European Go Tournaments and Rating

As I discussion today about rank differences between countries it made me think of a problem I had before.

The discussion about rank differences between countries comes now and then and in the end of the discussion most people agree the solution is that people need to travel around and play in tournaments against players from other countries.

Yes that would be perfect, in theory. Not so many can afford to do that. But if you are really interested in go and are prepared to spend money and time to travel to other countries to play in tournaments then you can do it.

So I started thinking about it. I can combine a vacation with a tournamenet. Pick out nice cities in the world, look up what tournaments they have and book the tickets. Maybe take one or two days vacation from work to get some extra time for sightseeing. If I make some friends there then I can maybe save some hotel money and sleep on a couch for free and later return the favor when that person visits my city for a tournament.

Then came the next problem, how do I find a list of all the tournaments? First I looked at eurogofed and there I found a link to EuropeanGoTournamentCalendar and http://www.eurogofed.org/eurocup/calendar.htm and http://www.eurogofed.org/calendar/calendar.htm. It is quite obvious that there are a lot more tournaments played than this. So how do I find the rest?  I asked online at lifein19x19.com.

Soon I got a lot of links. So many that someone created a new wiki-page at Sensei's Library called NationalTournamentCalenders. Great stuff! So many places to look at. It would be great to have some central place for all this information. Like a web page where you can search and sort by date or country and city. Such a web page would be easy to create but hard to maintain. How would we get all organizers to use such a tool? And if they use it would the players find it useful? Would it encourage players to go to tournaments in other countries? Maybe, maybe not. It might be worth a try, but this page should probably be hosted by EGF. They should see an interest in such a project.

Another thing to try to solve the rank difference problem in Europe could be to arrange online Internet tournaments that get reported to the European rating database (EGD). With such tournaments we have the problem of cheating. You can let some strong player do the playing for you. Yes there is a risk for that and I don't have a clever idea how to prevent it. The best way is probably to avoid any prizes and only let the players compete for the fun and honor. I have been thinking of creating such a tournament myself and if I am allowed to report the results to EGD I might even go through with it.



After three years of vacation, the downloadable PDF go magazine Suji is back with its fourth issue.

Now they aim at an international audience instead of just players from Switzerland. This is probably a smart move because it will be easier to get people to contribute with material and the magazine will get more readers.

It is a well designed magazine consisting of totally 19 pages including the covers. There are plenty of images and colors on most pages. I believe this magazine can have a nice future and I look forward to the next issue in the end of March. I expect the following issues to have more pages but I would be happy even with less. I think it is more important to keep a steady release cycle than to have a perfect magazine and many pages.

In this issue we can find:
  • Editors note
  • iPhone/iPad commercial (no mention of alternative platforms like webOS or Android)
  • Game review
  • Go theory lecture, Solid openings
  • Go problems
  • A cry for help
  • Letters from the readers
I hope they find the inspiration to keep creating many more new issues in the future.