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 Post subject: Re: European Professional Go League
Post #21 Posted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:19 pm 
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xed_over wrote:
http://eurogopro.org/opening.html


"We believe that the breakthrough we need to reach the same level as the Orient is to form an organisation which allows Europeans access to high level playing conditions together with a perfect environment for studying. We hope that European Go fans will see the rise of new European stars who can compete on even terms with the world's top players."

I have been saying for a very long time that this is true and this is what needs to happen in America as well as Europe.

I hope they succeed wildly!

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 Post subject: Re: European Professional Go League
Post #22 Posted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:21 pm 
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kirkmc wrote:
Yea, the whole concept of a "pro" in go is quite odd, and I don't think it translates very well. What exactly is this group going to do? Will there be regular face-to-face games? Or will the games be held online? 12 players in a league means a lot of games, and I can't imagine them all getting together often; the cost of travel alone would be enough to require a fair amount of sponsorship.


A pro is what you make of it.

1) Is it the fact that you support yourself (exclusively?) from Go? In this case, playing strength is only tangential, although certainly helpful.
2) Is it the fact that you are accredited by some 'Pro' organization and that's it? As long as the standards are high and strong, i see no problem.
3) Is it something that follows exactly the 'Eastern' model - accreditation, then fixed salary, possibly based on rank, retirement plan, etc. just for breathing?

Each of the above might be a good definition, or all of the above, and more. Each is used frequently in real life, except maybe #3 which does not happen that often. I think the EuroPro is heading for #2. And more power to them, I say!

#3 would be nice, but I don't think we're there yet. Not even sure if that's a good system. From what breakfast said - they are thinking about re-thinking it in Korea already...

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 Post subject: Re: European Professional Go League
Post #23 Posted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:47 pm 
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kirkmc wrote:
Are the tournaments of the EGF open to pros or only amateurs? If it's the latter, does that mean these players can no longer compete in the EGC or other major tournaments? I find this whole thing a bit confusing - the "pro" term, as I mentioned above, is a bit amorphous.


It seems like the EGC happily accepts pros--Taranu and Dinerstein are both playing. The one big tournament that would almost certainly be off limits, though, is the World Amateur. The players going the pro route certainly deserve respect for giving up that in their quest for better things.

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 Post subject: Re: European Professional Go League
Post #24 Posted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:09 pm 
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pwaldron wrote:
kirkmc wrote:
Are the tournaments of the EGF open to pros or only amateurs? If it's the latter, does that mean these players can no longer compete in the EGC or other major tournaments? I find this whole thing a bit confusing - the "pro" term, as I mentioned above, is a bit amorphous.


It seems like the EGC happily accepts pros--Taranu and Dinerstein are both playing. The one big tournament that would almost certainly be off limits, though, is the World Amateur. The players going the pro route certainly deserve respect for giving up that in their quest for better things.


Taranu and Dinerstein are not allowed to play there anyway,because they are already "pro"

My opinion about the idea:
I think the idea of a EuroPro system is nice. They are taking the first steps now, so you can't expect everything to have been worked out in great detail. I imagine part will also be worked out once things get under way, allowing them to learn for mishaps/mistakes and improve the system. This will not happen over night.
They need to avoid trying come up with the "perfect" system before actually starting this. learning from experience and mistakes work mch more efficient.
you don't learn to play a perfect game of go by just studying. you need to play, get experience and sometimes lose, to just come back stronger.

If they would broughtcast/relay games online that would be nice. I would personally love to see some high level players play with intermediate time settings. the high dans on KGS play mostly (messy/ not very serious) blitz games, and the EGF and AGA games that are relayed take way too long.
But this EuroPro system could be much more than just a league system.

I wish them good luck.

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 Post subject: Re: European Professional Go League
Post #25 Posted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:28 pm 
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freegame wrote:
and the EGF and AGA games that are relayed take way too long.

heh... have you never watched a Honinbo, Tengen or other big pro match? These are even longer, often 6-8 hours for each player

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 Post subject: Re: European Professional Go League
Post #26 Posted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:41 pm 
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From the signing list:
Quote:
Ilia Shikshin 7d
Cristian Pop 7d
Rob van Zeijst 7d
Csaba Mero 6d
Benjamin Teuber 6d
Cornel Burzo 6d
Ondrej Silt 6d
Pal Balogh 6d


All amateurs, most of whom would participate in the WAGC or have already done so. Of course not all of them would make the cut for the top 12, several of them would.

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 Post subject: Re: European Professional Go League
Post #27 Posted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:42 pm 
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@freegame, look in the dutch windmill on kgs. im hosting the dutch elite league, high level online games with long timesetting.

i personally think online leagues and tournaments should be allowed for the EGF, that way games played online would become way more serious

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 Post subject: Re: European Professional Go League
Post #28 Posted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 6:29 pm 
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@ stalkor: I know about your dutch elite league. and I might watch a couple of games. but more because a couple of people I know very well play in it than because of the strength of the players. of course they are stronger than I am, but with most there is still a big gab to the European top players.

With high level players I meant KGS [7d] and stronger. The dutch elite league is certainty a very interesting league, but there are only very few people in it who could manage a solid [7d] or higher. In fact I'm not far from being allowed to play in this dutch elite league myself ;-) . The EuroPro league would all be KGS [7d] and stronger.


Quote:
i personally think online leagues and tournaments should be allowed for the EGF, that way games played online would become way more serious

This would be a disaster. It is way to easy to cheat online in many different ways.

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 Post subject: Re: European Professional Go League
Post #29 Posted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 6:46 pm 
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I think we're all overlooking a major question: now that this has been announced, will we post news about it to the EGF forum or the Professional forum? :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: European Professional Go League
Post #30 Posted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:12 pm 
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breakfast wrote:
Weakest members in these 12 will lose pro status, so the number of professionals will be unchanged: only 12 every year. The situation in Japan is completely different.
In Korea they also think in direction of removing pro status from weak professionals


The only problem I think about that is that if it's possible to lose your pro status, people will not consider it a viable career. What would someone do if, they became a pro at 16, then 20 years later they lost their pro status? If they didn't have much money their life would be over at 36.

This is just my unqualified opinion, but I think it is better to make the test exceedingly difficult and only admit 1 or 2 people a year, than it is to have 12 people at any one time.


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 Post subject: Re: European Professional Go League
Post #31 Posted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 11:27 pm 
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usagi wrote:
breakfast wrote:
Weakest members in these 12 will lose pro status, so the number of professionals will be unchanged: only 12 every year. The situation in Japan is completely different.
In Korea they also think in direction of removing pro status from weak professionals


The only problem I think about that is that if it's possible to lose your pro status, people will not consider it a viable career. What would someone do if, they became a pro at 16, then 20 years later they lost their pro status? If they didn't have much money their life would be over at 36.

This is just my unqualified opinion, but I think it is better to make the test exceedingly difficult and only admit 1 or 2 people a year, than it is to have 12 people at any one time.


Yes, I would suggest asking many or all of the pros who have emigrated to Europe (don't forget Guo Juan! :) ) to sit on the board of directors of the organization. They would be the first professionals. Then hold the customary tournament for identifying the strongest players who would like to be professional. Given the size of the field in Europe (and the U.S. as well, if a similar association were to start here) I would suggest no more than one new pro per year at the current level, possibly to be increased in the future as the number of players rises.

Then market heavily, promoting Go and the professional league in Europe. Televise title matches with pro commentary on the BBC or whatever local networks will do it. If necessary, find something similar to PBS community television in the U.S. Make Go into something as popular in the common mind as chess. When people have heard about it, they want to play, and playing kindles the desire to be good at what they do, which increases the population of players, which gradually increases the number and strength of the top level players.

Once the professional organization has been established as something respectable (i.e. not diluting the ranks by promoting new players of questionable strength, actively participating in the community, etc.) then it'll be on the road to success. That would be awesome. :)

But I don't want to see a failed "pro" organization, or one that is laughed at because a 4d amateur became "pro" in the last tournament. That hurts way more than it helps. Linux users are still smarting from the demise of Loki Games in 2002 due to mismanagement and misappropriation of funds by the top level management. The first player in a new market has a tough road to hoe, but if they fail it means the second player has an impossible task because it's been "proven" not to work. Please don't kill any dreams of a professional organization in the U.S. by thinking in the short-term in Europe.

A global strategy is better than local tactics.

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 Post subject: Re: European Professional Go League
Post #32 Posted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 6:26 am 
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I actually think that the shown system is viable. It is a good start to give a sort of accreditation to a number of players, to loosely organize them into a dedicated community, and to make this community visible through a league.

All further things, like giving permanent status or paying a salary, can only come when this community is established and has a significant income.

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Last edited by Harleqin on Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: European Professional Go League
Post #33 Posted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 10:01 am 
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Helel wrote:
hyperpape wrote:
Neither professional musicians or professional electricians have a guaranteed minimum income, to choose two professions at near-random. Of course, professional carries the expectation that there are opportunities for income, but that's not the same as a guarantee.


I still would have preferred that an other name had been chosen, such as "European League of Go Masters".

If you called this groups of pros and amateur 7d for "European Go Grand Masters" the similarity to chess would make everyone understand. "Pro" does sound like someone waving a handbag in a street corner.


Exactly! Or if it should resemble another popular sport call it European Go Champions League :)


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 Post subject: Re: European Professional Go League
Post #34 Posted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:22 am 
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I think that their chosen name, considered in combination with their press release, is quite appropriate. The plan is to have a professional league to support the top Europeans. They acknowledge their strength is currently lower than CJKT professionals, but state that this project aims to address this. I hope they have success with their idea.

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 Post subject: Re: European Professional Go League
Post #35 Posted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:52 am 
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What does the list of "signatures" mean? During the EGC, a shorter list was published and I have heard that not everybody in that list actually did sign in writing. Now I see a longer list of signatures. Who could have signed and who could not? I could not but why? Nobody told me that I might attend the formation meeting; I learned about it the day afterwards. Why has nobody told me? Why are there 4d and 5d on the list but not every 4d+ was asked to attend? Why was the meeting not announced before the EGC so that possibly other high dans could have attended? It all looks like "We have done something, now follow us who we were first as we like!". A restart with proper announcement for everybody would be better.

The meeting summary suggests establishing professionals but apperently only Playing Professionals. This is unrealistic. Even in Asia most professionals are mainly Teaching Professionals. In Europe we actually do have some Teaching Professionals and sometimes Semi-professionals. Some of them are kyu players. Some of them like me are amateur dan players and currently presumably not strong enough in playing strength to be pure Playing Professionals instead. Why has the meeting said nothing about the in practice so very important (because relatively frequent) Teaching Professionals? Is the EuroProGoLeague meant to produce Playing Professionals only?

It is very unclear what the status "professional" due to the EuroProGoLeague is supposed to mean. Such a status makes the mistake to exclude the amateur playing strength Teaching Professionals. Now does that mean that Europe is going to make the same mistake as Asia and create protective guildes, which - depending on design - might even contradict EU law spirit of freedom of profession? I am not sure because at least the league design seems to be half-open in some sense. But then again what shall the status "professional" mean??? Call it "Person currently being eligible to play in the EuroProGoLeague" and it would make some true sense. Call it "professional" as if there were no other professionals like in particular the Teaching Professionals and they would have to fight against such an attempted protectionism.

IOW, is the whole idea protectionism and separation or is it openness and broad encouragement of every professional European go person of whichever nature?

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Post #36 Posted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:42 pm 
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RobertJasiek wrote:
IOW, is the whole idea protectionism and separation or is it openness and broad encouragement of every professional European go person of whichever nature?


If you don't like the way it's set up, Robert, you are welcome to get together with like-minded individuals and form your own professional association. It's not like they have a monopoly.


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Post #37 Posted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:07 pm 
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If the goal is to develop a group of professional strength players then the name is not appropriate IMO. Better would be something like "Professional Training League". Anyhow just having a group of strong players who play each other trying to improve probably isn't going to work. The players can develop "shared" weaknesses and similar bad habits that don't get corrected unless there is a mentor or teacher stronger than the league players who can point out these errors.

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 Post subject: Re: European Professional Go League
Post #38 Posted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:26 pm 
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gowan wrote:
If the goal is to develop a group of professional strength players then the name is not appropriate IMO. Better would be something like "Professional Training League". Anyhow just having a group of strong players who play each other trying to improve probably isn't going to work. The players can develop "shared" weaknesses and similar bad habits that don't get corrected unless there is a mentor or teacher stronger than the league players who can point out these errors.


Which is why go players have only ever gotten weaker since the dawn of time. The only way around it would be for us to use time travel to bring in stronger players from the past or future!

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 Post subject: Re: European Professional Go League
Post #39 Posted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:29 pm 
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RobertJasiek wrote:
What does the list of "signatures" mean? During the EGC, a shorter list was published and I have heard that not everybody in that list actually did sign in writing. Now I see a longer list of signatures. Who could have signed and who could not? I could not but why?


I agree with you about the 'signatures list' in general, I am also not clear who the signees are? Already members? Prominent Go players who support the idea? What? So, a few people signed a proposal/decision, what does it mean? If they are all members, I think this is not good, the members should be, for starters, all active 7d+ players. The rest, the super-strong by under-ranked 6ds and 5ds will get the chance to play in the league and become EuroPros... if they're good enough.

So yes, I don't get how some 4d and 5d players who are not even close to the EuroElite can be EuroPros right from the start, but others were not even asked/considered.
Seems strange to me...

RobertJasiek wrote:
The meeting summary suggests establishing professionals but apperently only Playing Professionals. This is unrealistic. Even in Asia most professionals are mainly Teaching Professionals. In Europe we actually do have some Teaching Professionals and sometimes Semi-professionals. Some of them are kyu players. Some of them like me are amateur dan players and currently presumably not strong enough in playing strength to be pure Playing Professionals instead. Why has the meeting said nothing about the in practice so very important (because relatively frequent) Teaching Professionals? Is the EuroProGoLeague meant to produce Playing Professionals only?


Here I think you are making too much fuss and getting too dramatic.
Europe needs better players more than it needs better teachers, or at least - this is the aim of this league, as far as I can tell. There is nothing stopping the non-pros from teaching others. Just like in J/K/C there are probably many non-pros who earn money teaching Go. Or am I wrong? Is teaching Go exclusive to the 'pros' in Japan, for example? I don't really know, but I'd think it is not so. I know for a fact there are tons of people in Asia who are not 'pros' but who still make a (good) living from Go.

In any case - in each of the pro organizations, as far as I know, it is purely and only the playing strength that lets one to become a pro. What one does with the status afterwards, teaching or playing or any combination thereof, is up to the individual. Same goes for EuroPros, no?

Still, if it bothers you so much, how about you start another associations, the EuroTeachingPros? Then anybody will be able to belong to either or both organizations, and life will be peachy, no? But... what would be the purpose of the EuroTeachingPro association, what would it do? What would be the criteria for admission?

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 Post subject: Re: European Professional Go League
Post #40 Posted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 4:03 pm 
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pwaldron, it is not my intention to split European players into different organizations. Also a division into amateurs and professionals by means of different rank systems I prefer to be avoided because different systems make comparisons yet more difficult and because status (of a pro rank) does not express actual playing strength well.

I am not even sure whether the EuroProGoLeague people want to create a professional association at all. Do they?

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