The 2023 CHS Go League organized by the Chaparral High School Go Club in Temecula, CA has concluded its first year. Christopher Persechini took first place in Division A, with Brady Cole in second and Lucas Lu third. Ariel Tian took first in Division B, with Benjamin Biteng second and Mary Tian third.
The CHS Go Club was founded in September of 2022, and began by teaching and demonstrating the basics of go as well as important ideologies and concepts to familiarize students with the game. At the beginning of the second school semester, the club felt that students should have the opportunity to apply their understanding of go, and established the CHS Go League.
One of the driving factors for the establishment of the CHS Go Club was that the majority of students at Chaparral High School had never heard of the game. With the organization of the CHS Go League, the one-semester tournament, held during the club's weekly Monday meetings, aimed to inspire students and spread the joy of playing go among the school community. By establishing a systematic tournament for students to learn, play, and compete, the Chaparral Go Club hopes to introduce the game to a wider audience and eradicate the misconception that go is not for everyone. The club believes that go can have a deep impact on students by developing critical thinking and decision-making abilities, which are essential in many aspects of life. The club had its award ceremony during its last meeting of the school year with a supportive audience and proud winners.
The weekly club meetings have become a hub of activity, fostering a sense of community and promoting healthy competition among participants. Seeing such success and enthusiasm among the members of the CHS Go Club in the first year, the club aims to not only improve the Go League but to establish many more tournaments and events in the future. Throughout the Go League, the club leaders noticed many students demonstrating an immense dedication to go and improving at a rapid pace. Regardless of the many obstacles faced during their first year, they hope to keep inspiring and spreading the game of go for many years to come. Hopefully, this initiative will inspire go players at other schools to start clubs as well, spreading awareness about the game here in the US. To further foster and expand go in the US, it all begins with the youth.
Tony Yang is Vice President of the CHS Go Club; photos by Tony Yang
Bottom row (l-r): Brady Cole (Div A. 2nd Place); Lucas Lu (Div A. 3rd Place); Benjamin Biteng (Div B. 2nd Place); Kevin Yang (President) with Chris Persechini (Div A. 1st Place)