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European Go Federation Inks Deal With Chinese to Promote Go in Europe

Friday July 5, 2013

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.

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Redmond to Provide Live Commentaries on World Mind Sports Games

Friday December 7, 2012

Michael Redmond 9P will provide live commentaries on the SportsAccord World Mind Sports Games, scheduled for December 12-19. The live broadcasts will take place on the following YouTube channel. The go section of the daily coverage will be anchored by Chris Garlock of the American Go E-Journal, with Redmond providing live commentaries on the matches.

Here’s the schedule of the go section of the live broadcasts:

• 12 December: 15:30 – 17:00 local time; 7:30 – 09:00 GMT
• 13 December: 17:00 – 18:00 local time; 9:00 – 10:00 GMT
• 14 December: 16:30 – 17:15 local time; 8:30 – 09:15 GMT
• 15 December: 16:15 – 17:00 local time; 8:15 – 09:00 GMT
• 16 December: 17:00 – 18:00 and 20:00~ local time; 9:00 – 10:00 and 12:00~ GMT
• 18 December: 17:00 – 18:00 local time; 9:00 – 10:00 GMT

The full schedule of broadcasts is available here.

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How to Earn Qualie Points for 2012 World Mind Sports Games in France

Friday April 13, 2012

All tournaments designated as North American Ing Masters qualifiers, as well as AGA-Tygemgo Pro Tournament qualifiers, are now tournaments at which strong players will be able to earn qualification points for the 2012 World Mind Sports Games (WMSG), scheduled to take place in Lille, France, from August 9-23, reports AGA Tournament Coordinator Karoline Burrall. Players interested in representing the U.S. at the WMSG must be U.S. citizens; all other AGA eligibility criteria for international representatives apply. Upcoming tournaments at which players can earn points are Ronghao Chen’s NAIM qualifier and Self Paired Tournament in Somerset, New Jersey April 21-22, the Cotsen Open in Los Angeles on April 28-29, the AGA-Tygem Seattle Pro Prelim in Seattle, Washington on May 5-6, the Rocky Mountain Spring Go Tournament in Boulder, CO on May 12 and the Maryland Pro Tournament (details coming soon). Details are on the tournaments calendar. Players should indicate to the tournament director that they would like to earn WMSG points at these events. “Players are welcome to play in and attend as many qualifier tournaments as they wish,” notes Burrall, “but only their two highest point scores will add to make up their final points.”

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U.S. Team Comes Close But Fails to Upset Japan in 1st Round of SportAccord World Mind Games

Friday December 9, 2011

Results from the first day’s team competitions at the SportAccord World Mind Games in Beijing, China on December 9 went pretty much as expected, Thomas Hsiang tells the E-Journal, with China, Japan, and Korea winning against EU, US, and Chinese Taipei. “Chinese Taipei nearly pulled an upset when Chen Shih-iuan defeated Lee Sedol, and Hei Jia-jia (Joanne Missingham) won against Kim Hyemin.  In the game that finished last, the young boy Wang Yuan-jun — only 14! — was leading in his game against Lee Younggo.  Lee finally prevailed and dashed Chinese Taipei’s hope for a big upset.”

The U.S. lost to Japan 0-5, but Andy Liu and Jie Li (right) both had their chances, Hsiang reports. “Andy played ‘fast and very smart’ against Sakai Hideaki, according to Gu Li and Kong Jie, the two Chinese world champions.  Gu Li spent more than an hour watching Andy and told me afterwards that he was very impressed and ‘that unknown young man had a good game and many chances to win’.  Jie lost to Yamashiro Hiroshi by just a half-point, and also had many chances to win, according to Kong Jie.  So our young players made a very positive impression.”

EU lost to China 0-5.

The broadcasting schedule for December 10 will feature the game between Hei Jia-jia and Li He — “the ‘game of the two beauties,’ as they say here in China,” says Hsiang. Tentatively, Andy Liu will be featured on the 14th when he plays against Xie He from China.

Click here for James Davies’ more detailed reports on Ranka Online, where you can also follow live matches, check out the schedule, results and participants.

In other news, Hsiang reports that “the International Go Federation (IGF) held a special Board Meeting today (12/9). I invited (AGA Board member) Andy Okun (in dark blue shirt in photo below) as an observer. Many things were discussed, including an IGF proposal that will fund two projects in the Americas: the AGA’s plan for an international go symposium and the Iberoamerican Go Federation’s plan to start a pilot project teaching go in Venezuela schools.  This proposal now moves forward to IMSA.”  The AGA’s plan to establish a pro system was met with great enthusiasm and encouragement, Hsiang reports. The IGF is starting to plan the next round of the SportAccord World Mind Games that will now be featured for at least five years.  Hsiang and Yuki Shigeno will again represent the IGF in negotiations with SportAccord.  Brunei will be next IGF member, with Kazistan likely to follow. The Ing Foundation will apply to become a new Association Member of IGF; its president, Mr. Ying Ming-haw, has been invited to become an at-large Director of the IGF.  WAGC 2012 will be held in Guangzhou, May 11-18, and the 2012 WAGC 2013 will be held in Japan, with site selection and date to be announced in May 2012.  There is still no site contract for World Mind Sports Games II in 2012 and the event is unlikely to take place.
photos: US team player Jie Li (top right); team captains (bottom left); photos courtesy Ranka Online.

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SportAccord World Mind Games Kick Off Friday, 12/9

Thursday December 8, 2011

Preparations for the first edition of the SportAccord World Mind Games are in full swing, reports Thomas Hsiang. The Games kick off on Friday, December 9 and “There will be broadcast of events everyday during the tournament on the internet,” Hsiang tells the E-Journal.  The IGF’s Ranka Online will also be providing coverage and the EJ will relay highlights. The go broadcast is from 1500 to 1600 Beijing time (US EST 0200 to 0300) and can be watched live on the SportAccord Youtube Channel or on the IMSA channel. The go event schedule: Team Tournament, December 9, 10, 11, 13, 14; Pair Tournament, December 15, 16; off day, December 12.

In the team event, US will play against:  Japan (12/9); Korea (12/10); EU (12/11); Chinese Taipei (12/13); China (12/14). The US playing order is Mingjiu Jiang, Jie Li, Andy Liu, Kevin Huang, Yun Feng. The EU’s schedule: China (12/9); Japan (12/10); US (12/11); Korea (12/13); Chinese Taipei (12/14). The EU playing order is Catalin Taranu, Christian Pop, Cornel Burzo, Jan Simara, Vanessa Wong.

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U.S. to Send Team to Sport Accord Mind Games in December

Monday June 20, 2011

The American Go Association has been invited to send a team to the Sport Accord Mind Games in December in Beijing. “We’re very excited to have the opportunity to participate in such a prestigious event, and look forward to it with great anticipation,” said AGA President Allan Abramson. Six teams will play in the December 8-17 tournament in Beijing: China, Japan, Kore, Chinese Taipei (representing Asia-Pacific), the U.S. (representing the Americas) and the European Union (representing Europe). Each team will have five members, with at least one female, and there are two medals: team and pair go. The U.S. team selection process will consist of inviting 16 AGA players with 6.0+ rating, including at least two female players, and four CGA players. A 5-round qualifier tournament will be held July 10-12, July 13-16, July 17-20, July 21-23, and July 24-26. Email tournaments@usgo.org for complete SAMG qualifier details and requirements or to register; include your commitment to play in the full qualifier and to travel to Beijing in December. Registration deadline is 8p EST on July 4. Prizes include $10,000-80,000 (USD) for teams and $2,000-12,000 (USD) for pair go. Each team is guaranteed at least the minimum amount. For all players, airfare, hotel, meals, and local transportation are sponsored by Sport Accord. Click here to stay tuned for more details.

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CHINA TO LEAD IGF INTO NEW ERA

Tuesday May 25, 2010

The election of Chang Zhenming of China as President of the International Go Federation (IGF) highlighted the International Go Federation’s General Meeting (r) on Monday as the 31st edition of the IGF’s flagship event – the World Amateur Go Championship – formally launched in Hangzhou, China. “I will give my best effort to promote go to the whole world,” Chang promised, “Go is a benefit for everyone.” The other major news was that while there have been setbacks in the attempt to achieve recognition for go as an Olympic sport, mind sports are making significant progress. IGF Director Thomas Hsiang reported that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) includes mind sports as a category that has “no realistic chance of entering either the Summer or the Winter Olympics,” and so won’t be recognized. The good news is that SportAccord (formerly the General Association of International Sports Federation, or GAISF) is expanding its definition of sport to include mind sport and plans to sponsor a number of new events, including Mind Sport Games. Planning for a second World Mind Sports Games (WMSG) in August 2012 is now underway, with Manchester UK as the leading candidate to host. In even more exciting news, the International Federation of Poker has applied to become an IMSA and SA member, which has attracted interest from several major marketing firms, with which the IGF is now in discussions. Upcoming events either sponsored by the IGF or with major IGF involvement are the 21st International Pair Go Championships October 16-17 in Japan, the 16th Guangzhou Asian Games November 12-27 and the 32nd World Amateur Go Championship in Shimane, Japan.
- Chris Garlock; photo by John Pinkerton. Click here for the complete report and more photos on Ranka Online.

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