The American Go Foundation (AGF) launched its new website on Friday, June 22. “This is a complete redesign and makeover of the site,” says AGF Vice President Paul Barchilon, who led the project. “We want to make it easy for any teacher, librarian or enthusiast to start a club in their community. We also want everyone to know about all our different services — our newsletter; matching grants that help new programs get up to $400 worth of equipment; our free Starter Sets; Tigersmouth, our moderated online hangout for young players ; free Hikaru No Go manga for public libraries; fiscal agency; and more.” Barchilon began working with web designer Lee Gentry in January, aiming to go live in time for the AGF’s tabling of The American Library Association’s annual convention. “More than 20,000 librarians attended ALA last weekend, and we hope many of them will look at the site and realize how valuable, and easy, a go program can be.” Barchilon is looking for feedback from users. “Any new rollout has bugs, typos, omissions, etc. Please tell us what’s wrong by using this brief survey form. We want the site to be perfect.” The AGF receives no foundation or government support and relies solely on donations.
American Go E-Journal
Monday June 25, 2012
Monday June 25, 2012
Thursday June 21, 2012
This year’s Teacher of the Year winner, Joe Walters of Pasadena, CA, learned go in the Navy. That is, he learned about go. “A buddy and I tried it and wound up bewildered, with two walls across the middle of the board,” Walters said. “I didn’t really start to understand go until the Ishi Press books began to appear in the 1970’s.” Walters’ current rank is about 8K. Each year the American Go Foundation selects an outstanding go organizer as Teacher of the Year (TOTY). The recipient receives an all-expenses paid trip to the US Go Congress, where the TOTY leads a discussion among fellow organizers, sharing strategies and learning from each other. After his stint in the Navy, Walters returned to civilian life and joined the staff of the Reiyukai (Spiritual Friendship Society), a lay Buddhist association. He suggested organizing a go club at the Center to attract visitors and promote interest, and the Go-For-Yu Club was born. Later, after a stint as the Director of the Reiyukai in the Philippines, he returned to Pasadena and founded the Yu-Go Club. “Jimmy Cha was a big help in the early days, along with Richard Dolen, Gun Ho Choi, and Bob Terry. Then when Yi-lun Yang came to town, things really started to take off.”
Four years ago, when Walters retired, he decided to use some of his newfound freedom to start a go program at his grandson’s elementary school. Before long, about 150 of the school’s 400 students were involved – ironically, his grandson was not among them. Starting with brief presentations during recess, the program soon moved to the lunchroom. “Most of the kids were finishing lunch in 15 minutes or so. The cafeteria doubles as the auditorium, so we set up go equipment on the stage. Being so visible, other kids wanted to play, and so it grew.” Each participant gets an index card marked with a Pokemon character of their choice, to record contact info, game results and so on. Setting up the program, Walters relied heavily on the Assistant Principal, who last year became principal of a nearby school. Walters expanded his activities to that school, teaching and operating the program two days a week during lunch at each site. “The noise in the lunchroom makes it hard to teach, but we can’t meet privately because students cannot be alone; a teacher must be physically present at all times,” Walters said. The principals of the two schools are good friends and maintain a friendly rivalry between their schools, so when Walters proposed an intramural tournament last year, they jumped at the chance and even provided a traveling trophy. Four players from each lunchtime group – first/second grade, third/fourth and fifth/sixth – met in a two-round playoff last year, but a few no-shows marred the result. This year, all interested players will participate. Walters ran the event with the help of local players Jeff McClellan and Reese. This year they will offer lessons to the parents, ending with parent-child games for all who will participate. Next, Walters hopes to teach participants in a local senior center and perhaps arrange for some of his students to meet and play with the seniors. He also enjoys teaching beginners on KGS and can often be found in the Beginner’s Room as “Jodageezer”. “Go is such a great way to connect all different kinds of people,” he says.
– reprinted from Sensei: The American Go Foundation Newsletter
Thursday June 21, 2012
Justin Teng of Rockville, MD and Rachel Daley of Boulder, CO are the winners of the 2012 AGF College Scholarship, $1,000 awards to distinguished college-bound go organizers. Teng, the president of his local go club and the current VP of The American Go Honor Society, planned and presented a go demonstration as part of his Eagle Project, a requirement to become an Eagle Scout. In his essay, Teng described his discovery that go could even help disruptive kids: “One kid caught my eye, making disruptions and getting out of his seat every few minutes. Yet once he started playing a game of Capture Go with the student across from him, he was completely focused, like a whole different person.”
Applicants are encouraged to write about how go has “affected you as a person.” Daley’s essay was particularly striking in this regard. “I’m not an especially social person,” she admitted in her essay, but “the go club forced me to leave my house at least once on weekends and spend time with other people, from older men with hearing aids to a young Korean girl who has since moved back to Korea.” She started a club at her school and began helping the organizer of the local club. “One week he left me in charge of teaching anyone who dropped by. For a 14-year-old it felt like a lot of responsibility . . . . 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.” Applications are now being accepted for the 2013 scholarships. Click here for more information. – reprinted from Sensei: The American Go Foundation Newsletter
Thursday June 21, 2012
With 16 days to go, “The Surrounding Game” documentary team has already surpassed its initial fundraising goal (American Go Players Seek Support for Go Documentary, 6/12 EJ) and is now pushing for their second funding target of $25,000. “We are realizing that this is bigger than just the film” says David Glekel, 2d, who joined the team last month. “With the start of the American professional system and the first North American Go Symposium, this year is a golden opportunity for the American go community to make a major impact on public awareness.” As part of this new phase, the team is contacting every go club in America to unite the go community in a push for public outreach. “We’re asking for your help in promoting go in every way possible, whether it’s through word-of-mouth, teaching go in your community, hosting a local tournament or workshop, or by supporting our documentary project.” says co-director Cole Pruitt. The team has also released new community-oriented prizes on their Kickstarter page, and has given their story to a number of online media outlets. The Surrounding Game documentary team will be filming at this year’s US Go Congress, Pro Certification tournament and International Go Symposium, and will also be traveling to China and Korea to document international title tournaments and the cultural legacy of go in Asia. “This isn’t just a ‘promotional film’ ” says Pruitt, “it’s about the narrative of go, the people it inspires, and the unique place that go has among cultures and communities. Our dream is that this film will provide the general public a real chance to explore firsthand how incredible go is.” photo: Cole Pruitt (l) and David Glekel shooting at the Maryland Open
Wednesday June 20, 2012
As Barack Obama and Mitt Romney vie for the Presidency and the major parties battle for control of Congress this year, another election has thus far escaped the media’s attention. Four of the American Go Association’s seven Board directors are up for election this year, with a full slate of candidates contesting for the seats on the Board. In the Eastern region, running for the seat currently held by Chuck Robbins, three are running: Gurujeet Khalsa, Feng Yun and Thomas Hsiang. Bob Barber is challenging incumbent Central region director Lisa Scott, and Chris Kirschner, Jeff Horn and Steven Burrall are competing for the Western seat currently held by Andrew Okun, who was recently appointed President of the AGA. In the At-Large election, Zhiyuan [Edward] Zhang and Chuck Robbins, the current Eastern region director, are challenging incumbent Jie Li. All terms are for two years. AGA chapters with two or more members can vote for the candidates in their region, while all full AGA members may vote for the At-Large candidate of their choice. Ballots will be emailed to all eligible voters by July 1, and the results will be tallied and announced at the US Go Congress in Black Mountain, NC, during the first week of August. Click here for complete voting instructions and candidate statements, if available.
Monday June 18, 2012
Janice Kim 3P, popular go teacher, go blogger, and co-author of the Learn to Play Go book series, will teach a workshop in Berkeley, California this coming weekend, June 23 and 24. Those who signed up early turned in game records for Kim to review before the workshop so that she could tailor the discussion topics specifically to students’ needs. “Course materials and game records will be provided in both print and electronic format so that students can take notes and annotate records on mobile devices or with pen and pencil,” reports organizer Roger Schrag. Seats are still available, and the deadline to sign up is this Friday, June 22 at noon. Class size will be kept small so that everyone can get as much individual attention as possible. Learn more about the workshop and sign up on the workshop web page. Photo: Janice Kim lectures at the 2012 Cotsen Open; photo by Chris Garlock.
Monday June 18, 2012
The Caroline Campelo Cruz e Silva School in Palmas City, Brazil, has launched a full go program for kids, reports teacher Luciano Sanches Teixeira. Recent changes in organization and curricula at the school opened up space for new teaching activities, including a room equipped for teaching chess and checkers. “The first contact with go came about through research about (chess and checkers) on the Internet,” that led to the discovery that “there was another game, an oriental game played with glass spheres on a wooden board,” says Teixeira.
The school received its first go board in 2010, and while the initial interest was sparked by curiosity about an ancient game, Teixeira says that go “gained our attention thanks to its relationship with mathematics.” In addition to the calculations required for playing go, “We also think that looking at the different shapes built on the board and dealing with the delicate stones could also help develop motor coordination and laterality,” which are both important in the literacy process. This year the school launched a project to teach go to all students, for two months the students had go lessons, and “We also offered workshops after the regular classes, where students had access to the game of go throughout the school year.”
Monday June 18, 2012
Monday June 18, 2012
“The AGA Summer Go Camp is excited to announce that both Slate and Shell and Kiseido have made a donation of books to the 2012 camp,” reports Camp Director Amanda Miller. “Throughout the week of July 29, the camp will be holding small tournaments and other fun Go-related activities, such as 13 x13, pair Go, and team tournaments. The books will be given out to the winners of these events, and include titles from Yuan Zhou’s Master Play series, Yilun Yang’s The Workshop Lectures, and the Elementary Go Series. Because of the generosity of these companies, there should be more than enough books to go around, so every camper will get at least one,” adds Miller. Go Camp is for anyone between the ages of 8 and 18, and there is still time to register. The camp will take place the week before the Go Congress from July 28 to August 4 and will be held at the same location, the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain, North Carolina. Mingjiu Jiang (7P) will be the teacher. Kids who are interested in the camp, but worry they can’t afford it, are encouraged to apply for need-based scholarships, which are still available from the AGF. “We have registered campers between the ages of 6 and 18, and within a strength range of 22-kyu to 1-dan, so the camp should be a lot of fun, regardless of age or rank,” says Miller. For more information, can visit the camp website (www.gocampeast.org) or e-mail the camp directors at firstname.lastname@example.org. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.