More than half a century ago, a small gift changed Terry Benson’s life. His parents bought him a go set at a mall bookstore in 1960. “It was a flimsy, cardboard set with small, flat bottom, plastic stones and a 1949 AGA rule book,” says Benson. “As plain as a game could be. But it was the best gift ever!” Now Benson, President of the American Go Foundation (AGF), is urging go players to also give the gift of go. “Think about what a little go set can do or what the first set or the first experience with go meant to you,” says Benson. Contributions help the AGF work with go organizers to spread the game. “The number of children that the AGF can reach is only limited by the gifts we receive from players who value go,” says Benson. “We need your help to find the next kid who could become an organizer, a champion, the parent of a go fan, or a lifelong player.” AGF projects this year alone include teaching teachers at a dozen schools in LA, where over 300 kids are now learning the game. “Jay Jayaraman in Memphis has started First Capture Go programs through The Confucius Institute at 18 schools with more signing on,” adds Benson. “Peter Freedman and 2011 AGF Teacher of the Year Fritz Balwit have a half-dozen programs in Portland with a chess and go hybrid model,” and the AGF sent more than 100 free Starter Sets to schools and libraries throughout the US that are starting go programs. Another 119 sets of the complete Hikaru no Go manga have been added to libraries and community centers, many of which now sport go clubs or teaching programs run by youth librarians with equipment from the AGF. The AGF also supported the Teacher Workshop at the 2013 Go Congress, provided $3,000 to help the US Go Camp this year in Pennsylvania and another $7,000 for kids coming to the Go Congress, as well as awarded a $1,000 2012 AGF College Scholarship to go organizer Joey Phoon and a $1,500 earmarked donation covered online teaching games for kids who had never experienced professional training. “We’re doing what we can but we need you to keep the game going,” says Benson. “What we can do depends on you.” Click here for details on how to contribute.
American Go E-Journal » Youth
Sunday January 12, 2014
Monday December 30, 2013
“The kids at our school, Gimnasio de Go, had a very busy December with three tournaments at different places,” reports Mexico City organizer Siddhartha Avila. “On December 4th Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México ran the El otro Tesuji tournament organized by college and high school students. We sent four elementary school representatives, Paula Corona, Valeria Gonzalez, Mariana García and Omar Zavala-who got 3rd place, pictures here. On December 7th, our group played in the Biblioteca de México, Torneo de Go 2013, a children’s tournament organized by myself, in collaboration with Biblioteca de México José Vasconcelos, a library where we are offering free go workshops on Saturdays. Winners report: 1st place: Fernanda; 2nd place: Diego Alí and Akira; 3rd place: Naohmi and Kairi. Pictures here. Finally, on December 13th, we played in the Torneo de Go Invierno 2013, this was our winter elementary school go tournament, which was divided in two brackets.” Winners report: 20kyu-25kyu division: 1st place: Sebastián; 2nd place: Marcos; 3rd place: Diego Alí; 10kyu-19kyu division: 1st place: Omar; 2nd place: Diego Armando; 3rd place: Valeria, pictures here. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Siddhartha Avila: At Biblioteca de México José Vasconcelos
Tuesday December 17, 2013
The US Pro Qualification Tournament, which will be held in Los Angeles Jan. 2-8, is adding a youth tournament for all ranks, to be held Jan 4-5, announced Myungwan Kim 9P, chair of the AGA’s pro system committee. The event will be called the Milton N. Bradley Youth Go Championship, in honor of the late Bradley, who was devoted to youth go. Players must be under the age of 17 (born on or after Jan. 5th 1996). “I think it’s a good idea to hold a youth go tournament in LA area every year,” Kim told the Journal. “We already have a great location, the Hotel Normandie, and kids can see professionals, the professional system and very serious games. It will help to stimulate kids to learn go, watching all these top players and their games. I will play 13×13 simul games as well.” Orange County organizer Kevin Chao will be the Tournament Director, and will handle registration. He plans two four round tournaments, both 19×19 and13x13, for a total of eight games in two days. 19×19 games will be AGA-rated. To register e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Image: a page from Bradley’s Go for Kids, illustration by Seho Kim. Bradley’s cartoon form is seated at right.
Monday December 9, 2013
“I taught go to 371 classroom teachers in 12 states last year,” Georgette Yakman (right) told the E-Journal over lunch recently on New York’s Upper West Side before heading home to Vermont. She had attended a math education conference to promote ST∑@M, the framework for integrated instruction she began to develop in 2006 (YOUTH GO: Improving School Scores 11/19/2007 EJ). ST∑@M has become a full time occupation, with certified educators and programs throughout the US and as far away as South Korea, where ST∑@M is now a part of the standard national curriculum for K-12 public schools. “When I help a school begin to apply the ST∑@M framework, I start with a two-day workshop,” she said. “I spend about two or three hours of that time teaching them go. It’s a perfect medium that pulls together science, technology and engineering concepts in a mathematical context – you need math skills to figure out who won – while also presenting challenges in the realm of the arts. The game itself has a kind of aesthetic; players need language arts to learn by studying and analyzing games; and go players can further enrich their connection to the game through the fine arts, understanding its context in history social studies and ethics and so on.” ST∑@M is a further evolution of the STEM framework, which encourages educators to blend lessons from the fields of science, technology, engineering and math into integrated lessons in project-based learning applications. Yakman contends they didn’t go far enough. “Without the language arts, how will students communicate with each other to build projects? Without the liberal and fine arts, how will they appreciate and express the context and meaning of what they’re doing? What good is an architect who builds ugly or non-user friendly buildings, or a scientist that can’t explain what he’s doing? I use go for interdisciplinary learning, because it offers a fluid blend of technical and human-related (left and right-brained) skills, and is a natural way of progressing all types of intellectual development.” photo: Yakman delivering acceptance speech for NCTC’s STEM Teacher of the Year 2009
- Roy Laird
Saturday November 30, 2013
The ‘GLOBIS Cup World Go U-20’, a new Japanese world championship for under-20 players, will be held May 8-11 2014 in Tokyo, the Nihon Ki-in has announced. The winner will win 3 million Japanese yen (about $30,000 USD) and all players will receive 35,000 JPY (about $350) for participating. Sixteen players under 20 years of age (as of January 1st 2014) will compete: six from Japan, three each from Korea and China, and one each from Chinese Taipei, Europe, North America and Oceania. “After the termination of the Fujitsu Cup, I am very glad to know that the Nihon Kiin is back to sponsor a world championship,” says AGA Vice President for International
Affairs Thomas Hsiang. The AGA will soon announce a selection procedure for this tournament.
Wednesday November 27, 2013
Yunxuan Li 6d has won the American Go Honor Society’s (AGHS) Young Lion’s tournament, for the third year in a row. “The tournament was very competitive,” writes organizer Calvin Sun, “with many new faces appearing this year. The first board topped the Active Games list, attracting almost 100 observers on KGS.” Competing on Nov. 16th and 17th, Li topped a field of 34 players with a 4-0 record. “The tournament was really great” Li told the E-Journal, “it is amazing to see new players each year. I want to thank the AGHS for giving this opportunity to North American youth, to compete and communicate with each other. All the games I played were so difficult. This was probably the most competitive year for the Young Lion’s yet.” Li graciously agreed to provide commentary on his crucial 2nd round match with Jimmy Yang 5d, and the attached game record is a freebie for all E-J readers. “I think it is very beneficial for young people to play go, it helps enlarge our imagination, and develops a sense of logic,” says Li. “It is very cool to have go as a friend when you are young, because it really helps you mature a lot.” 11 players 3 dan and up competed in the Open Section, which Li won. In Division 1, from 2d to 3k, Jeremiah Donley 1k took top honors; Division 2, from 5k to 9k was won by Frederick Bao 5k; Matthew Qiu 16k took the prize in Division 3, from 10k to 21k. Stay tuned for AGHS’ next big tournament, the School Team Tournament, which will be held in March. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Wenguang Wu: Li, at left, plays with Fang Tian Feng 8P. The kid with the yellow shirt, who is watching the game is Ding Hao 6d, an insei from Beijing Ge Yu Hong Dojo.
Friday November 22, 2013
Sunday is the deadline go-playing university/college students under the age of 30 to register for the qualifying prelim for the 12th World Students Go Oza Championship, which will be held February 24-28, 2014 in Tokyo. Sixteen students from around the world will gather in Japan to decide the world’s number one student player. There will be an online preliminary round on Pandanet to select the 16 student players. Click here for details. University/college students under the age of 30 are eligible to participate.
Tuesday November 19, 2013
“I read the article on Yunxuan Li pulling in 100 teens to his Go club (Yunxuan Li On How His LA School Club Pulled in 100 Teens 11/5 EJ),” writes Sid Kobashigawa of the Honolulu Go Club. “Can you get a copy of the attractive poster, good flyers and handouts he used to draw these teens. He mentioned these were key to drawing so many students to his club. The story was great but if we want to duplicate what Yunxuan is doing let’s share the actual items that he used so that go will spread.” - Editor’s response: While Li’s club is off to a great start, his materials are fairly specific to his club and won’t be that useful for other locations. Li’s poster is attached to this story as a pdf here: Li Poster. It should be noted that part of why his club is so big is because Li himself is 6 dan, very enthusiastic, and very personable. It doesn’t hurt that he lives in a town with a large percentage of Chinese Americans, who already know about go.
If your club isn’t lucky enough to have a 6 dan to teach, the AGF and the AGA both have other resources to help. Thanks to the work of new AGA web team volunteer Greg Smith, this information is easier than ever to find on the AGA site. Just click on the tab that says “Teach Others” on our left menu bar. You will find information for classes, handouts, posters, syllabi for teaching, and much more. The best selection of posters is actually on the AGF’s Tigersmouth Website. The Downloads Section has six different posters, including one in Spanish. Lastly, the extremely popular 11×17 Saicho Poster, that comes in AGF Starter Sets, can be purchased for just 25 cents a copy (plus shipping) directly from the AGF. All US based programs that are teaching youth are also eligible for free equipment from the AGF as well. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.
Wednesday November 6, 2013
Jung Hoon Lee 7d, Robert Meyer 5k, and Andrew Jung 11k, all won their divisions at the Rocky Mountain Fall Go Tournament, held Nov. 2nd in Aurora, CO. 25 players competed, including 13 youth, who kept the affair lively. The tournament was run by Alex Yavich, 3d. Lee was back in prime form this time around (after an uncharacteristic loss at last April’s tournament), with a perfect record. Solomon Smilack 3d also scored a perfect record, but lost to Lee on a tiebreaker. Meyer, up from the Colorado Springs Go Club, won his first three rounds, but lost the fourth. He also won on a tiebreaker though, narrowly edging out pint sized terror Robin Luo 1k, who is only nine years old. In the double digit kyu bracket Andrew Jung 11k fought neck and neck with Stas Irisov 12k. Both won three games, but Jung defeated Irisov to win his section. -Story and photo by Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: Stas Irisov (l) looks on in horror as Hannah Jung (r) demonstrates her fighting prowess.
Tuesday November 5, 2013
“I started a go club in my school this year, and more than 100 people signed up in the first week,” reports Yunxuan Li 6d, a sophomore at Diamond Bar High, a suburb in the LA metro area. Li, who has won the Young Lions Tournament for the past two years in a row, is well known on the AGA circuit, having also been a Redmond Cup finalist, and representing the US at the 2013 Samsung World Baduk Masters Championship. “In the game of go, there are no formulas or equations,” says Li, “it is all about creating your own tactics and solutions to everything. In a way, it is very similar to life. I was very happy to see my club be successful because it showed that people appreciate and are interested in this wonderful game. We have had five meetings so far, with 30-50 people showing up and participating actively. I have taught everyone the basic steps slowly and they all seem to understand the process very well.” Li has a few tips for youth who want to start a club at their school. “First, I think it is necessary to make an attractive poster, it will give people a reason to join your club.* Second, I think it is necessary to make good flyers and handouts that introduce the game. These make people think your club is organized and give them detailed ideas about what will happen. Third, don’t take out the go boards and play on the first meeting. The first meeting is better if it is a lot of fun and gives people a reason to stay in your club. Fourth, it is a good idea to use a large demonstration board when teaching; it makes people understand the concepts so much easier than going around with a small board. If you don’t have a demonstration board, you can use KGS with a projector. Fifth, hold some tournaments, so members develop a competitive mindset” *Editor’s note: Posters, playing sets, and everything you need to launch a school club, are all included in the AGF Classroom Starter Set, which is free for any US school that wants to launch a go program. Details on the AGF website here.
-Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photos by Yunxuan Li: Upper left: Yunxuan Li 6d talks about tengen; Lower right: More students than chairs, at a recent meeting.