Before starting with the actual proposals we would like to express a certain disappointment concerning the activity of EGF for the past year. The new team leading EGF has sparked hopes of changes in an already declining European Go World, but we have yet to receive information about the policy and vision of the new leadership.
Especially now, very close to the deadline for proposals from countries, we have received no document or other kind of information that would enlighten us as to what are the real problems of the European Go World at the moment, what is the activity of EGCC and generally what EGF does for the benefit of the Go community.
The proposals of changes from Romania are as follows:
1. There is a long discussion about the European Championship system, over some years now no conclusion has been drawn and the tournament continues to pose a problem.
We would like the members of EGM to vote YES/NO on the topic of allowing foreigner players to play in the championship. Romania would like an European championship only for Europeans, as America and the asian countries do for their own national tournaments. A NO vote from the majority of members would ensure finding an easier solution , while an YES vote would at least make it clear that Europe is not willing to change its ways yet.
2. There was a grave problem at the last congress in Groningen. Despite raising a very large amount of money from tournament taxes, the organizers decided to invest in asian pros rather than give decent prizes to players, thus we arrived to the ridiculous and shameful situation when the European Champion prize was a mere 450 euro. The prizes at the side tournaments were also ridiculous. 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. This is possible because EGF is reluctant to take partial control of the tournament and its resources. While EGF has no rights to decide over the money the organizers raised through their own effort, the tax paid by the participant players should be controlled by EGF, as the authority that auctions this tournament every year .
Our proposal is that EGF makes a new rule for the EGC organizers , that a percentage of the tax taken from players should go back to them in form of prizes. We propose the percentage to be 60percent, but we are aware that we don’t have a budget allocation of the previous congresses to make the calculations . Be it 50 percent or 40 percent, a decent part of the money should be given to the players, in the limit of ensuring the organizers have enough money for the organization costs. An observer from EGF to ensure that its policy is respected by tournament organizers is a must, countries that ignore EGF policy should suffer severe penalties.
3. The EGCC in Amstelveen is nearing its 20th anniversary, but nothing good has come of it so far. The website is dead, there are people who get salaries but we don’t know exactly who and how much, they are supposed to work for Go but we hear nothing from them.
Last year Catalin Taranu asked the EGCC representatives to start working on promotional materials that surely the tournament organizers from all Europe need very much. So far there is absolutely no initiative from the center to provide such materials.
The situation is clearly worsening year by year, we are totally losing the Go center, but EGF does nothing about it. In the beginning of november last year, Catalin Taranu sent a proposal to the EGF leaders to start thinking about moving the Go Center, as well as projecting a vision of growth for the center so that it can finally be used for its intended purpose. Sadly, 7 months later no progress is made with discussions . We believe that the only real possibility to change something is to force EGF leaders to take attitude through a vote in the EGM. We would like the meeting to vote on the following questions with YES/NO :
a) Is the EGCC situation a problem and should we change something about it?
b) The Amstelveen Go center is not working well, should we try to change the location of this center to a different country/city ?
c) Should the people that currently work for the center be changed or not ?
Moreover, we ask EGF to provide to the community detailed information about the Go center activity, paid personal and their wages, reports of activity of employed people, budget and especially the development vision of its leaders. The last rumors we heard say that the center was rented for a long period of time for a rather pathetic amount of money. Those actions should not have been kept secret and we should not allow anybody to make this gift to European Go their personal affair.
Catalin Taranu ‘s proposal is to move the center to Bucharest , mainly motivated by the cheap costs and investment potential, as well as a strong Go community that could aid the center in its development stage. But Romania will support as well any other reasonable proposal, as long as there is a will to change the situation.
4. A proposal coming from Cristian Pop , that we also support , is that part of the money invested by EGC organizers in teaching should go towards European top players.
Last year in Groningen seemingly more than 50000 euro was invested in foreign pro teachers , but Europeans were not even taken in consideration and Catalin Taranu’s request to the organizers to do some lectures together with EUROGOTV was refused
with the argument of lack of funds. Considering the huge amount of money invested in foreigner pros we believe that this argument was ridiculous. EGF’s failure to protect european players is a minus for the European Go community.
5. A proposal coming from Ion Florescu is the organizing of a new tournament : The European Champions League. The idea is to make all national champions play together in a super league, but so far we have not developed a project on it. We could start by a vote in the EGM to decide if this is a good and sustenable idea or not.
An answer from Martin Finke, President of the Dutch Go Association could be found in the forum at http://bga.bg/component/option,com_fireboard/Itemid,32/func,view/catid,13/id,1677/#1677