Karl-Ernst Paech, former president of the European Go Federation (EGF) and the German Go Federation (DGoB) — and one of the most influential leaders of European go in the last century — died on April 16 at the age of 90.
After growing up in different German cities Paech (left, in blue shirt) spent most of his life in Munich. He first came across go in 1937 when he discovered a telegraphically-played game between Fritz Dueball and the Japanese Farming Minister. In 1964 Paech founded the Bavarian Go Association (BGoV) and became it’s first president. In 1966 he was elected president of the German Go Federation. One year later he also became president of the European Go Federation for two years and after that served as EGF treasurer. He was a member of the EGF board and DGoB president for ove 15 years. He was appointed Honorary President by both organizations after his retirement. Even after retiring he regularly attended yearly meetings of the the Bavarian Go Association despite being more than 80 years old.
Paech’s proudest honor was the 1988 award of the Japanese Okura prize, the highest award by the Nihon Ki-in for spreading go in the world. Aside from his success in building go federations he was also a proficient player. At his first trip to Japan in 1965 he received a Ni-Dan diploma from the Nihon Ki-in and in 1982 he received a 2-dan amateur diploma from the Korean Baduk Association.
Paech had a major influence on establishing the administrative structures and tournaments that exist in Europe today and he was responsible for numerous activities fostering go in Germany and Europe, including four European Go Congresses which took place in Germany during his leadreship tenure. He also initiated the introduction of the Japanese ranking system in Germany.
- reported by Jan Engelhardt, German correspondent for the E-Journal