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

Google Donates $120,000 in Free Ads to AGF

Monday June 17, 2013

Google has agreed to donate up to $120,000 per year to the American Go Foundation (AGF) in free AdWords, those text-based ads you see to the right when you search on Google. The AGF received this benefit by qualifying as a Google Nonprofit, a status available to 501c3 corporations. “This is a great new way to reach out to players, teachers, librarians, organizers and people who ought to be players,” said AGF President Terry Benson. The AGF’s first AdWords campaign attracted almost 200 hits in the first week, with a “Got Best Game?” theme; traffic on the AGF website is up at least 30%. Another benefit of the program is access to One Today, a crowdsourced microfinance fundraising app for 501c3s. The app, currently only available for Android, presents users with one charity every day, and asks for a donation of one dollar, or more if a donor is so inclined.  Multiple charities are displayed each day, and users can pick who they want to donate to. The AGF is working on a One Today profile, and will go live on the app in the near future.  Like Microsoft, Exxon, and other major corporations, Google also matches the contributions of employees who make charitable donations to organizations like the AGF. -Roy Laird

Share

New AGA Pro To Play in First Korean Tournament

Saturday June 15, 2013

Gansheng Shi 1p, who qualified with Andy Liu 1p as an AGA pro in last year’s certification tournament, is scheduled to play in his first Korean pro tournament, the KT-Olleh Cup, on Monday June 17th.  The young Canadian will play alongside Korean professionals and even receive a small game fee for playing.  Top prize in the tournament is $100,000.  The KT-Olleh is one of five tournaments that the Hankuk Kiwon (KBA) agreed to allow newly certified AGA pros to play in, and the first to start since Shi traveled to Korea last month. The next scheduled of the five is the Samsung Cup in August.  “My goal in tournaments would be to win at least one game but it seems very difficult,” Shi told the EJ.  Shi is studying at the Choong-Am Dojang in Seoul, with travel support from the AGA and tuition support from the KBA.

Shi says he is enjoying Korea, Korean food, and some new friends. He describes the Choong-Am as a “really quiet nice place to focus on go,” although he had difficulty adjusting at first. “I started off in league C … The first 2-3 weeks were really bad and I had a horrible losing record of something like 3-9, then I managed to stabilize in the league and was able to stay in league C without being moved to league D.  The new month just started and I have been doing great so far, winning most of my games and I really hope to move to the next league after this month.”  Shi fills his days with self-study of pro games and life and death until lunch, a game and then review with a teacher in the afternoon, more self-study and some exercise, and then a game after dinner. “I do feel like I’m progressing, because I have been improving in my record and winning a lot of games lately. Perhaps that is just me stabilizing but I do feel that I am learning a lot in the dojang.”  -Andy Okun.  Photo: Shi playing a simul at the Spring Go Expo earlier this year, from The Surrounding Game’s Facebook Page.

Share

Takemiya Confirmed for U.S. Go Congress; Chinese Weiqi Names Two from Chongqing Go Team

Thursday June 13, 2013

The Nihon Ki-in has just confirmed that the legendary Takemiya Masaki 9P will attend the 2013 U.S. Go Congress, which runs August 3-11 in Tacoma, WA. Famous for his ‘cosmic style‘ of play – focusing on the construction of large moyos and taking territory in the center — Takemiya wowed 2009 Congress attendees with his lectures, game commentaries and demonstrations of ballroom dancing. “We are so thrilled to welcome Takemiya sensei back to the U.S. Go Congress,” said American Go Association President Andy Okun. “We’re sure he’ll be even more illuminating and entertaining this year.” The Chinese Weiqi Association has also just announced that they’re sending two attendees – Yang Yi 6P and Chen Wei 3P — to the Go Congress. Yang (top left) is director of the Chongqing Qiyuan and senior coach of the Chongqing Go Team, while Chen (bottom left), also from the Chongqing Qiyuan, is Coach of the Chongqing Go Team. Chen primarily teaches now, and more than forty of his students have achieved amateur 5-Dan status. “We are deeply grateful to Chinese Weiqi for the help and collegiality in spreading go and building the go community in North America,” said Okun.
- includes reporting by Lee Anne Bowie; Takemiya photo by Phil Straus

Share

Go Helps Minority Cultures Preserve Their Traditions in U.S.

Wednesday June 12, 2013

How can minority cultures gain acceptance in American society without abandoning their cultural values and traditions? The game of go may be one way.

One Friday last month, Academy of the Americas (AoA) students traveled to Kalamazoo, Michigan with the Go Cultural Ambassador International Program (GCAIP) where Detroit and Ypsilanti youth taught Kalamazoo students how to play go. They related the ancient board game to community building, anti-bullying and peer mentorship in the kindergarten through higher education continuum, influenced by the anti-bullying work of top pro Yasutoshi Yasuda.

GCAIP’s mission is to promote global citizenship and cultural validation with an emphasis on academic excellence in the social sciences and humanities. It uses go to bridge and even transcend cultural differences. Eighty students aged 9-13 attended the daylong event at the Western Michigan University College of Health and Human Services.  Participants analyzed the first Hikaru No Go anime with faculty assistance using the theories of “cultural humility” and “transformative complicity.” The young students “grasped college-level theory leaving Diana Hernandez, WMU’s Director of the Division of Multicultural Affairs,  in shock,” according to WMU Assistant Professor  Dr. Roxanna Duntley-Matos who is also the co-founder of the Asociacion Latina Alcanzando Suenos (ALAS) and GCAIP.

Detroit youth paired up with El Sol Elementary teachers and students and with University of Michigan faculty Dr. Robert M. Ortega (known for his promotion of cultural humility in child welfare) to discuss how their game strategies reflected their personalities (i.e. risk taker, adventurous, aggressive or cautious).   WMU provided university flags and patches to inspire participants to work hard and return in a few years as college students. Live music and a karate demonstration led by Martin Gatlin added to the festival-like atmosphere. “The day ended with students dancing the bachata and merengue giving the entire day a true Latino touch,” Matos said. “All in all, we had people from two universities, three schools and one community program blending elements from Latino, African American, Euro-American and Asian cultures.”

GCAIP has other activities in the works.  It plans to visit groups in Grand Rapids and Wayne State University and hopes to connect with a new program in Puerto Rico. They already have ongoing relationships with programs in Oregon and Mexico. “Go is more than a game of strategy, it is a way of life. It connects people and communities together,” says Oscar Hernandez, one Detroit youth GO Cultural Ambassador;

GCAIP, AoA and ALAS credit Dr. Earlie Washington, Dean of WMU CHHS and Dr. Linwood Cousins, Director of  the WMU School of Social Work for providing invaluable institutional support. They also thank Kelly Alvarez, Terry Gay, Anne Bowman, Jinny Zeigler, Ernestina Iglesias and Jennifer Clements for helping to organize the Kalamazoo event celebrating AoA’s 20th anniversary and honoring GCAIP co-founder and recently deceased AoA Principal Mrs. Denise Fielder. AoA’s GCAIP Director Mark Duffy played a crucial role continuing the instructional work of Siddhartha Avila, GCAIP co-founder from Pipiolo Elementary School in Mexico. Special thanks from ALAS to Portland organizer Peter Freedman and karate instructor Martin Gatlin for weekly go training over the Internet for the past year.
- Roy Laird; photo: El Sol students learn go; photo by Diana Hernandez

Share

Go Camp Updates: Video Posted; One More Camper Needed

Tuesday June 11, 2013

AGA Go Camp Director Amanda Miller is gearing up for this year’s camp, and has nine students enrolled so far.  ”We need just one more student to break even, so if you have been thinking about camp, now is the time to sign up!” Miller says.

Camp will be held July 20-27 at YMCA Camp T. Frank Soles in Rockwood, Pennsylvania. A promotional video from a previous camp captures the exciting camp experience on film. Check out camp information, pictures and news on the camp’s website.

AGF Scholarships are still available to help defray the cost for kids who need it. AGA President Andy Okun has confirmed the camp will run this year, even if it’s at a small loss, “but breaking even would be much better.”
-Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. 

Share

DC & Toronto Lead Pandanet-AGA City Leagues; Round 8 Set for Sunday

Monday June 10, 2013

Greater Washington has a slim one-point edge over Los Angeles in the the Pandanet-AGA City A League after seven rounds of play. In the B League Toronto has come out with a strong record and is leading the league with San Francisco hot on their heels. Round 8 is set for this Sunday, June 16 at 2p on IGS. In the A League, Los Angeles will play New York City, Greater Washington will play Boston, and Seattle will play Vancouver. With the field so strong at this point, Boston could wind up challenging LA and GW for the top slot. In the B League, Southern California will take on San Francisco in a tough match-up, Massachusetts will play Washington DC’s Team 2 and Toronto will play Montreal. It will be exciting to see if Toronto will gain another win to stay on top of the standings or will there be a tight playoff the last two rounds to determine the winner. Up-to-date standings are available on the Pandanet-AGA City League Page

While the east coast has arguably been dominating national tournaments in recent years, LA found a secret weapon in 22-year-old anchor BeomGeun ‘Evan’ Cho 7D. The former Korean insei is 6-0 in the league, and has defeated several former US Open and/or North American Masters champs including Jie Li 7D, Andy Liu 1P, Ziyang Hu 1P and Huiren Yang 1P. And with Daniel Ko and Curtis Tang on tap, the LA team is so solid that if a team cannot beat Cho, then it must beat both Ko and Tang. Team captain Andrew Okun, President of the American Go Association, probably knows how to motivate his team. Meanwhile, with AGA legend Jie Li on board, DC is a legitimate champion candidate. Vancouver’s 2-4 score may be a bit of a surprise, but if they get Ziyang Hu 1P back to the lineup, they are still in the striking range. Boston is 3-0 against three teams with 2 wins, yet win-less against top two teams; it may be time for the team to step out of their “comfort zone”. Seattle has demonstrated the powerful strength of Korean American players, while New York City is also strong, but just has not yet had a good opening. Toronto is leading after beating San Francisco but the DC Team 2 is closely behind, followed by Montreal, Southern CA and Massachusetts.

Jon Boley and Steve Colburn head up the team running the City League, in which teams from North American cities play in a league system on the Pandanet-IGS server in the AGA room. The teams consist of up to five players, out of which three are selected to play in each round.
- report by Steve Colburn and Edward Zhang

Share

Nominations For 2013 AGA Board Directors Closing June 15

Sunday June 9, 2013

The central region American Go Association board seat remains wide open as no names have been submitted as candidates, reports Arnold Eudell. “Incumbents Paul Celmer and Chris Kirschner remain the sole candidates in the eastern and western regions respectively.” Eudell added. Nominations close Saturday, June 15 and must be sent to elections@usgo.org. Click here for procedures, qualifications and candidate statements

Share
Categories: U.S./North America
Share

AGA Board Nominations Closing Soon

Thursday June 6, 2013

Less than 10 days remain before nominations close for the 2013 AGA board elections. Incumbents Peter Celmer and Chris Kirschner are running to retain their seats in the Eastern and Western regions respectively. Nominations, including self-nominations are being accepted through June 15 and should be sent to elections@usgo.org

Share
Categories: U.S./North America
Share

New Huntsville Go Club Seeks Rocket Scientists

Thursday June 6, 2013

The new Rocket City Go Club in the Huntsville, AL area has been founded “in the hope that we could lure some of the many NASA rocket scientists in the area into trying one of the world’s most ancient and fun board games” reports Adam LeCroy.Non rocket scientists are also welcome of course!” The club’s inaugural meeting will be June 17th at noon, at the Sinsaegae restuarant, 2701 Patton Rd SW, Huntsville, AL.
Got go club news? Get the word out! Email reports to us at journal@usgo.org 

Share
Categories: U.S./North America
Share

AGF Restocks, Publishes DIY 9×9 Board

Wednesday June 5, 2013

What does $17,000 buy? If you’re The American Go Foundation, here’s the answer: 8,000 9×9 cardboard beginner boards for the Starter Set, 1,000 full size wooden boards for the Club Classic and 2,000 vinyl boards for distribution to AGF programs and AGA chapters. Thanks to generous donors, “We’ve provided hundreds of programs with materials in the last few years, and our successful outreach to schools and libraries means that demand is growing even faster,” AGF VP Paul Barchilon told the EJ. For the DIYers out there, the AGF has also made the PDF of the 9×9 board available as a download. “Why didn’t we think of this before?” muses AGF President Terry Benson. “Print boards and rules, make stones from card stock with a ¾” punch (available online or at any good craft store) and you’re ready to go.” The AGF is supported entirely by generous go players; to support their work, click here.

Share
Categories: U.S./North America
Share