American Go E-Journal » Latin America

Go Tournament in Havana in April Welcomes US Participants

Thursday February 12, 2015

“The Academia Cubana de Go is organizing a tournament in Havana at the beginning of April and is encouraging US players who want to compete to come,” Bob Gilman writes. “Under President Obama’s new Cuba policies, travel restrictions for US citizens going to Cuba have been liberalized.” Write bobgilman.aga@gmail.com if you want more information about this tournament and travel possibilities.

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US-Cuba Thaw Rekindles Hope for Visit

Monday February 2, 2015

The recent resumption of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba has renewed hope that a Cuban delegation will be able to attend this 2015.01.15_Cuba-visityear’s US Go Congress. An effort last year stalled because of problems getting visas from the US State Department. “We are quite hopeful of better success this year,” says Bob Gilman, AGA Director for the Central Region. “We have learned some things from the 2014 effort, and the recent thaw in US – Cuban relations can only be helpful.”

The AGA has invited three Cuban players to the 2015 Go Congress in St. Paul, MN, including Rafael Torres Miranda 2d, President of the Academia Cubana de Go, Roylan de la Torre Marrero 5d and Orlando Mederos Trujillo 5d.

The invitation builds on 2013 visit by US players to Havana, where a friendly competition between US and Cuban players was a great success. “There are Cuban go players in all provinces of the country, and they were a serious and enthusiastic group,” says Gilman, who organized the visit.

Fundraising is now underway to enable the Cuban delegation to attend the Congress. “Cuba is a poor country, and the Cuban players cannot afford this trip without help from the US go community,” says Gilman. “The US go community has received wonderful support from Japan, Korea, and China and we’re now in a position where we can help the growing go community in Cuba.” While the details are worked out and the costs are finalized, those interested in helping can make a pledge here. As in 2014, if donations cannot be used, they will be returned, e.g., if visa problems should again prevent some invitees from coming. Contributions will be made through the American Go Foundation (AGF), and may be taken as a deduction on the donor’s federal income tax. 

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Mexico Hosts First-Ever Go Congress

Sunday January 18, 2015

The first-ever Mexican Go Congress was held November 15-17, 2014 at the Tlatelolco Cultural Center in Mexico City, Mexico. The 3-day Congress2015.01.15_Mexico-Congress-group hosted several events, including the first Mexican Open Tournament, a 13×13 tournament for kids, and go and origami workshops. Hajin Lee 3P and Kim Sooyong 4P — both sent by the Korean Baduk Association – provided game reviews, lectures and simultaneous game exhibitions.

Organized by the Mexican Go Association and sponsored by UNAM, 2015.01.15_Mexico-Congress-reviewMexico’s main public university and KABA, the inaugural Congress was a watershed momento not only for the development of go in Mexico, but in Latin America as well. With a 45-player field for the Open Tournament and a total of more than 300 attendees, the event turned out to be a huge success.

2015.01.15_Mexico-Congress-kids“This Congress was a multi-purpose event” said Mexican Go Association president Emil García, “The players not only had the chance to play in an official tournament and feel the seriousness of it, but also had the opportunity to gain insight of how professional players think of the game. It was also a great chance for the youngest players to share and learn. I was surprised by the amount of youngsters who participated in the 13×13 tournament and in the workshops. Kids are increasingly becoming a main actor in Mexican go.”

“European and American go are developing really fast, and they are getting a lot of international support; Mexican and Latin American go shouldn’t lag behind,” said Garcia. “That’s why we are working really hard to be catch up.” He added that “2015 will be a year full of surprises for Mexican go, so stay tuned!”
- reporting by Emil Garcia; click here for a Congress photo album.

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