American Go E-Journal » Youth

Melchior Chui Wins UK Go Challenge for Schools

Sunday June 22, 2014

The 2014 UK Go Challenge for Schools was won by Melchior Chui 9k of Cambridge with second and third places going to siblings Roella 12k and Edmund Smith 13k respectively, also both of Cambridge. The finals were held at Milton C of E Primary School in Milton, near Cambridge, England on Saturday June 21st, and were the culmination of heats played in schools throughout the year, each of which comprised five rounds of 13×13 go.Twenty-five youngsters took part in the finals, which are not restricted to those who have taken part in the heats. Click here for full list of winners.

The top three winners and the challenger all won cash prizes and they and all age group winners got a framed certificate showing their achievement. Click here for full format details of the competition, which started in 2004 and is organized by the British Go Association and modeled on the earlier successful UK Chess Challenge.

The traditional caption contest to put words into the mouth of the logo go stones (above) in promotional material for the year was won by Benedict Steele of Milton with the caption, “Jump ahead of the competition!”

Report by Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal. Logo courtesy of UK Go Challenge website.
Correction: The Challenge started in 2004, not 20 years ago, as originally reported. 

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Freedman Named AGF Teacher of the Year

Saturday June 14, 2014

Peter Freedman, of Portland, OR, has been named the AGF Teacher of the Year, winning a free trip to the US Go Congress in NYC.  Freedman, who has been active in the Portland area for decades, has focused his primary activities on youth go in recent years. Freedman and Fritz Balwit (2011 AGF Teacher of the Year) had tried to establish go clubs in schools for many years, but they were short-lived and drew minimal numbers  “Meanwhile, our chess and go program at Irvington Elementary had run for many years, with upwards of 30 students every term,” Freedman told the Journal.  “It became clear to me that chess and go clubs have a much better chance to introduce children and teens to go than free-standing go clubs. I approached several school chess coaches about the idea of morphing their programs into chess and go clubs, and now there are over 100 children in these clubs, spread over five  schools, I teach go and Fritz teaches chess in most schools. The students can play only chess; play only go; or, switch between chess and go each month.  New students must play a month of go before they decide on their option. There is a segment of our culture that knows, appreciates and respects chess, while only a few know of go. Yet, many of us were chess players before we were go players.  It seems like a nice path.  We need a new motto: chess is our friend, not our enemy.”

AGA President Andy Okun had this to say about Freedman: “While many people know him as a club organizer, AGA volunteer and co-director of the really successful 2008 Portland Congress, Peter has also been teaching go for many years, and very intensively since retiring eight years ago.  For the last three years, he’s run the Irvington Elementary School Go Team, which has played matches against teams in Portland, Detroit and Mexico City.  He led the effort to make the Portland Go Club a 501c3 so it could raise money for a go in the schools program, and has raised thousands of dollars for that effort.” Recent activities included bringing Mingjiu Jiang 7P to Portland, for a workshop attended by 19 players from across Oregon, ranging in age from 7 to 72, and strength from beginner to 3 dan. “Nine of the players were kids or teens,” said Freedman, “one of whom taught himself to play three months ago, another was a 7 year old kgs 3 kyu.  Andrew Nguy, who recently started the robust David Douglas H.S. Go Club, was also in attendance. Mingjiu was up to the challenge of teaching such a diverse group, moving from simple problems to more complex ones that the  advanced people could chew on.”

“The AGF board faced a very tough decision again this year,” reports President Terry Benson, “with five extremely strong candidates, each of whom fully deserved the award. Fortunately, we choose a new teacher every year, and the other candidates will all have a chance again next year.” Freedman and Balwitz have put together curriculum guides and outlines for their method, which can be downloaded on the AGA Teaching Page.  Free equipment, Hikaru no Go, and other resources are available on the AGF website.  -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photos: Top: The Irvington Elementary Go Team plays a match against Mexico City, Freedman is 2nd from right; Bottom: students at the Mingjiu Jiang workshop last April. 

Go Camp – Prizes and Fun

Wednesday June 4, 2014

“The AGA Go Camp would like to extend a hearty thanks to both Slate and Shell and Kiseido for their donation of books to the 2014 camp,” says Camp Director Amanda Miller. “Every evening we run small tournaments or other fun Go-related activities, including 13 x 13, pair Go, and team tournaments, and we plan to use these books as prizes in those events. We’ve received some especially generous donations this year, and we have more than enough to go around, so we can promise that every camper will get at least one prize.” Donations include popular titles, such as books from Yuan Zhou’s Master Play series, Yilun Yang’s Workshop Lectures series, the Elementary Go Series, and many more!

This year’s camp will take place the week before the Go Congress from August 3 to August 9 and will be held at YMCA Camp Kresge in White Haven, PA, about 2 hours outside of New York City.  Yilun Yang 7P is back as this summer’s professional teacher, after a successful run last year.  Anyone who participated in the NAKC or the Redmond Cup is eligible for a $400 scholarship, and need-based scholarships are also available from the AGF. “Our registered campers are between the ages of 9 and 17, and within a strength range of 20-kyu to 3-kyu, so camp should be a lot of fun, regardless of age or rank,’ adds Miller. For more information,  visit the camp website (www.gocampeast.org) or e-mail Amanda Miller at agagocampeast@gmail.com. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Amanda Miller: Pair Go Tourney at last year’s camp.

Registration Opens for 2014 World Youth Mind-Sports Fair

Wednesday May 28, 2014

Young go players are invited to participate in the 2014 World Youth Mind-Sports Fair, scheduled for July 25-28 at Gangneng Yeong-dong College in Gangwon-do, Gangneng-si, Rep. of Korea. Participants must be born after 1991; there’s an entry fee of $50 USD and the $150 accommodation fee includes meals. Sponsors include the Korea Amateur Baduk Association. Register online; payments must be made by June 30. For more info/details, email kchesskorea@daum.net, call 82-2-3448-6611 or fax 82-2-6280-9329.

Categories: World,Youth
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Dylan Zhu-Dong New British Youth Champion

Tuesday May 20, 2014

Dylan Zhu-Dong 10k of Leamington Go Club beat Oscar Selby 6k of Epsom to become British Youth Champion 2014 at the King Edward VI School, Aston in Birmingham, England on Sunday May 18.  Zhu-Dong, who also took the Under-14 title, defeated the favorite after successfully taking advantage of Selby’s misreading in a fight. Selby did, however, take the Under-12 title. Melchior Chui 9k from Cambridge won again in the Under-16 section and Hilary Bexfield 26k of Letchworth won the Under-10s. Andreas Ghica 35k from Newmarket won the Under-8 at his first go tournament. There were no entrants in the Under-18 division and 19 entered in all. Click here for full results.

Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal, from a report by Tony Atkins for the British Go Association; photo by Tony Atkins, courtesy of the British Go Association website.

Go Campers Write: Summer Fun

Monday May 19, 2014

What’s a typical day at the AGA Go Camp like? Joe, age 12, writes “I studied everyday with my friends and my teacher, and I had a lot of good times with them. We played games with each other, learned new go problems, joseki, and fuseki, and played in fun tournaments each day. When I left camp, I was sad because I would miss all my new friends, but when I came back home, I was happy because I was beating everyone and showing that I improved.”

Yuga, age 8, writes, “I learned go from morning until evening, and that was my first time studying go for so long. I spent time with a great teacher and lots of new friends, and we played go and talked about go. It made me want to play more and improve more. I learned so much from Mr. Yilun Yang. I learned new josekis. I tried them on KGS, and I feel like my territory is safer than before. I also learned crazy moves that are really good to confuse your opponent. I tried them when I played stronger players, and I won the games!”

Mulan, age 8, sums up everyone’s feelings nicely: “I’m glad I came to the Go Camp because I got to learn new things and learn from players that were stronger than me. It was fun to make new friends and meet up with old friends from the Go Congress and other tournaments.”

Yilun Yang will be joining the Go Camp again this summer as its professional teacher. The camp itself is the week before the Go Congress,  at YMCA Camp Kresge in White Haven, PA, about 2 hours outside of New York City. 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 available. For more information on the latest camp-related news, and to download the registration forms, please visit the camp website at http://www.gocampeast.org/ or e-mail Amanda Miller at agagocampeast@gmail.com. - Story and photo by Amanda Miller, Go Camp Director. Photo: Campers at the Pair Go Tournament.

Chinese-American Teenage Friendship Cup

Monday May 19, 2014

The Jinhua Sports Adminstration, in Zhejiang, China, has agreed to sponsor a friendship match between American teenagers and their Chinese counterparts in Jinhua city.  The match is tentatively planned for late July or early August, and is being organized by Katherine Zhang. The Americans would need to pay their own airfare to China, but after that, all expenses will be covered. Teens can choose where they want to stay,  either with a host family, or in a hotel.  Jinhua Sports will also organize a sight seeing trip in the area. “I think it’s a great opportunity to build  communications between young go players in these two countries. They can share experiences,  and compare and contrast the teaching methods of each country,” said Zhang.  Interested parties should e-mail Zhang, at katherineysz@yahoo.com,  for more information. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo: The Temple of renowned Taoist Master Huang Da Xian, in Jinhua.  Photo courtesy TripAdvisor.com

 

British Youth Squad Launches

Saturday May 10, 2014

Following the successful hosting of the 19th European Youth Go Championship (EYGC) in Bognor Regis, England earlier this year – but with only seven British youths actually entering – the British Go Association has undertaken to assemble and train up a UK Junior Go Squad to take to next year’s EYGC in Zandvoort in the Netherlands (Holland). Alison Bexfield 1d (left), who runs the Letchworth Junior Chess and Go Club and has two go-playing daughters of her own, is heading up the initiative which aims to get as many young players as possible to 20k or better in time for the EYGC. It launched on bank holiday Monday May 5 with an event at the Mrs Howard Memorial Hall in Letchworth, attended by 16 youngsters aged from around eight or nine to 16. They were split into four coaching groups with Matt Selby 4k and Natasha Regan 1k, who are the parents of Oscar Selby 7k, and Paul Smith 1d, the father of Edmund Smith 13k, also coaching. In addition, five rounds of the UK Go Challenge were held over the course of the day. Bexfield told the E-Journal, “Everybody enjoyed the day and all are looking forward to the next [which is yet to be announced].”

Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal; photo: Alison Bexfield plays Francis Roads at the recent Welwyn Garden City Tournament.

84 Compete in School Teams Tourney

Monday May 5, 2014

The School Team Tournament drew 84 kids and teens, reports organizer Calvin Sun 1P. Held on KGS, March 22 and 29, the event is organized by the American Go Honor Society (AGHS) every year. “28 teams of three competed in four divisions to claim the title of best youth team in North America,” said Sun, “ranks ranged from 25k to 6d.” Top honors in the Varsity division went to Diamond Bar High School, CA. “I want to thank AGHS and our tournament organizers for running such an amazing event,”  said team leader Yunxuan Li 6d. “It was very fun and exciting to compete with other go clubs throughout North America. Our club started this school year (see E-J 11-5-13) and I was pretty surprised that we won the tournament after such a short time period. We got lucky in a lot of our games.  This is a great event for our youth players and it is really wonderful to see new clubs playing in it and enjoying it every year.”

The Junior Varsity division was topped by reigning champions, Cary Christian School, from North Carolina, who have fielded multiple teams for the past several year, often winning one or more divisions. “The kids really enjoyed it,” said Team Advisor Jeff Kuang, “especially, the kids in CCS Team one (who took first place).  They learned not only go skills but also online playing experience and etiquette.” Another new team, David Douglas High School, from Portland, OR, took top honors in the Intermediate division. “It was a very pleasant surprise,” said club president Andrew Nguy 19k, “it was our first tournament, and none of us really expected to even place, much less win first.”  Rounding out the winners list in the Novice division was a team from CNY Chinese School in Manlius New York, which was coached by the 2013 AGF Teacher of the Year Richard Moseson. “This was my first online tournament,” said 8-year-old Liya Luk, who played first board. “I liked it because it lasted two Saturdays, so our team could prepare in between the Saturdays. I had lots of fun doing the tournament.” -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo by Siddhartha Avila: Youth from Mexico City competed from the public library.  Avila’s students from multiple locations, fielded five teams.

Seattle Go Center Supplements Youth Scholarships for Go Congress

Sunday May 4, 2014

Using a gift from the Seattle Chapter of the AGA, the Seattle Go Center will provide up to $300 in additional scholarship funds to youth from the State of Washington who are attending the US Go Congress.  “We would like to help with travel costs for qualified youth from our area,” reports Go Center manager Brian Allen. The total funds available are $1,200; if there are more than four qualified youth by May 30, they will divide up the $1,200 proportionately.  The Seattle Go Center funds are intended as a supplement to the current AGF scholarships for the Go Congress.

If youth have already completed their AGF scholarship application, no additional forms will be needed for the supplemental scholarship funds. They should simply notify Paul Barchilon, who is administering the AGF scholarships, that they are interested in the additional help. For more information about the AGF Go Congress scholarship program, and to apply, click here.  Photo: Teacher’s Workshop at the 2013 Go Congress. Story and Photo by Brian Allen.

 

Categories: Youth
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