News

Results from the EGF-survey at the last congress in Liberec
By Marc Oliver Rieger | News | 12.06.2016 11:56 | Views: 2515
Results from the EGF-survey at the last congress in Liberec
At the European Go Congress 2015 in Liberec, together with Prof. Mei Wang (WHU, Otto-Beisheim-School of Management, Germany), I conducted a survey among the participants. Here, I would like to summarize the main results:

First, some statistics:

Nearly 300 players participated. 20% of them were female, 80% male. Their average age was 34 years, the youngest being eight and the oldest 92. On average, they have played already for 15 years. Only 10% have played Go for less than three years, so Go players who participate the EGC tend to be experienced.
We also asked when and where the players had learned Go: the average age was 19 years. Fig.1 describes how this starting age was distributed. So, it seems that many players started during their early adulthood, probably while being a university student. There is, however, a trend in the data that the younger generation (below 30) tends to learn Go already in high school (between 15 to 20 years).
Figure1
Fig 1. - Percentage of go players vs. age

Where did the participants learn go?

Here the answers were very diverse (see Fig. 2), but the internet plays already an important role, particularly when considering that the survey contained many long-time Go players who couldn't possibly have learned Go online, since at their time there hasn't been the internet around yet.
Figure1
Fig 2. - Where did you learn go?

Are Go players also Go teachers?

Nearly two third said that they had not only previous experience with teaching Go, but also managed to teach somebody who still plays Go! So I would venture to say: yes, Go players are Go teachers! And what are their hurdles to overcome when teaching Go? Most (52%) agreed that it is difficult to keep the interest of people, since Go is difficult to study. Also a large proportion (47%) said that it is difficult to find interested people at the first place. Interestingly, other reasons were not as important, in particular, only 6% complained about lack of adequate teaching material. This is interesting since it implies that additional efforts should most likely go to marketing and to develop ways to keep the interest of beginners rather than on teaching material.
There are also some characteristics that seem to correlate with being a successful Go teacher: they tend to be strong (no surprise!), older, tend to notice prejudices about board games as a potential problem and see Go more than others as an "exciting competition".

Where do Go players play?

We asked for playing frequency at Go clubs, with friends and online. The largest frequency (on average nearly once per week) was online playing! The internet has become commonplace in the Go community in Europe, that is obvious from this result. – Recall, that we only asked Go players who actually still came to a real life tournament!
Talking about tournaments: participants had on average played already 56 EGF-rated tournaments in their lives. The most active players tend to be strong players (not a surprise!) and kids – who probably have simply more time for their hobby than adults!

What differences between women and men do we observe?

The most striking difference was that women played more Go – but less frequently at tournaments! A possible reason might be that women on average are less keen to compete. This might leave only the more active female players participate at the EGC which explains why those women who participated play in general more frequently than the men.
The gender imbalance (80% to 20%) was higher with older players. Analyzing the data suggests that this is probably not because women tend to drop out more frequently, but because nowadays more women learn Go.
The starting age distribution is the same for men and women.
As in chess, we observed that the average playing strength of men was higher than that of women. (The author lost enough games against female opponents to know not to generalize this result.)
The proportion of female participants among the DDK players was indeed roughly equal to the number of male participants. At least on beginner level Go seems to be as attractive for women than for men.

Who's strong?

Main factors that we found to influence playing strength are the age when players learned Go (the younger the better) and whether they play a lot online and in tournaments (the more the better).
Table1The Table shows some characteristic differences between DDK, SDK, low and high dan players. In particular, DDKs were on average a bit younger (obviously, since there were small children among them), while the youngest age average was found among high dan players. The reasons for this are up to speculation: it might be due to an increase in playing strength with the young generation or because older high dans tend to be less attracted by such a competitive event. A clear result, however, is that stronger players on average started playing Go earlier (for high dans, on average, in early high school). Also, as mentioned above, the proportion of female players decreases with playing strength from 48% (DDK) to only 5% (high dan).

Finally, a big thank you to all participants for filling in our surveys, and to the EGF for supporting this project!

Marc Oliver Rieger
(Professor at the University of Trier, Germany)
No comments posted...
Leave a Comment
* Name
* Email (will not be published)
*
Please, enter the name of go in korean!
*
* - Reqiured fields
Add me to the EGF Newsletter:
Email Address *
More info

News from the Omikron European Go Congress

Hall of Fame (Aug 20, 2017 17:34)
The "Outstanding Breathtaking Extraordinary Real Hall of Fame", in short: "OBERHoF", is now onlin...

How to win Ke Jie (9p)? Go to the EGC! (Aug 15, 2017 14:25)
Just ten days after winning the Open European Go Championship, Zhang Tao (5p, left on the photo) ...

The European Go Congress – Highlights of the second week (Aug 10, 2017 07:05)
The following is a guest posting by the European Go Federation written by Yue Li and was first pu...

The European Go Congress – An Overview of the first week (Aug 10, 2017 07:00)
The following is a guest posting by the European Go Federation written by Laura Avram and was fir...

Tell us your opinion on the EGC and win a prize! (Aug 9, 2017 19:13)
How did you like the EGC? We've put together a survey to make future congresses even better! Plea...

Calendar

Date Event
22.07.2017
06.08.2017
Omikron European Go Congress
19.08.2017
20.08.2017
European Women's Championship
01.09.2017
03.09.2017
Moravian Open 2017
09.09.2017
10.09.2017
European Student Championship
21.10.2017
22.10.2017
Amstelveen tournament
20.10.2017
22.10.2017
40th Belgrade Open
28.10.2017
29.10.2017
32nd Brussels Tournament
28.10.2017
29.10.2017
20th Mannheim Go Open Autumn
07.04.2018
08.04.2018
European Pair Go Championship
05.05.2018
06.05.2018
10th Strasbourg international tournament
28.07.2018
11.08.2018
62nd European Go Congress

See also the full EGF Calendar (including world calendar).