EGC2014 - An outsiders view - part 2

OUYANG is a most lucky girl. She confronted Legend D (Dusan Mitic) in an international student Go competition last year. Her memory about the game even at that time was surprisingly limited, not enough even for an afterward replay. The reason: too handsome opponent. Now she’s to pair off with another legend, Legend L (Lucas Kramer), who had been to Beijing for a half-year training in CEGO’s Insei school, where one former secretary, already boyfriended, attempted at her own life several times for you-know-what reasons and was forced to quit her position eventually.

Four days into EGC, OUYANG has sat most patiently next to LL (Legend L), without breaking to him that she was the one who sent him an envoy the other day to inform him that a 5d Chinese girl from Shanghai wished to team with him in the coming Pair Go competition. She just sat there mooning over her beautiful neighbor who seems to have a habit removing both shoes while playing Go and airing his beautiful naked feet on the chair he sits upon. To OUYANG’s message, LL consented not without a warning “I always made my partner cry”, to which news OUYANG responded with big Hurrahs and “That’s all right” repeated more than a dozen times.

All this and that explains a most odd spectacle staged during the last section of Team Relay Go “Europe vs. China”, where LD and LL were spotted waltzing into the room, rubbing shoulders and doing aerobics dancing right across the poor, or rather, lucky girl just in front of the game board, orchestrated, it was said, by the all-perceiving China-born Europe-husbanded Japan-made 1p, European team coach, LI Ting. Only it was all lost. The girl was too absorbed in the entangled fight right on the board to lift an eyelid to this once-a-blue-moon performance by LD and LL sharing the same stage at the same time. Just imagine all that gorgeousness and electricity wasted!

At the glee feast celebrating European team’s victory over their Chinese counterpart in Team Relay Go, WANG Chen, a Go celebrity himself, looked up to by many China’s amateur Go players, after taking pictures with LD, clasped his hands together in ecstasy, gasping “Straight-bending handsomeness!”

Well, well, so much gossip for a day. Go, like every war fought before and after it, can be and will be a war of both beauty and beast.

placed by Onyon at 17:40 Wed 30 July 2014

European Go Congress 2014 - MAIN - round 3

Day 3 (Tuesday 29 juli) started for me with a smile as i knew the internet connection would be great.

The organization had yesterday afternoon and evening spend a lot of money, effort and time to give "us" a wired high speed connection, which i had succesfully tested.

This alse ment we could relay a third board to KGS, which proved to be right on time as there were 3 games you dont want to miss.

On board 1 it was ofcourse the Chinese master of destruction Yulin Tong 4p, who met this time former Congress winner Young-Sam Kim 7d from Korea.

A battle of resistence you could call it, as neither player wanted to follow the path the other player tried to set out.

Aso a game of unexpected moves and proper moves, the most clear exaple of that blacks move 43!

I dare all readers to replay the game to move 42 and then guess/reason what move 43 should be! I would not have found this move in 50 tries!

Yulin refused a few time to answer at a, for us mortels, clear sente move by Young-Sam and with his quiet but oh so severe moves Yulin made Young-Sam resign after 197 moves.....master of destruction...

Board 2 was in a way also China vs Korea, although we all know Hui Fan 2p is French now.

Hui faced 7d Chi-Min Oh the Killer. The killer you may ask? He is such a nice and modest boy?! Did the army (he had to throw away 3 years of his live) change him that much?

No! He was always a killer; we played several games in the past where he would get 9 stones by me, but i would win if i managed to make 1(!) living group. Needless to say i never managed...he is a natural born killer with a gentle smile.

Now the game; Chi-Min was black and after he forced Hui at move 54 to accept bad shape all the viewers knew this would end in a big kill, but not who would be killed.

So from move 54 til move 229 both players had to find miraculus escapes from death and played the most severe killing moves known to men.

Chi-Min played the last one, which means Hui resigned.

Board 3: here

placed by HW9x9 at 21:02 Tue 29 July 2014

Torneo di Agordo 2014

Italy The Torneo di Agordo 2014, a class C tournament, played on 27-07-2014 in Agordo, Italy, was won by Andrea Brancaccio 4k, second came Leonardo Giuliato 5k and third was Isamu Oka 3k.
(photo Lorenzo Fava 10k place 12 of 19)

Result table.

placed by Newsbot at 20:48 Tue 29 July 2014

Far East Cup of Polimetall, League D 31-2014

Russia The Far East Cup of Polimetall, League D, a class A tournament, played from 26-07-2014 to 27-07-2014 in Khabarovsk, Russia, was won by Andrej Makarov 14k, second came Inden Klinkov 14k and third was Sergej Voronov 14k.

Result table.

placed by Newsbot at 20:48 Tue 29 July 2014

Far East Cup of Polimetall, League C 31-2014

Russia The Far East Cup of Polimetall, League C, a class A tournament, played from 26-07-2014 to 27-07-2014 in Khabarovsk, Russia, was won by Andrej Krasnov 15k, second came Leonid Seleznjov 20k and third was Kirill Rogachjov 18k.

Result table.

placed by Newsbot at 20:48 Tue 29 July 2014

Far East Cup of Polimetall, League B 31-2014

Russia The Far East Cup of Polimetall, League B, a class A tournament, played from 26-07-2014 to 27-07-2014 in Khabarovsk, Russia, was won by Pavel Nikiforov 7k, second came Irina Ljakhova 5k and third was Vadim Veprinskij 6k.

Result table.

placed by Newsbot at 20:47 Tue 29 July 2014

Far East Cup of Polimetall, League A 31-2014

Russia The Far East Cup of Polimetall, League A, a class A tournament, played from 26-07-2014 to 27-07-2014 in Khabarovsk, Russia, was won by Ruslan Dmitriev 5d, second came Alexandr Vashurov 5d (photo) and third was Anton Zatonskikh 6d.

Result table.

placed by Newsbot at 20:47 Tue 29 July 2014

High School Championship of Crimea 31-2014

Russia The High School Championship of Crimea, a class B tournament, played on 23-07-2014 in Simferopol, Russia, was won by Nikolaj Zareckij 2k, second came Gleb Kajro 1d and third was Petr Guskov 8k.

Result table.

placed by Newsbot at 20:47 Tue 29 July 2014

EGC2014 - An outsiders view - part 1

Some sage once said that if you stay put in one place with your heart as quiet as the deep water, the whole world will gravitate towards you.

Well, apparently that’s what I’ve been doing since early this morning, manning the reception desk for Chinese players who participate in the 58th EGC, Day 3.

The first object that seemingly resulted from this gravitation was Harry from EuroGoTV and he assigned me a task to write a short piece for him everyday during the congress. I warned him that I could be very narrow-sighted and personal but he accepted.

So I agreed.
What I forgot to tell him is that I don’t even know the rules of Go.

What he would do with an outsider’s view would be a matter of wonder for me.

Then second object of gravitation was Fugulin, Chinese player Lu Pin’s Romanian girlfriend.

What hadn’t ceased amazing me was their constant salutation towards each other as “My Love” all the way from Beijing to Bucharest then the whole bumpy coach drive from Bucharest International airport to Sibiu. She amazed me again by telling me their relationship has endured 4 years.

And there they are, still kissing in the elevator…

The third object was Madame Liu, 5d Chinese player Professor Han’s wife. Han lost two rounds in a row to the same guy in the same day and when his former foe greeted him on the street, he turned away his head.

Alas! Honors and manners both lost in foreign land!

The fourth object was Xiaochuan You, the heart and spirit of Chinese team, the quantum particle of my life. I mean, he could be in more than one place at the same time, and in best cases, everywhere, as just now, talking, cross-talking, crisscrossing everybody’s path with everybody else’s.

That’s his thing.

The fifth are 10k mother and 2d daughter players. They lost every game since they came here but they fought brightfully on. While the daughter fled like a bird looking for reviews with pros, the mother stayed and urged me to eat and practically forced 3 biscuits down my throat.

I had to divert her attention daughter-wise before her next try.

These people, my teammates are really growing fond of me, aren’t they? Coming out of the same region or branded as the same team doesn’t necessarily make you friends but here we are, taking care of each other like real families.

Sibiu agrees with me.

placed by Onyon at 19:19 Mon 28 July 2014

Kharkiv Region Championship 2014

Ukraine The Kharkiv Region Championship 2014, a class A tournament, played from 26-07-2014 to 27-07-2014 in Kharkiv, Ukraine, was won by Oleksandr Hiliazov 1d, second came Roman Kushnir 10k and third was Yevhen Korotkov 10k.

Result table.

placed by Newsbot at 15:18 Mon 28 July 2014

European Go Congress 2014 - MAIN - round 2

On board 1 it was Superboy Artem Kachanovsky who had to try to save the honour of Europe by defeating the strong Chinese 4p Yulin Tong.	Before the game started i told Yulin he would face "Superboy"; he looked bewildered and Vanessa Wong explained him what it ment.

It must have made him serious and really focussed. I dont think our Superboy had to resign so fast ever before....

Replay this demolition game here.

On board 2, modern time record holder being European Champion, Alexander Dinerchtein 3p met Hui Fan 2p.

Alexander played great all the way, opening, middle game and beginning of the endgame.

Just when i gave his wife a "ok, he will win sign", Hui started to do very mean moves and Alexander did not respond properly so move by move the lead got less and less and more....

Replay this 3.5 win by Hui here.

placed by HW9x9 at 08:32 Mon 28 July 2014

European Go Congress 2014 - MAIN - round 1

Alexander Dinerchtein 3p vs Viktor Lin 6d

The battle of the weak groups. Viktor played really well but at the end he wanted too much and Alexander finished it of with a serie of solid moves.

Yulin Tong 4p vs Cornel Burzo 6d

Cornel started great against the 4p; i was sitting a few meters away from them and i could see by the body language of Yulin that he was in trouble. Cornel however played not severe enough (to my huble opinion move 63) and from that point on it all slipped away for our local hero and after move 162 there was nothing then to resign.

All results (i must say it is very question worthy / strange that the paring is done on basis of rank instead of rating!)

Did i mention already that the playing facilities are great?
They are!

Atmosphere of all players i super; the only person who did some complaining was as the wifi was not stable and the connection to KGS and the EuroGoTV live stream was interrupted several times.
We hope to get a wired connection tomorrow, so by tuesday nobody will have complaints (besides stories of how good somebodies position was, that the opponant should have resigned, but by a stupid oversight the outcome had changed).

placed by HW9x9 at 20:55 Sun 27 July 2014

19th Folka go-tournament 30-2014

Croatia The 19th Folka go-tournament, a class C tournament, played on 26-07-2014 in Zagreb, Croatia, was won by Mladen Smud 1k, second came Robert Jovicic 2k and third was Nikola Primetica 3k.

Result table.

placed by Newsbot at 00:21 Sun 27 July 2014

VII Torneo de Go de Cadiz 30-2014

Spain The VII Torneo de Go de Cadiz, a class C tournament, played on 25-07-2014 in Cadiz, Spain, was won by Ricardo Martin 7k, second came Arturo De Celis 8k and third was Jorge-Antonio Nunez 9k.

Result table.

placed by Newsbot at 00:21 Sun 27 July 2014

47th City Championship Finals-2014

Serbia The 47th City Championship Finals-2014, a class A tournament, played from 12-07-2014 to 13-07-2014 in KRAGUJEVAC, Serbia, was won by Dragan Dubakovic 3d, second came Mihailo Jacimovic 1d and third was Nikola Jevtic 4d.

Result table.

placed by Newsbot at 00:21 Sun 27 July 2014

European Go Congress 2014 - The day before, Romania

Organisation: 10 out of 10
Location: 10 out of 10
Players mood: 10 out of 10

Lines waiting for registration: no people waiting; every thing going smooth (see organisation)

Internet for the live TV stream: hmm, we have to wait and see

Pandanet Team Championship

1. Russia
2. czech
3. France
4. Ukrain


placed by HW9x9 at 00:15 Sun 27 July 2014

Cup of Russia 30-2014

Russia The Cup of Russia, a class B tournament, played from 12-07-2014 to 13-07-2014 in Sankt-Peterburg, Russia, was won by Dmitrij Surin 7d (photo), second came Ilja Shikshin 7d and third was Jiyang Zhang 7d.

Result table.

placed by Newsbot at 15:14 Fri 25 July 2014

Summer Go School - Jerzy Sacharewicz Memorial 30-2014

Poland The Summer Go School - Jerzy Sacharewicz Memorial, a class A tournament, played from 19-07-2014 to 20-07-2014 in Przystanek Alaska, Poland, was won by Stanislaw Frejlak 4d, second came Gerd Mex 1d and third was Marcin Majka 3d.

Result table.

placed by Newsbot at 15:14 Tue 22 July 2014

NGA Summer Camp Tournament 30-2014

Finland The NGA Summer Camp Tournament, a class C tournament, played on 19-07-2014 in Espoo, Finland, was won by Juuso Nyyssonen 5d (photo), second came Tuomas Hella 4d and third was Bean Yang 3d.

Result table.

placed by Newsbot at 15:14 Tue 22 July 2014

7 Jornada Liga AGOCA 30-2014

Spain The 7 Jornada Liga AGOCA, a class C tournament, played on 19-07-2014 in Cadiz, Spain, was won by Antonio-Eloy Martin 6k, second came Juan-Jesus Ligero 4k and third was Francisco Perez 20k.

Result table.

placed by Newsbot at 15:14 Tue 22 July 2014

Summer Go School - Marathon - 1st week 30-2014

Poland The Summer Go School - Marathon - 1st week, a class A tournament, played from 14-07-2014 to 18-07-2014 in Przystanek Alaska, Poland, was won by Stanislaw Frejlak 4d, second came Andrew Kay 4d and third was Gerd Mex 1d.

Result table.

placed by Newsbot at 15:14 Tue 22 July 2014

Candidate for the office of EGF president
Because I chose to candidate for the office of EGF president this year, I think it is natural to make a presentation of myself and my ideas.

To begin with, I don’t think a fully developed strategic plan should be the work of a single person.

In this document I intend to make clear my perspective and to add my own ideas as a contribution to a future strategic plan for development of EGF.

Also, because most people know about me as a top player, but little else of my activity as a promoter, I would like to write this document in two parts: first one will be a description of my activities during the past 9 years.

Those activities shaped me and gave me the ideas I have today, thus the second part where I draw conclusions will come as a natural follow up.

Part 1 .
My teacher Saijo Sensei told me once that a moment will come when I will have to choose between the competition path and the teaching path. For me that moment came when I turned 5 Dan pro. It was my personal ambition to reach that rank, in order to prove to myself and others that is possible. Once I made my choice and opted for teaching, I felt that I could contribute a lot more by being in Europe than in Japan. This was the main reason why in 2004 I chose to come back to Europe. I chose Romania as my residence because it is my native country.

When I returned to Romania I found a very difficult situation for Go in my country. The federation has been corrupted and was led by a person who wanted it for personal profits and not to develop Go. It is why everything was organized with minimal resources and at minimal standards. I felt Go was dying in Romania, in stark contrast with what I knew when I have learned the game. After 1989 we had a golden age for Romanian Go and most of our top players are a generation formed at that time.
My return marked the founding of Saijo club, a location that was open to Go players every day without interruption for the next 9 years. I immediately started teaching there, every Saturday and Sunday I had public lessons. This has attracted most players that lived in Bucharest and the club activity was quite lively. With time a lot of new players joined the club.

I wanted very much to promote Go and change things, so I started to look for schools interested in Go classes, I tried to contact the embassies of Japan, China and Korea. I had a cold and distrustful reception wherever I tried. schools reluctantly accepted to try Go classes, but it was without pay and with no support from teachers. I often found myself going to school with the big bag of materials in my hand only to find out that other teacher needed the classroom and the lesson is canceled, or that the kids went out to play football and there were only 2 or 3 left. After months of trying I realized that this is not the way.
In 2004, thanks to Martin Stiassny it was possible to organize a teaching tour with Saijo Sensei and me. The tour lasted one month and a half and visited 5 European countries.

One of the countries was Romania, which gave us the opportunity to organize Saijo Cup, a tournament with more than a hundred participants, and also to visit various schools where this time we were met with enthusiasm. One such school was Ion Creanga high school in Bucharest where they had classes for Japanese language. Thus the first cultural link was established. After the tour I took the opportunity to introduce Go at various events, workshops, most of them from the cultural agenda of the Japanese Embassy. Saijo club provided a great pool of volunteers, making our participation in such workshops possible and also fun. went on for some years until finally the Japanese Embassy warmed up and I managed to convince them to organize the Japanese Ambassador’s Cup, an event that lasted 5 editions and was the starting point of a huge reformation process for the Romanian Community. The first edition took place in December 2007 at the Bucharest National Theater where we have found a great location, also thanks to the Embassy. I have designed the tournament with promotion of the game in mind, so we had opening and closing ceremony where girls in kimono presented the program and we had important guests such as the Japanese Ambassador, academicians, Fujistsu Romania CEO. We had a lot of presentation materials and tried hard to attract the mass media. Back in 2008 I spent some hours to make a crude video that is still on you tube today, this is the link :

This painful work for something I had no qualification with made me appreciate the work of EuroGoTV and I strove hard to convince the people around me of the importance to have them at our events. Later on Romania was the greatest supporter of EuroGoTV.

The Japanese Ambassador’s Cup inspired people and also was a great emotional moment for the Saijo Club’s collective, who worked very hard but full of enthusiasm to organize the event. Only months later this source of inspiration run its course and we had in march 2008 the first edition of Shusaku Cup in Tirgu Mures, a tournament that was to become one of the best in Europe.

The snow ball had started rolling.

In the summer of 2008 while I was attending the Leksand Congress, the secretary of FRGO visited the Japanese embassy and tried to force their hand in an agreement that would put me out of the organization of the event and would make FRGO the sole partner and organizer. Upon my return to Romania I was summoned at the embassy and I found myself in a three people meeting with the embassy’s cultural attaché and the secretary of FRGO, Mr. Mihai Opris. Ten times the attaché said that the embassy would like me to continue to organize the event and ten times Mihai Opris said no, it’s not possible. He had a smile from ear to ear when he did that. He knew the event could end on the spot and yet he wanted it, because for him it was compromising that an event like this, with 150 participants existed, while the federation tournaments barely managed to gather around 20 people.

In that moment I learned something important: that we need to take care so our organizations don’t fall prey to people like this, and also that I needed to fight to protect my work. In the end the embassy let me organize the event again and FRGO took a step back, but this single act of Mihai Opris pushed me to candidate for presidency of FRGO, something I would not have thought to do otherwise.

This is how at the end of April 2009 at the general meeting of FRGO I won with one vote difference and became president of FRGO. Almost immediately Mihai Opris resigned his post and the amount of corruption and illegality i have found upon researching FRGO documents was staggering. Maybe I should mention here that FRGO is a state sponsored organization, unlike most National Go Associations in Europe. change in FRGO leadership had created a new wave of energy and I was lucky to have close to me a team of capable people. Bogdan Campianu became vice president of FRGO and because I have asked him to candidate as vice president of EGF this year I will try to make a short presentation of him in a separate document., the current president of FRGO, Mr. Florescu has been one of the pillars of the team founded in 2009.
We had a hard task ahead of us, because while restructuring the FRGO and organizing the annual events associated with it, we have embarked on a marathon of large events that lasted without interruption for two years and a half, each one barely months away from the next. To give the list:

End of June 2009, Romanian summer camp
Autumn 2009 the European Team tournament, Pitesti
December 2009, Japanese Ambassador’s Cup
Start of March 2010 , European Youth Championship , Sibiu
May 2010 , Balkan Championship, Mogosoaia , Bucharest
June 2010 , Romanian summer camp
August 2010, Iasi Cup plus Romanian Masters, first edition
December 2010, Japanese Ambassador’s Cup
January 2011, renovation of Saijo Club’s location
June 2011, Romanian summer camp
August 2011, WYGC, an event for which I started preparation 9 months in advance
Autumn 2011, European Women Championship

At the end of all this most of us were quite spent. Personally, as one who has been at the core of all events described above, I felt I need to dedicate more time for myself and my family and I decided to quit presidency of FRGO, leaving behind a much stronger organization with an infinitely better leadership compared with 2009.

Thing is, organizing a tournament can be quite easy and simple if you just put some boards on the tables and get some referees to do the rounds and make a basic website of the event. But we did it with promotion in mind and this meant opening and closing ceremonies, sponsor hunting, mass media approach, bartering, creation of promotional materials, sending invitations to various institutions, protocol meetings etc. This is a lot of work and it’s also invisible, most players who come to such events have no idea what it took to create them.

I think you will find on EuroGoTV’s site much more about our events than I can say with words here. At the peak, Romania had 4 yearly events with over 100 participants, very warm relationship with embassies of Japan and China and to some extent also Korea, a developing relationship with the Romanian Olympic Committee, important contacts with institutions such as Ministry of Sports, Education, Culture, Foreign Affairs, Go has gained such popularity with schools that we had not enough instructors to cover the demand.

At any rate, I have learned a lot in those years and most important conclusion is that Go can become a popular game and there are a lot of resources, human and financial, to be found in Europe. It only takes time, dedicated work and continuity to get the snowball rolling. When it does happen though, results are quite spectacular.

placed by Catalin Taranu 5p at 12:29 Sat 19 July 2014

Part 2

My ideas about organizations and promotion of Go in general are the result of the evolution process I described above. With time I have reached the conclusion that local organizations play a vital role in the development process and working conditions and teamwork are essential.

Also I had to learn the hard way how fickle human nature is. There are four types of people:

Can work well and want to do it
Cannot work well and want to do it
Can work well but don’t want to do it
Cannot work well and don’t want to do it

I have found that the type of people that work hard but make a lot of blunders is the most dangerous. They can seriously endanger your activity but at the end you still have to thank them. They stall deadlines and only admit they can’t do the job properly when is already too late. As a leader of the activity I had to learn to evaluate people properly and adjust expectations accordingly.

This is very hard to do and as one person who lacked training in such things there was only one way for me: watch and learn. I believe that the last and best event I organized, the WYGC in 2011 had such success because the team I selected was based on previous experience. At the core the team had our most valuable human resources.

Improving EGF activity
Reforming EGF in order to make it a respectable and credible institution by creating working relationships will all member countries and improving its structure. I see my mandate taking place under the following principles: act and take responsibility, communication, transparency and effective organization.

All that said, I would like to point out some things about EGF activity that I believe should be improved:

First of all, I think that as an organization EGF has set its expectations too low. Until last year, all EGF was about was auctioning of European level tournaments to various country members and find ways to spend the money that came from Asia. You can never reach a certain level if you set your goals lower than that level. I believe that EGF has to strive to become a respectable European Federation that has visibility and credibility with EU institutions, needs to find support in Europe rather than keep waiting for it to come from Asia, needs to grow its population.

I heard people say EGF doesn’t have a real influence with its member countries. This is also not normal, EGF needs to have its relationship with the members strictly regulated.

EGF leaders need to really assume responsibility for their actions.
Over the years I was told many things by EGF leaders: ‘ I am not paid for this so this is the best I can do, if you think you can do better you are welcome to apply for my office’, ‘ in Europe we play Go for fun ‘ ( I know that, but I don’t expect it to be the mentality of a member of EGF executive, why do we need organizations then ? ) ,’ next year will be better’ ( with no intent of solving this year’s problem) , ‘ if you don’t like the tournament system there are always others to replace you ‘ ( I was number one in EGF rating at the time I was told this ). Also, when a topic becomes embarrassing it’s easy to hide behind the system and demand that complaints should not be made by individuals directly. So, when a subject is comfortable the EGF president or vice president can talk to me as an individual, but when it gets uncomfortable I need to ask my federation to send the message. This dual attitude was very effective at shutting off people’s complaints but is not the mark of a democratic institution.

EGF needs to work on its inner structure.
To start with, EGM needs to be improved. I attended this meeting every year since 2008 and I could not help the feeling that each year there is no change and there is a circus aura surrounding it. To begin with, this meeting is too long. Topics that normally take months to debate are brought up fresh in the meeting, creating chaos. Sensitive topics for the executive are always left at the end of the list when it’s known that after too many hours of pointless discussions everyone is tired and wants to go to sleep. So it happens that after hours of empty discussions the important topics are passed by in a matter of minutes. The solution is simple, at the start of June when all applications for EGM are sent, put the agenda on the forum, and initiate a discussion for each sensitive topic so that concerned people can debate it for two months. During EGM there should be a direct vote on the subject, no further discussion.

Also in regard to the structure of EGF, as of this year we seem to have a pro league going on.
Until now EGF was a purely amateur organization lacking even the power to implement executive decisions from one EGM to another. EGF is also a sitting duck in regard to hostile takeover due to the actual voting system. Last year a big number of countries didn’t show up for voting. As I saw a hostile takeover take place with FRGO it’s not hard for me to imagine similar scenario for EGF. The entity that would want to control EGF would first search for the countries missing at EGM and look to cheaply buy their votes. In my opinion EGF is very vulnerable to such actions but there is not yet enough value in it to attract malevolent eyes. This could change if big money start to flow, I think it’s why the organizations that manage a pro league are usually set up as a company. If EGF has the ambition to be the one organization that manages a pro league in Europe, it clearly needs to redefine itself and start working on its inner structure

Management of human resources needs to be improved.
Finally, when all the grand statements are made it is left to people to deal with the problems. Finding, motivating, supporting people who work for the Go community is a big issue. A person who can work well and also wants to do it is a rare gem, yet I have seen so many cases when such people lose morale and quit because they are not recognized and also not supported in their activity. The actual leadership of EGF is wasting/ignoring too many human resources.

Rules need to be much clearer and cover all known situations.
Not only the relationship between EGF and member countries is not clearly defined, but also individual cases like the recent one with Ondra Silt may lead to controversy due to the fact that there are no proper rules in place. Disturbing behavior of top players has been noticed quite often at various events, yet so far EGF has failed to write new rules about such situations. Ondra’s case started last year and I don’t see yet any initiative to write rules about such cases. Instead the EGF leadership tried to cover the matter in a stealthy way.

Communication at EGF level is simply terrible.
It is difficult for people outside the executive to know what is going on. In my opinion the way to handle things at European level is to identify, implement and then promote models. For example what I have done in Romania is one model, of course it needs to be improved and there are many lessons to be learned from the mistakes that were made, but the model worked. It brought a large amount of local resources, local population growth, improved visibility and image for the game. While each country is different, the basics are fundamentally the same and the model only needs to be adapted. But it falls to an organization of European level, be it EGF or EGCC to promote such successful models and the first step for this is information/communication.

A database of such models would be very valuable at European level as it would allow new people who want to do positive things for Go ( such as organizing events , school activities) to not reinvent the wheel , but start improving on something that was achieved already.

A change in mentality is required in regard to approaching such things as organizing events. EGF needs to promote European values, our top players, teachers, event organizers, leaders. At many events if there is a choice to invite a strong player from Asia or from Europe, most organizers want the Asian player. This is not allowing our players/teachers to grow properly. There is at least one event a year where we have a real chance to encourage our European values: the Go congress. Since there are already resources allocated for pro activities then it’s natural to try to support also the European pros. In principle EGF leaders agreed to this but in practice it didn’t happen. Also, at each congress local organizers could employ their best teacher to work at the congress by teaching visitors. There is a double gain in this, support and recognition for a good asset while opening the gates for people outside the existing Go community.

For an organization that attempts to create a pro league EGF needs to show professionalism in handling things in fields like marketing, public relations etc. am part of the core organization team in the Sibiu EGC2014 so I know that as far as May this year we had a deal with Panda net to get 5000 euro sponsorship in exchange for printing Panda net logo exclusively on participant player’s bags. But then we were asked to insert also the logo of the Chinese sponsor that EGF brought for the congress.

This kind of exclusivity for the Chinese sponsor is not warranted as our local sponsors are much bigger. Because of this Panda net took a step back and we lost 5000 euro, which is not much less than the sponsorship brought at the table by the Chinese sponsor. I think this is a significant loss and also a bad diplomatic move with Panda net who were the only sponsors of EGF in the past years. The money is not small and could make a significant change in prize giving and player /organization team support.

Another required change regarding event organizing is the overall approach towards such activities. If we want to grow we need to learn to open our events to people other than the existing Go players. For this we need promotional materials, festivities, attracting mass media and so on. Also the search for sponsors is very important. Even more important is correct protocol and the idea to give appropriate feedback to our sponsors. In time I have witnessed many strange moments, I will point out one: European Congress in Mamaia, Romania. Closing ceremony in a hall fully packed with people, 40 degrees temperature and no air conditioning. The old man representing the main sponsor Hitachi makes a speech but there is no microphone and almost no one can hear him. Next year Hitachi dropped the congress sponsorship. Was it a coincidence or not, I don’t know. But it made me ponder. Was it the fault of local organizers? Certainly, but this doesn’t mean that they took the image blow. It is the European Congress and EGF who stands to lose at each such occasion.

Those are but a few of the topics that I think need to be discussed in order to truly reform EGF. So far I have not offered practical solutions. This is because I think a strategic plan for development of EGF from now on should be made by all of us together. What would I do, I would open the forum of EGF for discussions and also use other social networks to promote the discussions so that as many people as possible read and join them. I would separate each important topic we identify and open it to brainstorming for an entire year. I would choose some people who specialize in the topic to moderate it on the forum and also collect valuable ideas from the discussions. Before the next EGM they would make a draft regarding the topic. Then I would gather all drafts together and thus get the draft of our development plan.

At the end of this document I need to say a few words about the CEGO project.
I am aware that the timing of my candidature for EGF president is the worst possible in regard to EGF being about to engage in such a big project. I have no intention to disrupt the activities concerning CEGO, especially considering the very positive feedback I got from youths involved in it. I have decided to candidate this year despite the obviously bad timing because I think EGF should be much more than this new activity with CEGO and the leaders of EGF seemed to have forgotten it.

Also, founding a pro league is a very serious undertaking. So far EGF has been quite dysfunctional as an organization with many failures in regard to regulations, efficiency, and commitment. The actual structure of EGF is of a democratic alliance of countries and it doesn’t fit with the private company type that would normally manage a pro league. Also, for many member countries where level of play is still too low the priorities are likely to be different than founding and sustaining a pro league. It is why I would like to see things done differently and if EGF wishes to engage itself in managing a pro league then it should undergo serious restructuration processes, otherwise it should seek to create a separate organization, like a private company, that would run the pro league in Europe in partnership with CEGO.

placed by Catalin Taranu 5p at 12:18 Sat 19 July 2014

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