I did buy this issue, eagerly anticipating the responses to a question important to me: does EGF want to include more players via online tournaments, bring go to more people and expand its reach, or do they want to stay an elitist, unapproachable hobby that only cares about those who reach the top.
I got my answer; president of EGF considers us low online players a nuisance that would sooner go away, so real go players can keep on playing like they did before. (we don’t think about it, we don’t care about it, we don’t look into options, if someone brings a ready solution that requires zero effort from us we might not throw it out immediately. Youths and pros are enough, the rest can leave, we don’t care).
Disappointed, but not surprised. Somewhat disillusioned.
I see the most sterile version of the question was chosen as well. Oh well.
Nice journal though, although it’s not for me, I can see the value it offers to serious players, thought out and nicely put together.
I have several comments on this interview, but I’ll stick to three:
If you run an online event begrudgingly, stingily, with your eyes on the “real” events to come, it certainly won’t be a memorable experience for the participants and it won’t bring any money in the long term. If you run a face-to-face event and you give it your all and smile while doing it, it’s no wonder the participants will like it better and will pay more money.
I didn’t understand what kind of popularity the EGF wants. Do they want easier access to talent or do they want to make Go popular? The strategies required are completely different. If they just want talent, I understand why they stick to face-to-face events. It’s a bit like music geniuses. If you want people to play the violin, you popularize it in any way you can. If you want to nurture a violin genius, you go for the “live gatherings”.
It seems that EGF doesn’t appreciate online events. “Online activities are not the key for the future of Go”. I guess they have some inside information, polls, budgets, reviews, market research etc and they surely know what they’re talking about, but it still sounds weird to me. I had the impression that in the last 20 years or so, everything has turned digital, even the most traditional activities. Parents rent virtual space on meta to celebrate their kids’ birthdays. Churches broadcast the service on zoom because the congregation is elderly, with aching joints and hungry cats. However, EGF thinks online events are not key. It baffles me.
I am that person who prints the page from my computer so I can jot down notes by hand when I’m studying and I still think online events are important.
(My uncensored reactions were “Dinosaurs” and “They’re soooo 1995” and “Will they also say that computer games make kids violent?”, but I wouldn’t write such things on a forum, would I? )
But I guess that happens when you give the helm to seniority alone and don’t ask for vision.
(Asian organizations can afford to be picky and unapproachable, because they have the tradition behind them to keep Go moving forward. It’s a big mistake of western organizations to follow the same path.)
Yup … from what I gather their plan is “if they die out, they die out” …
Anyway, I’ll buy the June edition since the editor went to all the trouble to accomodate us. I admit to being a bit curious about the whole thing and the content page does seem interesting as well (I also like the cover)
“Online activities are not the key for the future of Go”
Is this for real? Are we witnessing the quintessence of a boomer mentality? Sorry, but this deeply gets me. This, AGA investing in KGS instead of OGS, lack of high-quality shows for Go like in China/Japan/Korea and, you won’t believe me, in Russia. Outdated websites and clients. No official calendar, so volunteers (thanks Gia!) need to take the ownership without any official payments. No official go magazine! The list goes on and on. Yeah, with such leaders, the future of Go doesn’t look very bright. I wish I have more time to volunteer or much more money to start my own Transatlantic Go Federation to focus on offline, online and bringing new players. I fully support elitism, but you need to make a right version of elitism, that makes you interesting rather than makes others not worthy your time and effort.
Is there a Go show in Russia? That sounds interesting.
Even if the old administrators are set a bit in the past, sometimes I wonder what the actual pros (arguably a lot younger and more keen for action) think about the whole situation. At the end of the day, the more popular the game, the more chances for revenue for themselves, right?
Hello everyone! Here are several points I would like to mention, from my personal vision:
The EGF management (executive board) are volunteers. They are not getting paid for their work (even Martin Stiassny, the President). Take a look here: The Executive of EGF
This means that they do all of their work in their free time, just because they like the game. There are only a few of them, so they do what they can do. That’s why Martin said in his interview: if you have a good idea and are ready to work - why not, we can accept it.
Several ideas (my own): European Blitz Championship (online), European Senior Championship (online or face-to-face), European Clubs League (online), etc. Question: who will work on this? Who will pay for this? No answers at the moment.
EGF is not a wealthy organization. It barely has money to hold its main tournaments, such as the European Championships. It can’t really invest in anything else, for now.
EGF is an umbrella organization. Its task is to create a healthy environment for the national go organization to develop go in their countries. In other words: European-level competitions such as Championship and Grand Slam and communication with the Asian organizations. The rest should be done by local organizers.
I’d say that I agree with Martin: face-to-face tournaments are the priority. Online is very important as well, but secondary, and for now the EGF has no resources (organizational, financial) to invest much time and effort in it. If you feel like online activities are important to you and you know how to develop them on the European level and are ready to invest your time (and money?) - please contact the EGF, I am sure they would appreciate it.
You know, I didn’t mean to insult anyone. That’s my personal experience: no online event can be compared to attending an over-the-board tournament. The online side of go is extremely important either, for example, this forum - for communication.
I have some ideas on how to develop online go in Europe - I listed them above: online go tournaments, possibly with live commentary by professionals. That would be great, but I have no time to invest in this, nor the money or a sponsor. Does anyone have it? I don’t know.
I agree with what artem has said above. Online should not be ignored, but when resources are limited it would be very sad indeed to see an OTB event dropped to make room for an online one.
In my opinion, as many OTB events as possible should run, and then online events can run supplementary to that in between where provisions allow.
As someone who has participated in both, there is no comparison. OTB is the vastly supperior experience in every way. The only advantages online has are reach, access, and cost. Significant advantages to be sure, but still OTB is the better experience for all who can attend.
I started Go around the time of the pandemic. Time and time again we tried to reason with online tournament organizers, to consider, discuss and find ways to make those tournaments viable even after covid, for people like me who live in places with no national Go associations, access to clubs or on-site tournaments.
The resistance has been unbelievable. Maybe Martin diplomatically says that “they’d consider it”, but my own personal experience says EGF doesn’t want to include more people than it has to. They pushed back to every suggestion, saying basically they are just waiting for things to go back to normal, online is inferior and an inconvenience.
Have they considered in EGF that online tournaments aren’t profitable because they don’t put any effort in them and it shows?
You are starting from big things, which is understandable, because you are a professional. But if EGF was more open to the idea, we could start from small things, and build on that, and then more talent would rise to support the big things.
PS. Forum here isn’t just for communication. There’s an abundance of information, coordination and guidance that no official organization (either side of the Atlantic) has yet achieved to offer. It already substitutes federations in more than you think.