A touchscreen go board built in the middle of a pedestrian shopping street in Vienna won this year’s World Wide Iwamoto Award from the European Go Center. Second place was taken by Will Lockhart and Cole Pruitt for their feature length documentary about go, “The Surrounding Game.”
The Public Touchscreen Go Table project was the work of a team led by Daniel Bösze, board member of the Austrian Go Federation, who wrote the software and negotiated with the city of Vienna to install the board. The project about a year and a half from start to opening ceremony and cost about $20,000 out of pocket, not including donated project planning and coding time, including $11,000 for the board itself. Since it opened in October 2014, the table has been averaging about 100 games a day, benefiting from a location on one of the busiest shopping streets in Mitteleuropa, Mariahilfer Straße. The board has room for two games at a time and is shielded from sun and rain by two large parasols. Bösze was awarded €1,000 for first place.
Pruitt and Lockhart meanwhile were awarded second place and a €500 “encouragement award” for their film, with which EJ readers are familiar. It is currently being finished up so it can be submitted to film festivals this fall and winter. It will premiere in Spring 2016.
Third place, also €500, went to Proyecto Gakko no Go, which since 2008 has taught go to low-income children at in the Jesús Maestro School in Petare, Caracas, Venezuela, one of the more marginalized and dangerous favelas in the country. The project was organized by Sister Marsela Mujica of the Catholic organization Fe y Alegria, who became enchanted by the Hikaru no Go manga. Starting with essentially nothing, she received support from the Venezuelan Go Association, Fe y Alegria, the Thai Go Association, Sociedad de Intercambio Internacional de Go, the Colegio Japones de Caracas and the International Go Federation, along with teaching visits from Argentinian player and organizer Fernando Aguilar.
“My congratulations to the three winners and hats off all the people who submitted projects,” said AGA president Andy Okun, who along with Aguilar and a half dozen other go officials and organizers, served on the Iwamoto Award jury. “It is amazing what people can do when they are tireless and dedicated.” The Iwamoto Awards seek to encourage projects that promote the spread of go. They are named for the late Japanese champion Iwamoto Kaoru, a tireless advocate for go for many decades, and are run by EGC with support from the European Go Federation and Nihon Ki-in.
Details of all the submitted projects can be found on the EGC website.
- Andy Okun