American Go E-Journal » Youth

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

Sedgwick third-graders learn go

Friday April 5, 2019

UFiwE0q0Third graders at Sedgwick Elementary School, in Cupertino, CA, learned how to play go at their school’s annual Discovery Day on March 26th.  As in previous years, the school invited many presenters to teach various kinds of fun activities, such as fencing, YoYo, and robotics. Wenguang Wang, Hongya Qu, and Yi Luo, from The VMware Go Club and Santa Clara Youth Go Club, volunteered as presenters and hosted the “Learn to Play Go” session for about 100 third-graders. The same session was presented to the entire third grade (4 classes of students).  Students learned the rules of go and played a few games on 9×9 boards. They enjoyed the session, especially those who won!  Story and Photo by Wenguang Wang.

 

Share

Registration for 2019 AGHS School Team Tournament Closing Soon

Monday March 25, 2019

STT_poster“Registration for the American Go Honor Society’s School Teams Tournament closes this Sunday, March 31st,” says Promotion Head Melissa Cao, “Held on April 7 and 14 this year, the School Team Tournament is a four-round tournament open to teams of three to four players from educational institutions in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.”

Click here for more information

Click here for registration

Share

Kuksu and X’ian International youth go tournaments

Monday March 25, 2019

Screen Shot 2019-03-23 at 2.04.15 PM “We have been invited to send teams to two youth tournaments in Asia,”  reports AGA President Andy Okun. “With all expenses paid for kids once they arrive, this is an  an incredible go-related cultural experience for the price of round trip air fare.”  The Kuksu Mountain tournament will be held August 2-7, in scenic Jeollanamdo Province, South Korea.  Youth teams will be attending from all over the world, and participants will compete in multiple tournaments, with prizes in various rank brackets.  Go related side events and local tourism are part of the program as well.  Organized by the Korean Baduk Association, the popular event will be held for the sixth time this summer.  Any AGA youth 18 and under are eligible to attend, and a team leader is also sought.  Accompanying adults are welcome as well, but are asked to pay a $270 fee to help cover costs (as is the team leader). If you are interested in the event, or would like more information, fill out the application form here.

IMG_0704The X’ian Education Bureau is organizing an international tournament as well, for youth aged 13-18.  A four person team will be selected for this event.  The date is not set yet, but it is expected to be in mid-late August.  X’ian was the former capital of China and is rich in history and culture, and the famed terracotta army is nearby as well.  The event will include three days of competition and two of sightseeing and cultural exchange.  12-14 teams are expected to participate.   As with the Kuksu participants must pay their own airfare.  There is a $200 charge per person as well, and then all other expenses are covered.  The application form is here-Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor.  Photos: Top: 2018 Kuksu tournament; Bottom: A few members of the life-size Terracotta Army, of which there are 8,000. Photo by Paul Barchilon.

 

Share

Registration for 2019 AGHS School Team Tournament

Tuesday March 12, 2019

STT_poster“Registration for the 2019 American Go Honor Society (AGHS) School Team Tournament is now open until March 31st,” says Promotion Head Melissa Cao, “This year, the K-12 tournament will be held on Sunday, April 7th and Sunday, April 14th, with two rounds per day (10 AM and 1 PM PST). In order to be eligible, teams must be an educational institution, excluding online schools. Three players are needed per team to participate and an institution is allowed to have at most five teams. Players must be under the age of 20 and cannot have graduated from high school. Prizes will be awarded to the top three teams from each division.”

Click here for registration

Click here for detailed rules

-Story by Lionel Zhang, EJ Youth Correspondent.  Artwork by Melissa Cao, AGHS Promotion Head

Share

2nd AGA Girls Cup Registration Now Open

Tuesday March 12, 2019

54175240_559490127904720_497433693359439872_nRegistration for the 2nd AGA Girls Cup is now open. Modeled after the Redmond Cup, the AGA Girls Cup strives to promote go among girls and recognize the top young female players in North America. Competitors must be female, 15 or under, have an accredited rank of 10 kyu or higher, reside in the US, Canada, or Mexico, and be members of their respective national go association. The top two finishers of the online preliminary tournament will win a free trip to the 35th US Go Congress in Madison, Wisconsin to play in a best-of-three finals, courtesy of the American Go Foundation. All other competitors who complete the preliminary tournament will be eligible for a $200 scholarship to the 35th US Go Congress.

Registration is open until March 30th and the tournament will begin on April 1st. For more information about the tournament and other rules, please read the Rules and Regulations. -Story and photo by Justing Teng, AGA Youth Coordinator. Photo: Tianyi Tina Li (l) plays Melissa Cao (r) at the Girls Cup Finals in Williamsburg VA last year.

Share