RGF vs the World Summary

Since the meeting is already today, I collected what was published in various places.

Britain

RUSSIA’S INVASION OF UKRAINE

Yesterday Russia, an EGF member, invaded Ukraine, another EGF Member. The British Go Association considers this behavior to be unacceptable, and we call upon the Russian Go Federation to condemn this invasion.

If such a condemnation is not received within 48 hours, we call for the following:

a) The immediate resignation of Natalia Kovaleva, a Russian citizen, from the Executive of the EGF. In the event that she does not resign, we call upon the remaining members of the Executive to immediately remove her from any Executive role, and to seek her removal from Office.
b) For the EGF Executive to use its powers under Clause 3.4.2 to immediately suspend Russia from membership of the EGF, and to bring forward proposals to the 2022 AGM to expel Russia from membership
c) All Member States to write to the EGF Executive to support these proposals

In the event that the Executive decides not to take the above action, the BGA is prepared to call for a Special General Meeting provided we get support from at least 4 other EGF Members.

NOTES
Clause 2.3.3 of the EGF Constitution, www.eurogofed.org/egf/EGF_Constitution_2014_Final.pdf allows for the termination of membership of a Member country, subject to the agreement of a General Meeting, and Clause 3.4.2 permits the Executive to take action normally reserved to the General Meeting in an emergency.

We therefore believe that the Executive has the power to take the actions that we call for above.

Clause 3.3.1 permits “the Executive Committee or five members in good standing” to request a Special General Meeting, but it takes at least 2 months before it can take place.

Yours truly,
Toby Manning
President.

Ukraine

Российская федерация го - иди нахуй! [Russian Go Federation - fuck off!]


Dear Presidents of National EGF Member Countries’ Go Federations,

Me, Dmytro Yatsenko, 5dan, long time Ukrainian Go Federation President
have to address you with an unpleasant request today.

I play Go since 1975, for more than 46 years. For me Go is not only a
passion, it’s the whole of my life. I think that Go is a mean to evolve
and develop the personality and to connect with other people regardless
of their age, sex, nationality, etc. I was always standing for progress
and positivity, and I have always acted accordingly. Fight on a Board -
friendship outside the Board!

But today everything changed. There is a war at my home! Non-motivated
aggression of the Russian Federation Army! My logic has changed too!
Responsibility for this aggression is the responsibility of each Russian
citizen.

I ask you to help with the whole world to isolate Russia:

  1. To call for the emergency EGF meeting

  2. To vote for expelling the Russian Go Federation from the European Go
    Federation. To vote without discussion, without providing time limits
    and explanations ”why”!

I sincerely hope that such a decision will cause the change in Russia
itself by the citizens of the Russian Federation, where, by the way, I
have many friends!

Sincerely yours,
Dmytro Yatsenko

President of the Ukrainian Go Federation

Supported by:

Ukrainian Go Federation Presidium:
Dmytro Bogatskyy, 6d
Sergey Ridzel 5d
Viktoriia Symonenko, 8k
Oksana Nevostruyeva (mother of Savytskyi Avhust 7k)
Volodymyr Kosterin

Ukrainian Go Players:
Andrii Kravets, 2p
Bohdan Zhurakovskyi, 5d
Valerii Krushelnytskyi, 5d
Arkadiy Bogatskiy, 4d
Prykhodko Ivan 1k
Yehor Lysenko 5k
Mykyta Minaiev 9k
Svetlana Kalmutska (mother of Vsevolod Ovsiienko, 4d and Tymofii, 8k)
Iryna Shcherbin (mother of Serhii 16k)
Oleh Kushnerik and Nina Dimitrova (parents of Roman Kushnerik, 5k)
Natalia and Roman Stefanovych (parents of Dmytro 2k and Andrii 16k)
Natalia Hadzhyievа (mother of Hadzhyiev Viktor 7k)
Kateryna Bondar (mother of Ihnat 11k and Yana 16k)
Tetyana Petryk (mother of Danylo 7k)
Oksana Naumenko (mother of Roman 10k)
Oleksandra Vlasenko 9k and Vlada 17k
Ivan Zavadskyi 16k
Yeva Hrabarchuk 8k
Yan Vovchok 10k
Skliarov Maria (mother of Oleksii 13k and Kostiantyn 18k)

And many others Ukrainian Go players (not everyone is in contact right now).

Czechia

Statement of the Czech Go Association on the events in Ukraine

Dear all,

in connection with current world events, one of the items to be discussed at the General Meeting of the Czech go association held on 26 February 2022 was the statement on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Czech Go Association condemns the invasion and considers this behavior unacceptable.

The Czech go association also calls on the IGF & EGF and
recommends the following to its players:

  1. The Czech Go Association with immediate effect recommends its members not to enter games against players from the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus in all official tournaments and competitions. In the event of the Czech player withdrawing from the game with a Russian player, there are no penalties, even if this would violate the rules of game of the Czech go association.
  2. The Czech Go Association declares that representatives from the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus are not welcome at the European Youth Go Championship 2022 in Prague.
  3. The Czech Go Association calls on the International Go Federation and the European Go Federation to ban the participation of players from the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus in all official tournaments and competitions.
  4. The Czech Go Association calls on the International Go Federation and the European Go Federation to suspend the membership of the Russian Go Federation and the Republic of Belarus.

On behalf of the Executive Committee
Jaroslav Kotowski
President of Czech Go Association

Iceland

We will continue to demand action.

It is a fantasy to think that this is “politics” and that there is some reason to exclude condemnation of Russia’s actions from the agenda of European Go.

We are calling for EGF and our European Go community to condemn the war on Ukraine in the strongest terms and cancel all events planned in Russia.

This is beyond and above politics. The horrible crime being committed against the people of Ukraine as we speak should be enough to persuade any representative of the European Go community of this.

Condemnation of war has a long history in sports. The IOC has condemned this war, placing the blame solely on Russia and Belarus, it has also called on all events planned in Russia and Belarus by sport federations to be cancelled. The IOC has also called for the Russian and Belarusian flags not to be displayed and the anthems not to be played, something we need to consider as well. If the EGF cannot heed our calls, I hope it can heed this call by the IOC. https://olympics.com/ioc/news/ioc-eb-urges-all-ifs-to-relocate-or-cancel-their-sports-events-currently-planned-in-russia-or-belarus

This issue can only become more urgent. It is prudent to act immediately to leave no doubt to where we stand on these matters. There can be no ambivalence about condemning this crime. A European Go Federation cannot be ambivalent about European values and sports federations cannot be ambivalent about wars of aggression.

Hallbjörn Þór Guðmundsson
President
Icelandic Go Association

Lithuania

The Lithuanian Go Association fully supports the request of the Ukrainian Go Federation.

Let’s do it as soon as possible.

Croatia

Dear representatives of EGF members, dear members of the Executive Board of EGF,

following the online consultation with all its members (go-clubs) and the session of the assembly of National Olympic Committee held today, Croatian Go Association expresses:

full solidarity with Ukrainian go players and their families, as well as with all citizens of Ukraine suffering under the aggression of Russian military forces from Russia and Belarus,
full support for the proposals received from Ukrainian go federation, Czech go association and British Go Association,
full support for the recommendation of the Executive Board of International Olympic Committee - no participation of Russian and Belarusian players and officials in go competitions (https://olympics.com/ioc/news/ioc-eb-re … -officials).
Dear go friends from all over Europe,
in this moment when we came closer then ever in recent history to “the point of no return” for peace in Europe,
please read carefully all arguments formulated by International Olympic Committee and - give peace a chance!

On behalf of Croatian Go Association,

Damir Medak

Ireland

the Irish Go Association position is that EGF should focus on:

  • supporting Ukrainian go community as much as possible in whatever possible way
  • not holding any tournament in Russia for the time being or any kind of event involving Russian government support/funding.

Asking RGA to make any kind of official statement, or expelling Russian players/staff from EGF activity is unfair and out of the scope of our association.

Serbia

With great regret and sorrow, we are following the events in Ukraine. I personally, and everyone else in the Serbian Go Federation and community are against any kind of violence, especially against this war.

We find it purposefully to act in support and help of our friends in the Ukraine Go Federation and the whole Ukrainian Go community. We should put our effort as an EGF, and as individuals to see if we can help Go players in Ukraine.

Anything that is related to governing the states (or politics, in general) should stay outside of our conversation.

Best regards,

Mihajlo Andjelic
president of Serbian Go Federation

Cyprus

We, as Cyprus Go Association, believe that war and any form of violence off the Go board is unacceptable. We also believe that politics should be off the agenda of the EGF and its members. The EGF “has no political purpose, and is interested only in the promotion of Go” (see clause 1.2.1 of the EGF Constitution). The official governments of each country have expressed their political views. National Go Federations are not obliged to express political views. We, therefore, find the UK letter extreme and unfounded. The Russian Go Federation has not invaded the Ukrainian Go Association. We propose that this conversation ends here, and ask the President of the EGF to kindly intervene and announce an official EGF position on the matter.

Greece

Despite the fact that Greece is merely an observer, our community would like to express its position on the issue. We wholeheartedly condemn the ongoing war, yet we fully support the stance adopted by the Cypriot and Serbian Go Associations.

Kind regards,

Konstantinos Michailidis

President of the Greek Go Association

Germany

We, the German Go Association, wants to second the Statement from the Cyprus Go Association. We are shocked what is happening in Ukraine right now and think that it isn’t acceptable what’s happening there. But this has, like Nicholas stated, nothing to do neither with the Russian Go Federation nor the Ukraine Go Association.

Austria

The Austrian Go Federation disagrees with the proposition of the British Go Association. Individual people can not be punished for the act of a government and the Russian go federation is NOT part of that government so the same applies here.

France

The French Go Federation solemnly condemns the aggression of Ukraine by
the Russian military forces. The EGF and its members should do their best to support the Ukrainian Go community in any possible way.
All EGF events scheduled in Russia should be moved or cancelled.
Russian Go players should not be allowed to represent their country in
EGF events, but should not be further stigmatized and should be
authorized to participate individually under neutral EGF banner.
It’s at such occasions that the Go community should prove that its
cohesion goes beyond frontiers.

Italy

FIGG, the Italian Go Federation, condemns war in every form and way.

We believe that sports, and Go among them, have the power to unite people and this is perfectly expressed by the constitution of EGF, whose main purpose is well defined in article 1.2.1.

Excluding a member because of politic reasons linked to its government does not fit the purposes for which Go is played and EGF exists. On the contrary, showing a spirit of unity could help. In agreement with the Cyprus Go Federation, which first promoted this message, we think that this conversation should be closed.

We ask the EGF board to announce an official position aimed at promoting dialogue.

Belgium

Dear all,

Please read hereunder the position of the Belgian Go Federation regarding the conflict in Ukraine.

Kind regards

Jean-Denis Hennebert
Secretary of the Belgian Go Federation in name of the board of the BGF.

The Belgian Go Federation

  1. condemns the Russian invasion in the strongest terms and expresses strong support for the Ukrainians, but also for the Russians who have the courage to affirm their opposition to the war.
  2. calls the EGF and the European Go community to condemn the war on Ukraine in the strongest terms; even though as being apolitical the EGF may want to refrain from strong ethical / political statements, the EGF constitution makes it our mission to protest against actions perturbing or even destroying Ukrainian Go activities.
  3. calls to cancel all events planned in Russia (and to the extent it can’t be guaranteed that events won’t get disturbed by violence or sanctions also in Belarus and Ukraine).
  4. hopes that the administrators of the Russian Go Federation will (join us to) condemn the Russian invasion (should they be able to do so without risking their own safety !).
  5. supports the suggestion of the French Go Federation: “Russian Go players should not be allowed to represent their country in EGF events, but should not be further stigmatized and should be authorized to participate individually under neutral EGF banner.”
  6. is ready to participate in a special general EGF meeting, but does not insist to hold it if a vote by e-mail would be a faster alternative to get clear majorities on some urgent points.
Turkey

The position of Turkish Go Players Association regarding the invasion of Ukraine is as follows.

The Turkish Go Players Association

  • condemns the Russian invasion in the strongest terms. We wish the Russian government to put an end to this uncalled invasion as soon as possible.
  • expresses full solidarity with Ukrainian go players and their families, as well as with all citizens of Ukraine suffering under the aggression of Russian military forces from Russia and Belarus,
  • believes that politics should be off the agenda of the EGF and its members. The EGF “has no political purpose, and is interested only in the promotion of Go” as stated wisely by the Cyprus Go Association.
  • believes that no players or events to take part under the name of Russia or Belarus.

In this regard further understanding would go a long way:

It must not be passed without notice that not each and every Russian is included in the war. Russian people are in the streets condemning the war and being held in custody because of their protests. The war is started by the “state of Russia”. The people themselves are not responsible for starting the war, nor are they able to put a stop to it. We can understand the impasses the Russian citizens face, as we, many Turkish citizens, live in a less severe version of the same situation. Unless stated individually or as an entity, their governments’ actions are not directly their choice. They are simply citizens, who may or may not face other consequences such as incarceration, should they oppose their governments’ decision. This does not in any way make the invasion less wrong. A person who does not state that the invasion is right in any way, should not be held directly responsible, ergo, should not face severe consequences in other apolitic platforms such as EGF.

For this reason, we try to empathise with the Russian Go Federation and its players and we do not support the suspension you have described, unless they openly state that they support the Russian government’s invasion. We don’t even want to think about this being an option for the European Youth Go Championship, and the children that will attend, the same children that we see as our future.

We can show them a better way, a peaceful way.

It does not mean in any way that EGF should do nothing. It is simply not punishing people, but the aggression itself. In this regard, EGF could act differently and solve this problem in a smarter way in line with the other features that we say that the game of Go has developed, such as problem solving skills, critical thinking, respect for the opponent, and so on.

It is our belief that EGF should be united in its sense of fairness not to punish players for the decisions of their government if they are not actively participating in them. EGF should committed to fair competitions for everybody without any discrimination.

Wherever this is not possible on short notice for organizational or legal reasons, the EGF should strongly urge or disband organizers of sports events worldwide to do everything in their power to ensure that no players from Russia or Belarus be allowed to take part under the name of Russia or Belarus. Russian or Belarusian nationals, be it as individuals or teams, should be accepted only as neutral players or neutral teams. No national symbols, colours, flags or anthems should be displayed.

On behalf of Turkish Go Players Association,
Eren Kurter

Russia

Despite the absence of an official appeal from the EGF to the Russian Go Federation, in the current situation, when the issue of sanctions against the Russian Go Federation will be considered at the EGF Meeting, the RGF Executive Committee considers it necessary to make the following statement:

  1. The RGF condemns all kinds of violence.
  2. The RGF stands for sports outside politics and thinks that the exclusion of the RGF will not affect the current situation in any way, just as the RGF cannot influence the events taking place.
  3. We would like to maintain cooperation with the EGF and European national Go federations and are ready for collaboration.
  4. The exclusion of the RGF from the EGF will cause serious damage to humanitarian ties, will contribute to disengagement and future conflicts. Therefore, the RGF considers it important to state that despite the horror of everything that is happening, it is necessary to maintain humanitarian ties.

For its part, the RGF offers the following:

a) to suspend the RGF membership in the EGF for 3 months, after which to return to this issue
b) to postpone or cancel the European Youth Go Championship 2022 in the Czech Republic
c) to allow all Russian players to participate in EGF competitions under a neutral flag or the flag of the EGF.

Acting President Russian Federation Go Vladimir Gorzhaltsan

EGF1

Dear members of the EGF,

This is the invitation for the special EGF Meeting, it’s on short notice, i hope most of you can make it, i’d be happy if you confirm to me that you can attend. I talked to Yatsenko Dmytro, president of the Ukrainian Go Federation and he told me that Thursday at 20:00 CET (21:00 EET) works for him.

Best regards,
Lorenz Trippel (EGF Secretary)

I put together these voting items, if there is something important missing please let me know! I will send out a more detailed agenda before the meeting.
All EGF events in Russia to be canceled and reallocated.
Russian players can’t represent Russia but can still participate in EGF events under a neutral banner (alike at Olympic Games), until further notice
Suspension of RGF within EGF
Expulsion of RGF from EGF
Exclusion of Russian players from EGF events until further notice
Exclusion of the RGF representative from the EGF executive board
Measures against Belarus Go Association

EGF2

Dear friends,

Let me share with you the results of yesterday’s board meeting in preparation for tomorrow’s meeting.

  1. In the board-meeting we had no discussion about whether the EGF has to react to the terrible news and developments, started on 24th February 2022, from two EGF-member-countries, Russia and Belarus, against one EGF member-country, Ukraine. We have to react !

  2. In the upcoming General Meeting of the EGF the EGF board-members will have no vote, but you should know before the meeting what direction of motions are preferred by the EGF-board:
    a) Suspending the EGF-membership of Russia and Belarus, starting after the EGF General Meeting on 3rd March 2022
    b) Not allowing any European Championship in Russia and Belarus (we got interest from Russia for the European Student Championship 2022 and the European Pair-Go Championship 2023).
    c) Forbidding players from Russia and Belarus to participate in any EGF organized or EGF supported tournament. This includes tournaments at the European Go Congress, all European championships (online and face-to-face), tournaments which are part of the European Go Grand Prix, the Pandanet GO European Team Championship, any Qualification-tournaments organized by the EGF.
    Start: at once after the General Meeting, so also valid for the European Youth Championship 2022.

  3. Like other Mind Sports Organisations (Chess, Bridge, Draughts) also the IGF (International Go Federation) plans to publish a world-wide published statement, but the IGF-directors are waiting on the results of our General Meeting.

Tomorrow we need to set up a general statement, similar to many other sports-organisations. Please come up in the meeting with proposals.

I don’t want to repeat the opinions of the board-members about the invasion of Ukraine. I am still speechless and you will get a personal e-mail this night where I will explain my mood, my motivation to go on and my now heavily damaged dreams about Go in Europe.

Hoping to meet many of yours tomorrow evening

Yours
Martin Stiassny

Letter originating from a group of Romanian go players

To EGF, EYGC comitee, national GO Associations in Europe

Considering Russia’s, an EGF member, invasion of Ukraine, another EGF member and independent country,

Considering that every country has the right to decide its future and its goals, taking in consideration the loss of innocent victims lives and damages to Ukraine.

Codemning such a brutal act from a country which pretends to be a part of our community,

Taking in consideration British GO Association(BGA)’s proposal attached, we hereby agree to all its proposed measures in full. When Russia as a country is banned and excluded from the peaceful world, we cannot stand and pretend that nothing is happening. Children and go players are not responsible for that mad man but the loss of innocent lives because of Russia, as a country, is much more important than anything, including the game of GO.

As for ourselves, if this proposal from BGA does not receive a positive answer, none of us shall play against a Russian player till Russia does not withdraw its troops from Ukraine and does not cease killing innocent people. Not in EYGC 2022 and not in any further tournament! We shall apologise to our Russian GO opponents and ask them to tell their friends and relatives that till then Russia is not welcome in Europe by no means.

Our point of view is shared with UK, Czechia ,Ukraine, Lithuania, Iceland GO Associations and further nations to come.

Stand by Ukraine!

From Ukraine:
Elena Kachanovska 7kyu
Oksana Malko for Olesia Malko(1dan)

From Czech Republic:
Lukas Podpera 7 dan
Ivan Kostka 4dan
Adriana Tomsu 2 dan

From Poland:
Cezary Czernecki 4dan
Przemsylaw Dysczyk 1dan
Piotr Dyszczyk 1dan

From Romania:
Ion Florescu 6 dan
Lucretiu Calota 5dan
Bela Nagy 4dan
Sorin Sora 4 dan
George Ginguta 3dan
Sergiu Dan Iugulescu 3dan with Iugulescu Eduard Andrei 14k(player in EYGC 2022)
George Cristian Ghetu 3 dan with Sara Maria Ghetu 12kyu and Denis Mihai Ghetu 17kyu(both players in EYGC 2022)
Ion Dobrescu 2dan
George Gigoi 2 dan( player in EYGC 2022),
Dragos Boldeanu( player in EYGC 2022)
Adelina Sora 1dan
George Bordea 1 dan, personal and on behalf of all players in Sprancenatu GO Club
Vlad Gabriela Viorica 1 dan
Irina Davis 1kyu,
Robert Andrei Grosu 1kyu and Eduard Gabriel Grosu 15 kyu ( players in EYGC 2022)
Stochita Ionut 1 kyu,
Ilie Sebastian 2 kyu
Razvan Andrei 2 kyu
Mircea Nitu 2kyu and George Nitu 18kyu
Marius Nicu Ion 2kyu Go teacher and on behalf of all players of Hikaru GO Club
Antonia Stanciu 3 kyu( player in EYGC 2022)
Acsinte Alexandru 3 kyu
Alexandru Filippi 3 kyu
Ferenc Toth 4kyu
Gabriel Ciora 4 kyu, Cristiana Ciora 5 kyu and Ruxandra Ciora 9 kyu
Maria Vasilescu 5 kyu( player in EYGC 2022)
Vasile Augustin Pop 6 kyu
Vlad Gabriel 7 kyu
Bogdan Fistoiu 9 kyu,
Emma Marosan 9 kyu ( player in EYGC 2022)
Patrascu Alexandru Nicolas 10 kyu( player in EYGC 2022)
Dan Grigoras 11 kyu
Edvin Matei Petre 11 kyu( player in EYGC 2022)
Alexandru Voicu 12 kyu( player in EYGC 2022)
Ruxandra Gabriela Ilie 13 kyu

I, Sergiu Dan Iugulescu, can testify for everyone’s above consent to this letter.

Catalin Taranu

Dear all,

I feel that discussions have shifted too much in the direction of punishment ( or not) and stigmatization (or not) of the Russian Go players. This is not the correct way to approach the problem and is leading to false arguments.
The core of what we need to do is to find a way to truly respect and support the feelings of the Ukrainian Go players. They are the people who , as we speak, are losing fathers,friends, jobs, houses, a country and a future. We can’t possibly comprehend that, sitting comfortably in our chairs back home.
Considering the current situation , we don’t have any right to judge their moral decisions .
If they wish to not play Russian players in tournaments I believe it is our duty to heed that wish.
In a practical scenario, a Ukrainian player ( or a player from another country) who does not wish to face a Russian player in a Go tournament will lose that game, ending up in being punished for his moral decision. This is something that I think we need to discuss and avoid.
It is very easy to transform all this into a witch hunt of the Russian players. Let’s not do that.
But let’s not forget why we are having this discussion , meeting and decision tonight.

Best regards,
Catalin Taranu

Gabriel Wagner

We are all shocked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. I am personally very worried for all Go players in Ukraine, especially for youth players who participate in the EGF-Academy. I have offered them and their families to seek refuge in my home in Germany, if they can leave Ukraine.

I understand we all have a feeling of helplessness when looking at the atrocities happening in Ukraine! However, please let’s keep in mind what we actually want to achieve and not just blindly “do something”. Let’s not indulge in wishful thinking. Expelling the RGF from the EGF will affect Russian Go players and other European Go players. It will affect their view on the European Go Community, not just now, but for many years to come. It will spread more resentment and hatred. It will not affect Putin.

I am worried about increasingly toxic and dehumanizing personal interactions in the Go community. I am disappointed about how some members of the European Go community treat their counterparts in Russia. The British Go Association pressuring RGF (and Natalia Kovaleva personally!) to publicly condemn the Russian invasion is irresponsible. It stems from a privileged position of those living in the UK and disregards the very different situation that Russian individuals are in. It is easy to “play hero” if you do not have to face the consequences yourself. They force Natalia Kovaleva and other individuals to choose between putting themselves at risk from persecution by their own government or alternatively facing condemnation in the Go scene in Europe (to which they have contributed for many years).

I want to reiterate the words of Nicholas Roussos from the Cyprus Go Federation: “The Russian Go Federation has not invaded the Ukrainian Go Association.”

My Plan for the EGF-Academy

Some people have approached me asking if Russian players will continue to be able to train in the EGF-Academy.

Any motivated, talented, and respectful youth player from Europe is welcome to participate in the EGF-Academy. This includes students from Russia. We cannot “punish” children for the wrongs of their governments.

Alexandre Dinerstein from Russia has been teaching in the EGF-Academy for 7 years and greatly contributed to youth development all across Europe, including in Ukraine. I see no reason to stop him from teaching in the EGF-Academy now (unless he himself thinks so, of course).

If the above two points cannot be guaranteed, I will not continue managing the EGF-Academy this spring.

As per Article 1.2 of the EGF constitution, the EGF has no political purpose and is only interested in the promotion of Go. If Russian students or teachers do not have proper access to the EGF-Academy, this would go directly against the core goal of the EGF as per its institution.

People-to-people exchanges between Russia and the rest of Europe are now more important than ever before.

I will consider postponing the start of the new season until the situation has clarified. I will keep students updated about this in the next few weeks.

On a side note, I understand that many people would feel uncomfortable seeing the Russian flag at Go competitions in Europe right now. Hence I support the proposal by several Go associations (including the RGF!) to let Russian players only participate under a neutral/EGF flag in the upcoming months.

These are just my personal thoughts as manager of the EGF-Academy, I am not speaking for any institution, I do not have a vote at tomorrow’s AGM. I just hope that the AGM will be fruitful and that everyone remembers their responsibilities towards others in the European Go Community. Let’s do everything we can to support Ukrainians in need, but let’s not randomly “punish” the wrong people.

Ukraine 2

Dear friends,

Russia does not exist any more! There are only Russian terrorists.

Our goal is denazification of Russia.

Method:
general isolation

The Hague

remorse

reparation

lifting isolation

If you’re a Russian person, choose whether you’re a Russian or a person.

A person? You stand for peace? You cannot do anything?
Make a selfie - burn your passport on a video.

Russian citizen? Ok. Иди нахуй! [Fuck off!]

Let’s kick them out everywhere. No to half-measures.
…the only thing that matters is life…

Dmytro Yatsenko,
UFGO President

Results from Sofiam
Results from Germany

Bericht von der außerordentlichen EGF-Sitzung bezüglich des Ukraine-Kriegs – DGoB e. V.

Hello,

I’ll be with my President until the new election in May, so I’d like to briefly report on the votes from today’s extraordinary EGF meeting. I will use the form: [question] [result] [vote by number of federations yes-no abstention] [vote weighted → that counts] [our voting behavior]; [short explanation].

Should all tournaments in Russia be cancelled and new ones not awarded until revoked? Yes 27-1-1 58-4-2 Yes; As decided and announced.

Should Russian players not be allowed to represent their country (i.e. play under a neutral flag)? Yes 21-4-4 49-8-7 Yes; As decided and announced.

Should the Russian federation be suspended until revoked? Yes 18-9-2 40-20-4 Yes; As decided and announced.

Should the Russian federation be expelled? No 4-22-1 7-51-2 No; As decided and announced.

Should Russian players’ permission to participate in European tournaments be revoked? No 12-14-3 24-32-8 Abstention; The discussion on this was controversial and ambiguous. Therefore, contrary to our original decision, we abstained. I want to note that a German Yes would not have changed the overall decision.

Should Natalia be excluded from the EGF board? Became obsolete, since Natalia, after suspension of the Russian Federation, resigned from her position herself. Formally, the vote was no: 8-14-7 15-32-17 abstention; we wanted to vote yes, but Martin Stiassny asked not to break his team, besides Natalia never represented Russia in EGF Board. This was new information for us, which is why we chose abstention.

Do the same sanctions apply to the Belarusian Federation? Yes 22-3-2 47-9-4 Yes; Seemed logical to us. The Belarusian federation is also suspended, no tournaments will be held in Belarus and players are not allowed to represent the country.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

RGF on Youth Championship

Taking into consideration the complicated international situation and controversial attitude towards Russian athletes, to prevent possible conflicts and to protect all participating children, primarily our children, from possible moral and psychological traumas the Executive Committee of the Russian Go Federation made a decision to cancel the participation of the Russian team in the coming European Go Championship on March 10-12, 2022.

We hope for the soonest resolution of relations with the European Go Society.

It is a difficult decision for us, our children and juniors are the strongest in Europe but we are taking this step to protect them.

We hope for your understanding.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

Robert Bugaj

Dear Martin, Lorenz, Jaroslav, Catalin,

As a former Vice-President of the Polish Go Association and the father of a EYGC participant I am observing with concern the discussion on the peaceful and apolitical competition at the Go board. Regardless of whether it takes place during a tournament in the same Hall or online.
The possibility of allowing young go players to compete with Russia agreed before the start of the war by Russia due to visa problems caused by the world Covid-19 pandemic is now completely outdated.
The fact that the EGF Board can allow Russian juniors to participate in the EYGC puts the need to make a moral choice not only to players from the country plunged in a cruel war, but also to all other youngsters and their parents who oppose the unprecedented and unimaginably cruel war. Moreover, the manifestation of solidarity and opposition to Russian aggression by refusing to play with a player from Russia (irrelevant whether face-to-face or online) will result in punishing such a child with defeat by a walkover.
Russian arguments about the deterioration of the moral condition of Russian children are nothing compared to the harm suffered by Ukrainian children who lose their lives and families in the rubble of the bombed homeland. The lack of responsibility for starting a war does not mean that Russian citizens, including children, can avoid the consequences of this war.
For the winners, the lack of competition with players from Russia disrupts the results of the competition less then the lack of competition with the Ukrainians who will be absent due to the war. That’s because the result will also be influenced by forfeits due to the refusal to play games against the Russians. Therefore, the decision not to admit players from Russia to EYGC is a “less worse” and this solution that will remove the burden and the injustice of each of the decisions made in the remaining participating children.
Appeals to the EGF Board to prevent Russian young players from participating in the EYGC.

Yours sincerely
Robert Bugaj
Member (ex-Vicepresident) of the Polish Go Association

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Thanks for compiling and sharing these. I gotta say, the demand from BGF for a public condemnation of the regime and/or removal of board members rubs me the wrong way, especially given the treatment of political activists in Russia. I am glad other orgs have spoken up in favor of unity.

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Thanks for collecting these, I was unaware the RGF had made a statement.

I think when responding to this issue it would be helpful if people said where they were from. I think it is much easier to be all “let’s be friends” when you are sitting in the USA defended by the mightiest military in the world with no fear of invasion, than in an Eastern European country invaded by Russia in living memory, or indeed right now.

That said, I do agree the BGA letter’s (made quickly with no consultation of the membership at large, there has been quite some discussion on a british go mailing list afterwards) call on the RGF to condemn the invasion was silly, given the risks of doing so in Russia. Better to just propose the RGF is suspended and let them as an organisation and individuals decide how much they wish to speak out against the war. I know some who have and are now planning to flee Russia due to threats against them.

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Iceland

We will continue to demand action.

It is a fantasy to think that this is “politics” and that there is some reason to exclude condemnation of Russia’s actions from the agenda of European Go.

We are calling for EGF and our European Go community to condemn the war on Ukraine in the strongest terms and cancel all events planned in Russia.

This is beyond and above politics. The horrible crime being committed against the people of Ukraine as we speak should be enough to persuade any representative of the European Go community of this.

Condemnation of war has a long history in sports. The IOC has condemned this war, placing the blame solely on Russia and Belarus, it has also called on all events planned in Russia and Belarus by sport federations to be cancelled. The IOC has also called for the Russian and Belarusian flags not to be displayed and the anthems not to be played, something we need to consider as well. If the EGF cannot heed our calls, I hope it can heed this call by the IOC. https://olympics.com/ioc/news/ioc-eb-urges-all-ifs-to-relocate-or-cancel-their-sports-events-currently-planned-in-russia-or-belarus

This issue can only become more urgent. It is prudent to act immediately to leave no doubt to where we stand on these matters. There can be no ambivalence about condemning this crime. A European Go Federation cannot be ambivalent about European values and sports federations cannot be ambivalent about wars of aggression.

Hallbjörn Þór Guðmundsson
President
Icelandic Go Association

Ireland

the Irish Go Association position is that EGF should focus on:

  • supporting Ukrainian go community as much as possible in whatever possible way

  • not holding any tournament in Russia for the time being or any kind of event involving Russian government support/funding.

Asking RGA to make any kind of official statement, or expelling Russian players/staff from EGF activity is unfair and out of the scope of our association.

Lituania

The Lithuanian Go Association fully supports the request of the Ukrainian Go Federation.

Let’s do it as soon as possible.

Serbia

With great regret and sorrow, we are following the events in Ukraine. I personally, and everyone else in the Serbian Go Federation and community are against any kind of violence, especially against this war.

We find it purposefully to act in support and help of our friends in the Ukraine Go Federation and the whole Ukrainian Go community. We should put our effort as an EGF, and as individuals to see if we can help Go players in Ukraine.

Anything that is related to governing the states (or politics, in general) should stay outside of our conversation.

Best regards,

Mihajlo Andjelic
president of Serbian Go Federation

(Greece)

Despite the fact that Greece is merely an observer, our community would like to express its position on the issue. We wholeheartedly condemn the ongoing war, yet we fully support the stance adopted by the Cypriot and Serbian Go Associations.

Kind regards,

Konstantinos Michailidis

President of the Greek Go Association

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Invasion is Cyprus is still unsolved, and basically the same situation, do we get two votes for solidarity?

Although Turkish Go Association gave a very thoughtful and appropriate response. And Cyprus. And Greece. Maybe because we all had years to think about the issue. :woman_shrugging:t2:

Fun fact, Cyprus and Crimea are roughly the same distance from here.

Situation can affect perspective, of course, but let’s not draw even more lines, it’s already a very complicated and cutting situation.

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As a russian player I’d be baffled as to why the records of me placing stones on a piece of wood will no longer be officially recognised in the region.

But right now I don’t have an egf rank and I don’t think I want it anymore. Maybe if one day I stop sucking at this game I’ll just go get a 日本棋院 certificate instead.

Can’t imagine what the more involved players like ilya and dinershtein are planning to do though. At least we could stop them invading ukraine.

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Speaking of which I wonder why there’s no option to participate in these ladders as an individual rather than a representative of a country. I think FIDE also doesn’t have this option. Can’t a man enjoy sitting in front of a plank in solitude.

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The problem with wars is that, technically, the whole people is represented by its government. Therefore, there must be sanctions, which will obviously hurt the people. However, since our goal shouldn’t be to “punish” or to “destroy” the people but to stop the war, we should make sure our position is clear and that we don’t cause bitterness and hatred. Banning would be a mistake. Temporary suspension is a better option.

Personally, I am very much against the war in Ukraine, but I can’t say “I hate Russians”, because I don’t. If there is a way to isolate the Russian government but still convey a message to the Russians that they are always welcome back, I’d rather have that than banning them. Bitterness is an extremely efficient fuel and I think we don’t want any more fuel in the region (or any other region).

10 thousand-year-old question, still no answer.

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(EGF2) In the upcoming General Meeting of the EGF the EGF board-members will have no vote, but you should know before the meeting what direction of motions are preferred by the EGF-board:

I don’t understand. What’s the meeting for if there’s no vote? Is it just a discussion? Is there going to be a vote, but for someone other than board members?

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I understand it’s a special general meeting of the EGF, not of its board.

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Each country can vote. Exexutive board members don’t have an additional vote.

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What I find problematic about banning Russian players, is, that EGF membership is inherited through membership in a national association, that however is independent of nationality. I can go to e.g. France, join the national federation, and play under French flag, my nationality does not matter. Similarly, if we want to ban Russian participation in EGF events, then we wouldn’t have to ban RGF members, but people with a Russian passport. If we were to ban RGF members, and disallow play under neutral flag, then what’s to stop (or even discourage) every Russian player to switch federations?
However, banning people based on their nationality seems incredibly disciminatory. My former flatmate, who’s lived his entire life in Germany and is a member of the German federation has Russian citizenship, would he be banned from playing in EGF events?

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I assume the ban concerns RGF, and not Russian members of other associations.

Like FIFA and UEFA ban

FIFA and UEFA have today decided together that all Russian teams, whether national representative teams or club teams, shall be suspended from participation in both FIFA and UEFA competitions until further notice.

Apparently Russian national teams and Russian club teams are banned, but not players with Russian nationality who play for a non-Russian club.

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When cancel culture gets too real.

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See “EGF2” point 2.c

c) Forbidding players from Russia and Belarus to participate in any EGF organized or EGF supported tournament. This includes tournaments at the European Go Congress, all European championships (online and face-to-face), tournaments which are part of the European Go Grand Prix, the Pandanet GO European Team Championship, any Qualification-tournaments organized by the EGF.
Start: at once after the General Meeting, so also valid for the European Youth Championship 2022.

“Players from RU/BY” is up to interpretation I assume.

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The meaning of the phrase “from Russia and Belarus” needs to be explicited.

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But at this point I don’t understand why playing under neutral flag shall be forbidden, if playing under another country’s flag isn’t.

Playing under another country’s flag means you favor another country over Russia. It’s stronger than using a neutral flag, which doesn’t favor any country.

(I didn’t say that I supported such or such measure, it’s just my interpretation of the rationale.)

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There’s also the issue of a “neutral flag” which would just become the new Russia.

Russia was already banned from the Olympics for example, and as a result athletes competed under the flag of the Russian Olympic Committee instead of Russia. In the end this didn’t amount to much, it was still clearly the Russian team, the Russian medals in the table etc.

To be fair this is probably less of an issue in Go where, I think, the notion of “national team” is weaker to begin with.

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CJK have entered the chat.

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