Wednesday October 17, 2012
The popular Young Lions tourney, for school aged youth, is back with a new twist. Based on the tournaments in Hikaru no Go, where the newest professionals take on the top insei, the Young Lions has become one of the premier youth tourneys online. This year the winners will get a special treat though, 1st and 2nd place in the top bracket will get a chance to play a game with our very first crop of American pros, Andy Liu 1P and Gansheng Shi 1P. The event is run by the American Go Honor Society (AGHS) and has developed a reputation for picking some of the top young players in the US. “Returning competitors, are you curious how much you have improved?” asks AGHS Promotion Head Junhee Kim, “new go players, are you up for the challenge? Come sign up for fun, experience, and most importantly because of your love for go!” The tourney will feature brackets for all levels, with prizes and glory for all skill levels. See www.aghs.cc for rules and registration. The tournament will be held on KGS in the AGHS Tournaments Room on November 17th and 18th. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.
Monday October 8, 2012
The Nihon Ki-in has just released an English version of Cho-U’s 4×4 Go Puzzle. Cho-U 9P came up with all of the problems for the program, and has developed a clever system for introducing go to young children. The app is available for iPhone and iPad, and is being offered on the App Store at an introductory rate of just 99 cents, until October 19th, when the price will increase to $2.99. The app introduces a colorful cast of cartoon characters, including Minigo, a black cat, and Diego, a big white dog who is taking over the playground and won’t let the cats into his territory. Children can enter story mode for flash animations that teach the basic principles of go as part of the cat’s quest to get back to the playground. The graphics are terrific, and the stones are cats and dogs. When “stones” are in atari, they shake and shiver (this can be turned off in settings for a bigger challenge). The story is interactive, and kids are asked to help Minigo solve various problems as he confronts various opponents. Players can also go to the free and challenge levels, where they can solve go problems directly. The board size is limited to 4×4, but Cho-U has made very clever puzzles within this limitation. Many of the problems revolve around seki, and you can choose what level to play with, or progress through the levels as you improve. Players can also buy more problems for the program, which come with all new festive graphics. The Snack Pack problem set gets you 100 problems, with chocolate and pink frosted donuts for pieces. The Rainy Pack and the North Pole Pack offer additional cute themes and more complicated problems. I bought the Rainy Pack for .99 and was charmed by frogs and snails playing on a lily pad field; the first problems I tried revolved around snapback. This app is perfect for kids from 5 to 10 years old, and even older kids will enjoy some of the more challenging problems. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Picture courtesy of the Nihon Ki-in.
Monday October 1, 2012
Fox Chapel Elementary School from Germantown, Maryland topped a field of three schools in the First DC Metropolitan Area School Go Tournament on September 29, winning 7 out of 8 games. The DC School Tournament, organized by American Go Honor Society (AGHS) President Justin Teng (back left) and Vice-President Julian Erville (back right), is a youth tournament that promotes strengthening the youth go community between local schools in DC, Virginia, and Maryland. Gary Smith, organizer of the NOVA Go Club, hosted the tournament at George Mason University in Arlington, VA, and provided all of the equipment and pairings that made the tournament possible. Division winners of the tournament were Hank Chen 9k (1st) from Richard Montgomery High School and Ben Withbroe 4k (2nd) from Albert Einstein High School in the upper division, and Eric Zhang 24k (front right) 1st and Mulan Liu 22k (front left) 2nd, both from Fox Chapel Elementary School in the lower division. Player’s ages ranged from 8 to 17; Mulan Liu and Eric Zhang are in 3rd and 4th grade respectively, while Hank Chen and Ben Withbroe are in 11th and 12th grade respectively. “Plans are being made for the second DC Metropolitan Area School Go Tournament in spring 2013, so if you’re a student and in the area, get ready!” say organizers Justin Teng and Julian Erville. photo by Gary Smith
Monday September 24, 2012
The American Go Federation’s (AGF) youth website, tigersmouth.org, is publishing new comic strips weekly again. The most recent addition is Aji’s Quest, by Collette Bezio, which features the adventures of a quoll named Aji and a tanuki named Tenuki. What’s a quoll? Good question. To find out, check out the new strip here. Bezio runs an AGF program at her library, in Seymour WI, and is a writer as well as an artist. You can see more of her work on her website. The Better Move is another new comic available on Tiger’s Mouth. Deftly illustrated by Maryland cartoonist Yi Weng, in a Chinese brush painting style, the strip features mini comics on different go themes. Liberty races, capturing the cranes in their nest, and how to play first capture go have all had their own stips, and the monkey jump is coming out soon. Tiger’s Mouth will keep adding new strips weekly for the next few months, so check in on Saturdays for the latest updates. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Graphic: A quol named Aji, by Colette Bezio.
Monday September 17, 2012
Applications are now being accepted for the American Go Foundation college scholarship. One of last year’s winners, Rachel Daley (at left), writes: “I found that I was better at teaching the game than actually playing. Without even realizing it, I became more confident with strangers. . . . Go also taught me how to be comfortable in a room where I was the only female. I saw [the male players] as my peers and rivals instead of some different entity. This gave me the confidence to never feel intimidated by the male majority in my science and math classes. . . . I realized that this is how society changes – not by a sudden huge wave but by individuals not accepting degrading stereotypes and moving forward despite them.” The AGF Scholarship recognizes high school students who have served as important youth organizers and promoters for the go community . To apply, download and complete the application form here. Applicants should describe their accomplishments and volunteer work in a short essay. Letters of recommendation may also be included. Students whose enthusiasm and ambition have helped spread go in under-served areas will be given special consideration. Strong players who spend much of their time voluntarily teaching will also be considered, although the award focuses on promoters and organizers who have made substantial contributions during their go career. A report on last year’s winners can be found here. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.
Thursday September 13, 2012
“The first DC Metropolitan Area School Go Tournament will be held at George Mason University in Arlington, VA on Saturday, September 29,” reports American Go Honor Society Vice President Julian Erville. “Registration for the tournament is still open, and anyone is welcome to watch, or play self-paired games. AGA membership is not required, and all DC Metro schools are invited to attend,” adds Erville. For information — including about prizes — contact Justin Teng at email@example.com.
- Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor
Saturday September 8, 2012
The American Go Honor Society (AGHS) announced their new officers for the 2012-13 school year on their Facebook Page. Run mainly by high school students, the AGHS organizes the School Teams Tourney and other events every year. The new officers are: Co-Presidents: Justin Teng and Eric Chen; Vice Presidents: Hugh Zhang and Julian Erville; Promotion Head: Junhee Kim; Tournament Organizer: Andrew Huang; Secretary: Viral Kotecha; Officer: Asa Euster. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor
Monday September 3, 2012
Hikaru no Go author Hotta Yumi was interviewed on film at the International Go Symposium on August 5th, 2012. For those who missed the live stream, the Tiger’s Mouth website has printed the entire text of the interview. The AGF is currently editing the videos from the symposium, all of which will be available online at a later date. A few choice highlights from the Hotta interview are below, you can read the full article here.
On how the series began, Hotta says “I wanted to learn go, so I paid a go school and started to attend classes once a week with a pro. He was mean, and never let the students win the teaching games. This was frustrating to me, because I was thinking ‘Why am I paying to lose all the time?’ I wished that I had a guardian angel or a ghost that could help me beat him really bad. It was at that moment that Hikaru no Go was born.” When asked about how go has affected her life, Hotta replied: “Honestly, I had no idea that so many kids would want to learn how to play go. Not just in Japan, but all over the world. Especially kids in other countries where there aren’t many teachers or resources for playing go. Nowadays many more kids can play go thanks to the efforts of teachers, professionals, and groups that are helping to bring go to kids around the world. For my own life, Hikaru has made it very hard for me to attend go tournaments. So many people will watch over my shoulder during my games, and I’m not a very strong player so it is very embarrassing!” – Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Translation by Akane Negishi and Solomon Smilack. Photo: Hotta Yumi, by Paul Barchilon.
Monday September 3, 2012
Thirteen readers submitted answers to the E-J Hikaru no Go trivia contests, published on Aug. 6, but only four readers got all the answers right. The winners are Hena Garcia, Linden Chiu, Elizibeth Comer, and “Jeffrey” who did not provide a last name. All four win a free month of KGS+. The questions and answers are below. Q:Who drank his coffee black, even when he was in middle school? A: Kishimoto. Q: Who was Isumi’s roommate in China? A: Yang Hai. Q: What is Akira’s mother named? A: Akiko (best wrong answers: Mrs. Touya and Sue Me). Q: How is Hikaru able to take the Insei test, even though he missed the deadline? A: Ogata vouches for him. Q: On what day does Sai disappear, and how can you tell? A: Children’s day, May 5th. You can tell because of the carp streamers in the window. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Questions by Paul Barchilon and Justin Teng.