1st Young Go Academy Students’ Cup

The First YGA (Young Go Academy) Students’ Cup was held at the Young Go(Baduk) Academy in Strathfield (Sydney) on 18 December 2010.

This competition was for students and children, who learn how to play Baduk at the YGA. It was the first event for the students, and we are going to open this sort of events every three months.

14 students and children joined the tournament, and some parents of them came to watch the competition too. Robert Vadas, who is the president of Sydney Go club made the opening speech, and he mentioned about manners in the speech. “Every Baduk players have to respect their opponents and this is more important than win or lose.” When he was doing so, all students were listening to him with full of attention, and it surprised me. They some were young tucks, and they hardly concentrate on playing Baduk in normal classes. Anyhow, they began to play the first round after the speech, and their attitude turned different from other days. They were trying to play more carefully with more thinking as it was their first time to play real games (at least they might have thought). While I was watching the students playing, I look back the time I joined children’s tournament at the first time. Those students looked excited as I felt so. They also seemed to be nervous, and tried to play better than they normally do.

There were 5 rounds, but as they all played on the 13×13 boards, half an hour was long enough for each round. There were two top students, who both were older than other students. I made them to play with more handicap than usual to make them feel tough, but they still defeated others. I realize again that strong players always win even though the handicap is pretty tough.

The youngest participant this time was Hyun-Jun, who is a 5 year old boy, and when he lost his first game, he began to cry. I couldn’t stop him crying, but his parents manage to do so. He stopped crying and played next round, and He played all games and he seemed to be happy with hanging around with his new friends at the end. On the other hand, the oldest participant was Chae-Young, who is a girl works for a company, is very keen on Baduk. Her handicap against other students was tough, but there wasn’t any problem for her to beat them.

Kyungmin, Mijin and I made some ‘Kimbop’ (Korean sushi) in the early morning for lunch, and it was pretty fun to make them. It was thoroughly the first time for me to make them, but it was easier than I expected though rolling properly is a hard job. The kimbob looked clumsy and different from normal ones, but they were yummy and I like it. I thought they were even tastier than other selling ones. Whilst students were playing 3rd, and 4th rounds, I went to a pizza shop to order some for lunch too.

After final round finished, lunch time has begun! Many of students said they were hungry, and it was the time they liked the most. We prepared some Kimbop and Tucbbokki (Korean rice cake with chili sauce), and ordered some pizzas. Students’ parents brought some meat pies and salads, and they all were really delicious. It was because everyone was hungry, and we were having lunch together. We can always enjoy the meal when we eat together.

After lunch, there was a closing ceremony, and all participants got presents and everybody was so happy with that. It surely was their first Baduk event in their whole lives, and some of them asked me when the next competition is. I asked back how did they enjoy the time, and they said, it was fantastic and they’d long for the next event.

For this event, I really thanks to Robert, who was running the AGATHA for the Swiss System League, and made the opening and closing speech.

I was organizing this event with Kyungmin Yu 6p, and Mijin Lim 7d, and they both are such good organizers and teachers, and I could even enjoy preparing some presents and meals with setting.

Anyhow, it is not easy to teach children especially beginners, but I like to teach and talk to them. They seem to like me as a teacher, and I like to see them playing better with more thinking.

They are the future of Baduk in Australia, and I believe that future is promising. Most of my students love Baduk, and they’re all nice and pure. I’m proud of my students and I hope they learn a lot of good things from Baduk.

It is around Christmas season, and the New Year will soon come. Many things both good and bad happened to me this year and I still survive. Life is unpredictable, and it makes our lives more exciting I think.

Hopefully, next year will be more fun and exciting with new things and new friends!

Younggil AN 8p

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About Younggil An

Younggil is an 8 dan professional Go player with the Korean Baduk Association. He qualified as a professional in 1997 and won an award for winning 18 consecutive professional matches the following year. After completing compulsory military service, Younggil left Korea in 2008, to teach and promote the game Go overseas. Younggil now lives in Sydney, Australia, and is one of the founders of Go Game Guru. On Friday evenings, Younggil is usually at the Sydney Go Club, where he gives weekly lessons and plays simultaneous games.

You can follow Go Game Guru on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Youtube.


  1. Sounds like there was a lot of support!
    How come games were played on 13×13 boards?

  2. An Younggil 8p says:

    Playing games on 13×13 is good for beginners and children who is not yet strong enough for normal board. It’s pretty fun to watch their playing.

  3. Baduk is awesome!
    Its so much fun!