American Go E-Journal

Atari Founder, “Tap” Proposal Discussed by AGA Board

Monday January 9, 2012

Atari founder Nolan Bushnell’s appearance at the 2012 U.S. Go Congress and a proposed “tap” on prize winnings at international tournaments highlighted the January 4 meeting of the American Go Association board of directors, reports Daniel Smith. AGA President Allan Abramson reported to the Board that Bushnell (at right) has agreed to be the keynote speaker at this year’s Go Symposium, part of the upcoming U.S. Go Congress in Black Mountain, NC.

Abramson also reported that he’s requested comments on the proposal to institute a “tap” on prize winnings at international tournaments. The proposal has generated some controversy, with Feng Yun 9P, an outspoken opponent of what she calls a “tax” on top players, sending several lengthy emails to AGA chapters in recent months. The proposal (reported in the 12/6 Member’s Edition of the E-Journal) that the AGA take a percentage – or “tap” – of prize winnings at certain qualifying — mainly international — tournaments, has been under discussion for some time, and was vigorously debated at the November meeting (click here to review the “Proposed AGA ‘Tap’ or ‘Fee’ on International Tournament Prizes/Playing Compensation“). Abramson is accepting comments on the proposal through the end of January: email him at

Abramson also reported that the AGA has been invited to participate in the Canadian league, and the ING Cup. In other Board reports, Andy Okun reported on his visit to China with the U.S. team for the Sport Accord Mind Games. Okun also spent a day in Seoul where he signed agreements with the Korean Baduk Association and Tygem to help develop a pro system in the U.S. (AGA Inks Deals with Korea to Develop U.S. Pro System 12/26/2011 EJ). A committee is being assembled to oversee development of the system; current members are Kim Myung-wan, Allan Abramson, Andy Okun, Keith Arnold, Steve Burrall and I-Han Lui.

In other Board news:
- The presidential search committee still has no candidates.
- AGA Treasurer Roy Schmidt will be filing annual tax forms before the deadline.
- Extreme scheduling difficulties prevented a requested special meeting from actually occurring last month. This special meeting has been scheduled for January 21 when the Board will be discussing the tap policy again, “so if you have comments it would be a great time to send them to a Director from your region.”
- The next general board meeting is scheduled for February 12th.