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History of the EGCC [#2300]

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isd: History of the EGCC (2010-06-02 18:39) [#7735]

It is quite hard to find out information about the EGCC. From reading their old website the information on this page seems to be false.

Erik Puyt, born October 23, 1961, General Manager
Erik is the brain behind the Go Centre. In 1990 he has set up a plan how to exploit a European Go Centre in Amsterdam. The Nihon Ki-in could find themselves in this plan and decided to appoint the European Go Centre to the Netherlands. Since then he, together with the foundation Nihon Ki-in, worked out the initial plans. So far it worked out perfectly. Erik is 5 dan, his hobbies are dancing, soccer, Go

Can anyone confirm if this is true or not?

HermanHiddema: Re: History of the EGCC (2010-06-03 10:25) [#7736]

What is it that seems to be false, exactly? I can't really find any contradictions between your quote and the page.

isd: Re: History of the EGCC (2010-06-03 11:20) [#7737]

Yes I have misread the dates

So in 1990 Iwamoto gives money to the Nihon Kiin to promote Go around the world. Shortly afterwards Erik Puyt puts in place a plan to create a Go Centre. (Presumably he had heard of Iwamoto's donation before he came up with this idea). Then come 1992, it is actually opened.

Did anyone else seek to house a European Go Centre I wonder... There is currently a proposal to move the EGCC, but I don't think it is possible having read the page.

HermanHiddema: Re: History of the EGCC (2010-06-03 11:31) [#7738]

AFAIK, the Nihon Kiin asked for proposals, which is presumably why Erik Puyt wrote one. I think several other European cities, including (IIRC) Paris and Hamburg, also submitted proposals, but that the one submitted by Amsterdam was considered the most economically viable.

Can you tell me more about the proposal to move it? Is it an actual well worked-out plan, or just a wild idea?

isd: Re: History of the EGCC (2010-06-03 11:40) [#7739]

I found the proposal on a new website called GoHub?.eu. The website doesn't really seem to have been launched properly yet, but it claims it is approved by the EGF board to be used to discuss matters before they appear at the AGM.

One of these matters is a draft proposal about the EGCC. You can read it yourself, the main thrust is not that it should be moved (although they suggest that) but that it should be more active/open.

HermanHiddema: Re: History of the EGCC (2010-06-03 12:26) [#7740]

Ok, thanks!

I've registered an account, but cannot post. Apparently it is only for EGF representatives.

The Romanian Proposal contains two gross errors related to the EGC 2009:

While is normal that the tournament organizers should have some profit from the EGC, the example of last year shows how bad the situation can become if the organizers abuse their rights to the detriment of the players.

The implication that the prize money was low so that the organizers could turn a profit is false. The Dutch Go Association made about a 5,000 loss on the event.

Last year in Groningen seemingly more than 50000 euro was invested in foreign pro teachers , but Europeans were not even taken in consideration...

This number is absolutely false. The total investment into Asian professionals was about 15,000 at most (we budgeted 12,500 for it, went over a little). Perhaps someone misheard "fifteen" for "fifty"?

isd: Re: History of the EGCC (2010-06-03 12:39) [#7741]

I think that also EGCC is independent of the EGF, so the EGF can't tell them to do anything.

Anyway, they are only draft proposals. :)

HermanHiddema: Re: History of the EGCC (2010-06-03 13:40) [#7742]

Yes, I think the only way would be for the EGF to make a formal request of the Nihon Kiin for moving the EGCC, or something like that.

All in all, I think it is a rather disappointing document. It seems very much to focus on what interests the top players from Romania personally.

willemien: Re: History of the EGCC (2010-06-03 17:03) [#7744]

I think there is just a lot of envy going on here. But in some points the Romanian is right. Amsterdam is not in the centre of Europe anymore. (Amsterdam is quite central to Western europe, but the iron curtain fell 20 years ago) Maybe an other painpoint is the website of the EGCC it is ! I guess it was before the eu domain names became available. (maybe an idea to change the domain to ! it isn't a big difference but looks much better. :)

HermanHiddema: Re: History of the EGCC (2010-06-03 17:28) [#7745]

The Iron Curtain fell before the EGCC was proposed & built, actually. :)

As far as I know, the main reason Amsterdam was chosen was because they had a sustainable proposal that didn't require a constant stream of funds from the Nihon-Kiin to support it, but could mostly keep itself afloat by renting out the halls while being in a low rent district. Furthermore, from the viewpoint of Japan, anything in Europe is far away, so anything within reach of a major airport was a plus for them, and the current location for the EGCC is very close to Schiphol.

Within Europe, I think it would make more sense to put the EGCC in the vicinity of Prague, for example. The proposal to move it to Bucharest has nothing much going for it, really.

isd: Re: History of the EGCC (2010-06-03 18:05) [#7746]

Well I don't think it will move. I think the main problem was that nobody was sure what the EGCC is doing. The website basically vanished for a year or two. Emails aren't answered. So a feeling develops that the centre is not working for Europe. From my understanding, this is the angle that the proposal comes.

The EGCC used to produce all these leaflets and fliers and beginners go sets, but what happened to those? You'd guess that this all stopped. Yet, I read the new website and I find that a promotion video was made. Very nice work, but I never heard anything about it before. :(

Anyway I guess this isn't the place to discuss the draft proposal's solution though. :)

HermanHiddema: Re: History of the EGCC (2010-06-03 18:25) [#7747]

AFAIK, this is not a draft, but a final version. It was mailed around to representatives. Re: History of the EGCC (2010-06-03 22:22) [#7748]

Technically, the effects of a historic event will always come with a substantial delay. So even if the iron curtain fell before the creation of EGCC, the feeling of Amsterdam as being out of center of "Europe" could only substantiate as soon as the perception of Europe was of a cultural continent as a whole, and not western versus eastern Europe. It took at least the former eastern countries to join the union before this became true. For Romania, it's merely three years ago.

But more abstractly, I believe the idea of a "centre" like a "capital" to a nation is an old fashioned concept. It was useful in a time where information and the distribution thereof was centralized: you needed to go to the capital to understand/be part/influence something. With the technology of today that is not true at all anymore. One starts seeing that the notion of a central place disappears. The physical aspects of any activity, which in Go is face to face tournaments and the necessary meetings for people to trust each other, can easily be distributed.

Practically, there is no reason why Romania cannot raise its centre next to the existence of the one in Amstelveen. Fundraising should not be treated as if it is a zero sum game with the Nihon Kiin as constant source.

I haven't read the document, but if Romanian officials' idea of building a strong activity is to whine about what happens elsewhere, I don't think they will achieve great results any time soon.

Incidentally, I've also met with negative feedback by Ion Florescu at the time when I organized the Brussels' tournament, and it had to do with prize money again. Although in general we should encourage our top players to show up in the big events, we should also recognize the efforts by unpaid tournament organizers. -- Dieter

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