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AGA Go Camp a Favorite with Kids

Saturday May 16, 2015

Go Camp 2014 (75) “When people ask me, ‘how was your summer,’ I tell them it was wonderful, because of the AGA Go Camp,” writes 14-year-old Elan, “I had an amazing time playing go and hanging out with other kids, learning from our teacher, and enjoying fun summer camp activities.” Go Camp strives to provide young go players a unique experience, allowing them to foster their love of the game in a traditional summer camp setting. “Camp does involve a lot of go,” says Director Amanda Miller, “and campers spend both their mornings, and part of their afternoons, studying, but these lessons include a creative mix of lectures, life and death problems, games, and game reviews to kep things interesting.”

Many campers love the opportunity, and as 8-year-old Yuga remembers, “I learned go from morning to evening and that was my first time studying go so long. I spent time with a great teacher and lots of friends and played go and talked about go with them. It makes me want to play more and want to improve more.”

“Camp is about more than just go, however, “says Miller, “it’s about giving kids the chance to meet and make friends with other kids who love the game just as much as they do. Part of the magic of camp is the wide variety of campers who attend, and in the past few years, the camp has welcomed kids from as far away as Hawaii and Canada.The camp has been growing every year, and we’re always trying to make it better. Last year was one of our best summers yet, because we got to try so many different activities. The kids had a great time with hiking, archery, boating, swimming, and rock climbing in addition to playing go.” Boating was a general favorite, and as Elan remembers, “A mega splashing competition ensued and everyone was soaked wet!Go Camp 2014 (112)

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. 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 be held July 18-25, at YMCA Camp Kern in Oregonia, OH, with Myungwan Kim 9P as this summer’s professional teacher. Camp directors Amanda Miller and Nano Rivera invite campers of all skill levels, between the ages of 8 and 18 to join them for a week of go-playing and fun. 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 at  or e-mail Amanda Miller at agagocampeast@gmail.com. -Paul Barchilon with Amanda Miller. 

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Twin Cities Go Club (1): Helping Connect Kids to their Culture

Saturday October 25, 2014

For the past few years, the Twin Cities Go Club has been involved at an annual Chinese culture event in April hosted at the Mall of America. 2014.10.25 TCGO little girl DSC_0749Three years ago at this event we met the organization, Families with Children from Asia-Midwest, a group dedicated to bringing together families with children adopted from Asia. “Part of their goal is to educate the children on various aspects of Chinese culture, to help 2014.10.25 TCGO family weekend DSC_0743them feel more connected to their cultural heritage,” says TCGO’s Aaron Broege.

For the past two years, TCGO has been a part of a retreat weekend at a local hotel that brings together families from the Midwest region. Earlier this month, TCGO’s Xiaoyu Wang, Yanqing Sun and Aaron Broege attended the event to teach the children the basics of capture go.

“Like last year, many of the children were eager to learn and picked up the rules very quickly,” says Broege. “To my delight, some of them even remembered us from the previous year and still remembered the basic rules of the game!” Some of the children picked up the rules quickly, and played game after game of capture go. Others, even if they didn’t completely understand the rules, still loved the feel of placing the stones on the board. “It was just great to see them playing with the game and trying to figure out how to win.”
Part 1 of 2: tomorrow: TCGO hosts a pizza and rated games party!

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AGA Chapter Offer: Play Go, Get Free Pizza!

Friday October 3, 2014

To encourage chapters of the American Go Association to keep the momentum from “Learn Go” week going, the AGA is offering a special deal 2014.10.03_pizzaduring the month of October. Chapters that meet in October, play at least one rated game, order pizza and send in a photo of the festivities — and the receipt– and you’ll have the cost of the pizza reimbursed. “We appreciate the great work our chapters are doing and this is a fun way for them to reach their members” says Andrew Jackson, AGA VP of Operations. This offer only valid for AGA chapters; if your club is not a chapter, click here to sign up as a chapter today. Send your receipts to operations@usgo.org.

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Tacoma Go Club “Back in Business”

Thursday October 2, 2014

The Tacoma Go Club is getting back into the go business after “a little hiatus, reports club president Gordon Castanza. The TGC sponsored three2014.09.22_TGC's Learn Go Week at Bluebeards events during Learn Go Week” last week and is meeting at the Asia Pacific Cultural Center, 4851 S. Tacoma Way, Tacoma, WA 98409 every Monday from 3 – 6p. The club also meets at Bluebeard’s Café, 2201 6th Ave., Tacoma, WA 98403 (by prior arrangement. Call or e-mail Gordon or Tom), and Starbuck’s, 34024 Hoyt Rd. SW (340th and Hoyt next to Walgreen’s), Federal Way, WA 98023 (by prior arrangement. Call or e-mail Gordon or Tom).  During the Tacoma Go Club’s third “Learn Go Week” event last Saturday, “two new players appeared at the Bluebeard Coffee Shop in Tacoma to learn the fine points of both high handicap games and the subtleties of the territory-destroying ‘monkey jump,’” says Castanza. Players from left to right were Mike Malveaux, Tom Cruver, and Mark Mattson, who was playing Castanza, who doubled as official photographer.

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Go Takes Over Seoul Streets

Sunday September 21, 2014

Hundreds of people gathered to play Go in Korea’s Gwanghwamun Square, on September 21. The event was part of Seoul’s Street Without Cars 2014.09.21_Simultaneous-Go-Games-Seoul-550x367Festival and Learn Go Week. Go fans got autographs from players like Lee Changho, Lee 2014.09.20_Simultaneous-Go-Games2Sedol and Kim Hyojeong, president of the Korean Baduk Professionals’ Union. One hundred professional go players played simultaneous games with attendees, including international visitors from the 51 countries participating in the 9th Korean Prime Minister’s Cup. Over 1,000 people attended, including many families with children. However, because not everyone played games, the goal of 1,004 simultaneous games was not achieved, and the Guinness World Record – 1,000 players at Take-machi-dohri and Chuo-cho Shopping Streets, Oita, Japan on June 6, 1999 — remained unbroken this year.
- Younggil An, Go Game Guru; right: 100 professional Go players play simultaneous games in Seoul, Korea; left: Seo Neungwuk plays international visitors, including AGA president Andy Okun (3rd from right) and Andrew Jackson (far right). 

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US Go Congress Player Profiles: Sun, Ko, Koh, Lin, Teng & Ye

Tuesday August 5, 2014

The American Go E-Journal will be broadcasting top-board US Go Congress games live on KGS beginning this Sunday, August 10. This week we’re profiling some of the top players who will be competing at the Congress.

Calvin Sun 1P (right) is a 17-year-old student in Cerritos, CA. He learned go when he was 6 and won the 2012 Cotsen and 2014 Pro Qualifier. His favorite thing about go is that it “forces me to concentrate” and his favorite hobby is “sleep.”

Dae Hyuk “Danny” Ko 7D (left) is 38 and works in finance in Southern California. He’s been playing since the age of 6 and won the 2009 Samsung Qualifier, 2010 Cotsen Cup, 2013 World Mind Sports Qualifier, and is a 4-time Santa Monica Coffee Cup winner (2008, 2011, 2013, 2014). His favorite thing about the game is making friends.

Juyong Koh 7D (right) is a 34-year-old insurance broker from Vancouver, BC. He’s been playing since the age of 10, winning the 2002 and 2008 Canadian Open, as well as many local tournaments. His favorite thing about go is “The game is exciting and you can try anything you like on the board unlike real life. I love to express my imagination on the go board.” Hobbies include weight training and choir practice.

Bill Lin 7D (left) is a 17-year-old university student in Vancouver, BC who’s been playing go for 11 years. He was the 2013 Canadian Open Champion, took 5th place in the 2013 US Open, 3rd in the 2013 NA Masters, 3rd in the 2013 Prime Minister Cup World Amateur and 2nd in the 2014 Canadian Open. His favorite thing about go is “The complexity, the countless number of variations, and the serenity I feel when I play the game.” Hobbies include swimming, running, triathlons, and movies.

Justin Teng 7D (right) is an 18-year-old undergraduate student at the University of Maryland–College Park. He started playing go at 12 and played in the 2012 AGA-Tygem pro finals qualifier and 2012 WMSG. His favorite thing about the game of go is “meeting and making all kinds of diverse friends, and challenging myself to become stronger.” Hobbies include “piano and chatting with friends.”

Aaron Ye 6D (left) is a 12-year-old student in Cupertino, CA. He’s been playing since the age of 5, and was the US Redmond Cup Junior division Champion three straight years (2011-2013), the US Youth Go Junior division Champion 2010, 2011 & 2012, and US representative for World Youth Go Junior division in 2011 and 2012. His favorite thing about go is “The challenges you constantly face.” Ye is on the School Math Count team, representing his middle school competing in the Silicon Valley Chapter for math count. His hobbies include tennis and programming robots.

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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.

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Evanston Go Club Celebrates 10th Appearance at ACen Anime Convention

Sunday May 18, 2014

The Evanston Go Club taught go on May 17 and 18 to over a hundred enthusiastic attendees at Anime Central (ACen), the largest annual anime convention in the midwest. “We taught non-stop for 13 hours on Friday, and 11 hours on Saturday,” reported tired but happy club president Mark Rubenstein. The two-day event ended with a 9×9 tournament for beginners, with 20 participants. Everyone who participated received a 9×9 starter set and a copy of The Way To Go.

“This is our favorite event of the year!” said Rubenstein. “This is our 10th year at ACen, and it was a blast! Most people stay for perhaps an hour. We teach them the basics, and they play a few games. There’s a lot to do at ACen, and go is a very small part of it. But some of them can’t get enough go, and spend the better part of the weekend with us!”

“Last year there were 25,000 attendees at ACen, and everyone gets along.” said Rubenstein. “I’ve never seen any kind of tension or altercation in all these years. These kids all accept and enjoy each others’ passions and differences without judgement. The world at large could learn a lot from them.”

Rubenstein extended “special thanks to the tireless Lee Huynh for his enthusiastic help all weekend.” Visit the club’s website for more photos.
- photos courtesy Mark Rubenstein

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Go Quiz: Historic Hosts

Sunday April 27, 2014

Quizmaster Learns Something: Half of you came up with 15, the correct answer, although Steve Burrall insists there are 16, but only listed 13 in his comments. Here’s Grant Kerr’s list, in a rare moment of only almost correctness, in order of their proness.
1: Manfred Wimmer 1978 (Austria/Japan, left)
2: James Kerwin 1978 (USA/Japan, right)
3: Michael Redmond 1981 (USA/Japan)
4: Janice Kim 1987 (USA/Korea)
5: Catalin Taranu 1997 (Romania/Japan)
6: Hans Pietsch 1997 (Germany/Japan)
7: Svetlana Shikshina 2002 (Russia/Korea)
8: Alexandre Dinerstein 2002 (Russia/Korea)
9: Diana Koszegi 2008 (Hungary/Korea)
10: Joanne Missingham 2008 (Australia/Taiwan)
11: Mariya Zakharchenko 2012 (Ukraine/Korea)
12: Andy Liu 2012 (USA)
13: Gangsheng Shi 2012 (USA)
14: Calvin Sun 2013 (USA)
15: Francis Meyer 2014 (USA/Korea, left)
Your quizmaster did not know that Francis Meyer (left) of North Carolina had made pro in February, but sorry Grant, it is with the Kansai Kiin, not Korea. Congrats to this week’s winner, Robert Tirak of The Dalles, OR, chosen at random from among those answering correctly.

This Week’s Quiz: It’s time to make your plans to go to the 2014 U.S. Go Congress, the nation’s biggest go event of the year in its biggest location ever, New York City! Your challenge this week is historical: New York City joins San Francisco, Chicago and Seattle as the fourth US city to hold a Go Congress and what other noteworthy historic event? Click here to submit your best guess; as usual, points will be given for creative answers.
- Keith Arnold, HKA, Quizmaster
Wimmer photo courtesy Helmut Wilschek’s Go Stories blog; Kerwin photo courtesy Nihon Ki-in; Meyer photo from 2010 US Go Congress by Chris Garlock 

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Go Quiz: How Many Western Professionals?

Sunday April 20, 2014

You Know, Like Grover Cleveland*: The fun of last week’s quiz is that there are more Honinbo heads than people. Quiz vet Reinhold Burger explains: “Thanks for this; I learned something. I knew that Shuei had stepped aside for Shuho, resuming the leadership after Shuho’s death. But I had not realized that Shugen had done the same for Shuei. So you have the symmetrical-looking sequence: Shugen, Shuei, Shuho, Shuei, Shugen. Interesting :)” Peter Schumer also cautioned that, while as heir Shusaku is often referred to as Honinbo, he died before he took over the house. So the seven of you who chose 19 different heads, as opposed to the total of 21 were correct. As for the anonymous person who chose 57, that was, of course, the number of “known Communists in the US State Department” according to a classic film. Congrats to Peter Schumer of Middlebury, VT, our randomly selected winner from among those submitting the correct answer.

This Week’s Quiz: The AGA will be qualifying one more new professional this year. This weekend one player will qualify for the AGA Pro Qualifier (to be held later this year) at the first Washington Open Baduk Championship (click here to register) and another next month at the 41st Maryland Open (click here to register). Pictured is your quizmaster congratulating Andy Liu for winning a spot in the first qualifier in 2012, which he went on to win. So our question this week is how many “Western” pros will our new pro be joining? To qualify, in addition to the AGA’s three pros, they must be (or have been) a pro born outside of the traditional Asian go nations, and certified as a pro by a national organization. Is the answer 12, 13, 14 or 15 Western professionals? Click here to submit your answer, and put your list of pros in the comments (in case we missed someone) and feel free to include your response to my bonus quiz “57 communists” movie reference.
photo by Gurujeet Khalsa

* Cleveland served as 22nd and 24th President of the United States, the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms (1885–1889 and 1893–1897).

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