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 Post subject: Re: [news] European Professional Go System established.
Post #21 Posted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 2:25 pm 
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paK0 wrote:
salary

Professional go players get a salary? :-?

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Post #22 Posted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 2:35 pm 
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Doesn't "professional" mean that you make your living with that activity?

It doesn't have to be monthly, match appearance fees or w/e might work as well, but you can't really call them professionals if they need to have non-go related activities to support themselves.


Maybe I'm wrong an the "pro" is just a title in that case?

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Post #23 Posted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 2:48 pm 
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It's just a title. Obviously, it's connected to money-making, but just as in the US, there probably is no expectation that players will be able to survive based on a professional stipend or game fees (this isn't true in Japan, China and Korea either--only some pros make a living without teaching or other side businesses).

I wish I'd had the foresight to write a FAQ about professionals many years ago when I first thought of the idea. It would have saved me a lot of time.

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Post #24 Posted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 2:59 pm 
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paK0 wrote:
you can't really call them professionals if they need to have non-go related activities to support themselves.

This is exactly why so many go professionals teach. :)

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Post #25 Posted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 3:22 pm 
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paK0 wrote:
Doesn't "professional" mean that you make your living with that activity?


No. If I say someone is a professional soccer player all that means is that they get paid to play. It says nothing about whether they could live off that money. It just distinguishes the unpaid amateur from the presumably more skilled paid players. Or sometimes different sports, e.g. amateur and professional boxing.

On the other hand in English usually a profession refers to what someone does to make a living. So someone might be a professional soccer player but playing soccer may not be their profession unless they actually earn enough to make a living off of it.

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Post #26 Posted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:07 pm 
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This is really just a matter of definition, but to me, if you say 'he is professional something' this implies that he does the 'something' for a living. In other words, he does not just do it and happens to get paid some, but actually supports himself from it, or mostly from it. Might not be exclusive support, and he might be making some extra monies on the side with other stuff, but this is his profession. This is what pays the rent and this is what puts the food on the table.

A professional plumber who earns his living doing all kinds of plumbing magic is still just a plumber, no matter if he also gets paid here and there for playing a game of Go.

But its just my understanding, and we can certainly define 'professional this or that' any way we want.

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Post #27 Posted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:27 pm 
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paK0 wrote:
Will that money suffice?
In the beginning it will probably be enough, but after 5 years you gotta pay a salary for 10 pros, 15000$ of yearly income sounds rather grim to me.


The idea is clearly that the EGF starts raising a substantial amount of money itself as soon as the program starts. It involves a lot more than the AGA - Hankuk Kiwon cooperation even if the "starting a professional system" sounds similar.

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Post #28 Posted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:44 pm 
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Bantari wrote:
This is really just a matter of definition, but to me, if you say 'he is professional something' this implies that he does the 'something' for a living. In other words, he does not just do it and happens to get paid some, but actually supports himself from it, or mostly from it. Might not be exclusive support, and he might be making some extra monies on the side with other stuff, but this is his profession. This is what pays the rent and this is what puts the food on the table.

A professional plumber who earns his living doing all kinds of plumbing magic is still just a plumber, no matter if he also gets paid here and there for playing a game of Go.

But its just my understanding, and we can certainly define 'professional this or that' any way we want.


Usually there's a distinction between when we apply it to something that is normally a job, say plumbing, and normally a hobby or pastime, say go, chess or soccer.


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Post #29 Posted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:27 pm 
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Mh, Wikipedia says, that when it comes to sports, you have to earn some money to be called professional, but indeed there was no mention that is has to be your main source of income.

Wow, the go world is mighty confusing XD.

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Post #30 Posted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:19 pm 
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paK0 wrote:
Mh, Wikipedia says, that when it comes to sports, you have to earn some money to be called professional, but indeed there was no mention that is has to be your main source of income.

Wow, the go world is mighty confusing XD.


Sometimes you see the word "semi-professional" used to refer to people who make their living doing something else but it's problematic because it can have very specific meanings in some activities like rugby where you have strict divisions where some are fully professional and some are semi-professional but you still get a fair number of professional athletes whereas you have activities like go, tennis and many, many others where living solely off your tournament play or performance is impossible for all but a very small number at the very top and people in the pro scene supplementing their income in some way is the norm. Calling almost all professional tennis players semi professional would almost never be done in the tennis community. It'd be viewed as a disservice to them. Whereas few would take offence to calling certain players semi-pros in rugby.

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Post #31 Posted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 11:44 pm 
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tapir wrote:
paK0 wrote:
Will that money suffice?
In the beginning it will probably be enough, but after 5 years you gotta pay a salary for 10 pros, 15000$ of yearly income sounds rather grim to me.


The idea is clearly that the EGF starts raising a substantial amount of money itself as soon as the program starts. It involves a lot more than the AGA - Hankuk Kiwon cooperation even if the "starting a professional system" sounds similar.


Indeed, the system's financial element represents a challenge. For instance, compare the European Cup, or some of the preceding schemes, to the bonus tournaments. I would expect an official presentation to reveal more details about the scheme and the plans that have been laid out. This is just 1 document that somebody has taken it upon themselves to publish anonymously without comment.

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 Post subject: Re: [news] European Professional Go System established.
Post #32 Posted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 11:50 pm 
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HermanHiddema wrote:
Or just use Japanese rules. [...] lets just use the rule set that everyone already knows.


1) Which Japanese style ruleset?

2) Japanese rules are badly known and hard to apply, when it comes to applying them as rules, therefore using Chinese rules is much better.

3) It is nice to see that area scoring is spread more. In particular, since the professionalism is also meant to promote go better in Europe, rules that (in their essence) can be explained and understood in just a few minutes are a very good choice. More particularly, journalists reporting about European professional or pro-selection tournaments will spread the game much more easily, if they can figure out by themselves very quickly what this game is actually about.


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Post #33 Posted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 11:52 pm 
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In go, professional is more of a title than in most other sports. Although being a professional implies that you make some money from playing and/or teaching go, making some money from go alone does not make you a professional, it also very much requires a certain minimum playing strength.

Note that the EGF can certify "up to" two players per year. They need not do so, and indeed I think that they should not, but should have some criteria to certify that a player is strong enough to be called a professional. So there may not be 10 professionals in 5 years.

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Post #34 Posted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 11:59 pm 
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RobertJasiek wrote:
1) Which Japanese style ruleset?
Whichever a tournament organiser wants.
Quote:
2) Japanese rules are badly known and hard to apply, when it comes to applying them as rules, therefore using Chinese rules is much better.
Millions of people have been applying the Japanese rules without trouble for centuries, therefore your statement is false.
Quote:
3) It is nice to see that area scoring is spread more. In particular, since the professionalism is also meant to promote go better in Europe, rules that (in their essence) can be explained and understood in just a few minutes are a very good choice. More particularly, journalists reporting about European professional or pro-selection tournaments will spread the game much more easily, if they can figure out by themselves very quickly what this game is actually about.
The spread of go has never been held back by Japanese rules, nor is there any indication that the adoption of Chinese rules has ever had an impact on spreading go. It is equally easy for journalists to figure out what the game is about for either rule set.

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Post #35 Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:31 am 
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As others have pointed out, different sports have different ways of talking about themselves. There is a huge difference between a golf professional and a professional golf player. In football, a professional footballer is always a professional football player and no-one uses the phrase football professional. Some sports, like tennis and golf, regulate entry to the professional players' ranks by making players prove to the pro organisations that a minimum standard has been achieved. In other sports you only have to prove yourself to a club.

Go is a special case in many ways, and is (?surprisingly) quite unlike chess, although it could be argued that there are similarities with the old Soviet chess system. One thing that makes chess special is (again as others have mentioned) that pro is really a title. Becoming a pro requires achieving a minimum rank and a diploma. It is the equivalent of a university degree. Once you have your degree it is up to you whether you actually use it to make your living. If you don't, you still retain your diploma.

Further, the status of go players varies a little in each of the main go playing countries. As the country with the oldest organisations Japan sets the standard somewhat. In Japan, although the western term pro is widely used it is not the pukka word. That is kishi. You get some of the flavour by translating that (almost literally) as 'knight of the go board'. You get that status by having a suitable diploma, not by making your living from go. Japan differentiates a little by also having quasi-kishi and local kishi. Both require diplomas but of a lower standard (like, say, accountancy college as opposed to university). Normally these types of pro stay outside the full kishi system (e.g. local kishi have their own championships) and they are never called just kishi.

In Japan, if you earn your living 100% from go (e.g. as a writer) but do not have a kishi diploma, you are never described as a go pro. Instead, you are a professional writer, or whatever.

Korea is near enough the same. China's a bit different. There you first need to earn a 'passport', which is very like getting your 'tour card' in golf. Although getting a passport coincides with becoming 1-dan, the difference is that in the case of a passport (as with a tour card) 'use it or lose it' applies, as the point of it is that it gives you automatic access to all pro tournaments. If you do not take up your places you are expected to drop back to the amateur ranks. However, there is a fuzzy cut-off point in China which means that 'face' becomes a consideration and so those who achieve high pro grades can keep their pro status even if they no longer play in tournaments but instead undertake teaching or coaching. However, even in China a person who earned money from go without having earned a passport would never be called a pro.

So, sorry, Robert - you and I are not pros!

Europe and the USA are free to devise their own models, and now is surely the time to discuss what we want or expect. No-one seems to have asked what the Chinese (in Europe) or the Koreans (in USA) want out of their involvement, so maybe the first step is to ascertain that.

It does not have to be anything sinister. Maybe they just want foreign players who can take part in domestic events - which may not be a huge help for the rest of us. Maybe they hope to see people who can teach go to a high standard, but in that case calling them professional go players would be a bit inconsistent. Indeed, in that case creating a tournament cadre might not be the best use of the money. Giving Robert cash to pursue his research might be a better use :)


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Post #36 Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 2:14 am 
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It should be obvious that normally the sponsors sets the rules to be used as a condition of sponsorship.

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Post #37 Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 2:19 am 
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John Fairbairn wrote:
It is the equivalent of a university degree.


University: no tight bottle neck.
Go professional certificates: very tight bottle neck. Additionally only one kind of qualification is measured: playing. So far, teaching is not measured as a qualification criterion.

Quote:
Robert - you and I are not pros!


Only by the definition of pro rank certificate. E.g., German bureaucracy has a very different view: already the serious intention of starting commercial activities requires registration etc.

Quote:
No-one seems to have asked what the Chinese (in Europe) or the Koreans (in USA) want out of their involvement, so maybe the first step is to ascertain that.


Yes. As much as the European go public has not been asked what we want. E.g., do we want a bottle neck access? I say: no!

Quote:
Giving Robert cash to pursue his research might be a better use


While I would agree, EUR 150,000/a could, more generally, be used in various ways. E.g., 100 players / organisers / teachers / researchers each could be supported by (on average) EUR 1,500/a. IMO, such a system or something similar could be much more efficient for raising the standard of European go. Distributing the money among just a handful of players is almost the opposite approach.

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Post #38 Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 2:32 am 
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RobertJasiek wrote:
Quote:
Robert - you and I are not pros!


Only by the definition of pro rank certificate. E.g., German bureaucracy has a very different view: already the serious intention of starting commercial activities requires registration etc.


Words have meaning. Combinations of words have meanings. The combination of words does not necessarily keep the meaning of the individual words involved.

If I buy a lava lamp, I should not expect the lamp to contain actual lava.

Go is a word meaning a certain board game. Professional is a word meaning a person who practices something as their profession.

But Go professional does not then simply mean "a person who practices the board game go as their profession".

The German bureaucracy has no view on the concept "go professional", only on the concept "professional".


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Post #39 Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:28 am 
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Ah, I thought Martin Stiassny, the EGF president, wanted to spread the news himself - although that was quite some time ago as well.

Or maybe someone in the UK decided that it's time for the Go community to get the news? :)

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Post #40 Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:50 am 
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We cannot know if the treaty was meant to be public, but who cares? It contains much important information for everybody. Assuming that the treaty is indeed active, it is also overdue to see it published, because the AGM is very soon.

***

Concerning definitions of "professional", we had the discussion before. It appears to amount to different possible meanings including

- person (player) earning part or all his income from the activity (playing go, teaching go, go books etc.)
- go player possessing a certificate calling him a "professional"
- persons affected by both aspects

There are (European) examples for every of these basic types.

***

One thing is pretty unclear to me: shall the EGF collect future sponsor money, generate income by means of initiating or supervising professional activities or initiate media interest (is Eurosports 3 for mind sports an idea)? Or shall the new professionals take over these tasks?

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