The European Go Federation has signed a far-reaching and lucrative contract with a group of Chinese investors to promote go in Europe. The deal aims to improve the strength of European amateurs, establish a professional system in Europe and support the European Go Federation, all to achieve the overall goals of enhancing go’s popularity in Europe, as well as developing new cultural contacts between Europe and China. “I think the AGA and EGF efforts will complement each other in a number of ways and give both organizations an even more forceful story to tell to potential sponsors,” said American Go Association President Andy Okun. “EGF President Martin Stiassny deserves a lot of credit for almost single-handedly bringing about this contract,” added Thomas Hsiang, the longtime International Go Federation and American Go Association official who was elected General Secretary of the International Mind Sports Association (IMSA) earlier this year. “I congratulate him on a job well done. There is a lot of hard work ahead, but with the efforts in Europe as well as in US, the future of go in the West looks bright and promising.” The investor group is known as the Beijing Zong Yi Yuan Cheng Culture Communication Co. Ltd. (called CEGO), and is comprised of investors who “believe on the future development of European Go and are willing to commit themselves to promote Go, a great representative of Chinese traditional culture, in the West,” according to the document. In addition to a “Go Academic System” that will send 4-6 players annually to study in China, the contract envisions a new professional go system in Europe in which the EGF will certify up to two players annually as “European Professionals” through new European top tournaments, including a yearly promotion tournament for the aspiring professionals. In addition to financial support for these initiatives, the contract pledges CEGO to contribute yearly payments to enable the EGF to become a “more professional organisation” – including setting up an office and hiring staff – in order to develop and implement these and other goals over the next decade. News of the contract, which was posted on the BGA website, originally broke on Lifein19x19, where there’s been extensive discussion of the deal.
American Go E-Journal
Friday July 5, 2013