American Go E-Journal » Youth

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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2019 World Youth Goe Championship: Day 1 report

Tuesday July 30, 2019

Crystalline waters, comforting warmth and miles of golf courses… everything you’d expect at the Phileas Beach Resort in Selangor, Malaysia. But behind these peaceful scenes, a vicious battle rages on. Not a physical struggle, of course, but one of mentality, and awareness. The 36th World Youth Go Championship has started, and the players are ready to prove themselves, including the three U.S. representatives, Alexander Qi 4d and Noah Flaherty 15k for the Junior Division, and Ary Chen 5d for the Senior Division.

The tournament begins with Alex Qi facing Artemii Pishchaniklov (Russia), Noah Flaherty facing Shuntaro Saga (Japan), and Ary Chen facing Shih-Chun Chung (Chinese Taipei). After two and a half hours of intense fighting and quick calculating, the U.S. team pulls two victories. They’ve got some time before the next round, and there’s plenty to do as they relax and unwind, exploring the stunning resort, the pool and so much more.

However, as they flood back into the playing room, the tension is still palpable as the players, refreshed, prepare for the second round. The second round pairings are Ary Chen against Li HoaTong (1P, China) Alex Qi against Hsu Ni-Ni (Chinese Taipei, 7d) and Noah Flaherty against Oleskandr Shchepaniuk (Ukraine, 4k), and this time the U.S. team falls to their stronger opponents. Still, under the encouragement and guidance of team leader MingJiu Jiang, they look forward to the next rounds. Now that this day’s grueling “war” has come to a close, the U.S. players can finally relax, and let all their tensions flood away. After all, tomorrow brings a new day – and there are players to beat, and battles to win.
-report/photos by Ashley Qi

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Categories: Main Page,World,Youth
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Tina Li 3d Defends AGA Girls Cup Title

Tuesday July 30, 2019

Ronnie Fan 4d (left) vs. Tina Li 3d (right) at the 2019 AGA Girls Cup Finals

Tina Li 3d defeated Ronnie Fan 4d 2-1 in the AGA Girls Cup Finals at the US Go Congress in Madison, Wisconsin to defend her title and claim her second consecutive championship. Both girls are 13 years old. Taking black in game 1, Li launched an all-out-attack on one of Fan’s dragons, but Fan was able to live and cruise to victory by resignation as Li had little potential remaining after the attack. However, Li did not back down in game 2 the next day, turning the game into a large-scale battle where the status of multiple large dragons came into question. In the end, everything lived on both sides, but Li had the territorial advantage and won by 14.5 points. The final decisive game was much more peaceful with Li (who drew black) staking out a large framework and Fan slowly chipping away at it throughout the game. While Fan managed to make large incisions, it was not enough and Li secured the victory by 13.5 points as well as this year’s title. See below for the records of all three games.

Game 1
Game 2
Game 3

Special thanks to Seowoo Wang for broadcasting the games live on KGS as well as for assisting during the preliminaries, and to the American Go Foundation for sponsoring this tournament. This year’s tournament was the second edition of the annual AGA Girls Cup, which holds online preliminaries for two finalist spots and invitations to play in the Finals live at the US Go Congress. Registration for next year’s tournament will open in early 2020; competitors must be residents of North America, a female aged 15 or under, and a member of her national Go organization with an official rank of 10 kyu or stronger.
– story/photo by AGA Youth Coordinator and AGA Girls Cup TD Justin Teng

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Ye and Huang Sweep 2019 Redmond Cup Finals

Friday July 26, 2019

Jeremy Chiu 6d (left) vs. Aaron Ye 7d (right) in the 2019 Redmond Cup Senior Division Finals

This year’s Redmond Cup Finals at the 2019 US Go Congress in Madison, Wisconsin marked both the conclusion of a dynasty and beginning of a new era. 17-year old Aaron Ye 7d defeated 17-year old Jeremy Chiu 6d 2-0 to win his 7th Redmond Cup title, a record which will likely not be broken for many years. Taking black in Game 1, Chiu managed to pull ahead with a small lead through the early middle-game, but Ye’s successful reduction of Chiu’s potential and subsequent defense against Chiu’s attacks gave Ye a solid territorial advantage ending in Chiu’s resignation. In the second game, Ye took an early territorial lead while Chiu attempted to build potential in the center. However, Ye’s sharp endgame cemented his lead, and after 272 moves, Ye had won by 15.5 points and clinched this year’s Senior Division title. Ever since 2011, Ye and Chiu have been mainstays at the top of the North American youth scene, taking 11 of the 18 finalist spots (7 for Ye and 4 for Chiu) in the Redmond Cup over 9 years. It will be exciting to see who will rise to the top in the coming years.

Frederick Bao 4d (left) vs. Kevin Huang 6d (right) in the 2019 Redmond Cup Junior Division Finals

In the Junior division (12 and under), 12-year old 2018 Junior runner-up Frederick Bao 4d faced new competition in 11-year old newcomer Kevin Huang 6d who had placed first in the online preliminaries earlier this year. Ever since 4-time Junior champion Ary Cheng 6d graduated to the Senior Division (13-17) after last year’s tournament, the Junior field has been left wide open for young lions to take the vacant throne. Game 1 opened with fierce fighting from the beginning, with Bao taking a territorial lead in exchange for giving Huang the upper edge in the center battle. Bao made consecutive invasions into the potential Huang had created, but Huang was relentless in his attacks. In the end, the influence Huang had gained from attacking Bao’s invasions was enough to kill one of Bao’s large dragons and secure the first victory of the series by resignation. In game 2 the next day, Huang started with the now-archaic mini-chinese opening and took a large lead in the opening. A brilliant tesuji sequence to kill one of Bao’s groups seemed like it would seal the victory, but Bao fought back ferociously to close the gap. While he was able to chip away at Huang’s lead bit by bit, the territorial difference was just too much to overcome, and Huang secured his first Redmond Cup title after a grueling 340 moves with a win by 17.5 points. While Bao will be graduating to the Senior division next year, Huang will be the player for up-and-coming young players to beat in next year’s Junior tournament.

SGF files of this year’s Finals games as well as more information about the Redmond Cup can be found on the Redmond Cup page. Special thanks to Ashish Varma and Jake Fink for broadcasting the games live on KGS, as well as to the American Go Foundation for sponsoring this tournament. Registration for the 27th Redmond Cup will open in January 2020 with the online preliminaries starting in March. – Story and Photos by AGA Youth Coordinator and Redmond Cup TD Justin Teng

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Stage set for Youth Tournament Finals: El Classico Match-up in Redmond Cup Senior Division

Saturday July 13, 2019

Ye (left) and Chiu (right) playing in their first Redmond Cup Finals against each other in 2014 in New York.

17-year old Aaron Ye 7d and 17-year old Jeremy Chiu 6d defeated Melissa Cao 3d and Zhixiang Lou 5d respectively to earn their berths into the Finals of the 26th Redmond Cup Senior Division. This is a repeat match-up from last year’s Finals, and will be the last time for the two young superstars to clash in this tournament as they will both be ineligible to participate due to age starting next year. Both Ye and Chiu are from the Bay Area, and have had a long rivalry competing against each other since 2010 at a local Bay Area tournament. Since then, both have won numerous US Youth titles and represented the US at international tournaments.

Chiu (left) and Ye (right) playing in their second Redmond Cup Finals against each other in 2018 in Williamsburg, Virginia.

When asked about the upcoming match, Ye responded saying, “I think Jeremy is a very talented Go player. From past games, I know he has put in a lot of effort into Go. I wish him good luck for the games.” Chiu shared a similar sentiment, telling the EJ, “Aaron and I have been playing for years; it does feel a bit surreal that this is our last Redmond match together. Aaron is and has always been a tough but fun opponent to play against; his aggressive style and precise reading often launches our games into intense fights. I’m hoping we’ll play some exciting games!” You can learn more about Ye and Chiu from last year’s player profile interview.

In the Junior Division, 6 players were still in contention for finalist spots at the beginning of the last preliminary round. Kevin Huang 6d defeated Yuxin Fu 5d in the battle to decide the first finalist, while Frederick Bao 4d defeated Ben Gong 3d, tying both players at 4 wins and 2 losses. Meanwhile, Duc Minh Vo 2d defeated Boya Hou 1d, and Alex Qi 3d defeated Kosuke Sato 3d to also end the preliminary tournament at 4 wins and 2 losses. While normally there would have been a tiebreaker playoff to decide the second finalist, Bao had defeated all of the other players in the tie, so he earned the second finalist spot. Bao was also a finalist in last year’s tournament, while this is Huang’s first appearance.

In the 2nd AGA Girls Cup, nearly 20 players competed for two finalist spots. Participation was more than double compared to last year’s field, which bodes well for the future of this tournament. Defending champion Tianyi Li 3d swept the preliminary rounds 5-0 to earn the chance to defend her title in the Finals, while Ruyan Fan 4d, Sophia Wang 2d, and Ruogu Lin 1d ended the preliminaries at 4-1, resulting in a 3-way tiebreaker playoff. Fan defeated both of the other tied players to earn her first appearance in the AGA Girls Cup Finals.

The best-of-3 Finals in each event will take place at the 2019 US Go Congress on 7/14, 7/15, and 7/18 (if necessary). Tune in to the live broadcasts of the games on KGS at 3 pm on those days to catch the action. Both the Redmond Cup and the AGA Girls Cup are sponsored by the American Go Foundation. – Justin Teng AGA Youth Coordinator and TD for both events.

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Go Spotting: Takeshi Obata Exhibit

Friday July 12, 2019

Hikaru no Go artist Takeshi Obata is the subject of an art opening in Japan, running from July 13- August 12. Thanks to Winston Jen for the photo of the exhibit promo, and the news item on the exhibit. Click here for more info.

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$1,500 prize pool at U20 Eastern Youth Open

Tuesday July 9, 2019

Young Go players under the age of 20 will compete for a $1,500 prize pool at the August 31 U20 Eastern Youth Open. The event is being organized by the New York Go Association, which intends to host this competition annually and make it the largest youth Go tournament in the East. “It is time to provide an opportunity for young players to compete in a high quality face-to-face tournament,” says New York Institute of Go founder Stephanie Yin.

All players must be under 20 years old by the date of the tournament, ranked 10 kyu or higher, and current AGA or CGA members. Players whose AGA ranks are out of date but who have a KGS rank with at least 10 most recent games at the rank of 10 kyu or higher may enter. Pre-registration is required.

The U20 Eastern Youth Open will be held Saturday, August 31 from 9:30AM-4:00PM at the New York Institute of Go, 255-05 Northern Blvd, 2FL, Little Neck, NY.

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