If you had $1,000 for the Go community

In my own experience (as animating and as participant) i always found that once is short and twice much more enjoyable.

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I think we are basically talking about the same ambition. The question is how do we do this?

Adverts? This is at least something that can be done with money and not so much people time.

Going round schools, youth clubs, libraries, any event that you can? Money is not the problem here but someone to do it. And there is a hump of effort each time.

Set up a go club, in a school or elsewhere? An amount of effort to set up but less for each meeting (typically) so I think this is why people end up with this idea.

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I don’t understand what is the proposal here.
I’m trying to suggest ways to overcome difficulties, so we can get at least something.

Sitting around saying "well, optimal would be this, and we realistically can’t have this, so :man_shrugging: ", I don’t see how that’s helpful, to be honest.

As I said, and really I don’t have anything else to say on the matter, people want their dream Go club and nothing less, and we end up with lots of dreaming and no doing.

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I mentioned orphanages. Children there usually don’t have an abundance of chess/ tennis/ robotics clubs. Surely there’s one that someone could reach out to, across all the countries we represent in here.

I guess someone could reach out and visit once a month, if there’s interest. Maybe advocate for OGS to be cleared as a url for 2 hours a week. Anyone can try.

That absolutely no one says “you know, I’m a strong Go player with some free time, let me see if those unfortunate orphans are interested in a board game that could be played with pen and paper if need be (see kifus), helps the imagination, has no language barriers and is easy to learn, so I can spend an hour a month and maybe an hour on the road” is really sad.

I’m not saying you, or X, or Y, should do it, because each of us has their own responsibilities and no obligation to publicly ask for permission to not be available for something, but that absolutely no one cares for something that isn’t either a school activity or a proper Go club for after work evenings is telling.

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I’m not proposing anything, I have no time to go to a school club on a regular basis anyway, I’m just describing what I’ve seen. School clubs I know are not elitist at all, most members are weaker than 20k, but meet at least once a week. I’d be happy to learn that other ways to proceed work.


I’m afraid I think this is too cynical. I think there probably would be such players (maybe even including myself (except for the “strong” bit)) but how would someone even do this?

Children in care go to regular schools anyway so we are back to doing something in a school. And the bar is relatively high (contact school, convince them that’s it’s not a waste of time/effort on their part, get or confirm police checks, or get school to agree to release staff to supervise you, etc, etc)

Or reaching out to care homes. It’s an interesting idea. I imagine the hurdles are much the same as with school but maybe higher (more vulnerable children, higher safeguarding requirements and less staff) but I’m wondering if I can find out.

Edit: but anyway the point is still that this doesn’t take money but someone’s time, potentially quite a lot of it!


Maybe, some days I do be like that :woman_shrugging:

Homes for the elderly sometimes are open to activities, and since they are not minors risks are lower. I know some chosen elderly associations here can be very active, with regular trips and stuff.


This is genius though!

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Although I suspect safeguarding hurdles are actually similar for vulnerable adults.

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Just telling you anyone with a basic knowledge of go can start any of your inspiration so go for it! If i had waited others to do what i wanted to be done…
And for applying your suggestion where i live let’s just say that it’s all quite different and not so fitting but i find quite interesting. at least where you live.

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I was talking about the difficulty of finding people to organise and manage go activities/clubs, that are more than a one time event. And money is usually not the issue.

You seem to be suggesting where we can have some go activities and how to approach new go players? Those are also important matters, but to me it seems you are addressing different difficulties than I was.

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Go players try too much to imitate Chess players.
It makes me want to learn to play Chess instead.

This made me think of football. (’‘soccer’’ for the barbarians :stuck_out_tongue: )
We often see footage of children playing in dusty alleys with a substandard round object for a ball. The children just love it for the sake of it. If they become champions, fine, if they don’t fine. No expensive coaching on a weekly basis, just candid enthousiasm for a well-advertised activity.

I think the reason Go won’t take off easily is that the Go world has the urge to justify and explain themselves in Chess terms and that they try to produce Dans in great numbers to prove that Go is “as good as Chess”.

On topic:

If I had $1000 to spend on Go, I’d pay for a disambiguation between Go and Pokemon Go in Google, Bing, Baidu or whatever people are using to look up things online. Results favour the Pokemons and it does have an impact in propagating Go (our Go) into society.


From the youth go teachers I met, I don’t get that impression at all that they are elitist, scouting “good” students and aiming to produce strong players. But both of you seem to have different experiences?

Same here, not one of the youth players in my club is stronger than ~15k and most are weaker than 30k. They don’t practice tsumego at home and they almost never play online. They just play for 1 or 2 hours per week against each other in the club. They enjoy doing that, but not more and I’m not pushing them to do more.


That’s very far back in the past for me :stuck_out_tongue:

All my interactions with the Go community are online, basically here. I don’t know how representative this community is of the whole.
*I had a couple with Greek Go community IRL but those are not relevant here.

My point wasn’t youth go teachers.

Rather, that all the discussions always end up something like that

  • "what Chess does let’s revere Chess because it’s so much popular,
  • let’s bring more dans where are the dans in the western servers which are maybe better in dozens of things but no dans so where is our value,
  • Go is this and that and important and ancient and smart and it’s not worth it to reach out unless it’s organized attempts to reach players who will take it seriously".

Usually the people who can take action are the people who took this hobby seriously, and they are not really (subconsciously, usually) open to relaxed hobbyists. They are looking for serious hobbyists like them. And I find it, in the long run, unproductive and contrary to the popular superficial sentiment frequently expressed that “we want to make Go popular”.

Something really popular is open to the most talentless screechy enthusiastic hobbyist, not only grinding through the motions until it reaches the soprano and says “oh, good work, now I can call this effort a success, ugh I had to go through so much waste tho ugh”.

This is not directed to you, it’s my general feeling. Maybe I’m wrong, but at the same time it’s a persistent feeling, so maybe there’s some smoke from that fire?

PS I would also like to drag into this the battered cloth of me trying to push for some online tournaments that are not all about the ranks, maybe respecting a law or two, and always bashing my head against the wall of “But the RANKS and CHEATING and in any case we will go back to OUR REAL CLUBS eventually, no need to open up realistic expectations for tournaments online, y’all can go drown in your poor tears if you can’t come to IRL tournaments”.
I can earn a MSc online from reputable Universities across the ocean without ever setting foot there, but one (1) association caring to keep the online momentum of the unprecedented influx of new players in some way that makes sense, yeah that’s too much.

Sorry for the rant. :woman_shrugging:


My first reaction to your post was that your stance was somewhat exaggerated, since in my go club advanced players are always eager to explain the game to beginners, and some members who take responsibilities have been playing for 15 years and are still DDK, in other words they like the game but want to play casually and don’t try hard to improve.

On the other hand I think there is some truth in what you say. Most of the money in go federations is spent in

  • Competitions. This includes prizes for top players, as well as transportation fees for top competitors traveling abroad.
  • Teaching (this usually means teaching to people who try hard to improve, not to beginners).

This doesn’t mean that we don’t care about casual players, maybe we just lack ideas on how to spend money, and that’s precisely the point of this thread.

About beginners, Fulgurogo made a series of videos in french explaining basic concepts, I think he was paid by the French Go Federation and he did quite a good job: FulguroGo - Tutoriel du Jeu de Go - YouTube


Donate [100?] copies of Aji’s Quest—The Book to (school) libraries?

Or some other Go book that kids can pick up and learn about Go without any other input?

Or fund such a book?

Or fund a reading book for kids learning to read that is a fact book about Go.

[Omg, now that I’ve thought of this I’m drafting the book in my head… Go is a game with black and white stones. The board is made out of wood. The stones are placed where the lines cross. Go is better than chess. …]


I wonder if some lively, cute, full of energy Sumire would be a more appealing advertising tactic than admittedly fantastic legend but unrelatable Cho Chikun.

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We are still lacking the western equivalent of Sumire. On the other hand I don’t feel comfortable using children for advertisement.

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She’s a pro, but I understand what you mean.
I don’t think we need an equivalent, children understand “happy samey age does smart thing and looks cool”.

(for clarification, I didn’t mean literally advertising, as in pay to hold that yogurt, more of a visual to accompany the thing. So, her playing and stuff, it’s part of the pro thing)


As for go activities that are aimed to be more on the casual and sociable side of go, we have annual summer go and winter go camps here in the Netherlands. 50 -100 go players and non-go players (some players bring along family or friends) gather for a week in a group accomodation in nature and play all kinds of games, do chores together and attend workshops about all kinds of things, organised by participants (some related to go and some not at all). This is all quite enjoyable.

Maybe a donation of 1000$ could get something like that started in your country (as a starting fund to get things going), although it would still depend on finding volunteers to organise such an event.