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 Post subject: Re: New project for youth in Europe
Post #21 Posted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:47 pm 
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I am glad to see so many nice contributions to the development of this important project.
Yes, we need a SWOT analysis and any help by business strategists is welcome.

In order to clarify the terminology:

1) "Review" is usually called "Requirements analysis". The study on the current situation of Youth Go in Europe is the first step. Depending on a (more or less) objective assessment of that situation, other important questions (like "What to increase: quality or quantity?") can be answered.

2) "Youth Grand Prix" is the most imporatant "Work Package": a series of youth tournaments (the format must be well-defined in advance), timely announced, with all necessary detail about the venue, the organizing team on a project-dedicated website.

3) "Yearbook" is the "Annual Report" or (one of the) "Deliverable(s)". Whoever is going to support the project (sponsors, parents, European Commission, ...), it will be both nice and necessary to have some printed material of good quality showing what has been done.

Furthermore, there were some concerns that children, especially girls are not staying within the go community.
I wold like to draw a parallel with another mind game - chess. Some 30-40 yers ago it was normal that each chess club has the following line-up: 6 "seniors" + 2 female players + 2 youngsters (U18). Each of 10 boards had the same weight: 1 point in the total score. Club managers were really interesting to find and nurture female and children players. Some 25 years ago, somebody said "Let's play separately". Today, clubs are having 6 boards (with 2 foreign players on top two boards). As a consequence, most girls and kids in general leave chess when they are 15.

The point is that we should encourage mixed teams in go competitions, just like the idea of PairGo made a lot of positive impact.

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 Post subject: Re: New project for youth in Europe
Post #22 Posted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:15 pm 
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So i guess i'll toss my hat into the discussion...^^

Hi there, i'm from southern germany, a player in the EGF Academy and kind of youth (well, i'm still U20 for a few days, so i'm not the target group). I would really like to support this program/the goals that Catalin has in mind.
I will try to give some short overview for the way how youth go worked during my school-time (from ~2009) and also what is going on today in the cities around me.
One of my classmates went to a german boardgame convention, and by chance they learned go at that place. They enjoyed it, bought some material and played with each other. After a few months, they got in contact with the german go-association abouth creating a go workshop at the school of their children. They got supported with material, and the two children started the go workshop at our school by themselves from scratch. So without their initiative, i would have probably never heard about this game, or at least much later. They received some good support from the german go association, sometimes also a 2d player passed by and teached a bit. At another school in my city, one day per week a teacher would bring go-boards to the children during lunch break, to give them a chance to play go.

Nowadays, i moved to another city. In may we started a go workshop at a local school, some 3 people from our local club together with the 'leader' of our local club. At this school we might have good chances to create something really substantial, because they already have a well running shogi club (i think they are one of the top german shogi school teams). During the last months (before summer holidays) we had around 6-8 children who came weekly, and some more who passed by from time to time.
Also, at my hometown one guy (a teacher) is doing a go-workshop with a few children. My father (also a teacher, lol) will try to start one at his school from this september as well, as an experiment to see if children will join.

As you can see, all of these are started from some private initiative (from my limited experience, at least) and usually i think they die when the founder leaves (at least that was the case at my school...)
Also, as far as i can see, all of these projects are pretty immature, so there are basically only DDKs. Most of the people playing at this strength are enjoying some tournaments, but it is very important that there are people from the same strength. There is one big school-tournament in germany, the Hans-Pietsch-Memorial, where many students play in teams. However, since at that one teams are playing each other, the strength gap with your opponent can be pretty big (at my first year i had to play a 1k while i was <20k with 'only' 9 handicap.

Wall of text syndrome, i guess.
So, i hope that i painted an accurate picture of how i recognise the situation at the moment. Hope its not too chaotic. I'm pretty sure that the go-activity is growing here.
Hope it helps for your future plannings. Feel free to skip all of this if you think its not helpful. Also, please ignore my english mistakes, its quite late here at the moment xD

Cheers, Thomas


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 Post subject: Re: New project for youth in Europe
Post #23 Posted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 12:30 am 
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Knotwilg wrote:
I'm surely not as good a strategist as Catalin, but I have business strategy as my profession. Feel free to ignore my questions.

Summarizing the plan, it says
Quote:
Plan for youth development
1. Annual review
2. Grand prix
3. Yearbook


What we see here is a list of actions (projects) that presumably work together towards the goal of "youth development". However, the goal itself is not very clear and it is not argumented how these actions will help achieving the goal.

1. Your goal
Development can go two ways, more youth or better youth. Usually these go hand in hand: more people means more potential for high quality and better means role models to attract more people. Which of these seems more important? Will you develop both at the same time or one first and then the other? (From your "grand prix" action, I gather that you want to make the existing youth better first)

2. The analysis of the problem/opportunity and your strengths/weaknesses when tackling it
Now is the size or quality of go youth a problem? What's the nature of that problem? And is that problem solvable? What lies in your particular strength to solve the problem? Which hurdles will you meet along the way. (Some readers will see a SWOT emerge here). Or is it just your personal desire in life to teach Go to young people and are you looking for a vehicle for that (which is perfectly fine!)

3. The actions
Through comparison of your strength (being a pro in go, is what I know) and weaknesses (e.g. youth will have a hard time travelling) to the nature of the problem, you may come to a plan. Currently I do not see how an annual report or a yearbook would result from such analysis. I can see the merits of the Grand Prix, which you offer here for cooperation and proposal.

As a business strategist, I'm offering my help to devise or inspect your strategic plan. Of course, you are totally free to ignore my marketing lingo and unproductive rambling.


Hi, great input here, thank you.

This makes me want to talk about two things:

1. The goal. I think it's good to think first of the long term goal then come backwards from it to the present time. My personal goal is to promote Go in Europe. But promote is a big and vague word. Also, to think that promote=bigger population is not correct. Suppose tomorrow we have a million players in Europe. Is this a good thing? Right now,not.Why? Because we lack infrastructure. What is infrastructure: easy access to playing materials, local clubs or places for local activities, information ( books, especially for beginners, tutorials, statistics etc. ), organizations ( local, national, international) , a coherent set of events. Compared to 20-30 years ago access to playing materials and information is easy, thanks to internet and transportation options. What we still lack is better organizations, at all levels, but at least we have them. What we don't have at all it's a coherent set of events, at least at European level. The actual tournament setup is not friendly to youth and it's obvious that Go population increases only at a slightly better pace than 30 years ago, which is only normal thanks to internet. It is why i want to tackle the biggest thing missing , a coherent set of youth events at European level.

1.1 Just to answer the question, i aim at supporting all three categories : beginners, top and middle class ( by far the most numerous) . All tournaments will do that. The prizes, yes, will go to the best , but also to the middle class and beginners who manage 4-5-6 wins( depends on number of rounds) . The yearbook aims at motivating all of them. Generally i think is a mistake to cover only one faction and ignore the rest.

2. I should explain a bit my vision of the International team for this project. I know a lot of people who are involved and do great activities to support/promote/teach youth. Some of them want and can do more. In my vision this team is made of 'Ýes' people, who believe things can be changed. Some will directly help with organizing the events, some with promotional materials, communication and so on. It doesn't have to become a burden for anyone, people should give just what they can. Anyone who feels that he/she wants to be part of the team please send me an email and explain shortly how you see your role in the team. We will talk here a lot, but also privately by email. I will coordinate this team but all its members should feel free to take initiative .

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 Post subject: Re: New project for youth in Europe
Post #24 Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:04 am 
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Hello again,

I see that the discussion died , i hope it's not because i said something stupid. Well, nothing should be stupid in a brainstorming process...

I was talking about the international team that will supervise the Saijo project. For the moment the people who confirmed : Damir Medak from Croatia, Flavien Aubelle from Switzerland, Viktor Lin from Austria, Rob Kok from Holland, Cristian Cobeli, Mihaela Taranu and me from Romania. I am pretty sure more will join, if anyone is interested to contribute just mail me or confirm it directly here.

So far we had some pretty generic discussions. I would like to talk also about very clear topics like the point system, number of people who get prizes, tournament rules ( we really need experienced referees here)

Hope to see more activity on this topic,

Best regards,
Catalin

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 Post subject: Re: New project for youth in Europe
Post #25 Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:51 am 
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Catalin Taranu wrote:
Knotwilg wrote:
I'm surely not as good a strategist as Catalin, but I have business strategy as my profession. Feel free to ignore my questions.

Summarizing the plan, it says
Quote:
Plan for youth development
1. Annual review
2. Grand prix
3. Yearbook


What we see here is a list of actions (projects) that presumably work together towards the goal of "youth development". However, the goal itself is not very clear and it is not argumented how these actions will help achieving the goal.

1. Your goal
Development can go two ways, more youth or better youth. Usually these go hand in hand: more people means more potential for high quality and better means role models to attract more people. Which of these seems more important? Will you develop both at the same time or one first and then the other? (From your "grand prix" action, I gather that you want to make the existing youth better first)

2. The analysis of the problem/opportunity and your strengths/weaknesses when tackling it
Now is the size or quality of go youth a problem? What's the nature of that problem? And is that problem solvable? What lies in your particular strength to solve the problem? Which hurdles will you meet along the way. (Some readers will see a SWOT emerge here). Or is it just your personal desire in life to teach Go to young people and are you looking for a vehicle for that (which is perfectly fine!)

3. The actions
Through comparison of your strength (being a pro in go, is what I know) and weaknesses (e.g. youth will have a hard time travelling) to the nature of the problem, you may come to a plan. Currently I do not see how an annual report or a yearbook would result from such analysis. I can see the merits of the Grand Prix, which you offer here for cooperation and proposal.

As a business strategist, I'm offering my help to devise or inspect your strategic plan. Of course, you are totally free to ignore my marketing lingo and unproductive rambling.


Hi, great input here, thank you.

This makes me want to talk about two things:

1. The goal. I think it's good to think first of the long term goal then come backwards from it to the present time. My personal goal is to promote Go in Europe. But promote is a big and vague word. Also, to think that promote=bigger population is not correct. Suppose tomorrow we have a million players in Europe. Is this a good thing? Right now,not.Why? Because we lack infrastructure. What is infrastructure: easy access to playing materials, local clubs or places for local activities, information ( books, especially for beginners, tutorials, statistics etc. ), organizations ( local, national, international) , a coherent set of events. Compared to 20-30 years ago access to playing materials and information is easy, thanks to internet and transportation options. What we still lack is better organizations, at all levels, but at least we have them. What we don't have at all it's a coherent set of events, at least at European level. The actual tournament setup is not friendly to youth and it's obvious that Go population increases only at a slightly better pace than 30 years ago, which is only normal thanks to internet. It is why i want to tackle the biggest thing missing , a coherent set of youth events at European level.

1.1 Just to answer the question, i aim at supporting all three categories : beginners, top and middle class ( by far the most numerous) . All tournaments will do that. The prizes, yes, will go to the best , but also to the middle class and beginners who manage 4-5-6 wins( depends on number of rounds) . The yearbook aims at motivating all of them. Generally i think is a mistake to cover only one faction and ignore the rest.

2. I should explain a bit my vision of the International team for this project. I know a lot of people who are involved and do great activities to support/promote/teach youth. Some of them want and can do more. In my vision this team is made of 'Ýes' people, who believe things can be changed. Some will directly help with organizing the events, some with promotional materials, communication and so on. It doesn't have to become a burden for anyone, people should give just what they can. Anyone who feels that he/she wants to be part of the team please send me an email and explain shortly how you see your role in the team. We will talk here a lot, but also privately by email. I will coordinate this team but all its members should feel free to take initiative .


Hi Catalin, sorry for the radio silence.

Besides people like me who question the bigger picture or redirect your strategic approach, you need people who execute and believe something is possible. Nothing ever got done by only talking about it. I learned, in my professional activity, that this "(can) do" attitude vs. "let's talk first" attitude is something that seems to divide Eastern and Western Europe. This may prepare you for a slower buy-in in the West, where people in general need to see the purpose first before they jump to the action.

So let me offer this:

1. I'll be your bridge (for now) to the Belgian community. I will
- expose them to your message
- help you understand what's currently going on in Belgium at the level of your interest, i.e. youth events
2. I'll continue and reflect on your strategy here.
3. I'll create a document, which you are again free to interpret or ignore, about what I think is needed to achieve your longer term goal "promote Go in Europe" (which is still somewhat ill defined as you say), if it is not "a coherent set of youth events" as you claim

Good luck

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 Post subject: Re: New project for youth in Europe
Post #26 Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:09 am 
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I have no experience in tournament organization, but here is my opinion. Looking at http://eygc2018.org.ua/?page_id=484, we see that for this tournament with 6 rounds, we had about 11% players with 5 or 6 wins, and about 23% with 4 wins. Prizes needn't be expensive, but they do have a cost, so the number of prizes you want to give depends on your budget. Prizes for a given tournament can include

  • Medals for the best three of each category (U12, U16, U20).
  • (Partial) sponsorship for another tournament.
  • Free teaching games with a go professional.
  • Free participation to a season of EGF academy or other online courses.
  • Books.

I suppose that in addition, you want to give a small number of prizes for the total number of collected points during the year.

IMO, don't give too much to the winner of each tournament compared to other people receiving prizes, to avoid that the same person receives big prizes throughout the year. Prizes should motivate a large number of people.

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 Post subject: Re: New project for youth in Europe
Post #27 Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:57 am 
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Catalin Taranu wrote:
Hi Catalin, sorry for the radio silence.

Besides people like me who question the bigger picture or redirect your strategic approach, you need people who execute and believe something is possible. Nothing ever got done by only talking about it. I learned, in my professional activity, that this "(can) do" attitude vs. "let's talk first" attitude is something that seems to divide Eastern and Western Europe. This may prepare you for a slower buy-in in the West, where people in general need to see the purpose first before they jump to the action.

So let me offer this:

1. I'll be your bridge (for now) to the Belgian community. I will
- expose them to your message
- help you understand what's currently going on in Belgium at the level of your interest, i.e. youth events
2. I'll continue and reflect on your strategy here.
3. I'll create a document, which you are again free to interpret or ignore, about what I think is needed to achieve your longer term goal "promote Go in Europe" (which is still somewhat ill defined as you say), if it is not "a coherent set of youth events" as you claim

Good luck


Hi Knotwilg,

I will add you to the team. How do i see your email address, i am a noob with forums?
Aside from this public discussion we will have some mailing list between the team members where we talk practical aspects.
Your vision of the great board is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Catalin

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 Post subject: Re: New project for youth in Europe
Post #28 Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:56 am 
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I think every project concerning Go and youth is fantastic and should get a full support! (except if someone would say: I want to train the kids to death with an 8h/day Go schedule against their will)

I am only a lowly school teacher and not in a position to be of much help, but I have recently started my own Go club at school, with great success (out of only 3 classes, we have like 18+ motivated children playing Go weekly, two even buying their own Go board). We focused ourselves on ages 8-12, but I believe the same could be done for even younger kids.
I used 'Go as Communication' as a basis for starting the club at school. Real useful book it was to me.

I agree that distance is the biggest obstacle. Kids love Go, because it's easy to love. But convince their parents to go someone for this, will be a very, very hard thing to do for most.

My main focus is enjoyement of the game and togetherness, which should be the main thing if working with kids, I think.


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Post #29 Posted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:30 am 
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Two extra thoughts I swiped from the recesses of my mind.

Strength and Motivation—
I wonder what the logistics of exchange matches between EGF academy students and insei from China, Korea or Japan. It might be even better to add a pair-go element. In the 1980's, I think, Korea and China dominated the World Youth Goe Championships and it was a sign of things to come.

Numbers and Inclusion—
I notice that it is common for toys to have symbols representing supposed benefits on the packaging, such as hand-to-eye coordination, basic numeracy, and the like. I daresay Go out-competes many other products on the market (ages 4 to 12) regarding:

Literacy, communication and reasoning. No matter your strength, improving in go often involves using your reasoning to compare all of the go knowledge you have to find the best move. After the game, being able to review the game with a stronger player, or even write up a summary of your thoughts during the game for someone to review all help one's go.

Numeracy. Learning to count and calculate scores and the value of endgame moves can help avert a child becoming scared of maths (always a tragedy).

Winning and losing. For most amateurs, the result of a go game is rarely too important. But in game we treat it as such, so maybe it's good training for real-life scenarios. As kids learn to control their emotions, patience and discipline, their results will improve (less mistaken moves, blunders and calm when behind or ahead) even up to being weaker than they play (winning often against others with similar go ability due to tenacity, maturity or other transferable skills).

I'm not sure on this, but aren't a lot of mothers taking care of their children's extra curricular pursuits? If a big part of youth events were pair go tournament in which adults pair with children, it may solve several problems in a single tesuji*.

*Can't really say if it's a tesuji as a novice in this field...

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