American Go E-Journal » Youth

Chen and Cao Top Youth Adult Pair Go

Thursday August 4, 2016

IMG_20160802_132911Michael Chen 8d and Melissa Cao 4d won the top table at Youth Adult Pair Go on Tuesday at the Go Congress.  The event was a big hit with both young and old, drawing 56 players to the Youth Room. Seven tables competed, with first and second place at each table winning prizes, including go books donated by several publishers, Hikaru no Go manga, and several new sets of various anime series donated by Winston Jen. Devin Fraze has taken over in the Youth Room this year,  allowing longtime organizer Paul Barchilon to actually play in the event,  pictured below with his partner, 5 year old Tselmuun Ganbaatar (who was violating all known standards of Pair Go rules and etiquette by telling her partner how it important it was for him to play where she told him). Every table saw exciting games, many with giggling kids – and astonished adults as the kids outplayed everyone nonetheless. Other events in the Youth Room included lightning go on Sunday, 9×9 and 13×13 tourneys on Monday, and relay go on Thursday.  One youngster said he enjoyed relay go the most, because he “really likes to run.” Fraze, whose day job is teaching fifth grade, was clearly up to the challenge of managing so many kids at once.

IMG_20160802_132501Winners Report: Table one: 1st place: Michael Chen 8d and Melissa Cao 4d,  2nd place: Daniel Liu 6d and Jinli Wang 6d; Table two: 1st place: Frederick Bao 3d and Sai Sun 5d, 2nd place: Kelly Liu 2d and Yunbo Yi 6d; Table three: 1st place: Yungyan Wu 1k and Tao Wu 1d; Table four: 1st place: Owen Sedgwick 12k and Irene Sha 6d; Table five: 1st place: Liya Luk 9k and Allen Noe 1k; Table six 1st place: Sarah Crites 10k and Bob Crites 7k; Table seven: 1st place Zoey Zhang 30k and Yunzhe Zhang 6d.
- Story and photos by Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor


Cheng Defends Redmond Cup Junior; Senior Division Tied

Wednesday August 3, 2016

IMG_20160731_15442910-year old Ary Cheng 4d (r) swept the Junior Division Finals to defend his Redmond Cup title. Despite falling to 12-year old Luoyi Yang 4d (l) in the preliminaries, Cheng bounced back in the finals, seemingly unfazed by his opponent’s strength. In game 1, Cheng  utilized the slightest bit of aji in a corner to start a large ko, after which he was able to kill a group on the side and cruise to a victory. Yang fought back in game 2, however, with a huge fight developing in the center of the board as Cheng aggressively tried to kill a dragon. While there was a decisive opportunity to launch a counterattack and seal the game, Yang, perhaps slightly fatigued by jet lag, having arrived at Congress from China just one day before the first match, made a crucial mistake during byo-yomi giving Cheng the chance to close out the series. Both players will receive trophies at the banquet at the conclusion of Congress, with Cheng receiving $300, and Yang receiving $200.

In the Senior Division, 16-year old Albert Yen 7d is intent on defending his title. Yen stumbled in game 1, after making a severe miscalculation early in the game. His opponent, 14-year old Jeremy Chiu 6d, capitalized immediately on the error to kill a large group and essentially end the game. Switching his strategy to a moyo-based opening in game 2, Yen was able to take a territorial lead after Chiu made a slow move when invading Yen’s framework. Game 3 will occur tomorrow, 8/4, at 3 pm EDT, and will be broadcast live on KGS, Youtube, and Twitch with commentary by Gansheng Shi 1p and Andrew Lu 7d.  Videos of the earlier matches are below.

Game 1 Commentary by Jennie Shen 2p and Lionel Zhang 6d

Game 2 Commentary by Stephanie Yin 1p and Michael Chen 8d

The Redmond Cup is a premier youth tournament named after Michael Redmond 9p for dan players under the age of 18. Players compete in an online preliminary tournament in April to determine two finalists in both a Junior (under 13) and Senior (under 18) division. Finalists are given a free trip to the US Go Congress to compete in a best-of-three finals. -EJ Special Report by Justin Teng.  Photo by Paul Barchilon.


Redmond Cup Player Profiles

Thursday July 28, 2016

With congress right around the corner, the 2016 finalists for the Redmond Cup are gearing up for the championship matches. The first match of both the Senior (under 18) and Junior (under 13) divisions will be broadcast on KGS, Sunday 8/1 at 3 pm EDT. The Senior Division Finals will also be live-streamed on the AGA’s Youtube channel with professional commentary from Jennie Shen 2p and Lionel Zhang 6d.  Tuesdays match will be commentated by Stephanie Mingming Yin 1p and Michael Chen 8d, if there is a third round in either division, Gansheng Shi 1p and Andrew Lu 7d will comment live on Thursday.  The player profiles below will help EJ readers know who is who.jeremy_chiu

Leading the Senior Division is 14-year-old Jeremy Chiu 6d, from San Jose, California. He is looking to win his first Redmond Cup title after being the runner-up in the Junior Division in 2014 and coming out in first place in this year’s Senior Division preliminaries. He first learned about go from his Chinese school when he was 5-years old, and started taking classes shortly thereafter. Currently, he studies with Mingjiu Jiang 7p, who has taught many other star US Youth players.  On Chiu’s own time, he does lots of tsumego and reviews professional games, along with playing and reviewing games on Tygem. Aside from go, he also enjoys playing the piano and violin, as well as swimming. When asked about his thoughts for the finals, Chiu told the EJ, “Albert is a very strong AlbertYenplayer, especially in the middle game, and I will need to be very careful. I hope that we will play good games in the finals.”

Albert Yen 7d, age 16, is from Chicago, Illinois, and is the defending champion in the Senior Division. He started playing go when he was 5 years old after watching Hikaru no Go and joining a local go club in Taiwan. Albert currently studies with Mingjiu Jiang 7p, and studies go by playing and reviewing slow, quality games when he has time.  Yen is also a star track-and-field hurdler at his high school. While Yen fell to Chiu in the preliminaries, Yen told the EJ, “I think our strengths are very close. I don’t want to do anything too different to prepare for the finals, so I will just remain cool and trust my abilities during the games.”


Luoyi Yang 4d, age 12 is from Toronto, Canada, and placed first in the Junior Division preliminaries this year. She started playing go at the age of 4 at a local go school in China, where she studied with Ding Lie 6p, Wang Xiangyun 2p, and Wang Chenfan 4p, two afternoons a week before moving to Canada this past year. Outside of playing go, she enjoys playing the piano and singing.AryCheng copy

Ary Cheng 4d, age 10, lives in Sunnyvale, California, and is the defending champion in the Junior Division. He started learning go at age 6 in a go class at a Chinese school, and was immediately drawn towards the game. Currently, he studies with Mingjiu Jiang 7p, and plays on IGS in addition to doing tsumego. When he is not playing go, he also enjoys playing table tennis. -Justin Teng, Redmond Cup TD.  Photos courtesy of the players.

AGA Teams Up with Hope Chinese School to Teach Summer Camp Students

Tuesday July 19, 2016

Nearly 60 students in Northern Virginia learned go basics on Monday, thanks to an AGA chapter’s initiative teaming up with2016.07.19_hcs-summercamp_IMG_7191 the summer camp of Hope Chinese School (HCS). “We started with First Capture to get the students interested,” reports Edward Zhang 6D of the Capital Go Club. “Then we introduced the true goal of the game, strategically getting more territory.”

2016.07.19_hcs-summercamp_IMG_7196Justin Teng 6D (right), Assistant AGA Youth Coordinator, also lectured about some basic Go concepts, which students then practiced with each other. A Go Congress introduction and Weiqi Boy video (Chinese) showed off the game’s rich culture as students inquisitively watched them.

Zhang emphasized the etiquette and sportsmanship of go, including greeting the opponent and bowing at the beginning, as well as showing appreciation at the end of the game. “Summer is a great time to learn go and the HCS summer camp is a great platform for the AGA,” says Zhang. “Students were very active in the go class, and while it’s hard to match their energy level, it was certainly a fun experience for us.” Zhang credited Yuan Zhou 7D, Dinny Li and Bin Wen for the event’s planning and administration.


Chiu, Yang Sweep Redmond Prelims

Monday July 11, 2016

jeremy_chiuJeremy Chiu 6d and Luoyi Yang 4d swept the preliminaries of the 2016 Redmond Cup, beating out last year’s champions Albert Yen 7d and Ary Cheng 4d. However, both defending champions will have a chance for revenge in the finals.  All four youth have won a free trip to congress to compete in person.

The Senior Division featured a field of 16 players under the age of 18, including five former Redmond Cup Finalists.  Chiu 6d, age 14, seeded fourth by rating, displayed his power by sweeping the competition, including last year’s champion Yen, and 4-time Redmond Cup champion Aaron Ye 7d. This will be Chiu’s second appearance in the Redmond Cup Finals since 2014. “The preliminaries were very tough and I faced many strong opponents,” Chiu told the E-J, “however, I think I played quite well, and fortunately, I was able to come out on top.”

The battle for the second coveted spot in the finals came down to defending champion Yen, and newcomer Muzhen (Alan) Ai 7d, both boys are 16 years old. Yen came out on top, ending with a 5-1 record and losing only to Chiu. “I am very happy to make the finals again, and I hope to continue my strong performance from last year,” Yen told the EJ.

luoyi_yangThe Junior Division featured seven budding dan players all below the age of 13, including both of last year’s finalists, Ary Cheng 4d, age 10, and Raymond Feng 2d, age 12. However, newcomer Luoyi Yang 4d, age 12, of Canada came out firing, sweeping the competition. The race for second place was much tighter, and a bit over halfway through the tournament, it seemed that defending champion Ary Cheng would be the likely candidate to make the finals with a 3-1 record. However, nine-year old Matthew Cheng 2d (not related to Ary) upset the defending champion and won the rest of his games to take second place by one SODOS point. Because Matthew is also this year’s Junior representative for the World Youth Go Championships, which occurs the same time as the Redmond Cup Finals, he chose to give up his spot in the finals, and Ary Cheng will have the chance to defend his title.

The Redmond Cup Finals is a best-of-3 match that will occur at the US Go Congress this year, complete with KGS broadcasts and live video commentary by pros. The matches will occur on 7/31, 8/2, and 8/4 (if necessary) at 3 pm EDT. Stay tuned for more detailed player profiles about this year’s finalists. - Story by Justin Teng, photos courtesy Jeremy Chiu (l) and Luoyi Yang (r).



European Student Team Go Championship Welcomes Non-Euro Teams

Friday July 8, 2016

College student go teams are invited to participate in the upcoming European Student Team Go Championship, scheduled for September 8-9 in Petrozavodsk, Russia. The tournament is open so university teams from non-European countries can take part in the event. Details are available on the Russian Go Federation’s website; the Federation, along with the European Go Federation and the Russian Student Sport Union, are hosting the event. Students can also take part in Open Russian Student Go Championship September 10-11, while players who are not students can take part in the All-Russia Go tournament on those same dates.

Categories: Europe,Youth

Paul Lockhart Named Teacher of the Year

Monday July 4, 2016

photo 3The American Go Foundation has selected Paul Lockhart as the 2016 Teacher of the Year.  Lockhart wins an all expenses paid trip to the US Go Congress in Boston, where he will hold an informal round table discussion about his experiences teaching children. “What a terrific honor,” said Lockhart,  “I am delighted to accept, and I look forward to the opportunity to meet and speak with other go teachers around the country.” Lockhart is well known in academic circles for his 2009 book A Mathematician’s Lament: How School Cheats Us Out of Our Most Fascinating and Imaginative Art Form.  “For the past 15 years I have been happily teaching Go at Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn, NY,” adds Lockhart. “What began with four High School students and a magnetic travel go set has grown into a vibrant school-wide go culture, including an after school go club, annual tournaments, classes, seminars, and faculty participation.  I am especially pleased with the excitement and energy among the younger students.  Most of our club players are under 10, and many of our strongest High School players began playing go as kindergarteners.  It has been a fantastic learning experience for me as well.”

Lockhart is also well known in the go community, as the father of Will Lockhart (Director of The Surrounding Game film) and Ben Lockhart 7d, who has studied professionally in Korea and is seeking to become an AGA Professional.  “The current partnership with the ING foundation, which along with the American Collegiate Go Association (founded by Will Lockhart),  holds large go expos each year with hundreds of attendees, as well as The Surrounding Game documentary film, would not be possible had Paul not introduced go into our lives in such a meaningful way; a way that gave us such love and interest in the game that we both had no choice but to dedicate our lives to go,” writes Ben Lockhart. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo: Paul Lockhart (standing) teaching at St. Ann’s School. 


Mexican Go Congress Breaks Records

Wednesday June 29, 2016

IMG_2831“The 3rd Mexican Go Congress turned out to be a huge success,” reports Mingming Stephanie Yin 1P. “The event was held June 18th-20th at the Tlatelolco Cultural Center in Mexico City, and was full of surprises for everyone. Three Professionals were invited: Hye-Yeon Cho 9p,  William Gansheng Shi 1p, and myself.  We held  game reviews, lectures, and simul games.   A new record high for the Mexican Open Tournament was set as well, with 56 players.   The participation in the Youth tournament was also pretty impressive, with a 36 player field in two categories,” said Yin. Mexican Go Association Youth Coordinator Sid Avila adds  “these kids are starting to compete at higher levels, some have already played in international tournaments and are also playing in the Open.”

“This is the 3rd time Mexico has run its Go Congress and every year the community is growing and people are more interested,” reports Mexican Go Association president Emil Garcia. “I believe the world of go is entering into a new stage of development, and we are really glad Mexico is catching this upheaval with the support of Associations such as KABA, the AGA, and the AGF,  who helped us bring the pros in. Undoubtedly Mexican go will keep growing having such big allies. I see a bright future for North American go as a whole.”IMG_2828

“On the last day, the pros were invited to visit a private Mexican elementary school named CIEA Pipiolo, which is the only elementary school with go as a school subject in Mexico City,” said Yin, “There are around 80 students ranging in age from 5-12 years old. Everyone is talented and extremely passionate about go. We three pros were separated and played pair go with the kids in teams.”

All three pros issued a joint message for the kids: “It’s wonderful to be here with all of you, our futures of go. We hope that you will enjoy playing go, learning go, and some of you may become professionals in the future.” Yin adds “I believe that the world of go will expand much more quickly than we expected. As professional go players, we will do our best to promote, teach, and help. We also hope that more schools will include go as a subject in America. I am seeing a brighter future for the world of go.”

For full standings from the congress click here.  For youth standings, click here.  Story by Stephanie Yin, pictures by Yin, Emil Garcia and Tonatiuh Zama



AGA Summer Go Camp: Serious Kids Play

Monday May 30, 2016

Go Camp 2015 (12) (1)The AGA Summer Go Camp includes a week of go learning in a friendly kid’s summer camp setting,” says Co-Director Fernando Rivera. “Campers enjoy morning and evening go lessons with a professional teacher throughout the week, and outside of the daily lessons enjoy more traditional summer camp activities.” Matthew Qiu writes “at go camp [last] year I made a lot of good friends, and played a lot of go. Go camp is a fun way to meet new people, and improve your game.” With a mix of lessons, outdoor activities, tournaments, and other Go related activities, the camp is an ideal place for kids to make friends and have fun while also improving their go skills. “Outside of the go classroom, we did many fun-filled outdoor activities,” writes camper Leon Chang, “we went canoeing in the lake, shot arrows at the archery range, climbed ropes courses, and much more!”

Go Camp 2015 (97)Perhaps 12-year-old Joe does the best job of summing up everyone’s feelings after a great week at camp: “When I left camp I was sad that I will miss all my new friends, but when I came back home I was happy because I was beating everyone and showing that I improved.” Go Camp will take place from July 3-9 at YMCA Camp Campbell Gard in Hamilton, Ohio. The camp will be run by Nano Rivera and Frank Luo. Youth who played in the NAKC or the Redmond Cup are eligible for a $400 scholarship, and need-based scholarships of up to $250 are also available courtesy of the American Go Foundation. For more information on the latest camp-related news, and to download the registration forms, visit the camp website, or e-mail Nano Rivera at -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Quotes and photos by Nano Rivera.


UCLA wins CGL Season Five Championship

Saturday May 21, 2016

UCLA triumphed earlier this month in the Collegiate Go League (CGL) Season Five Championships, defeating U Toronto to 2016.05.21_ACGA Finals Coverage w Professional William Shiclaim first place. The winners took home $250 to spend on their club. Although UCLA was unable to overcome Ryan Li 1P on Toronto’s first board, their second and third boards won the day. Cornell University took third place.

YouTube commentary on the final was provided by Gansheng Shi 1P and Michael Gallucci.