American Go E-Journal » Youth

Registration Open for 2019 Youth Go League

Thursday January 16, 2020

“The AGHS is hosting its Youth Go League which will start in February 2020,” says Promotion Head Sophia Wang, “Because playing games is crucial to improving quickly, the league offers young go players an opportunity to play more serious online games.”

There will be 4-5 rounds each month, paired by divisions using a ladder system such that players face others of similar strength. All youth ages 18 and under from the US, Canada, and Mexico are invited to participate in these friendly yet competitive matches. Prizes will be awarded. The registration deadline is 11:59 PM PST on January 26, 2020.

For rules and regulations, click here.
For registration, click here.

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Frederick Bao wins 2019 Young Lions Tournament

Thursday January 9, 2020

“Over 70 players from across North America competed intensely in the AGHS’s annual Young Lions Tournament, which took place over the past month,” says AGHS Promotion Head Sophia Wang, “There was impressive participation, including several high-dan competitors and many new players joining the Go community.” Frederick Bao, who won first place at the 2019 US Open as well as multiple recent tournaments, emerged victorious as the champion of the 2019 Young Lions Tournament after being undefeated in the highly competitive open division. Zhixiang Lou followed closely as second place and Ruihan Cao took third.

Winners’ Report: Open Division 1st: Frederick Bao, 2nd: Zhixiang Lou, 3rd: Ruihan Cao; Division A 1st: Toranosuke Ozawa, 2nd: Sophie Lin, 3rd: Chase Lin; Division B 1st: Steve Zhang, 2nd: Kyle Fenimore, 3rd: Samantha Soo; Division C 1st: Jason Yang, 2nd: Stephanie Tan, 3rd: Juanshu Lan; Division D 1st: Zhiyong Huang, 2nd: Joshua Wong, 3rd: Allen Tan; Division E 1st: Shinyan Hu, 2nd: Christina Wang, 3rd: Ethan Tu; Division F 1st: Zhihan William Huang, 2nd: Noah Carrafa, 3rd: Enzo Aozono-Araldi -Lionel Zhang, EJ Youth Correspondant


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Registration Open for the 2020 North American Kyu Championships, Redmond Cup, and AGA Girls Cup

Tuesday January 7, 2020

Registration is now open for the annual suite of AGA-run youth tournaments, including the 7th North American Kyu Championships (NAKC), the 27th Redmond Cup, and the 3rd AGA Girls Cup. For all three tournaments, competitors must reside in North America and be a member of the his or her country’s national Go organization.

Young Go players competing at the 2018 US Go Congress

The year kicks off on February 1st with the 7th North American Kyu Championships, which is a four-round, one-day tournament on the KGS Go Server for North American kyu players under the age of 18. Top junior (under 13) and senior (13-17) players in each of five rank divisions can win personalized crystal trophies, and the junior and senior champions of the top division will be invited to play in the Redmond Cup, which traditionally requires one to have a dan-level rank to compete. Players who complete all rounds of the NAKC will also be eligible for a $200 scholarship to the 2020 US Go Congress (USGC) in Estes Park, Colorado, courtesy of the American Go Foundation. Registration for the NAKC closes on January 26th, and interested competitors can read about the rules and additional details here.

Frederick Bao 5d (l) vs Kevin Huang 5d (r) at the 2019 Redmond Cup Junior Division Finals

The 27th Redmond Cup and 3rd AGA Girls Cup are premier tournaments for North American youth under 18 and females under 16 respectively. Players must have an accredited rank of 1-dan or higher to participate in the Redmond Cup, and an accredited rank of 10-kyu or higher to participate in the AGA Girls Cup. The Redmond Cup features both a Junior (under 13) and a Senior (13-17) division, while the AGA Girls Cup will feature one division. Both tournaments are online preliminaries to determine two finalists in each division who will be invited to play in a best-of-three match at the 2020 US Go Congress. The American Go Foundation will cover all reasonable expenses for the finalists of both tournaments to travel to and compete at the 2020 USGC. Players who complete all rounds of either tournament will also be eligible for a $200 scholarship to the 2020 USGC. Registration for the Redmond Cup will close on March 11th, with competition starting on March 15th. Registration for the AGA Girls Cup will close on March 18th, with competition starting on March 22nd. Interested competitors can read about the rules for the Redmond Cup here and rules for the AGA Girls Cup here. – Story and photos by Justin Teng, AGA Youth Coordinator

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Registration Open for 2019 Young Lions Tournament

Sunday November 10, 2019

“The American Go Honor Society is hosting its annual Young Lions Tournament, ” says Promotion Head Sophia Wang, “All go players under age 18 of any rank are welcome. It is a great tournament where youth players can compete against others from the United States, Canada, and Mexico for prizes. There is a total prize pool of $600 in cash, trophies, and other awards.”

For registration, click here.
For detailed rules, click here.

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Ben Lockhart: 1993-2019

Friday October 18, 2019

Ben Lockhart, one of the stars of the American go scene, died peacefully at home on Saturday, October 12th, reports his brother Will Lockhart. Ben had been fighting an aggressive cancer for the past two years. “Even in the last stages of his illness, Ben was filled with an amazing energy for life, and a strong sense of himself,” Will said. “I want to express to the go community at large, how thankful I am for the community you gave him. Determined to live his life in his own way, according to his own principles, Ben pursued what he loved completely. As a teenager traveling alone in Korea and Budapest, and as a young man following his own scary and unconventional path, Ben found a world that made sense to him, and in that world you were his second family. You were his second siblings, his teachers, his friends, his guardian angels, his devoted fans.”

The family wanted to reach out to let the go community know Ben has passed. Will plans to write a longer memorial for Ben in the future, celebrating his trajectory through the go scene. Readers who would like to contribute memories, stories or photos of Ben are welcome to do so by email to youth@usgo.org. We will share them with the family when they have had a little time to catch their breath. – Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor

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AGF College Scholarship

Tuesday October 1, 2019

Applications are now being accepted for the American Go Foundation(AGF) college scholarshipThe program  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. Applicants 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. Applications are due Nov. 5th this year. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  

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AGHS Officer applications

Friday September 20, 2019

Applications for the 2019-2020 American Go Honor Society (AGHS) officer team are now open! The American Go Honor Society is an organization driven primarily by high school students to promote go among young players throughout America, hosting tournaments, leagues, and other go events throughout the school year. To apply, please fill out the form here; the application is due 10-5 at 11:59pm PDT. 

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Huang Tops 1st U20 Eastern Youth Go Open

Tuesday September 10, 2019

31 young players came out to the New York Institute of Go in Little Neck, NY to compete in the 1st U20 Eastern Youth Go Open on August 31st. The tournament was sponsored by the NYIG and organized by NYIG President Stephanie Yin 1p as part of an initiative to create more opportunities for youth to have face-to-face tournament play. In order to be eligible to play in this tournament, players had to be at least 10 kyu or stronger, which Yin hopes will encourage newer players to improve their playing level. Players came from as far as Chicago and Maryland to play in the tournament, which featured over $1,500 of prizes. In the open section, Willis Huang 6d from New Jersey went undefeated to be crowned the undisputed champion. In a rare turn of events, the other four players in that section defeated each other in a circle, creating an unbreakable tie for second. In the other divisions, Shuhui Lin 2d, Chase Lin 1k, and Xinyu Chen 6k demonstrated their prowess with undefeated 4-0 records.

The NYIG plans for this tournament to be an annual event, and looks forward to more young players competing in the future. Additional tournaments and events for both youth and adult players are also in the works, so stay tuned for future announcements.

Top tables at the 1st U20 Eastern Youth Open



Winner’s list:

Division A (Open)
1st: Willis Huang 6d
2nd (4-way tie): Alex Qi 4d, Sophia Wang 4d, Frederick Bao 5d, Minzhi Wang 5d

Division B
1st: Shuhui Lin 2d
2nd: Jiayang Su 1d
3rd: Niel Ni 1d

Division C
1st: Chase Lin 1k
2nd: Samantha Soo 4k
3rd (tie): Marcos Yang 1k and Jerry Ju 3k

Division D
1st: Xinyu Chen 6k
2nd: Jonathan Chen 9k
3rd: Crystal Yihan Pang 8k

-Report and Photos by Justin Teng

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Kuksu Mtn. a hit with kids

Wednesday August 28, 2019

Children compete at the Kuksu Mountains Tournament in Korea.

The Sixth Kuksu Mountain International Baduk Festival was held in Korea August 2-7, in Jeollanamdo. Children from ten countries attended, in teams of varying sizes, and local Korean children participated as well. The US sent three kids: Jiayang Su, Henry Lyman, and Sun Lee.

“Henry and Jiayang won all of their matches and got a special certificate,” reports his mother Christin Lyman. “The team got to play a simul with a pro. They had 3 pros playing 8 kids each. The closing ceremony was amazing with traditional folk performances (dancing and singing). We visited Lee Sedol’s birthplace (a remote island called Sinan), a celadon museum (Gangin is the celadon capital of Korea), and a water park that was lots of fun for the kids.”

Jiayang Su, Sun Lee, and Henry Lyman, representing the US in Korea.

Sponsored by the Korean Baduk Association, the Kuksu Mountains event has been drawing lots of kids in a spirit of international cooperation. Children attended from China, Japan, Russia, Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei, the US, the Philippines, Thailand, Mexico and Korea this year. – Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor. Photos by Christine Lyman.

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AGF imports blind go sets

Wednesday August 21, 2019

The American Go Foundation has purchased 12 new go sets designed for the visually impaired. Both black and white stones are slotted on the back, and click into a 19×19 grid, with a 9×9 grid on the backside. Black stones also have a raised dot in the middle, so they feel different from the white ones. Sets have been sent to the National Go Center and the Seattle Go Center, and one will be available at the US Go Congress each year as well. Milan Mladenovic ran a pilot program last year at Perkins Institute for the blind in Boston, and it was well received . “Ever since I learned to play go my brain has reconnected with my love for thinking ahead and mind games,” reported S, a student at Perkins. 

AGA Board member Steve Colburn approached the AGF about purchasing the sets. “The AGA Webmaster receives dozens of emails a month from people around the country,” writes Colburn. “Most of these have pretty easy answers, but there are others that can take years to answer.” Colburn says he has received multiple requests for blind sets over the years. “This time we were helped from some users on Go (Baduk, Weiqi) Players on Facebook, which is a nice group of worldwide go players to chat with. Earlier this year someone asked if they knew where to buy a blind go set. Someone in the thread found the right site for the Japan Braille Library Equipment Business Division. After a short consultation with the AGF they agreed to import some of the sets to the US,” said Colburn. Importing proved fairly complicated. Joshua Guarino’s Japanese was crucial to get through the many issues with ordering, importing and payment, and the sets finally arrived at the AGF warehouse just before the Go Congress.

“Adding go sets for the visually impaired to our equipment offerings was a natural extension of what the AGF does to promote go in institutional settings and to underserved populations,” says AGF President Terry Benson. The sets will be free for institutions that are working with the visually impaired. Individual players who are blind can also contact the AGF if they are interested in acquiring a set. -Story and photo by Paul Barchilon

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