Announcing the 2020 e-Go Congress on August 1-9! (Registration ends on July 29, 9 PM EDT)

Haha, really. That’s what you gather from this? Ruling the world. Meanie :stuck_out_tongue:

That’s their tournament, naturally they can put in place whatever rules they want.


I Don’t see their point to come and ask everyone to join a go organisation to play in their event. That’s upset me and Yes they chose the way they want and I chose mine too, I mean I hope they get as few players as possible.

There are plenty of other opportunities to play online to not have to get in any deal like that.

This is brilliant! It makes me think of a convert from chess who has “seen the light” and entered a go tournament instead.


Probably you need membership so you’re in their system and they can actually make the ranking / promotion system work. It’s not exactly expensive either.

And keep in mind that normally the entrance fee to a Go congress is a lot more expensive.


I think it’s normal on an e-congress especially to require some kind of official membership, so people can compete with proper athletic spirit.
If an association can’t offer the verification for me, the other way would be an entry fee. I see AGA chose the more inclusive way, and if Go politics are present, they are not obvious or affect a simple player like me.
If we just want to play games in tournaments with other players, OGS is right here. :woman_shrugging:


I think (maybe I misunderstood), that any association will do, it doesn’t have to be AGA, so players might not even be in their system. Although I don’t know if anyone can join regardless of where they live, or the systems communicate for international events.


Ha, finally it comes :smiley: Perfect way to wake up!

(The following comments are not officially endorsed by the AGA. I am neither an AGA official nor a Congress TD/registrar)

First of all: We don’t force anyone to join. This is an AGA-organized Congress and there are certain rules and practices that we make. You can read all about it in the Disclosure section of the registration form. So if you don’t agree with this design, you don’t have to register - you’ll probably hear people talk about it, but you really don’t need to participate :wink: You can even shut out the AGA on your own and there’d be no repercussions from that choice. (BTW, we are seeing faster growth than any other Congress so far, tough luck there :stuck_out_tongue:)

Second: We don’t try to keep you out. As of this writing, we are aware that different countries have diverse modes of membership, or even no membership at all. We are trying to conduct thorough research so that (hopefully) everyone can be accommodated in some way. So far, my personal understanding is that as long as you have an active IRL presence in your local Go club, school or community, and perhaps have attended at least some tournaments, then you’ll be fine. If you only play entirely online, then the TDs might have to ask you to sign up for a membership. This is going to be worked out on the Congress FAQ page. In any case, you can still attend a lot of tournaments without any membership or fee whatsoever, though you’d have to pay the pros for teaching events (just like everyone else).

Third: We don’t try to rule the entire world. I am not an official AGA policy-maker, and I would not neglect the fact that some parts of the AGA are problematic and need solutions, but you are really reading the wrong message here. If anything, I think that we are choosing to be more generous and welcoming to non-US players (as we should be) by waiving fees for members of foreign associations. Likewise, if someone flies from overseas to a U.S. IRL tournament, then we shouldn’t expect them to become an AGA member. In fact, we’ve had almost 100 non-US participants now, which is awesome!

Last, remember that this Congress and every single other AGA event is run by volunteers who put many hours in and don’t expect to make any profit (although we don’t want to overspend either!). This is a difficult time for everyone and we would like to put something nice together for Go players around the world. I really wish that the Go scene had more capital than it has now, so that we could really have the capacity to do more and better, but co-running this Congress has given me some hope that those improvements will come despite the situation. This is the first time we’ve ever run something as large as this online, so I hope that we can all remember a positive experience.

So yeah, boycott us all you want. Good luck! :sunglasses:


I still can’t find the info about how much is the fee for a “saw light and entered”. Unless it’s been added very recently on the site.

P.S. on the previous comments, so that I don’t have to edit: if something Go-related would be menacing as to rule the world, my money would be on that AI thingy. :woman_shrugging:


Working on it, the site is also maintained by a voluntary webmaster, hence some unfinished construction to be done, but I’ll post updates to this thread! :smiley:


What is the age range for youth go tourney? I am 18 that’s why im asking


Open to 18 or under, so you can participate!


Thanks for answering first.

To be a volunteer is not an excuse to take wrong commitment. I did a lot of volunteer work too so that’s not really the point I wanted to discuss here.

The Aga main goal is supposed to promote weiqi (like most of amateur go federations). I’m not going to discuss Aga politics in its own country as I m not a US citizen, but I can start when Aga wants people from outside to join their event.
This kind of event should stay open to everyone, not being segregation and discrimination against players who don’t have already being committed in local association activities. The first thing a go association should prioritize is to bring all players together, not to check if you are a respected contributing member of a go association somewhere in the world.

Minimizing the consequences of not being in the criteria is not really appropriate as an answer: no participation in all main tournaments, have to pay the pros… You know that’s not small things.

And please don’t tell me once again that it’s my choice to join or not. My choice is to debate on some wrong policy to my eyes , even if as usual a lot of players will never care about what the goal of a federation should be and join your event happily.

I get the sense that you’re being prematurely combative on these points. Let’s take a look at the totality of the situation, with some context. Annually, the AGA hosts the US Go Congress, a paid event which (to my understanding) requires an AGA membership to attend. Even if not, the cost of attendance is far higher than that of a membership. This year, that event has moved to be completely online, and with no registration fee, due to Covid-19.

With that change, the AGA has decided to a) make the majority of the event free to the world, b) open up the membership requirement to all national bodies, and c) stream large parts of the event online, not even requiring registration at all.

The only things that require a membership are tournaments, which makes sense, as those are part of the AGA event, and not supposed to be a “the whole internet” kind of thing. You can see how that could get out of control pretty quickly. That being the case, the AGA is still trying to be as inclusive as practical by inviting members of international organizations as well. Think of it as a “please support a Go organization in some way to join these tournaments.”

All of these things are completely the prerogative of an organizing body.

Now, a point of clarification that may be minor, but I believe you misunderstand: the pro lessons require payment from all participants, regardless of membership in the AGA or any other body.


I do appreciate some side effects like streaming parts of the events.

Now when you tell me I see how this would get out of control pretty quickly. I don’t see that at all. On that side there are lots of tournaments which don’t have your requirement with a complete control of the situation.

In this special time of quarantine, I can understand the will of keeping this event alive, joining the players, not make them pay as there are much less charges too.

I regret that the aga still maintain some discriminatory rules and don’t make it more open to all players.

Thank you for your reply. Again, I’m not an AGA official, so the following comments are just my personal interpretation:

The AGA doesn’t want people from outside to join the event; rather, we welcome everyone. There is not a quota for how many non-US players can join an AGA tournament, and never have we denied entry to an open tournament for anyone who registers to play solely because of the country they come from. There can be some exceptions when small, high-level invitational tournaments explicitly regulate the nationality of the players (if you are looking for examples elsewhere, the European Championship). But normally speaking, for Congresses, we’ve always welcomed anyone to join; that population is normally small because of costs and distances of travel, but that’s a different topic.

There’s an important distinction to make: being open does NOT equal being free. And for the record, we have never supported “segregating” and “discriminating” against anyone; that is against the AGA Code of Conduct and never our goal as event organizers. The headline of the Code of Conduct clearly states:

We welcome all attendees regardless of differences, including race, gender expression or identity, sexual orientation, immigration status, ability, religion, or any other personal identity or belief.

So let me be clear: this Congress is OPEN to everyone, regardless of who you are.

Having one’s registration fees waived is a totally different concept. For the AGA, the vast majority of incoming funds come from membership fees; this is something that people subscribe to at a fixed rate every year. Unlike the Chinese Weiqi Association, for instance, the AGA does not sell rank certificates, so support from AGA members is really crucial to our operations. (Again, I’m not in charge of financial matters in the AGA!) If we just spent our existing resources, then it would be depleted within a few years, which is by no means sustainable. Unfortunately, we can’t just have everything be free, high-quality, and forever. You can maybe have two factors out of these three, but then the third would quickly collapse. BTW, we are not the only organization that relies on membership fees: ask the UK or Germany if you want to find out about their subscriptions.

Think of it this way: the Congress is not free per se. It does not exist out of thin air; those who are AGA members have already paid their share to contribute to our events. As a result, we’re thanking their support by putting together this Congress, which I hope will be a bit of relief to everyone in these trying times. In some ways this is similar to a museum: the museum is open to everyone, and no one is denied entry, but people who are coming in for the first time without an active membership need to purchase tickets :smiley:

In summary: this Congress also needs funds to be sustainable. Now, I am not entirely sure if fees for first-time players will be one-time only or year-based; I will update everyone once things are updated on the website. You can expect the fees to be the same as members pay.

Happy to discuss any time…But these fundamentals are necessary :wink:


Thank you! :smiley: You can find out more about those at

*Note to self: gotta update the descriptions

No, this is the same for IRL tournaments. There’s not a single tournament that does not require any fees to run - unless everything is paid for by an external sponsor, or that the objective of the tournament is not to at least break even and keep things sustainable.

The way this is usually done is: AGA members pay a smaller amount, non-AGA members who are coming to a tournament for the first time only pay a larger amount to account for the difference. Other factors include pre-registering: sometimes paying online is cheaper than showing up at the door.

Now, for absolute beginners, in certain cases there can be discounts. I do not yet know if this will be the case yet for the 2020 e-Go Congress, but that is a topic I can bring up.


We are talking about a online tournament. There are a lot of tournaments online which have a pretty good control of the situation. And which don’t require fees. And which don’t discriminate.

How asking a national membership is not discrimination between players but just a way to finance the aga? I m curious about that, I doubt aga will be refunded from the various go association so that rule still just put a wall between the respected players and the others. That’s what I called “ruled the world”

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I’ve tried explaining this to you earlier…

Yes, there are some casual tournaments without entry fees. That’s up to the TDs of those events. For larger, more serious tournaments that require more organizational effort though, almost everything in the world requires funds to operate. I can honestly link you more examples of actual tournament descriptions in Europe and Asia, which all charge a fee of some sort.

*Some advice: “discriminate” is actually a pretty strong word, so definitely try to make sure that details are well-researched before calling something “discriminatory” :wink:

I’m not in charge of financial stuff, so I am not the right person to ask if you want to know about transaction between various Go associations.

All I’m trying to say is: requiring a small but affordable fee for a large event which has been in preparation 24/7 for many months, by dozens of dedicated people who don’t require normal salaries for their responsibilities, is not an unfair request for any organization. If anything, it’s only fair to the members who already pay at a regular rate, and to the core staff who put so much into this entire event.

I think you believe that somehow the AGA has an evil business model, and is trying to limit access by putting excessive paywalls in front of people. Even though the claim that the AGA “[tries to] rule the world” is unequivocally untrue, I don’t have anything against you for holding that belief (this is an open forum for civil discourse, after all). Similarly, I don’t have anything against anyone for believing that all Go content must be free, high-quality and forever accessible, even though that’s just not realistic at all. In fact, you are still more than welcome to join the free-to-all portions of the Congress, such as the 9x9 and live broadcasts :smiley: In that department, I’m actually AGA’s executive producer, and I can tell you why broadcasting, similar to tournament organizing, should not be a free-for-all business.

However, I think I’ve explained enough in this thread, so this will be my last post on this subject matter. A side-note to everyone else: we just reached 300 registrants at record speed, so you might want to grab a spot before capacity runs out for some of the tournaments! :sunglasses:


Discrimination: I chose this word with care. The reason you refuse “not registered in a weiqi association” to be part of your tournament is not a matter of money, just a matter of trust and how you consider weiqi players. How you consider the world should be organised like yours too.
I find it offensive to all these players out of your conception , especially in this time and space of this virus crisis.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s not it. Anyway, I’m sorry you’re so upset by this, but as you mentioned, there are plenty of other online options for go events. I hope you find one that will align with your particular views.