Congress Player Profiles a Big Help: “I have really been enjoying reading the go player profiles (US Go Congress Player Profiles: Chen, Liang, Lee & Chiu 8/4 EJ, & US Go Congress Player Profiles: Sun, Ko, Koh, Lin, Teng & Ye 8/5 EJ) for the upcoming Go Congress,” writes Dennis Wheeler. “It’s really going to help me get a better idea of who these top level US players are as I watch their games.”
It’s going to help him as a Congress game recorder for the EJ, too; watch for our live broadcasts starting Saturday afternoon with the Pandanet-AGA City League Finals and then the US Open starting Sunday morning.
More Clossius! “The Clossius commentary (Clossius in the Land of Baduk: At Home Abroad 8/5 EJ) was great,” writes Chris Uzal. “I hope that is not the last one.”
We’re pleased to welcome Shawn Ray as a regular EJ contributor; look for his next column soon!
I have been teaching at the Berryessa Chinese School for 14 years now and am honored to have had this opportunity,” writes Jean deMaiffe. “Because of my rewarding relationship with BCS, I am hoping to help them find other (preferably English-fluent) regular and substitute go teachers for their culture program. BCS has three campuses in the Berryessa neighborhood of San Jose, California. One is for ‘the little kids’, one for the middle range (roughly eight through twelve years old) and one for high schoolers. My venue has been the middle range school, which I have very much enjoyed. Currently, BCS needs a teacher for the high school, may need one for the little kids, and may also need one for my school this coming year or the year after (negotiable) when I plan to retire. Clearly, if a teacher does well with the BCS school students, the teaching relationship can continue indefinitely. The middle school has its own equipment and a set of problem books. BCS has been willing to acquire classroom materials as necessary for my class. Interested teachers can contact BCS directly through their website, and may contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org“
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.
The International Go Federation has launched a Facebook page and is urging go players worldwide to check it out and “like” the page. Recent posts include photos and updates from the European Go Congress in Sibiu, Romania as well as promoting the upcoming US Go Congress, which starts this Saturday in New York City.
Since arriving in Korea, I have learned about much more than baduk, as go is known here. Here, for example, it’s customary to bow to your elders, but back home in America if you bowed down to someone they would give you a funny look.
Though I’ve only been here since the end of May, it didn’t take long to feel a bit homesick. So when Cho Hyeyeon 9P asked if I wanted to help her teach baduk to soldiers on the US military base, I agreed immediately. Arriving on base it was if I’d somehow been instantly transported back to America. The roads, sidewalks, and even the houses are all in the American style and the stores and soda machines take American dollars and have American snacks. It turns out that the base is actually owned by the United States, so technically, I was literally back in United States territory.
After a trip to Burger King, we went to the building where we would teach the Baduk class. The students — who are either soldiers, their wives or kids — arrived shortly after we did; they were all complete beginners of course, and it was nice to teach them and play without the pressure of having to thoroughly think through each and every one of my moves. They all took it in very quickly and played very intriguing moves. My new friend Chris, who now enthusiastically plays the game on KGS when he can, quickly learned how to play the opening on the full board and how to make and take two eyes.
I was very impressed with how quickly the students learned things and I had a lot of fun teaching them. I also got to remember how it felt to be a beginner and just to enjoy playing. Lately, between my teaching work for BadukTV and my own studies, it seems as though I have become so serious that I must make every move as effective as possible. So it is a nice change of pace to be able to play beginners and have fun with the game rather than having the pressure to make every move worthwhile.
It was a good reminder that baduk is as difficult as we make it.
Shawn Ray, known as Clossius to his YouTube and KGS fans, recently moved to Korea to do a series of lessons on BadukTV. photo: Ray (front), with students from the US military base,