I know playing on a IRL board is great, and believe I’m starting to feel the craving to face an opponent live too, but I can’t deny that, since there’s no way I could support a “travel frequently all over to take part in tournaments” lifestyle, I’m happy that, from all this shitstorm that we’ve all been through, at least now there are mechanisms put in place to regularly participate in tournaments online. We do everything else online for a while now, so.

inb4, yes, I know about cheating and stuff, still, Go is more accessible lately and that’s a fact.

tl;dr I know every purist will hate me, but I hope they keep * EDIT at least some * online tournaments as the norm, or at least on par with live tournaments from now on.


I haven’t ever played in an IRL tournament, nor have I joined one of the IRL tournaments that moved to online, so I don’t really know.

What are the important differences between the IRL tournaments that moved to online-only formats vs the online-only tournaments that already previously existed on OGS before the pandemic started?

If you mean the sitewide tournaments, they weren’t official.

Well, yes, the automatic sitewide tournaments are a subset, but I do also mean all of the other custom tournaments organized by various people/groups on OGS, like the “Through the Years” or “Fast Correspondence” tournaments.

By “official”, do you mean officially recognized/sanctioned by a Go organization? Is that the only important difference? What are the advantages of that?

Like everything official, they are regulated. They are more competitive and (for other people, not me) there are also prizes. And obviously the official recognition. If I ever want to participate in a IRL tournament, I could have 100 sitewide tournaments under my belt and they would mean nothing regarding my pairing.

It’s the difference between playing a sport in a neighborhood league and an actual league.


I’ve never played in an IRL event and haven’t participated in any moved-online events but I did play in a couple of tournaments that Clossius organized last year. Those experiences were some of the most fun I’ve had playing Go, something about the extra drama of an event I signed up for in advance and put on my calendar made them special. Although these were not regulated or official in any way, I can imagine an event like that carries more weight to make it more exciting

I don’t know anything about the organizational structures but I certainly understand the sentiment as someone who is a bit socially anxious, online events seem more approachable


they have word “official”

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I used to play write a few be IRL tournaments. In fact I only ever played IRL at clubs or in tourneys. They are great events and aside from playing 3-5 games in one day you get to chat with other Go people and sometimes play side events or learning events. Plus they were the only way to get rating points and find out what your ranking “really” is…

Online has changed some of that. But anyway playing IRL is such a pleasure compared to online. The tactile equipment, sounds, chat and non verbal communication are not yet surpassed by online play.

I can imagine a hybrid tourney where some participants are in the room and others online. It would be a nice compromise for accessibility but would have is own drawbacks of course.

For me, the main advantage of IRL play is that I set aside dedicated time to play and am not in my house with all the demands and distractions of that.


I’m sure it is, most things are better in the original :stuck_out_tongue:

But I’m pretty sure among the people who would like to participate in IRL tournaments, the ones that can actually travel regularly and often specifically to those places and specifically for Go tournaments are not the majority.

(I hope we don’t get any insensitive comments of the “if they really wanted to” variety in this thread)


Well, once this pandemic is over, hopefully too much travel would not be necessary to attend IRL tournaments.

Are there not many tournaments organized where you are? Maybe the Greek Igo Association (I’m assuming that’s the correct name) needs to do a better job organizing more local tournaments to meet the need, as well as fostering more interest to increase participation.


I don’t think there are any, I didn’t follow the thing pre-covid, and what I saw are basically get-togethers, not tournaments. We don’t have a formal association.

In any case, any type of EGF/ AGA etc tournament is outside my reach if they are only IRL. I could always start robbing grannies, but I’d rather not.


I felt super lucky when US Go Congress moved online this year. I don’t wish it to be that way forever, but this year there was no way I would have made it out to in-person congress.

Hopefully they keep e-Congress a tradition. Even if the turnout is half as good :slight_smile:


I play IRL at my local Go club but that’s one game per week at best and pre-covid only ofc. Much nicer than online as noted by others but online fits in around life’s other demands so it’s better than nothing.

I’ve never played in an IRL tournament. My new year’s resolution 2020 was to enter one. Covid prevented that. Hopefully I can do it in 2021, though I am doubtful…


Well well well.
I see you have some growing interest and that’s really cool. Play online tournaments that’s fine.
You know you have already the feeling that meeting go players in real life is going to be something. You’re completely right.
After being out of corona crisis, you can start consider real life events but ok I understand you’re a bit isolated there in your beautiful country.
Well you may consider summer activities. Summer camps, I know about the french one,cool stuff but getting a bit family ambiance, there is the European Congress great to meet strong players with a lot of free time, and there is something in eastern Europe, more in that cheap and friendly ambiance like old style weiqi meeting.
Or some nearby tournaments, keep up, check the EGF website.


There were official rated online tournaments before AIs but they were suppressed once cheating became a problem. They didn’t completely disappear, but were either unrated or partially unrated which greatly reduced popularity. It was easier to kill online tournaments than come up with protocols to deal with cheating. Coronavirus changed it and in a way saved online tournaments forcing associations to take online seriously.

Not much of a confession though, it’s easy to agree that playing from a comfort of your own home naked on a sofa is pretty convenient. Not as convenient now though when video recording is required. Hassling with video monitoring is a big obstacle.


My issue isn’t so much comfort (which, I’m lazy, I won’t throw away comfort), but actual ease of access.

There’s no way I could travel to France, Czech Republic and USA in a year. Happy for those who can, but people can be very serious and enthusiastic about Go (not me) and be prevented from participating because of the very real issue of cost, distance and commitments.

For example, in my pre-previous job, I could never take a preplanned vacation, we always got a couple of weeks’ notice of approval, because government deadlines (and also my boss was a dick, but that’s not here nor there). Even if I had the money to fly to Paris for 3-4 days on a whim, which I don’t, I would probably find exactly zero tickets and zero hotel rooms.


It’s really difficult. Motivation grow up when you can join a small team in a car and share enthusiasm. Well don’t tell you don’t see who… Who knows later.

Note: another idea to dig is to participate as woman representative of Greece, see with EGF.

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There are a couple of women in EGD from Greece, with decent ranks, there are probably more out there :stuck_out_tongue:
I’ve seen way smaller countries than us with official associations, I believe the fact that we don’t have one is a very local brand of problem…

Anyway, I don’t want to make it about Greece specifically, I’m trying to advocate for people from everywhere who can now join in. :slight_smile:

I wonder how many more people that weren’t part of a club got an “official” rank this year, from online tournaments. All these people are a win for our community, right? :slight_smile:


If you can pay for flights it’s not uncommon for Go players to look after their own in terms of putting people up who’ve travel for events and such.

I have never been to a “major” tourney like Paris or even the London open for example because I couldn’t spend more than 1 day playing Go and meeting other life commitments. I played in “local” one day events, generally with about 20 participants upstairs in a pub or a public hall or some such unglamorous location. The cost was the actual entry of about £15 or so and fuel (which always seems free since you already paid for it to be in the car mostly!). Not that cheap for 3 games but the main cost is time.

I actually organised a tourney in my town so as to have one I didn’t need to go far to attend. You should consider it. I’m pretty sure you could get a few people to travel to Athens for the Greek Igo Association biennial tournament at a conveniently touristy time of year!


O that’s good nice you should have then some kind of qualification tournament in site.
Btw I encourage you as your weiqi is much better as your rating, just need to flush some dark holes away from your games, and playing some serious IRL games will surely help on that.