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

Last Call for US–Cuba Friendship Games

Saturday December 8, 2012

Time is running out to join a group of US players traveling to Havana, Cuba February 15 – 21, 2013. The trip is being organized to play go with counterparts in the Cuban go community as part of a “people to people” trip conducted under a US Treasury Department license for such travel. “Using go as a way to forge links between people of different countries, especially countries whose relations are as fraught as Cuba and the US, is very much in line with the vision of Iwamoto-sensei,” says AGA President Andy Okun. “This is a wonderful opportunity.” Besides a go competition February 16-17, the trip will also feature an itinerary of cultural/educational activities such as a visit to Finca Vigia, Hemingway’s home in Cuba. “It is still possible to add additional travelers, but it is necessary to act quickly,” says organizer Robert Gilman. “Though there is not a definite deadline at this time, the longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to accommodate additional travelers.” Email goincuba@gmail.com for information.

Categories: U.S./North America
Share

Sun Bests Irvington in Portland

Thursday December 6, 2012

Sun Montesorri School beat Irvington Elementary School in a five person, three round, two team match, 11 wins to 4, on Sunday, Dec. 2nd. Peter Freedman and Fritz Balwit, Irvington and Sun Montesorri’s coaches, respectively, co-directed the tournament. Irvington School Chess and Go Club Parent Coordinator Jessica Nesseler-Cass transported four of the Irvington players, and Ellis’ mom contributed a loaf of banana bread.  Leading the way for Sun Montesorri with three wins was Amos, with Holden and Hansen winning twice. Rakan, Hikaru, and Tessa played in a tournament for the first time.  Rakan and Hikaru are both brand new to the game, and Tessa just began playing this summer.  Hikaru’s dad is very into Manga, which is where Hikaru found Hikaru no Go and wanted to learn the game. The venue was Mt. Tabor Church’s Taborspace, where the church generously lets us play for free on Sunday afternoons.  Full results: Round 1: Amos b. McCaleb, Hansen b. Ellis, Holden b Noah, Niko l. to Sam, Dylan b. Rakan (1st player is Montesorri, 2nd, Irvington; Round 2: Amos b. Ellis, Hansen b. McCaleb, Holden b. Sam, Nick b Noah, Hikaru (YES! A local Go player named Hikaru!) b. Rakan; Round 3: Holden l. to McCaleb, Dylan l. to Ellis, Hansen l. to Tessa, Amos b. Sam, Niko b. Hikaru. -Tourney report by Peter Freedman

Pandanet-AGA City League Registration Deadline 12/20

Thursday December 6, 2012

There are just two weeks left to join the new Pandanet-AGA City League.  This new event features year-round regional competitions between teams of players from different North American cities or regions, with a prize pot of $15,000 for the A-League.  Deadline to register is December 20, with the first season set to begin January 1, 2013 and concludes with a final round in Seattle during the 2013 US Go Congress. There are already teams registered from Brentwood TN, Memphis TN, Syracuse NY, Research Triangle NC, Boston, and Southern California.  Additional teams are being formed in DC-NOVA, the San Francisco Bay Area, Santa Monica and Vancouver. “Those from other cities and regions in US, Canada, and Mexico and interested in joining should get organized soon,” say League organizers. “We look forward to a full slate of exciting competitions from many teams!”  Click here for more information, rules and registration.  Email questions to cityleague@usgo.org.

 

Missingham Named Go Ambassador at World Mind Games

Thursday December 6, 2012

Joanne “Jiajia” Missingham (r) has been named Go Ambassador at the upcoming SportAccord World Mind Games, which begin next week in Beijing, China. Other ambassadors include Hou Yifan (chess), Sjoert Brink (bridge), Chan Chun Kit (Xiangqi) and Alexey Chizhov (draughts). Missingham will also participate in the North American Go Convention next February.

Currently training in Taiwan, Missingham 6P was the runner-up at the first Bingsheng Cup Women’s World Championship in 2010. Her ranking in Taiwan Go Association has risen rapidly, putting her within striking range of top male Taiwanese players. Next year Missingham will be the only Taiwanese female playing in the Chinese Women’s A League, arguably the world’s top women’s go league. Missingham, born in Australia, lived in California for several years before moving to China in 2008 to study go, and joined the Taiwan Qiyuan in 2010. She’s also known as an artistic performer, especially in music and calligraphy; click here for a video of her recent lute solo. Also famous for her philanthropy and battles against sexism, in 2011 she led a tremendous charity effort for Japan after the Fukushima earthquake and she led a protest against unfair rules on female players’ tournament fees in a tournament in Taiwan.

Missingham will return to the U.S. and teach go in both New York/New Jersey and Washington DC during the North American Go Convention (NAGC) February 8-17, 2013. The NAGC website has been updated to clarify tournament schedule and locations, and information is also available in Chinese and Korean. While the two open championship tournaments, as well as the Pair Go and Blitz championship are all in the weekends of Feb. 9-10 and Feb 16-17, there are also rated games and teaching activities during weekday evenings 2/8, 2/12-2/15.

The NAGC organizing committee has been joined by two ‘veteran’ U.S. Go Congress tournament directors, Sam Zimmerman and Christopher Sira. Pre-register before 12/25 to avoid the upcoming 10% price increase.
- reported by Edward Zhang; photo: Missingham at the 2010 Bingsheng

Free Teaching Workshop with Yang Yu Chia Dec. 15

Wednesday December 5, 2012

Yang Yu Chia, general secretary of the Ing Chang Ki Goe Foundation, will introduce his innovative method of teaching go to children and beginners on Saturday Dec. 15, 2012 at the American Ing Goe Center in Menlo Park, CA. Yang has years of experience with teaching kids, and organizes and supervises the World Youth Go Championships every year. The seminar is free and open to anyone teaching or interested in teaching go, and begins at 2:00 pm.  The American Ing Goe Center is at 887 Oak Grove Avenue in Menlo Park, CA.

US Youth Championship Jan. 19

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 youth@usgo.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.

Kevin Zhou 5D Tops Chi Tourney

Monday December 3, 2012

Basking in the spring-like weather, 29 go players battled all day at the December 1 Entertainment for Menschen tournament in Chicago, IL. “It was so nice out that Shanthanu Bhardwaj 8k bicycled 37 miles to get there,” reports TD Bob Barber. Until Saturday, Zihang Yin had been undefeated in AGA play, and despite finally losing a game, the 8-year old Yin “was gracious enough to invite us all to join him at Legoland,” Barber says. “After some discussion, we opted for pizza and beer.”

Winner’s Report: 1st Place Dan:  ZHOU, Kevin, 5d (front right, in white shirt); 1st Place High Kyu:  RUBENSTEIN, Mark, 4k; 1st Place Mid Kyu:  BOYLAND, Peter, 7k; 1st Place Low Kyu:  TORRES, Tim, 15k.  photo by Mark Rubenstein; click here to see more tourney photos.

Categories: U.S./North America
Share

Li Wins Young Lions Tourney, Again

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.

Major New Go Event Being Planned for Feb 2013 in NYC & DC

Wednesday November 28, 2012

Plans are underway for a brand-new major go event in the U.S. early next year. Organizers for the North American Go Convention (NAGC) plan to run the event from February 8-17, book-ended with weekend tournaments in New York City (February 9-10) and Washington, DC (February 16-17), with the overall winner declared NAGC Open Champion. Both weekend open tournaments offer 8 rounds of rated games for kyu players, and 6 rounds for dan. Like the annual U.S. Go Congress, the NAGC organizers also plan to include simuls, lectures and game reviews with professional players, who thus far include Joanne Missingham 6P, Stephanie Yin 1P and Myung-wan Kim 9P. Also on tap are Blitz go, Pair Go, awards for top youth, female and senior players and more. The North American Go Convention is sponsored by the AGA Capital Go Club, NOVA Go Club and Days Inn Hotel, and organized by Yue Zhang, Sam Zimmerman, Garrett Smith, Tengxiao Yang, Edward Zhang, Liang Yu, Xiliang Liu, Joshua Guarino, et al. Click here for online registration; groups of 10 or more qualify for a 5% discount. For facility reservation reasons, registration fees will rise 10% after 12/25/2012.

Categories: U.S./North America
Share

Teachers at the 2012 International Go Symposium

Tuesday November 27, 2012

The 2012 International Go Symposium in Black Mountain, North Carolina attracted leading scholars and researchers from around the world for two days of presentations and discussions on the many aspects of the game of go. Dozens of hours of footage have now been edited down and posted online to accompany the conference papers. This 3-part series covers highlights of Symposium presentations by teachers, scientists, historians and anthropologists.

Games may be a major key to learning, suggested keynote speaker Nolan Bushnell (right) at the 2012 International Go Symposium, August 4-5, 2012. The entrepreneurial wizard behind products as diverse as Atari and Chuck E. Cheese, Bushnell is now applying principles such as “thalamic engagement” and “spaced repetition” to develop Brainrush, a game-based learning app that aims to help students learn all kinds of material more effectively. Mexican Go Assoiation President Israel Rodriguez offered some interesting speculations on the nature of the barriers to developing a go culture. Yet go is a superb medium for growth and development, as Dr. Roy Laird – a clinical social worker who manages treatment programs for The Children’s Aid Society in New York City and former President of the American Go Association – explores in his talk “Play Go And Grow,” about the unique aspects of go that favor positive development, and some interesting recent research on go and the brain. While go is popular in Asian communities and has developed a growing base among Caucasians in the West, its presence is very limited in other Western cultures. In Playing Under and Pushing Through the Stones, Roxanna Duntley-Matos, a member of the Western Michigan University School of Social Work faculty, describes how she used go as a tool for “emancipatory education” with the Ann Arbor Hispanic community, promoting leadership, camaraderie and success among a marginalized minority. At the upper end of the learning spectrum, Peter Schumer described a for-credit course on go  that he has taught at Middlebury College for years, offering tips on everything from curriculum development to teaching style. In “How Rules, Terms and Attitude Help or Hinder the Game,”, American Go Foundation (AGF) President and AGA Rules Committee Chairman Terry Benson (left) urges a rethinking of what it means to “play go,” and what we teach. Peter Freedman, an experienced go teacher from the Portland area, looked beyond simply teaching children the game to how to help them develop a lifelong love for go, while go teacher Siddhartha Avila’s Mexican school is committed to teaching through the arts. On a practical level, AGF VP Paul Barchilon  outlined some of the many ways that the AGF can help aspiring organizers in the US. Laura Martinez ended the go teacher’s panel, and the conference, by unveiling the winners of The Second International Go Art Contest.

The AGA and the 2012 US Go Congress are extremely grateful to the International Go Federation for financial support that made this event possible, and to the American Go Foundation for additional support.  All presentations can be found at the Symposium’s YouTube channel. In addition, links to all the videos and to associated papers, links and contact information be found at the Symposium website. NEXT WEEK: Historians and anthropologists at the Symposium.

Categories: U.S./North America
Share