Controversial Go Promotion Opinions

I do remember a few here in this forum though.
In any case, that is why I added the “plus the game is intriguing as a problem” which is missing from the quote. People that like programming ( a.k.a. problem solving with computers) are more likely to be intrigued with the challenge of the problem that is mastering Go.

If you want to disagree on the exact reason why they are more likely to do so, I am all for it and I’d be very interested in hearing more/different reasons, but the observation that there are reasons and it is not happenstance remains true. Those were just examples and it is not an exhaustive/full list of observations or reasons :slight_smile:


I can confirm this. I was a board member of the Dutch go association for 3 years. All of us are volunteers, and we are struggling to find other volunteers.
Our association has about 500 members. That may seem like a lot, but only 10% is doing something to support their local go communities, and only 3% is doing something to support the wider go community.


I love this idea!!

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AFAIK AlphaGo was the biggest spike in new western Go players between Hikaru no Go and Covid lockdowns.


I learned about go when AlphaGo beat Ke Jie. Watching Michael Redmond explain those games to a lay audience including myself is probably still my favourite go experience to this day. Having strong amateur dan players review “my” KataGo self-play games comes close, though… :slight_smile:


However there is a capacity for people to go beyond the norm without requiring too much extra themselves. This brings me to my second point

If you try to research Janggi in Europe, you’ll have better luck finding a needle in a haystack.

Shogi players also wouldn’t mind assistance from the go community.

If Go, Shogi, Xiangqqi, and Janggi, players individually try to achieve these kind of difficult tasks, it would be impossible. But if they all decide to work together to help start a club in a poor girls school or special eds school, or homeschooling group, then it would be at least twice as easy than if a go player did it alone.

The thing is to think creatively. Okay, perhaps setting a club in any of the various poor schools in an area would be unfeasible. So instead, work with a mums group to set up a club in a youth centre so that children of ANY school can join, and specifically make it so and mention that it’s intended to be friendly to many children with special needs and neuro non-typical brains. Then use that hub as an example to convince teachers of the special eds and poor schools and girls schools to convince the higher ups in those places to make a go club on THEIR initiative. Schools that have never had a club before should be convinced it’s worth the cost because it is. Goodness, tell them Malcolm Gladwell identified active encouragement by parents to nurture they’re children’s hobbies as a key difference between poorer families and middle-class ones. These mindsports together can be a more effective tool to incentivise the behavioural tendencies that would be beneficial for learning than a perceived dictator at the end of the classroom that needs to be rebelled against. And with at least twice the people since people from all four games are working collaboratively, the staff problems are half as bad. That’s one reason I invented General Elephant Chess, a blend of the Chinese and Korean styles. It’s a creativity issue, we need to think like go players on how to pull of this sabaki :thinking:

Most people are brought up when they’re young to limit their thinking and think that the problems in the world are due to people not knowing the reasons why things will never or couldn’t ever work, rather than just why they don’t work at the moment.

We should avoid competing with Chess directly. In my personal opinion try to get Chess players to play go is good tactical choice but not a smart strategic one. This is because in the west, mind sports have a much lower status compared to Africa and Asia, so what you’re doing is competing for a bigger share of a tiny pie. This is not a good way to build great relations with the Chess community long-term since it’s a relationship based on competition for scraps. On the other hand, the elites of the Chess community might respect us if we do something for the mindsport community as a whole. Go should should be the international football and vanguard of mindsports.

On the note about people being hobbyists, yes it is true, but the hobby is a game about foregoing short term gain for long term benefit, so if anyone should practice that, it should be go players.

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It is not about teaching EGF a lesson.
It’s about accessibility and realistic outcomes.

That’s very nice indeed! We are like 5-6 people currently active. Though this means that if we apply the same statistics, we are doing quite ok and I hadn’t thought of it this way, I’ll be honest. :sweat_smile:

I fail to see how choosing NOT to promote Go because you do not like EGF’s viewpoint increases “accessibility”, could you please elaborate on that?
Go is not EGF, exactly like FIFA is not football. Should we stop playing and promoting football because the association is questionable?

This is very reasonable and a very good idea. Adding to it, here is what I saw in facebook today:

Chinese Chess and Go tournament organised by the Confucius institute.

Yes, but as difficult as Go can be, reality can be even harder. So, it is a good concept within the game, but it is much harder to adhere to it in real life.


Yes, I think the Confucius institute would definitely be good at doing what I’m talking about, pretty cool. Hopefully the get their act together so they don’t have to be closed down, but still, maybe you’re onto something, since you might get a lot more support from cultural organisations than the Greek Go Federation, if it has one.

Perhaps you could ask the Japanese Consulate for help if you promote both Igo and Shogi. Then, ask the Korean, ROC and PRC Consulates for help promoting baduk/weiqi and Janggi/Xiangqi, and then you can use funding for 3 different events to hold one event. Then, you could advertise it to teachers in poor and special needs schools, and probably girls schools to show them girls can be intelligent for fun too. Chess is already more popular, so that crowd will come along on their own, and be more likely to respect and help us as we didn’t try to ‘steal’ them from Chess, if anything we’re promoting Chess. Countries around the EU and around the world could copy the formula of focus on cultural combinations, and maybe set targets like:

1-Have go respected as having a positive influence on the neurodiverse and those with special needs, by doing good and expecting nothing in return by just genuinely trying to help these dear children, we might give go unexpected respect among those in the field of neurodiversity and child education. And make it popular in parenting and homeschooling groups.
2-Have women and minorities as represented and strong at go as other groups. So I’m really only interested in actively finding talent from the above groups, since they’re just as talented as the males from the ethnic majority who will follow along on their own anyway when they see their spouse being successful at it, which is a lot less likely the other way around, especially when a field is already full enough with men of the ethno majority. So focusing on women and minorities first is actually twice as effective as it otherwise would be not to. I completed missed Learn Go Week this September! But I’m going to unilaterally change the event to ‘Learn Go Month’! So let’s see what everyone can do before the price hikes in October when people would be too cash-strapped for hobbies :joy:

Six years is the minimum amount of time it would take for a super talented 12 year old to reach pro level, I think. A short generation is 12 years, a long generation is 24 years. 12 times root 2 is 16.97 years So we can take advantage of the fact that Europe is still weak and aim for Women being stronger by 2028 and European Women winning world championships by 2049, giving talented girls scholarships to yeongseong dojang and the like. At least that’s kind of my dream as a 14year old 8 years ago, haha.


Wow . . . That seems too much of a burden for 15 people. Do you normally try to collaborate with Janggi/Xiangqi and Shogi organisations?

I always thought go was popular in the computer community because go was famous for being difficult for computers to play. Of course many people would then take the challenge or at least be aware of it. Also, go uses a fundamentally simple system to generate mind-boggling complexity, a lot like how computers use bit, 1’s and 0’s, to generate complex architecture.

I think we live in a society were we like simplistic answers to complex problems, and then pretend simple problems need complex answers when we don’t want to deal with them :joy:

Yes, we experienced much difficulty finding people to staff the board of the Dutch go association beyond the bare minimum (chairman, secretary and treasurer, 2 of which are currently women BTW).
And I can’t say that I don’t understand why that is. Volunteers are usually fine with lending a hand to help organizing some event in their area, because it’s fun and rewarding to do. But committing to do some more responsible, administrative task for a number of years is a different thing. Those tasks tend to be not much fun and quite thankless.

To my knowledge, shogi is even less known and less organized than go in Europe. We have a Dutch shogi association, but it’s far smaller than the Dutch go association.
I don’t even know if there exists a Xiangqi association in the Netherlands. A quick google search didn’t come up with anything.

There is some contact with the Dutch chess association and the Dutch draughts association. They are relatively large and professionally organised. We hope to create a go teacher training and certification programme by example and guidance from the chess association.


You seem to have this idea that female European go players are weak, but we have a couple of female pros and we probably have a few dozen female dan players, of which half a dozen high dans.
We had a 4d in the Netherlands, but unfortunately she more or less quit playing about a decade ago (although she still drops by to socialize when there is a tournament near her). I (3d EGF) have lost many tournament games against women.
The number of female go players may be small in Europe (because of the demographics of the go community), but they are not weak by any means, in my view.


I guess the pros are Svetlana Shikshina and Diana Koszegi. Who are the high dans? If by high dan you mean 5d or stronger, I know Natalia Kovaleva 5d, Dina Burdakova 5d and Rita Pocsai 5d. Are there others? If so they are not participating in the current EWGC.


Vanessa Wong? She doesn’t ive in Europe anymore, but she won the British championship IIRC.

And also Pei Zhao | Player card | E.G.D. - European Go Database


I included some margin for currently inactive tournament players (similar to the female Dutch 4d player Renée Frehé I mentioned).

Yes, I remember Zhao Pei. She was very strong. I think no male European top player was confident of beating her while she was in her prime.

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I saw that she will play in the European pair go championship :slight_smile:

(but maybe we are OT now?)


Oh wow! It looks like they are the favourites to win, although Ariane + Benjamin are also seriously strong.


Ah! By strong, mean how many women could qualify through the European pro qualifiers. Literally only the three you mentioned. This shouldn’t be considered normal, nor should we keep finding excuses implying ‘that’s just how women are’ to make it seem acceptable. The Elephant in the room that everyone knows is that every effort spent making European Women’s go stronger is at least twice as valuable and twice as feasible as making male go strong, and we should allocate funds respectively!

I mean I can understand how some women might find it insulting to say, ‘look at how strong she is! European pros are not confident they’ll win against her all the time!’ Haha :rofl::joy:

But I do think it’s possible by 2028 to have 7 women 7 Dan’s. Just search for 12 year old geniuses.

It would probably be better to have women pro players specifically assigned to the task of Women and Youth development.

I don’t want to start false rumours, but I always did find it odd that Matthew stopped playing in British tournaments right around Vanessa Wong’s prime, but maybe I’m just pulling a young Choi Jung quip, hehe.

These remain some of my favourite articles. 12 years later I’d say half the European pros are stronger than Michael Redmond, Ilya Shikishin has definitely been significantly stronger than him but like him Ilya may be at the end of his prime . . .