IGF Director's Report 2003

To: The members of the European Go Federation

Ref.: IGF Director's Report 2003 (revised)

CC.: Zoran Mutabzija, vice-president Yamamoto Ri-ichi, IGF secretary

Amsterdam, 27th June 2003

Dear Members,

The IGF is at a cross point concerning the development of a strategy to realize it's aims:
To advance the techniques and spirit of Go throughout the world, to promote amicable relations among the members of the I.G.F. and to improve the organization of world go. (Statutes of the International Go Federation, 1982).
Improving communication with the IGF members will be a crucial element. Therefore I write this personal report. I hope to give some insight in the functioning of the IGF and help communications on our future policy.

Before going into the general policy of the IGF, I would like to take this opportunity to clarify the decision to postpone the World Amateur Go Championship. Though actual risk for people visiting Japan is small to very small, these risks increase when you bring together a group from a large number of countries. In fact early May a Taiwanese Doctor with SARS traveled trough Japan for over a week, leaving the places where he stayed virtually out of business. For any airline, but as I understand even more for Japan Airlines, the care for the safety of its guests is the highest priority. An outstanding reputation in this area is one of the most important assets. Any SARS related incident would create enormous problems on top of a very difficult situation during the recent two fiscal years.
A proposal to postpone was prepared at the highest level of JAL together with Mr. Toshimitsu, president of the IGF. Taking the above in account all directors of the IGF didn't hesitate to approve the postponement of the WAGC until October this year, with the final decision to be made in July or August, subject to WHO's reports or instructions on the current situation of the epidemic at that time. Although no doubt you are disappointed, we, the IGF directors, appreciate your understanding and acceptance.

Though I would have preferred a more positive message, any report on the IGF must start with the WAGC. The possibility to participate in the WAGC has stimulated many Go players around the world to unite in a National Go Association. Starting in 1982 with 29 members there are now 64 members with affiliation of the Mongolian Go Association and the Panamanian Go Association on this years agenda of the IGF General Meeting. The last five years 16 new members joined.

This development has urged the IGF office to reconsider the lines of communication.
As you know this has resulted in a different format of the IGF publication "Ranka" combined with a newly developed and to be expanded webpage, provisionally posted at:
In the Special General Meeting to approve the changes in the communication policy 46 countries voted of which 31 European countries. I would like to thank all countries in Europe for their co-operation in both the Annual and Special general meetings by correspondence.
This procedure showed that we can conduct the general meeting by correspondence whenever necessary, though there are difficulties in directly communicating with all 64 (probably 66 soon) members, which, we are confident, can be overcome with your cooperation. It is very important that the IGF directors representing their region will be involved in communication with the members.

Because of the growing membership and increasing globalizing of the world of sports the IGF strives for recognition by Federations of International Sports Organizations. Being member of a network of Directors of International Sports Federation, organized by the Dutch Olympic Committee, I learned about the importance of the General Association of International Sport Organizations (GAISF). In 2001 I introduced the GAISF within the IGF, this year the application file is completed. Unfortunately our application for membership has been delayed due to a policy change by the GAISF. On the positive side we can report that following one of my suggestions a direct line of communication has been established between the IGF and Dr. Kim Un Young, president of the GAISF and member of IOC. This will greatly facilitate the recognition of the IGF and the game of Go.

Membership of the GAISF means international recognition of the game of Go and as such is a first step towards recognition by the International Olympic Committee. Furthermore membership of the GAISF will create possibilities for the IGF to help strengthen infrastructure in the member countries as it makes it possible for Member Organizations to get recognition by National Sports Authority or National Olympic Committees.
Lastly the international recognition will make it possible for the game of Go to join a "Mind Sport Olympiad" if and when this will be organized by the GAISF, under auspices by the IOC.

From the World Draughts Association (FMJD) through the kind co-operation of their president Mr. Wouter Van Beek, we received their policy how they used membership of GAISF for the benefits of their members. Following this example the IGF is planning to further develop a strategy to more effectively work to organize the world of Go.
Membership of GAISF, improving communication and developing a strategy needs additional financial resources. Therefore a proposal has been prepared to raise the membership fee of the IGF. Though a large part will again be born by Asian associations the IGF expects that also the European countries will accept a raise with 20%.

Lastly, the IGF directors play an important role in establishing and maintaining contact with our Asian partners. Visiting the WAGC and IGF meeting is a perfect opportunity to thank our sponsors and discuss future possibilities. This year Tony Atkins and I have appointments to meet with representatives from Fujitsu Corporation, Pandanet and the former and new Director of the Overseas Department of the Nihon Ki-in.

In conclusion, I hope this report improves your understanding of the activities of the IGF.
Should you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.

With best regards,

Erik Puyt
Director IGF