American Go E-Journal » Youth

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.

Share

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.

Share

$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.

Share

Help Wanted: KGS Go Server

Wednesday May 29, 2019

-by Paul Barchilon, AGF Vice President, KGS Liaison

As many of our readers are aware, the American Go Foundation (AGF) agreed to take on ownership of the KGS Go Server in 2017.  Our goal was to stabilize and grow the server, and also provide a financial buffer for the service after its creator, Bill Shubert, no longer wanted to run it.  We think KGS is the best place for reviewing games online, with unparalleled game review tools, and terrific chat features that allow people to build real community.  Although there are many other go servers out there, including Asian ones with beautiful graphic design and strong players, we think KGS is still a unique and valuable server.  A common complaint has been that many high level dan players have moved to other servers. The AGF’s mission focuses on education and learning, and we think KGS is the perfect place for beginners and more advanced kyu players to learn and grow.  Dan players are important too, but we think the server can grow more of them, and that more strong players will come back to the server if we can revitalize it.

We had hoped that by providing financial security for the server, it would be able to survive and grow on its own.  However, as time has passed, it has become clear that we need more support from the community to make that a reality.  Our team of programmers (all volunteers) have busy day jobs, and although they do their best, there is too much work to be done. Our admin team has also become smaller, and is greatly in need of an infusion of volunteers.  

The go community should have lots of programmers out there who can help.  We should also have lots of people who are willing to be admins. If you are interested in volunteering to help make KGS the best possible server it can be, please email me at kgs@agfgo.org.  

On the programming level, we need people who can code in Java and Javascript.  The code for ShinKGS is actually open source. Skilled coders could help us bring more features to the web compatible version of KGS and – most urgently  – to create a registration module that can run from any web-browser and doesn’t require Java. If you are willing to help us with our task list, email kgs@agfgo.org.

On the Admin side, we need team players who have a helpful, forthcoming attitude, can stay calm under pressure, and are able to properly judge if, when, and how to intervene in public chats, deal with complaints and enforce KGS policies on escaping. A community only thrives with the support of those in it. The more people maintaining the spirit of KGS, the easier for all.

Admins need enough spare time to be on several times a week and should be able to keep an idle window open on the server. They should be quick to step in when needed.  We also need admins in many languages and time zones, and would like to have at least one admin on at any given time.

While the AGF owns KGS and, with the help of many donors, provides the basic financial support, KGS really belongs to all of us. If the server is to move forward, we need help from the community. 

Share

UCLA Claims Second Collegiate Go League Championship

Wednesday May 29, 2019

UCLA’s CGL Team: Paul Chin (back left); Ying Ngai Yu 7d (front left); Xinyu Liu 7d (front right); Lionel Zhang 6d (back right)

UCLA continued to display the strength of its premier Go club with a triumphant 2-1 victory over University of Chicago in the 2019 Collegiate Go League Championship Finals. UCLA entered the league in 2014, and has made the finals every year except 2017. They won the title in 2016, but have been seeking the winning magic touch to clinch another title ever since.

For University of Chicago, this was its first Finals appearance after joining the CGL in 2016. Leveraging the strength of first board Zirui Song 1p, 2018 US Open Masters champion, University of Chicago managed to defeat UCLA’s first board, Ying Ngai Yu 7d. However, the depth of UCLA’s roster proved overwhelming with decisive victories by Xinyu Liu 7d and Lionel Zhang 6d over Cheuk To Tsui 4d and Henry Li 4d respectively.

Paul Chin, UCLA’s Team Captain and President of the UCLA Go Club expressed gratitude to the Korean Baduk Association and Ahn Dalhoon 9p in particular for visiting the club to play and teach the members. Paul added, “We welcome anyone in the area to come play with us on Friday nights at 6:30 pm in room 6201 of the Mathematical Sciences building while school is in session.”

Meanwhile, University of Maryland defeated Brigham Young University 2-1 in a series of extremely close games to claim the B League title. This is UMD’s first B League title after having won the A League championship in 2015.

The Collegiate Go League is an online league held on KGS for universities in North America. Matches are 3 against 3 and all undergraduate and graduate students of a university are eligible to participate on their respective school’s roster. Season 9 will start in October 2019 with 10 rounds roughly every two weeks (with a winter break in the middle) and will culminate with the championship playoffs in April 2020. There is both an A League for dan-level teams and a B League for kyu-level teams. Registration for Season 9 will close on September 25th. – Justin Teng, AGA Youth Coordinator

Share

Redmond Cup prelims down to the wire entering final round

Saturday May 25, 2019

The final round of the 26th Redmond Cup Preliminaries has just started, and the race for the finalist spots in both the Junior and Senior divisions are still up for grabs, with no guaranteed finalists yet. In the Senior division, 3rd Redmond Meijin Aaron Ye 7d remains undefeated at 5-0, but will have to overcome 2018 AGA Girls Cup runner-up Melissa Cao 3d (currently 4-1) to guarantee a spot in the finals. Cao has had a fantastic tournament so far, defeating 4-time Junior Redmond Cup Champion Ary Cheng 6d and 2018 US Open Champion Brandon Zhou 5d in the previous two rounds. 2018 Redmond Cup runner-up Jeremy Chiu 6d and Richie Lou 5d also have a 4-1 record as well, and will play each other to move into a likely finalist position.  A victory for Melissa Cao in this round would result in a 3-way tie for first place, so a playoff would determine the two finalists the week following the final round. For both Ye and Chiu, this is the last year that they are eligible to compete in the Redmond Cup as both will turn 18 in 2020. Both of them have participated in the Redmond Cup since 2011 and combined taken 9 of the 16 finalist spots over their 8 years of competing. Should they both qualify for the finals this year, it would be Chiu’s final chance to defeat Ye in this tournament, having lost the two previous encounters in 2014 and 2018. 

The Junior division preliminaries is about as exciting as it can get. After Ary Cheng 6d’s four-year reign over the tournament before graduating to the Senior division, the field has been left wide open for new blood to take the throne. After 5 rounds, no player is undefeated and there is potential for a 6-way tie at a 4-2 score. Currently, Kevin Huang 6d and Ben Gong 3d lead the pack at 4-1, but Yuxin Fu 5d, Frederick Bao 4d (2018 Junior Redmond Cup runner-up), Kosuke Sato 3d, Duc Minh Vo 2d, and Alex Qi 2d are all chasing them at 3-2 records. The final round will pit Huang against Fu and Gong against Bao, and it will be up to Fu and Bao to force a tiebreaker playoff with victories.

When the dust settles, four finalists will be invited to the 2019 US Go Congress in Madison, Wisconsin in July to compete in a best-of-3 Finals. Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion of this year’s preliminary tournament. – Justin Teng, AGA Youth Coordinator

Share

Nick Sibicky named AGF Teacher of the Year

Thursday May 23, 2019

Seattle go teacher Nick Sibicky has been selected as Teacher of the Year by the American Go Foundation (AGF).  The prize includes a free trip to the US Go Congress in Madison, WI, where Sibicky will be honored at the Awards Banquet.  Sibicky will present a special lesson for his fans at congress also, and it’s a great opportunity for online viewers to meet him in person. “I am most humbled by the AGF with this award,” Sibicky told the Journal. “My go class and YouTube channel feel dwarfed by and indebted to the countless clubs, school programs, and outreach events the AGF is responsible for.”  Sibicky launched his popular online lessons on YouTube seven years ago.  His first lecture featured a game review between two players who were 5 kyu and has been viewed over 140,000 times.  As his channel grew, more and more viewers discovered his lessons.  23,000 viewers now subscribe to his channel, and individual videos can reach up to 8,000 viewers each week.  Sibicky’s lessons are engaging, humorous, and educational. They feature topics like “My Robot Overlord” about AI go programs and “Andrew Jackson Sucks at Go” co-taught with fellow YouTuber Andrew Jackson.  The videos are all well produced with graphics and titles as well as audience participation.  There are 345 videos to choose from, with new ones coming out every week.  Check out Sibicky’s channel here. 

Sibicky shared how he began with the Journal:  “Since moving to Seattle in 2008, I have been an active member of the Seattle Go Center. They regularly had hosted go classes for a variety of skill levels, and around 2011-2012 were looking for new teachers. I volunteered to take the Monday night class while my friend Andrew Jackson picked up the Wednesday night class. At the same time, I had been enjoying Dwyrin’s (aka Bat’s Go Lectures) series on YouTube. His videos indirectly inspired me to bring a video camera to my class. Brian Allen, the Seattle Go Center manager at the time, was particularly supportive of the idea. From 2012, I started regularly posting video recordings of the classes online. 

“There have been two “secrets” responsible for the success behind my channel. The first of which is consistency. By always having a class of live students to prepare for, I have been forced to come up with new ideas, topics, and approaches to the lessons. Stagnation is not possible. Furthermore, I have since learned that the proprietary algorithms working behind the scenes on YouTube heavily promote continuously active channels. The consistency of my posts has taken advantage of that. The second secret is my students. Unlike most of the other go content available, my lessons show interactions with real, present go players. They ask the questions that the viewers at home also want to ask. They interact with the material in ways I didn’t anticipate as their instructor. They struggle. They laugh. They let the viewer know that they are part of a broader community, where we each are working to improve ourselves. And that is something rarer and rarer to find in this digital content era.

“Of course, the one thing fueling this whole endeavor is the joy I find in teaching. My day job is teaching music production and audio engineering at a local college. But teaching go has been even more rewarding. Not having to deal with administration, grading deadlines, nor faculty meetings is a dream environment. I can place all of my spirit into the lesson and the students. I love this game, and I love sharing this game with other people. I have been very fortunate to find an environment that fostered such a love. I hope that everyone has something they love to share with others because I know the joy one gets from doing so. There are dozens if not hundreds of formal and informal teachers in my life. The individual lessons they taught me often are forgotten, but their spirit is remembered. Collectively, they represent one of the most positive continuing forces in my life. I hope the students attending my class and the viewers watching my little internet videos feel their spirit through me.”– Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photos: Screen captures from Sibicky’s YouTube Channel.

Share

AGF launches professional matching program

Thursday May 9, 2019

IMG_2242.JPG - Version 2The American Go Foundation (AGF) is launching a new matching funds program for visiting professional workshops.  Modeled on a previous, but long defunct AGA program, the new grant encourages established go programs to take advantage of the professional go players residing here in America, both those certified by the AGA and by foreign organizations. The AGF will pay 50% of the cost, up to $1,500 per program, for locations that bring a Pro out to teach. Travel, lodging, and professional fees are all eligible for reimbursement. Each location may request funding up to the $1,500 limit. AGF programs and AGA Chapters are both eligible for this grant. Requests will be considered on a first come first serve basis up to a cap of $15,000 for the year. To view a list of professionals living in the US, visit the AGA Professionals page. To apply for matching, email the AGF at mail@agfgo.org.-Paul Barchilon, AGF Vice President. Photo: Yilun Yang at a 2008 workshop at the Boulder Kids and Teens Go Club.

Share

2019 US Go Congress College Scholarship Application Now Open

Friday April 19, 2019

57226489_1325562057596081_3899342546807029760_nUniversity students can apply for a $200 AGF scholarship to the 35th US Go Congress in Wisconsin, Madison held July 13-20. Applicants must be aged 26 or younger and actively enrolled in college (rising students starting in Fall 2019 and recent graduates in Spring 2019 are also eligible). Both undergraduate and graduate students may apply. After filling out the application, applicants should email proof of enrollment to youth@usgo.org and the application will be reviewed within three days. If approved, additional instructions will then be sent on claiming the scholarship. Interested applicants should not register for the US Go Congress until his or her application status has been received. There are a total of 25 scholarships available first-come first-serve with 20 allotted to US students and 5 for Canada/Mexico students, so apply soon to claim one! – Justin Teng, AGA Youth Coordinator.  Photo: University of Maryland Go Club by Jack de la Beaujardiere

Share

Teacher of the Year nominations due May 7th

Thursday April 18, 2019

DSCN5452 copyNominations for the American Go Foundation’s  Teacher of the Year award are due by May 7th. Presented each year at the U.S. Go Congress, the award  recognizes an outstanding American teacher. The winner  will receive an all expenses paid trip to the US Go Congress.  To be eligible a teacher must be a member of the AGA and have been teaching go to children  for at least one hour a week for two years. There are new eligibility criteria this year, and the award is now open to other kinds of teachers as well.  Click here for more information.  If you would like to nominate someone for this award, including yourself, email mail@agfgo.org.  Nominations are due by May 7th and should include a description of the teacher’s activities,  how long they have been teaching, and how many students attend their program. – Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo:  2018 AGF Teacher of the Year Ted Terpstra surrounded by a few of his many students.

Share