Go club activities
Possible activities for a Go club:
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How do you organise internal club competitions? Ladders?
The reason I ask is: People at the club I recently joined asked me to help organise the (ongoing, ladder-) competition at the kid's club (Kunwa). I would like to find out what possibilities are there to make it nice and interesting. While I think this topic is of interest to more people, the specifics here are: about 30 children aged 8 to 14, 12 of them attend (almost) every week, weekly attendance 15-25 children, their strength ranging from absolute beginners to EGF 4kyu. Please share your experience and knowledge.
The Leamington Go club in the UK runs its ladder as follows (IIRC):
The ladder is marked in sections of 0.2k. Games are played with a handicap based on the integer part X of the grade difference between the players. The stronger player gets 20-X mins on the clock, the weaker 20+X mins. (If X>9 then X=9 is used for timing) Games are sudden death. The winner advances 0.2k on the ladder, the loser retreats 0.2k.
Surprisingly, this system has produced ladder values close to the actual UK rating of the players.
- fairs and game gatherings
- but also at a flea market - get a clubmate, a table and two chairs - and play smack in the middle of the place...
- organise playing evenings outside club days: places where lots of people meet; also helps in identifying potential new club locations
- on strike days, if expect struck @ home: contact some local school for a demo?
- try alternative rule sets: AGA, New Zealand?
- Strong players: encourage club members to play more serious games by offering to review games played in tournaments (between club members or kgs monthly tournaments for example). Encourage effort towards learning with extra teaching!
- Some of the best games to review/get reviewed are games where a player thought he was winning, but ended up losing. These indicate a strategic misconception that can be easy to identify in those games.
One activity that is interesting for an active club is a live review, where two relatively strong players (say 2k-2d) play a game in a separate room, while a stronger player reviews the game live for the rest of the club. The twist for this is that every 10 moves or so, you have one player involved in the game come show the moves played plus his reasoning for these moves, then have him return to the game while the other player comes and explains his reasoning.
This can be very eye opening for weaker players as they realize that even two 1-dans can have a completely different views of the same board as they are playing, while a 4-dan+ will have yet another (hopefully more complete) view. Seeing multiple reasons to play different moves is a great way to learn what stronger players think about as they play. It is also a great exercise for the active players as they learn to have reasons for all of their moves, and also helps the teacher improve his teaching skills.
This takes a while so be sure to bring extra go-bans!