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 Post subject: Western professionals as a resource
Post #1 Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:42 am 
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I've been thinking a bit of late (you'll have noticed increased temperatures) on Western pros. In broad brushes, we have four kinds of Western Pros (and three of strong amateurs):

* Western pros who belong and perform in an Asian association (Redmond 9-dan)
* Western pros who've come back and stayed (Shikshina 3-dan)
* Eastern pros now living in the West (Fan Hui 3-dan)
* Homebrew pros (Andy Liu -- Tangyu Le Calve 1-dan)

As I understand it, historically, professionals were a way to set up a system so that the amateur player could have quality resources (tournaments to watch, instructors, theorists...).

However, are we really using our pros anywhere even in range of their full potential? They get invited to this or that event, but... Frankly, most of what I've seen is their personal initiative, which tends to be on par with that of strong amateur dans.

What am I missing?

[Aside: do western tournament game victories count towards the advancement of Eastern qualified pros?]

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Post #2 Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:35 pm 
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What am I missing?
US 'pros' are pursuing their bachelors or higher degrees in non-Go fields; European pros put food on their table via Go income. Completely different situations.

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 Post subject: Re: Western professionals as a resource
Post #3 Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:50 pm 
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I don't see any pro certified by EGF here:

http://egc2019.eu/congress/teaching-team

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Post #4 Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:44 pm 
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EdLee wrote:
Quote:
What am I missing?
US 'pros' are pursuing their bachelors or higher degrees in non-Go fields; European pros put food on their table via Go income. Completely different situations.

Not sure, but I think Pavol Lisy is doing a Maths degree. But yes generally the EGF pros are much more pro-ish in terms of focusing on their Go careers.

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 Post subject: Re: Western professionals as a resource
Post #5 Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:12 am 
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jlt wrote:
I don't see any pro certified by EGF here:

http://egc2019.eu/congress/teaching-team


That is because the EGF Pros are trying to make a living out of Go, and the European Go Congress is extremely important for that due to many reason:

1.
It provides quality games for the EGF Pros that can otherwise be difficult to find. There are very few occasions for them to play with long time settings as 2,5 hours main time against opponents of similar or higher strength. All the strong europeans will be in the various tournaments played at the EGC, but additionally there are always strong asian amateurs and professionals present in the tournaments as well.

The EGC is a longer congress (time wise) than the AGA equivalent, and will offer more chances to play.

2.
The EGC is not only one tournament. The Pandanet European Team Championships finals will be played, the European Championships, European Open, etc. etc.
It is a tough schedule, but one that offers more possibilities than any other event during the year. As such, if you are a active pro, you want to focus on the playing and learning (and winning price money) in the EGC, not in teaching.

As you can notice in the teaching list, the listed pros are either pros who are active in Asia and not Europe (and therefor they dont benefit from the stuff ive listed), or they are retired pros who now focus more on teaching instead of competing for titles and price money.

3.
Price money. The EGC tournaments together with the team championships, tend to have decent price money, and titles, such as of european champion, might be valuable for PR, translating into income or publicity.


As far as i know, pretty much all the EGF pros offer classes and teaching both online and offline, and get some of their income from that. But suggesting that they should teach at the EGC is like suggesting that Nadal should be commenting during the Wimbledon.

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 Post subject: Re: Western professionals as a resource
Post #6 Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:43 am 
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Ferran wrote:
I've been thinking a bit of late (you'll have noticed increased temperatures) on Western pros. In broad brushes, we have four kinds of Western Pros (and three of strong amateurs):

* Western pros who belong and perform in an Asian association (Redmond 9-dan)
* Western pros who've come back and stayed (Shikshina 3-dan)
* Eastern pros now living in the West (Fan Hui 3-dan)
* Homebrew pros (Andy Liu -- Tangyu Le Calve 1-dan)

As I understand it, historically, professionals were a way to set up a system so that the amateur player could have quality resources (tournaments to watch, instructors, theorists...).

However, are we really using our pros anywhere even in range of their full potential? They get invited to this or that event, but... Frankly, most of what I've seen is their personal initiative, which tends to be on par with that of strong amateur dans.

What am I missing?

[Aside: do western tournament game victories count towards the advancement of Eastern qualified pros?]

Take care



This all depends on the situation, timing, and the pro in question i think. Here's how i think about it.

I don't know about the situation in the AGA, but at least the EGF Pros are all "new pros", meaning, they should be fighting to make their way to the top, improve, win, be active in tournaments etc. Naturally, if there aren't enough support structures or if there aren't enough tournaments with price money or PR opportunities, then they need to supplement with income from other activities, such as teaching.

You also need to keep in mind, that in asian pro systems they have reached a large mass of players and tournaments, meaning that even active professionals can teach, do workshops, etc, in between their professional games and tournaments. The active pros there as well however, focus on improving and winning, specially if its clear that they have a chance to reach the top.

If they can't reach the top, they might focus on studies, teaching, and other activities around Go which can generate a monthly income.

Personally i think the EGF currently has a good situation. We have retired (meaning they don't compete anymore) european and asian professionals who focus on teaching and other opportunities around Go. The new EGF pros are still very much improving and active in the various tournaments around Europe, and also take part when they can in tournaments in Asia.
Naturally, at some point, and most likely, active tournament professionals will transition to a more teaching / other activities role if they choose to keep working in the Go scene.

So we do have a situation where the previously active professionals have transitioned to teaching/other activities, and the newers pros are aiming to reach new heights.
A lot of professionals, but active and non-active, are working hard to promote Go in their various regions. This quite often can go under the radar, as its only logical that the pros focus on their home market/country. It's a bit difficult for 1 person to tackle "promotion in the whole of europe". Naturally, amateurs players can also do the promotion part.

I for example didn't know, that in Croatia, they have managed to have a huge growth in youth players, thanks to proposals submitted to the ministry of education there.
Take a look at: https://eurogofed.org/seygo/index.html?id=3 and http://www.europeangodatabase.eu/EGD/Stats_Country.php

In the Transatlantic Go Championships thread it was also pointed out that the broadcasts in Twitch drew a lot of attention from non-players, or beginners to Go.
This is a good example of how a event for active tournament professionals can help to promote the game and draw in more players, feeding the whole ecosystem.
Tournaments which have an emotional and monetary stake will always be interesting and help promote. You always want to root for your team or player, and the money makes it more interesting as well.

Some AGA professionals are also very active on promotion and creating new resources. Just take a look at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMp-4u ... dXkZv3qQYA for example (NYIG_Go) run by Stephanie Yin and Ryan Li.


EDIT:
And just to add another great resource created by retired professionals
https://internetgoschool.com/index.vhtml

Most know it due to the lectures (that you can buy one by one for a cheap price, or subscribe), and due to the group classes.
But you should really try out the training system, which as far as i know, is a one of a kind in western language go training systems. I personally really liked it.


EDIT2 (sorry):
In regards to your question: [Aside: do western tournament game victories count towards the advancement of Eastern qualified pros?]

In case you refer to the EGF Professional promotion system, you can find all the details here (don't know if thats what you are refering to though..):
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1iKX ... XVDhI/edit

Which states that only games against professional players (egf, aga, japanese, korean, chinese, etc.), which are played in person (not online) will apply to promotion system.
Up to 4p, the EGF Pros collect "low dan points", which they get through wins against pros, winning large tournaments, etc.

After that, it becomes much more difficult, quoting the document:
"Promotion up to 8p. Professionals collect high-dan points (HDP) for qualifying to TOP16 or higher in the world pro tournaments."

So for the EGF Pros to go beyond 4p they would have to score highly in large international tournaments, going up against the best in the world.


Last edited by Aram on Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Western professionals as a resource
Post #7 Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:51 am 
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I don't see many pros participating in the Open European Go Championship 2nd Week 2018:

http://europeangodatabase.eu/EGD/Tourna ... y=E180806B

What is the reason? (Sorry if it's a dumb question, I've never participated in any go congress.)

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Post #8 Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:01 am 
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No clue, good to remember though that those participation lists are only preliminary, they can always sign up on-site.


EDIT: One theory, no clue if correct or accurate, could be the following:

Brussels is extremely expensive to stay in, and the most important events(?), Pandanet European Team Championship and the European Championship (which runs invite only, parallel to the Open European Championships during the first week), are both set in week #1.

This means that if your goal is the team championship or the european championship, you really only need week #1, and maybe some see staying an extra week as too expensive?
Additionally, i don't know if they have a compensation system for this or not, but due to not playing week #1 in the Open, you can't really reach any price money, because you have not played half the games.

In some earlier congresses the system has been different, in that the Open tournament results were taken for x-amount of rounds, and that decided who enterted the championship, and then the championship ran parallel to the open, but still feeding results in to the open. Meaning you could be competing in both at the same time. But thats a rather confusing system as well..

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 Post subject: Re: Western professionals as a resource
Post #9 Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:36 am 
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First, thanks to everyone who answered.

Second, I'm also thinking on professionals who got their title abroad and are now living in Europe, either because they simply went back home or because they've come to live (t)here.

For example:

Aram wrote:
In regards to your question: [Aside: do western tournament game victories count towards the advancement of Eastern qualified pros?]

In case you refer to the EGF Professional promotion system, you can find all the details here (don't know if thats what you are refering to though..):


No, I wasn't ;) . I mean, imagine Antti Tormanen winning the Grand Slam. Would the games (or the prize itself, but I think that's more difficult) count towards his rank advancement in the NK? Because, frankly, any European who comes back as a 1st dan is forfeiting a relatively assured increased in two-three ranks for the sake of being home / widening the fanbase of the game.

Take care.

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 Post subject: Re: Western professionals as a resource
Post #10 Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:24 am 
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@Aram: I was referring to Open European Go Championship 2nd Week 2018 (=last year's). I don't know if the fact that pros don't participate much in the 2nd week is typical of EU Go congresses, but if they don't plan to participate in tournaments in the second week, then they should be free for teaching, unless they have another tournament elsewhere.

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Post #11 Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:31 am 
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jlt wrote:
@Aram: I was referring to Open European Go Championship 2nd Week 2018 (=last year's). I don't know if the fact that pros don't participate much in the 2nd week is typical of EU Go congresses, but if they don't plan to participate in tournaments in the second week, then they should be free for teaching, unless they have another tournament elsewhere.


Aram's explanation about theE uropean championship being played during week 1 still stands. It's been the case for a few years and it has become common to see many European players at the very top only play the first week.

Even if they are free to teach, it's fine if they don't stay to teach. There are usually less players during the second week so less need for teachers. How would you justify the cost of keeping the EGF pros around for teaching?

I also wonder how much teaching they do without people being aware. For example Tanguy Le Calvé (for 2 weeks) and Ali Jabarin (for a wekk) will be teaching during the French summer camp. I didn't know about Ali being there until I just checked if Tanguy was there for two weeks.

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 Post subject: Re: Western professionals as a resource
Post #12 Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:39 am 
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explo wrote:
Even if they are free to teach, it's fine if they don't stay to teach. There are usually less players during the second week so less need for teachers. How would you justify the cost of keeping the EGF pros around for teaching?


Are there currently any teachers during the second week? If the answer is no, then there is no justification for keeping EGF pros. If the answer is yes, then it might be suitable to hire EGF pros instead of other people, unless there are other reasons I am not aware of (since I have never attended any go congress).

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 Post subject: Re: Western professionals as a resource
Post #13 Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:26 am 
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I've been at the EGC only once, in 2011. I was there for two weeks and there was about as much teaching each week. I think most of the teaching team will be there for two weeks.

jlt wrote:
If the answer is yes, then it might be suitable to hire EGF pros instead of other people, unless there are other reasons I am not aware of (since I have never attended any go congress).

It sounds very rude. I can't see any reason the EGF pros would do a better teaching job than the current teaching team. Also if the EGF team covers the travel cost of the teaching team, it's much more efficient to have them for two weeks rather than one.

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 Post subject: Re: Western professionals as a resource
Post #14 Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:49 am 
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explo wrote:
I can't see any reason the EGF pros would do a better teaching job than the current teaching team. Also if the EGF team covers the travel cost of the teaching team, it's much more efficient to have them for two weeks rather than one.


I never said that EGF pros do a better teaching. I just noted that they currently don't teach at all during the congress.
This wouldn't induce any extra travel cost since these pros are already there for the first week anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: Western professionals as a resource
Post #15 Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:48 pm 
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jlt wrote:
Are there currently any teachers during the second week?


The schedule has four days with teaching during the second week. I give two unpaid lectures then. I am not an EGF professional. If everything works out well, my lectures will even be live on Youtube or Eurogo-TV (second week, Tuesday, Friday, 18:00 GMT+2). I am not on the teachers' list on the congress webpage yet presumably because the teaching has just been agreed upon and the organisers are too busy.

Last year, Yuri Plyusch (amateur 5d) gave lectures. Our teaching is illegal by EGF standards...

During earlier congresses and this year, Catalin (European pro but not EGF pro) and Törmänen (EGF pro) have given / will give lectures. One of the EGF pros. Legal by EGF standards but this number is not impressive indeed. At least it is more than "not at all".

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Post #16 Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:28 pm 
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Just to make it clear again: the list of pros certified by EGF is

Ali Jabarin 2p
Artem Kachanovskyi 2p
Andrii Kravets 1p
Tanguy Le Calvé 1p
Pavol Lisy 2p
Ilya Shikshin 3p
Mateusz Surma 2p

I think that people not appearing on this list like high-dan amateurs or professionals from other organizations are very legitimate teachers, but I also fear that if EGF pros are too far from the general public, then people will start to question the usefulness of having a professional organization in Europe.

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 Post subject: Re: Western professionals as a resource
Post #17 Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:46 pm 
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RobertJasiek wrote:
During earlier congresses and this year, Catalin (European pro but not EGF pro) and Törmänen (EGF pro) have given / will give lectures. One of the EGF pros. Legal by EGF standards but this number is not impressive indeed. At least it is more than "not at all".


I thought Antti Törmänen was a Nihon Kiin pro... Or did I misunderstand your "EGF pro" and you mean he's a member of the EGF too?

Sorry if I missed something.

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 Post subject: Re: Western professionals as a resource
Post #18 Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:10 pm 
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You are right, Antti is not an EGF pro according to this page: https://www.eurogofed.org/pros/ My memory must have played me a trick.

So there are zero EGF pro teachers at congresses, it seems. A bit few.

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Post #19 Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:01 am 
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Nihon Kiin professionals are not allowed to play in amateur tournaments, but the EGF pros don't have that kind of restriction, so they can play in the European Championship.

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Post #20 Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:33 am 
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This would only apply to players active in the Nihon Kiin (tournaments), it seems. E.g., Catalin Taranu 5p played in the EGC 2010 main tournament: https://www.eurogofed.org/results/congress/egc10m.txt

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