American Go E-Journal

AGA Board Candidate Profiles: At-Large

Thursday July 26, 2012

Ten candidates are running for four seats on the AGA’s Board of Directors in this year’s elections, which are now underway. To give members a better sense of who the candidates are, their experience and vision for the AGA, the E-Journal asked all ten to respond to a brief survey and are publishing the results in a 4-part series this week (this is the final installment). Click here for full election details, including candidate statements in their own words.


Jie Li lives in metro Washington, DC. An AGA 7-dan, he been playing go for 20 years. His favorite thing about the game of go is that “It’s fun and challenging.”

Li’s experience as a go organizer includes having served on the AGA Board since 2008. Other relevant organizational experience includes currently serving on several committees of local lawyer associations, and chairing a sub-committee. “My responsibilities include organizing and planning local events. I also had many chances to interact with influential members of international go community, and observed how the Asian go organizations manage their successful operations.”

Li says the AGA’s greatest strength is “Providing an active Go community for U.S. players” the area . What do you think the AGA most needs to improve is “Membership services.”

His top three priorities if re-elected will be: 1. Provide opportunities to nurture strong youth players 2. Provide more opportunities/venues for playing Go 3. Promote transparent management processes

Chuck Robbins

Edward Zhang lives in Vienna,VA. He been playing go for 22 years. An AGA 6-dan, Zhang’s favorite thing about go is “the freedom of playing numerous variations on a huge board.”

His experience as a go organizer includes: Organized the 2010 Strong Players Online Tournament (35 strong players) and 2011 Young Kwon National Tournament (112 players); led the team as AGA National Tournament Coordinator to complete national qualifier events; trained several online assistant TD’s to execute the AGA’s protocol of using web cameras with Skype; submitted many reports/stories to the E-Journal for publicity; in the DC metro area, served as Tournament Director in five local NOVA tournaments, with 20~42 players in each event, including a four-country team tourney; invented a team competition method embedded in a regular one-day rated tourney, which drew interest from many tournament organizers; personally sponsored $200 (in two events) cash prize; volunteered in the AGA’s outreach program and taught go for one semester in two local (Rockville) Chinese language schools for two sessions a week; co-organized seven workshops with Lei Xue 4P in DC area go clubs; successfully obtained sponsorship from Winsonet, Inc. for the 2011 DC Metro Four-country Team Competition; working sponsorship projects include Lexus, Transamerica and iTalkBB; Recruited nearly 20 volunteers for the AGA; founded the Capital Go Club (CAPA).

Zhang’s other organizational experience includes being a senior director in a US financial services firm in investment management, risk management and financial planning for companies and families. He’s also the co-founder of the Financial Education Association of Minnesota (FEAM) and was the Vice President in his department’s Student Union in Peking Universityin 1999.

He says the AGA’s greatest strength is its leaders; “the AGA has tens of unselfish leaders who are extremely passionate about promoting go in the US.” What the AGA most needs to improve, he says, are “Clear, professional execution plans, instead of vague concepts like ‘more opportunities for playing go,’ /establish Teaching Ladder’ or ‘update infrastructure’”.

Zhang’s top 3 priorities if elected to the Board would be: 1. Commit to reduce the cost of Go Congress and rated tournaments 2. Create a new division under AGA to hold four online tournaments a year for low-dan and ALL kyu players. 3. Empower chapter clubs to better serve AGA members. He’s published his extensive AGA Action Plan online in both English and Chinese.


Categories: Members Only