round since the competition is getting tougher,” Kim tells the E-Journal. “I really enjoy the interactive live commentary with observers. If you come to my commentary, be sure to vote for the next move. It’s not only fun but also the better way to learn from my commentary. And of course, questions are always welcome.”

The final 21 players:
U.S.: Matthew Burrall, Wei Chen, Daniel Chou, Bert Hallonquist, Kevin Hong, Dae Kim, Sooil Kim, Ben Lockhart, Andrew Lu, Eric Lui, Daniel Puzan, Cherry Shen, Justin Teng, Aaron Ye, , Vincent Zhuang.
Canada: Will Gan, Juyong Ko, Bill Lin, David Lu, Jing Yang, Oliver Wolf.

Jeff Horn Tops Davis/Sacramento Tourney

Monday June 25, 2012

Jeff Horn 1D won the Upper Division of the Davis/Sacramento Go Club’s Summer Quarterly Tournament, held at the Arcade Library in Sacramento on June 23. The Lower Division winner was Jeff Murphy, 4k. Both had 2 wins.
- Willard Haynes

Categories: U.S./North America
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American Go Foundation Launches New Website

Monday June 25, 2012

The American Go Foundation (AGF) launched its new website on Friday, June 22. “This is a complete redesign and makeover of the site,” says AGF Vice President Paul Barchilon, who led the project. “We want to make it easy for any teacher, librarian or enthusiast to start a club in their community. We also want everyone to know about all our different services — our newsletter; matching grants that help new programs get up to $400 worth of equipment; our free Starter Sets; Tigersmouth, our moderated online hangout for young players ; free Hikaru No Go manga for public libraries; fiscal agency; and more.” Barchilon began working with web designer Lee Gentry in January, aiming to go live in time for the AGF’s tabling of The American Library Association’s annual convention.  “More than 20,000 librarians attended ALA last weekend, and we hope many of them will look at the site and realize how valuable, and easy, a go program can be.” Barchilon is looking for feedback from users. “Any new rollout has bugs, typos, omissions, etc. Please tell us what’s wrong by using this brief survey form. We want the site to be perfect.” The AGF receives no foundation or government support and relies solely on donations.

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Joe Walters Named 2012 AGF Teacher of the Year

Thursday June 21, 2012

This year’s Teacher of the Year winner, Joe Walters of Pasadena, CA, learned go in the Navy. That is, he learned about go. “A buddy and I tried it and wound up bewildered, with two walls across the middle of the board,” Walters said.  “I didn’t really start to understand go until the Ishi Press books began to appear in the 1970’s.” Walters’ current rank is about 8K. Each year the American Go Foundation selects an outstanding go organizer as Teacher of the Year (TOTY). The recipient receives an all-expenses paid trip to the US Go Congress, where the TOTY leads a discussion among fellow organizers, sharing strategies and learning from each other.  After his stint in the Navy, Walters returned to civilian life and joined the staff of the Reiyukai (Spiritual Friendship Society), a lay Buddhist association. He suggested organizing a go club at the Center to attract visitors and promote interest, and the Go-For-Yu Club was born. Later, after a stint as the Director of the Reiyukai in the Philippines, he returned to Pasadena and founded the Yu-Go Club. “Jimmy Cha was a big help in the early days, along with Richard Dolen, Gun Ho Choi, and Bob Terry. Then when Yi-lun Yang came to town, things really started to take off.”

Four years ago, when Walters retired, he decided to use some of his newfound freedom to start a go program at his grandson’s elementary school. Before long, about 150 of the school’s 400 students were involved – ironically, his grandson was not among them. Starting with brief presentations during recess, the program soon moved to the lunchroom. “Most of the kids were finishing lunch in 15 minutes or so. The cafeteria doubles as the auditorium, so we set up go equipment on the stage. Being so visible, other kids wanted to play, and so it grew.” Each participant gets an index card marked with a Pokemon character of their choice, to record contact info, game results and so on. Setting up the program, Walters relied heavily on the Assistant Principal, who last year became principal of a nearby school.  Walters expanded his activities to that school, teaching and operating the program two days a week during lunch at each site. “The noise in the lunchroom makes it hard to teach, but we can’t meet privately because students cannot be alone; a teacher must be physically present at all times,” Walters said. The principals of the two schools are good friends and maintain a friendly rivalry between their schools, so when Walters proposed an intramural tournament last year, they jumped at the chance and even provided a traveling trophy. Four players from each lunchtime group – first/second grade, third/fourth and fifth/sixth – met in a two-round playoff last year, but a few no-shows marred the result.  This year, all interested players will participate. Walters ran the event with the help of local players Jeff McClellan and Reese.  This year they will offer lessons to the parents, ending with parent-child games for all who will participate. Next, Walters hopes to teach participants in a local senior center and perhaps arrange for some of his students to meet and play with the seniors. He also enjoys teaching beginners on KGS and can often be found in the Beginner’s Room as “Jodageezer”. “Go is such a great way to connect all different kinds of people,” he says.
 reprinted from Sensei: The American Go Foundation Newsletter

Go Documentary Expands Goals, Outreach

Thursday June 21, 2012

With 16 days to go, “The Surrounding Game” documentary team has already surpassed its initial fundraising goal (American Go Players Seek Support for Go Documentary, 6/12 EJ) and is now pushing for their second funding target of $25,000. “We are realizing that this is bigger than just the film” says David Glekel, 2d, who joined the team last month.  “With the start of the American professional system and the first North American Go Symposium, this year is a golden opportunity for the American go community to make a major impact on public awareness.” As part of this new phase, the team is contacting every go club in America to unite the go community in a push for public outreach. “We’re asking for your help in promoting go in every way possible, whether it’s through word-of-mouth, teaching go in your community, hosting a local tournament or workshop, or by supporting our documentary project.” says co-director Cole Pruitt. The team has also released new community-oriented prizes on their Kickstarter page, and has given their story to a number of online media outlets. The Surrounding Game documentary team will be filming at this year’s US Go Congress, Pro Certification tournament and International Go Symposium, and will also be traveling to China and Korea to document international title tournaments and the cultural legacy of go in Asia. “This isn’t just a ‘promotional film’ ” says Pruitt, “it’s about the narrative of go, the people it inspires, and the unique place that go has among cultures and communities. Our dream is that this film will provide the general public a real chance to explore firsthand how incredible go is.” photo: Cole Pruitt (l) and David Glekel shooting at the Maryland Open

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4 AGA Board Seats Contested by Full Slate of Candidates

Wednesday June 20, 2012

As Barack Obama and Mitt Romney vie for the Presidency and the major parties battle for control of Congress this year, another election has thus far escaped the media’s attention. Four of the American Go Association’s seven Board directors are up for election this year, with a full slate of candidates contesting for the seats on the Board. In the Eastern region, running for the seat currently held by Chuck Robbins, three are running: Gurujeet Khalsa, Feng Yun and Thomas Hsiang. Bob Barber is challenging incumbent Central region director Lisa Scott, and Chris Kirschner, Jeff Horn and Steven Burrall are competing for the Western seat currently held by Andrew Okun, who was recently appointed President of the AGA. In the At-Large election, Zhiyuan [Edward] Zhang and Chuck Robbins, the current Eastern region director, are challenging incumbent Jie Li. All terms are for two years. AGA chapters with two or more members can vote for the candidates in their region, while all full AGA members may vote for the At-Large candidate of their choice. Ballots will be emailed to all eligible voters by July 1, and the results will be tallied and announced at the US Go Congress in Black Mountain, NC, during the first week of August. Click here for complete voting instructions and candidate statements, if available.

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Janice Kim to Teach Workshop in Northern California This Weekend

Monday June 18, 2012

Janice Kim 3P, popular go teacher, go blogger, and co-author of the Learn to Play Go book series, will teach a workshop in Berkeley, California this coming weekend, June 23 and 24. Those who signed up early turned in game records for Kim to review before the workshop so that she could tailor the discussion topics specifically to students’ needs. “Course materials and game records will be provided in both print and electronic format so that students can take notes and annotate records on mobile devices or with pen and pencil,” reports organizer Roger Schrag. Seats are still available, and the deadline to sign up is this Friday, June 22 at noon. Class size will be kept small so that everyone can get as much individual attention as possible. Learn more about the workshop and sign up on the workshop web page.  Photo: Janice Kim lectures at the 2012 Cotsen Open; photo by Chris Garlock.

Categories: U.S./North America
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