2nd Young Go Academy Students’ Cup

The YGA (Young Go Academy) Students’ Cup (sponsored by Morning Glory) was held on Saturday April 16, at Young Go Academy in Strathfield, Sydney.

About the Go tournament

It was the biggest Go event for the students in Australia since I came to Australia, and fortunately it was very successful. There were three divisions and 36 students attended the event. The participants ranged from kindergarten to university level and some were even recent graduates.

The first division was 7k (kyu) and above. The second one was 8k to 15k, and the third was 16k and below. The second and third divisions were played on 13×13 boards, because normal boards are too big for the children to finish their games. All divisions were played with proper handicap.

The opening speech

Mr Robert Vadas, who is the director of the Young Go Academy, made the opening speech. He discussed the core spirit of Go, a short history of the game and why they should respect their opponents and the game. Children and students listened to Mr Vadas’ speech with full attention and they became calmer afterwards.

The tournament started at around 10am, and most players became silent with concentration when the first game began. It was really amazing to see how young children were playing their games seriously, without chatting. Youngsters are normally rather talkative and a little too energetic to play the game in a serious manner. The game room was filled with a tense atmosphere.

Lunch time

At noon, after playing two or three games, lunch time began. For kids, it must have been the most enjoyable time of the day. They really seemed to like the foods that their parents prepared, and some Korean rice cakes were donated by Gang-Chon rice cake shop as well.

After lunch, the afternoon session started and the participants played two or three more games. Young children were so interested in the ranking of winners and losers and when I let them know who their opponents were, according to the Swiss League System, they were very excited about whom they would play against.

The closing ceremony

There was a closing ceremony after all the rounds ended. Actually, the results were not that important, because the main purpose of this event was to make students more interested in Go, motivate them and let them enjoy the day while playing games with friends. It was not for a big prize, nor results.

This time, the way of getting prizes was totally different from other tournaments. Three winners from each division came forward and picked their prize by themselves. The winners from the second and third places were next. They chose what they preferred to have and looked happy with their prizes.

Special thanks

All prizes were donated by Morning Glory, a Korean stationary brand. The tournament wouldn’t have been as successful without their support. I really appreciate their generosity.

I also want to thank the childrens’ parents very much for their help. They prepared home made foods, and made a really happy and enjoyable event.

I would especially like to thank Robert and Mijin. Robert, because he managed the whole competition including the opening and closing ceremonies. And Mijin, because she works very hard at Young Go Academy teaching the children with me.

Thanks also to HY Cho and Jongwoo, who took care of the young children who are sometimes beyond my control. The children had a wonderful time with them, drawing and making origami, when they were not playing games.

Last but not least, I’d like to thank all the participants as well. I hope they were all pleased with meeting new people and playing games with one another.

I was so happy to watch students playing, and seeing their manners. All of them played their games with a sincere attitude, and nobody was angry or upset after losing games. Especially the very young children behaved very well with their new friends.


Here is the list of the winners of the YGA Students’ Cup.

First Division

Winner: Harry Wi
Second Place: Pierre Paga
Third Place: Dave Wi

Second Division

Winner: Taeyoon Kim
Second Place: James An
Third Place: Enoch Kim

Third Division

Winner: Sera Cho
Second Place: Heemang Lee
Third Place: Hanel Kim

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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. Hi Mr. Younggil,

    I’m sorry to hear about your school closing this year.

    May I ask, what are your plans now?

    • Younggil An says:

      Thank you for your concern Logan. After closing the Go school, I’m still teaching children in other places. I’m going to learn English more, and keeping spread and teach Go.