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 Post subject: We need to talk about Bob
Post #1 Posted: Fri May 10, 2019 2:52 pm 
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Well that's a lie. We don't have to talk about him at all, but this thread won't go far if we don't.
I was checking out Bob Terry's blog again, and got to this rant on a stick https://gowizardry.com/?p=11496
What is it that made this man hate the AGA so much? I am really curious, and no matter how much I read his blog I never quite get to find out.

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 Post subject: Re: We need to talk about Bob
Post #2 Posted: Fri May 10, 2019 3:19 pm 
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Regarding his game commentary, I am curious if he is unaware that computers have got rather good at Go in the last few years and changed what people play, and that's presumably why Iyama played the kick at top right which used to be a textbook noob move but is now a standard AI and people-who-follow-AI-developments move.

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 Post subject: Re: We need to talk about Bob
Post #3 Posted: Fri May 10, 2019 3:47 pm 
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"But more members could have been drawn in to play if any effort whatsoever had been made to contact us. For my part, I have been put off by AGA actions long ago, and refuse to be a party to anything they do."

I have to scratch my head at the juxtaposition of these two statements. Doesn't he see the irony here?

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 Post subject: Re: We need to talk about Bob
Post #4 Posted: Fri May 10, 2019 3:51 pm 
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he has been put off. that doesn't mean he wants others to be put off also. it isn't really ironic, just pure resignation.

regarding the kick, zero plays that with :w4: one line to the top. those variations are a tightrope tho, like anything zero plays.

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Last edited by atarihuana on Fri May 10, 2019 4:22 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: We need to talk about Bob
Post #5 Posted: Fri May 10, 2019 3:55 pm 
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Uberdude wrote:
Regarding his game commentary, I am curious if he is unaware that computers have got rather good at Go in the last few years and changed what people play, and that's presumably why Iyama played the kick at top right which used to be a textbook noob move but is now a standard AI and people-who-follow-AI-developments move.


How embarassing.

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 Post subject: Re: We need to talk about Bob
Post #6 Posted: Fri May 10, 2019 4:11 pm 
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I think there is some disagreement within the AGA over how professionals should be treated, and I am pretty sure he is not the only person who thinks that or has strong feelings about it.

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 Post subject: Re: We need to talk about Bob
Post #7 Posted: Fri May 10, 2019 4:20 pm 
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so, he seems quite familiar with the ai development when you look around the blog some, maybe that variation escaped him. not sure about other bots, but i have only seen this from AGzero when AG master opens up with a kobayashi style kakari. thats like 10 games. hardly seems embarassing. redmond reviewed on of those games, and it showcases the "zero defense :lol: " after an approach to the highjump of the star point.

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Post #8 Posted: Fri May 10, 2019 5:14 pm 
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Some of the feelings expressed are not unique; only not everyone has a blog.

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 Post subject: Re: We need to talk about Bob
Post #9 Posted: Tue May 14, 2019 9:50 am 
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Ive missed the different posts here than on r/baduk where ive been spending the most time. I havent really heard Bob's name in a while. As someone involved with the AGA ill speak to some of it.

The AGA runs an event calendar that is submitted by members. This is posted in the EJ for the two weeks of upcoming events. I checked the old ones and found the one describing the night Bob talks about: http://www.usgo.org/event/san-diego-go- ... ber-soiree . Says there were even three Korean pros there that night. As this was a local event I would hope that the club would has informed Bob about it coming up. It is hard to reach all of the go players in the US sometimes. I can tell you as well from working Go Congresses that pros.....dont love Simuls.

Cotsen Open is run by the local chapter and Eric Cotsen. Its promoted and assisted by AGA folks because theyre in the area and long time volunteers. Its not run by the AGA. I have heard for years of issues with the first round but never been myself. This is a huge tournament and it does happen with larger crowds. It is interesting that it is blamed on the AGA but not by the organizer. Eric is an awesome guy btw.

I dont know about the millions spent by the Nihon Kiin to promote go for the AGA. I know they have funded regional go centers and have donated other funds and time. The AGA is filled with volunteers doing the best we can. It is too bad we're run under the bus here. I hope Bob gets the E-Journal so he can get updated about future events in his area.

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 Post subject: Re: We need to talk about Bob
Post #10 Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 12:42 am 
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I get the impression that he expects the AGA to be a 24/7 professional organisation, which is obviously unrealistic. Mostly though his complains relate to specific areas like the AGA Journal, or Promotional material. I do wonder if he had a genuine grievance there, or if was simply incapable of relating to any of the volunteers doing the work. Being unaware who runs the Cotsen Open despite it having being around so long points me in one particular direction there.

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 Post subject: Re: We need to talk about Bob
Post #11 Posted: Thu May 16, 2019 7:52 am 
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One of the root questions is:

Quote:
Should the AGA act like a professional organization ?


We can probably agree on these 2 points:

[*](At least some) Go players are perfectionists. And perhaps some amateur Go players are just as passionate about their hobby as professionals about their job.

[*]Another fact, is that many Go organizations are managed by volunteers. And volunteers aren't always that professional at all. They don't even have to be professional. Some volunteers just want to enjoy the ride, and perhaps just want to be part of a community, make friends, have a good time. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Given the conflict of interest, it's natural that confrontations happen now and then. And Bob is perhaps a bit clumsy in his communication, but he wants the AGA to act like a professional organization.

What I have seen in other Go organizations, is that sometimes volunteers get too much responsibility. Often a single volunteer is responsible to maintain a website, update a rating list, organizing a tournament, ... Those kind of things happen everywhere. And perhaps that's where Bob's dissapointment comes from.

The fact that the AGA organizes tournaments, charges memberships, keeps ratings, gives me the impression that the AGA also has the ambition to be a professional organization. Perhaps the AGA should make clear what their ambitions are. - Nevertheless, scroll up and you'll see that even AGA volunteers reject this.

I don't think it would be smart for the AGA to blame its volunteers for their mistakes. Instead, I think it is wiser, to learn from them. And it is likely, that the AGA has already contacted Bill and asked him how things could be better. It sounds like Bob would love to help them, but is just too shy to contact them.

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 Post subject: Re: We need to talk about Bob
Post #12 Posted: Thu May 16, 2019 1:24 pm 
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spook wrote:
I don't think it would be smart for the AGA to blame its volunteers for their mistakes. Instead, I think it is wiser, to learn from them. And it is likely, that the AGA has already contacted Bill and asked him how things could be better. It sounds like Bob would love to help them, but is just too shy to contact them.


The AGA hasn't contacted me for years. I think you mean Bob. ;)

About the AGA being a professional organization:

When I belonged to the AGA it had around 600 members, AFAIK, it was a totally volunteer organization. As I heard, the AGA president just before Terry Benson had been incommunicado for years. ;) Now, doesn't the AGA have several thousand members? I would expect that it could afford three or four full time employees. And to pay its tournament directors. As for local clubs, in a big city, I don't know. When I moved to the SF Bay Area, a woman tried to sell me her bridge club, as she wanted to retire. She ran five games a week and let another group hold games a couple of evenings. She was doing OK, I guess, but I could see the handwriting on the wall. Hardly any of the players were under 60 years old. I declined. OTOH, there were some large bridge clubs in LA that were doing quite well.

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Post #13 Posted: Thu May 16, 2019 4:14 pm 
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Hi Bill,
Quote:
When I moved to the SF Bay Area, a woman tried to sell me her bridge club, as she wanted to retire. ... I could see the handwriting on the wall. Hardly any of the players were under 60 years old.
Sounds like Japan Go. Did the SF club die a peaceful death ?

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 Post subject: Re: We need to talk about Bob
Post #14 Posted: Thu May 16, 2019 5:47 pm 
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Bill Spight wrote:
Now, doesn't the AGA have several thousand members? I would expect that it could afford three or four full time employees. And to pay its tournament directors.
How do you figure? It’s probably been four or more
years since I read an up to date AGA budget, but I think they were pretty small.

I have my complaints about communication. Several years ago, I poked around the website and sent emails about a few small gaps, dead links, etc. I thought about volunteering to maintain some of it, but I never did. So how much can I complain?

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Post #15 Posted: Thu May 16, 2019 8:52 pm 
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EdLee wrote:
Hi Bill,
Quote:
When I moved to the SF Bay Area, a woman tried to sell me her bridge club, as she wanted to retire. ... I could see the handwriting on the wall. Hardly any of the players were under 60 years old.
Sounds like Japan Go. Did the SF club die a peaceful death ?


I suppose so. It was several years before the space appeared to be rented. :-|

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 Post subject: Re: We need to talk about Bob
Post #16 Posted: Thu May 16, 2019 9:04 pm 
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hyperpape wrote:
Bill Spight wrote:
Now, doesn't the AGA have several thousand members? I would expect that it could afford three or four full time employees. And to pay its tournament directors.
How do you figure? It’s probably been four or more
years since I read an up to date AGA budget, but I think they were pretty small.


Well, when I was in LA I went to a local duplicate bridge club (under the auspices of the American Contract Bridge Association; no gambling) which hosted more than 100 members. It had two or three full time employees. The large clubs had more than that. If the AGA is essentially a volunteer organization, it's because it wants to be one.

Quote:
I have my complaints about communication. Several years ago, I poked around the website and sent emails about a few small gaps, dead links, etc. I thought about volunteering to maintain some of it, but I never did. So how much can I complain?


spook wrote:
What I have seen in other Go organizations, is that sometimes volunteers get too much responsibility. Often a single volunteer is responsible to maintain a website, update a rating list, organizing a tournament, ... Those kind of things happen everywhere. And perhaps that's where Bob's dissapointment comes from.


That has been my experience, as well. In the US, anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: We need to talk about Bob
Post #17 Posted: Fri May 17, 2019 6:31 am 
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spook wrote:
What I have seen in other Go organizations, is that sometimes volunteers get too much responsibility.


That may have been the case with the EGF-AGA pro match, still ongoing. The organizers may have included professional go players, but apparently no professional tournament organizers. :cry:

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 Post subject: Re: We need to talk about Bob
Post #18 Posted: Fri May 17, 2019 6:36 am 
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Bill Spight wrote:
Well, when I was in LA I went to a local duplicate bridge club (under the auspices of the American Contract Bridge Association; no gambling) which hosted more than 100 members. It had two or three full time employees. The large clubs had more than that. If the AGA is essentially a volunteer organization, it's because it wants to be one.
I think the physical club must have very different finances. The last AGA budget I can find quickly was from 2010-2011 (https://www.usgo.org/sites/default/file ... et2011.pdf). Projected income for 2010 was $103,000 (which was missed), for 2011 it was $73000. That's technically enough to hire three minimum wage workers, but that's all, and there are other expenses (admittedly, you can argue that some of the line items are more than they should be, but not enough to change the fundamentals that much).

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 Post subject: Re: We need to talk about Bob
Post #19 Posted: Fri May 17, 2019 7:01 am 
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EGF has a few employees, I think at least 3, who run the European Go Centre in Amstelveen. Peter Zandveld may be one of them. Part of their activities is to make the centre itself account for its maintenance by renting out rooms/halls for events.

Off topic:
I've been president of the national chapter in Belgium. It was always hard to find enough people to do the work, e.g. when organizing the Brussels tournament. I quit after a few years, mostly because I didn't like the duty but also because I started doubting the sense of such a national chapter, especially in Belgium where we don't even have a common language. I doubt nations altogether. Their function seems to evaporate, with the Internet bringing people together beyond the local level.

I do see a lot of sense in continental bodies though because political situations and culture may vary between them.


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 Post subject: Re: We need to talk about Bob
Post #20 Posted: Fri May 17, 2019 8:59 am 
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The AGA currently has a bit more than 2200 members. We're all volunteers, ive been one for quite a while now. Unfortunately we're small enough that most of us do multiple jobs around the org. I havent been on here in a while posting and more time on reddit or facebook. I will have someone local reach out to Bob this weekend. If anyone wants to send complaints about the AGA to me I will escalate them where I can. I cannot speak to anything about the Transatlantic stuff as I was not involved, but I can speak to a lot of other topics.

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