The Iwamoto North American Foundation for Go at its meeting in Tokyo on Thursday announced plans to establish a National Go Center in Washington, DC. Go recently garnered global headlines when Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo AI program defeated top professional Lee Sedol and the National Go Center is intended to build on the increased public awareness and interest in the ancient game.
In addition to its role in advancing artificial intelligence, many studies have shown that go can improve student performance through development of logical and spatial thinking and even to help students with ADHD. A primary mission of the new Center is to work with educators in the region to promote go in schools from primary grades through college.
The Center will also have the mission of developing strong amateur go players in the region who can represent the US in conjunction with the American Go Association at the regional, national, and international levels. Building on an already strong tournament calendar, regional and interscholastic qualifying tournaments are planned.
Organizers of the National Go Center include many AGA volunteers and leaders from the metro Washington region, where there is a long history of promoting go education, developing cultural activities associated with the game, and training strong go players in many of the regional clubs. “It is expected that the new Center will add to the synergy to make the DC area a true national center for go,” said AGA president Andy Okun.
- photo (l-r): Shusuke MASAKI, just retired CEO of Nihon Kiin; Hiroshi YAMASHIRO 9P, Nihon Kiin Vice Chairman; Thomas HSIANG, INAF Executive Director; Hiroaki DAN, Nihon Ki-in Chairman of the Board of Directors and new president of INAF; Yuki SHIGENO, Nihon Kiin Director. Photo by Chris Garlock