While most Americans don’t know much about the game, Go is widely popular in Asia and among Asian-American communities. And this weekend in Sunnyvale, hundreds of Bay Area elementary school children and teenagers showed up to play.
The 15th Jujo Jiang Cup Youth Go Tournament took place on Sunday, reports KTSF.

The tournament was named by a famous Chinese Go player Jujo Jiang, and his older brother Mingjiu Jiang has been promoting Go and hosting the game for 15 years in the Bay Area.

Go, the Chinese game that inspired the game Othello, is played by two players who alternately place black and white stones on a checker board. The stones are white on one side and black on the other. Once a player surrounds and captures his opponent’s stone, he can flip it over to change its color. Whoever gets the highest number of black or white stones on the board is the winner.

Jiang said that Go has become popular globally, and the number of players has been increasing in the Bay Area. Jiang also said Asian countries, like China, Japan, and Korea, have created new policies regarding the game. China made Go an elective class in elementary and high schools. If players win awards in Go competitions, they can earn extra points for their university entrance exams. In Korea, if players reach a certain level of awards, they are even allowed to get out of military service.

In the Bay Area, many parents see the game as educational. KTSF interviewed several Chinese-American parents who believed Go was a good way to train children’s minds and maybe even increase their intelligence. One Chinese father, Yang Chun-quan, said playing Go helped train children’s logical thinking skills.