American Go E-Journal

Terry Benson receives Lasker Award

Friday August 18, 2017

Longtime go organizer Terry Benson was awarded the Edward Lasker Award at the 2017 Go Congress closing banquet for his lifetime of service2017.08.17_benson-award-cropped to the American Go Association and the go community. Completely surprised but obviously pleased, Benson was visibly moved by the recognition and received a standing ovation. “Terry has been organizing and helping and working tirelessly for the organization and the game since before I was born,” said AGA president Andy Okun. “It is not only a real privilege and honor to be able to give him this award, but humbling to see the very high bar he’s set for the rest of us.”

Benson served as president of the AGA from 1977-1989 and as Managing Editor of the American Go Journal from 1976-1998. He is currently the president of the American Go 2017.08.17_lasker-awardFoundation and during his tenure the AGF has raised over a half million dollars to promote go. From time to time he’s hosted the longtime floating Brooklyn Go Club, which moves from apartment to apartment throughout New York City. He began playing go in 1960 with a cardboard and plastic Christmas present set his parents bought at a New Jersey mall. He taught himself and a couple of high school buddies. One of them found Arthur Smith’s go book and “tried to steal a march” on him, but Terry found Lasker’s Go and Go-moku. “The games were horrible, long kyu slugfests, jidorgo, but great fun,” he remembers.  He played occasionally through high school and college. In 1975 he stumbled into Games Gallery where then-AGA President  John Stephenson and Treasurer Matthias Thim were playing across the counter. He was quickly drawn into the game and almost immediately recruited a succession of other enthusiasts who helped create the AGA of today. “I get too much credit,” he says, “but I’ll do whatever bit I can to get more people playing go.”

The Lasker Award is named after Edward Lasker, a founder of the American Go Association. Other awardees include Richard Dolen and Frank Fukuda in 2013.

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