New vote for selecting the host of the 2017 congress
By Lorenz Trippel | News | 04.12.2016 18:08| Views: 10680 | Comments: 56
The feedback for the decision to give the congress to last year's organiser to hold it in Sochi in 2017 was quite a bit flooding the comment section here on the EGF webpage but of course not only here this decision was widely discussed! Now the organising teams of the russian and german go federation came together with the EGF president to find a solution to the difficult situation.
There will be an informal survey of the member countries whose results will allow
the EGF board to give a final decision on the location of the congress in 2017.

Please find the details in the open letter.
New vote for selecting the host of the 2017 congress
05.12.2016 19:50
I would like to say that it is great news that the board has decided to let member countries have a say in the matter. This way there will be more content with the resulting decision regardless of the venue which gets chosen in the end.
05.12.2016 22:18
Goodnight, sweet Sochi
European Goplayer
06.12.2016 7:22
This is a good decision for the European Go community. I like particularly that both organisers agreed to join forces, regardless of where the EGC will be held! After all this heated discussion that threatened to split the European Go players, it is nice to see collaboration rather than confrontation winning at the end! A big thank you to all sides involved - in particular the Russian side and the EGF board who decided to reconsider the situation and demonstrated that they really care about Go in Europe! Now everybody can be satisfied - regardless of the outcome of the final decision.

I also like the idea of involving the Turkish organisers. We shouldn't forget that they must be the ones that were most disappointed and sad.
Ordinary 5 kyu
06.12.2016 10:41
Right now it will be confrontation in any way.
This will make precedent that "whine about decision - they will change it". So it always will be Europe where many people can't even go in their lifetime. My only chance to participate in EGC was SP in 2016. I was really happy about 2017 year. But now - it's just 0% for me. I have already counted my expenses and i'll need about 2000$ for a trip. Even for European players it's big money. For me - it's about my income in 6-7 months. Goodnight, Oberhof.
Anyway there will be people who are against any decision. But now they can overcome it.
Someone whined about "top players are preferred and other are just crowd for them". Now it will be "European players are preferred and other are just crowd for them". If it will be real decision - i accept it calmly. Now it is "whined" decision.
And if Sochi will win again - there will be another whine. It's not "democratic".
Oberhof fan
06.12.2016 10:57
But what if Sochi wins? Will a new voting to ensure total victory of Oberhof?
Ordinary 5 kyu
06.12.2016 11:13
it will be 10 more voting until oberhof wins. that's how it works in "civilized" countries
06.12.2016 11:39
Please! The decision will be made by the ones that are usually doing this decision - the member states. Now, they have voted before in favour of St.Petersburg, so I don't see why they will never vote again in favour of a Russian city. Heck, they might eben do this time, just wait and see!
I am glad that the Russian Go Federation acknowledged the problems the board decision caused and agreed to join forces to make a good EGC - in whatever city it will be. I am sad that there are Russians here who don't see Russia as part of Europe (not talking about Siberia here, I guess). We are one Go community and should behave as such - even if we disagree on something. (This goes for both sides of the discussion, btw!)
06.12.2016 11:52
I'd be happy if 2017 Egc took place in any of EU member states - this single condition automatically takes care of everything: no issues with visas, no political issues (like with Russia), not in a state of war (like Turkey), and most likely no issues with currency.
Oberhof fan
06.12.2016 12:26
It will be better if Russia and other non EU countries will have this problems every year? Great! This is rightly. It is better to let the EU will be a little easier but for 99% peoples from non-EU countries is unrealistic to visit Congress. This is much better than for the EU countries it will little bit more complicated and for non-EU members it will possible. EGC is first of all for EU. Right?
06.12.2016 12:47
@Ob f:
Calm, down, please: the EGC has just been in Russia! If the majority of countries in the EGF wants to have it in Germany, so be it. If they want to have it in Russia (like it was this year!), so be it.
And there are plenty of other European countries where it can take place in the next years, not everything outside Russia is unaffordable! (46 Russians made it, e.g., to Liberec last year.)
Ordinary 5 kyu
06.12.2016 13:09
46 Russians... How many of them were in SP? like 10 times more.
That's says a lot about how easy for non-EU citizens to visit EGC. I can't spend about half-year salary on 2-week event.
And for EU members it's ONLY "politics" that can make them skip it. And their "pride".

@Ernesas. Yes, be egoist. Make it a little easier for you and MUCH harder for many. Did any on EGC2016 participants had "political issues"?

@Calm - the only ones who can't see Russia as part of Europe is Europe. They already decided that they are better than Russia and other non-EU countries and push decisions they like. I'm sure they will gloat a lot when it will be decided to be Germany. There not exists an argument they will accept for Russia to be not bad.
And it's sad that their prejudices affects big decisions. THEY make GO community apart by their hate.
06.12.2016 13:31
"Sochisrach" will go on :)
illusion of deception
06.12.2016 15:16
Manja Martz organized EGC in Bonn, Sibiu and Saint-Petersburg. Manja Marz is going to organized EGC in Oberhof. German Go Federation has already come up with it all:
to make holivar on the Internet,
to blacken Russia,
to make an illusion of global discontent,
after that to negotiate with Russians on joint Congress,
then to make Russians work on next EGC in Oberhof,
and then to ascribe all the credit to Manja and German Go Federation, as they did it with EGC in Saint-Petersburg.
Well done!
06.12.2016 15:20
@5 kye
Keen calm and play Go :) They just want Congress without sponsor prizes, sea, mountains, and comfortable hotel accommodation on the same price as camping at the German backyard. Very natural and logical desire ^_^ nothing to ague about.
07.12.2016 7:08
Dear recent Russian commentators,
did you actually notice that some of your comments here cast a bad light on Russia? I definitely don't think that Russians are people who are self-centered, are accusing others without reason and try to bully people, but the last couple of comments here try hard to make us believe that this is the case! Please don't do disservice to your country! Btw: You also reduce the chances of Sochi being selected when you make such comments, since people might develop a negative attitude towards Russia!
07.12.2016 8:17
Funny to see russians blaming Germany for some secret plan to steal the EGC.
07.12.2016 11:08
@Steven How do you think... Сomparing Putin to Hitler in "some of your comments" here it is good light on EU? Or may be a good light it is 150 hysterical comments to the previous post about Sochi? We are very disappointed in these comments too. Russian proverb: I see the straw in someone else's eye, but in my eye, I do not notice the log.

Russians are coming
07.12.2016 12:36
I do not consider Russia a part of Europe. I consider Europe a small part of Russia.
Normal ppl see in this only geographical fact, paranoid and russofobian lay bricks. My test.
illusion of deception
07.12.2016 12:58
Leaders of the German Go Federation allow themselves to insulting remarks about Russia.
The president of the German Go Federation writes here that his wife organized EGC in Saint-Petersburg, which is a lie.
These are facts.

I don't say any bad word about Germany or Germans, but I want to indicate the deeds of the leaders of the German Go Federation. This is unacceptable!
Michael Marz
07.12.2016 14:21
No leaders of the German Go Federation wrote an insuling remark about Russia. If so, please show me.
My wife became part of the Russian organising team at the EGC 2016, and actually a more active one than I expected. Unlike in earlier congresses, when she acted as an advisor helping people in what they did, she actually did many things in St. Petersburg herself. Ask any member of the organisation team in St. Petersburg, they will confirm this.
And please read the open letter from Maxim and myself. We both condemn any insults against organising sites of a potential congress and we both agreed to support the orga team of the EGC 2017 whereever it will be.
I am convinced that Sochi will be great choice for an EGC 2017. Likewise, I am convinced that Oberhof will be a great choice as well.
Ingo Althoefer
07.12.2016 14:46
one proposal, in particular for the emotional writers here.
Please, sign your postings with your true names. This helps
to stay polite.

Gens una sumus, Ingo.
Daniel Konopac
07.12.2016 17:33
I just perceived what is the main difference between thinking of Russian and non-Russian people (and so what is the source of mutual misunderstanding):
(Many) Russians are identified with their country and leader(s), regardless of circumstances. Contrarywise, men from most other countries consider themselves as individuals fully independent of their country. They may both like or dislike their leaders and they consider any criticism of their leaders and countries as absolutely normal.

it seems that if I say
"Oberhof is a better choice than Sochi" or
"Putin is like pre-war Hitler."
then some Russians here will take it as a deliberate personal attack/insult.

No, it is not an insult. Similarly, if I say
"Klement Gottwald (former president of Czechoslovakia) was a light version of Stalin",
I don't say it in order to insult my grandparents. This is just my political stance, and my grandparents (even if they supported Gottwald) would understand it and wouldn't feel personally offended.

@Dmitry #17
It was me who compared Putin and pre-war Hitler in the discussion about the previous article. I did it because "Ordinary 5 kyu" whined about people blaming Russia for everything. (S)he apparently didn't understand what was the key problem from western point of view: it is the annexation of weaker neighbours.

Dmitry wrote: "Russian proverb: I see the straw in someone else's eye, but in my eye, I do not notice the log."
This is why in the other discussion I wondered Russians mind very weak armies of NATO at Russian borders and neglect much stronger Russian armies at borders of NATO.
And I still believe a non-emotial and factual discussion (not here, but in the EGF forums: an account is required there) about these political contradictions between Russia and West could help understand one another.
Russians are coming
07.12.2016 18:24
Someone give a the ban to Daniel, or else we are now going to discuss the history of mankind.

We have different ideas about the Soviet Union, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, the United States, the Cold War, the referendum in the Crimea, the annexation of Kosovo, human rights, safety

You want to make a world war 3 on EGC?
07.12.2016 19:15
I don't like very much the decision to revote Congress hosting country, but I like the fact that there were joint announcement and open letter of both teams and their decision to work together.

Both proposals are interesting but still there are lot of questions about Go program of the Obernhof congress. Do you plan to invite Korean and/or Chinese pro for lectures. master-classes and other activities? Do you plan to organise one or few Computer-Human Go matches or small mixed tournament? What other activities in addition to the main tournament are planed?

I'm asking this questions to the German team as I know EGC in St. Petersburg was rich on such events including Go+Chess match. So I'm sure that there will be a lot of interesting Go events outside the main tournament in Sochi. And if I'm not mistaken Russian team last year even suggested to include one computer program to the main tournament which was rejected by bureaucratic reasons. It could have been the 1st world mixed tournament but now Japanese World Championship in March will be the 1st.

But if Russian organisation team describe their plans too, it will be very interesting to compare both proposal not only in accommodation but in Go part too.
Michael Marz
07.12.2016 20:45
Hello ViktorM,
thanks for your questions. Most of the topics are not included in our proposal as they are completely self-evident to regular congress visitors. Let me answer them anyway.
1) Professionals: Of course we will invite professsionals from those countries and from Taiwan and Japan as well. Because of the shortage of time I doubt that we will top the Pro attendances from Bonn, which, if I remember correctly, were 31, but there will be plenty of pros, and they will give kyu and dan lectures, commentaries, simuls etc. Trust me, professionals will always come to any European Congress, wherever it takes place.
2) I cannot remember a congress with more side tournements than the last German one. Besides the main and the weekend tournament, I remember the rapid, the bonus tournament, 9*9, 13*13, lightning, Sunjang Baduk, pair go, children's, team's, midnight madness, rengo, crazy go, yose go and marathon. We plan a similar schedule for Oberhof as well. (Btw, as far as I know, the Italians plan even more for the Pisa congress 2018.)
3) Computer go events do not always happen at go congresses and are usually triggered by the computer go community. And I know they have some plans already for 2017,
Whether a computer program can join the main tournament is probably rather a decision by the EGF than by the local host.
4) And of course there will some surprises and new events! Last week we discussed a nice idea with Natalia, which will probably realise. Either in Sochi or in Oberhof.
07.12.2016 21:19
Hello Michael.

Thanks for such a detail response. Sounds very promising!

Best regards,
Marc Oliver Rieger
08.12.2016 7:14
Dear Viktor,

let me add that in Bonn at the EGC (where I was not involved in the organization yet), a computer program was joining the small board competitions. (My wife had the pleasure to be crashed by it, that's why I remember so well... :) At least this should be possible this year, too. (Again, regardless of where the EGC will be held!)
You can look forward to the next EGC! It's every year a great event!
richard mullens
09.12.2016 6:51
Just an idle thought and a rather academic question but is there a country which is visa free for Russia, Schengen Countries and the UK ? Turkey ? Are we to exclude all Arab countries where perhaps if it is not permissible for Israelis to travel.

Some time ago there was to be a stage de Go in Chefchaouen, but in the end it was cancelled I believe.

Living in Europe (well the UK) I can go to Germany any day of the week, so from that perspective I would rather the tournament were in Sochi as I will almost certainly never go there otherwise.

What about Thailand or Vietnam ? Now of course, having no organisers there makes it difficult but they do play Go there. I think that we should be open to all possibilities in the future. China or Korea ? I saw a photo of Martin Stiassny in Hangzhou recently - so why not ?

Providing it isn't mammothly expensive I'll go anywhere if there will be a good turn out and a party atmosphere !
Michael Marz
09.12.2016 10:49
Come on, Richard. We have good options within Europe, why look elsewhere? The further you travel, the more expensive it will get. We might want to look at this kind of options if we have no European candidates.
And for Hangzhou: At least for Germans getting a visa to China is as tedious as for Russia. Possible, but difficult.
Btw... you might want to go the Japanese Go Congress or the US Congress if you would like to try out congresses outside Europe.
richard mullens
10.12.2016 2:11
Thank you Michael. Indeed I am grateful for the organisers no matter where.

Not only are the EGCs great events but fun be has before, during and after:

For St Petersburg I got to ride the metro and see the mosaics in the various stations and do the other tourist sights.
For Liberec, I was able to take in Berlin, Dresden, Leipzig, and see the the museum Terra Mineralia in Freiberg.
For Sibiu, I got to drink beer in the old town in Bucharest, see its botanical gardens and ride the train there sitting next to other go players.
For Bordeaux, I got to visit many places on the TGV
For Groningen, I was able to attend the Zomergo at Texel and snack on the plants at Hortus Botanica in Amsterdam
In Prague I was able to visit the National Museum, see the hippos in the zoo and drink beer at imaginably low prices.
And at Marseille we were told not to park our car in the town, we did so and it was duly broken in to !

So I am truly grateful for the rich experiences that can be had in the countries hosting the EGC and no matter where they are held I urge others to attend.
Marc Oliver Rieger
10.12.2016 9:00
Then add some skiing in the middle of summer in Oberhof to your EGC adventures or a visit to the Fairy Cave or some glass-making! Or be surprised what other fun things will happen there. :)
10.12.2016 12:43
Just one question.
The problem with Turkey was political or financial?
There have been small congresses in the past, and none was cancelled.
It seems reasonable to think that due to political instability players would have registered later on. That happened with many congresses, very few player register in the period September-November, so that sounds as an excuse.
It could have been maybe a smaller congress, but still a congress, and the August vote was in this direction, despite the EGF board opinion.
If the problem was financial, why didn't the EGF help the organizers? After all it received u$d 150.000 from AlphaGo, and still should have enough of the ING money.
If it has been a boycott, it's really a pity since Go players in Turkey are not responsible, and Go should unite people, not divide.
It seems to me that the organizers had little chance to keep the congress after the board intervened to push them, and I don't like what happened afterwards, with member nations not being asked for an opinion, while the board had already settled with its own August project.
That's my 2 cents.
Ivan Pesotsky
10.12.2016 13:00
You may learn about the cancellation of the congress in Turkey from the official statement

I agree with all who say the decision is dubious. I wonder if they would also allow an option of reinstalling of the congress in Turkey for countries to vote for.
Vlada Danek
10.12.2016 13:43
I agree with 2 previous comments, cancellation of the EGC in Turkey was strange, dubious. I would be glad if this third option ( EGC in Urgup) was added to the voting. What would you say, Turkish organizers?
Antony Goddard
10.12.2016 14:38
Having been in mainland UK since 1997, living on a social security style income, and having few friends who own cars it's hard to get to events in Oxford or Cambridge let alone elsewhere. The mere fact that Richard Mullens can happily write about Thailand and Viet-Nam shows an enormous gap in expectations.
At some recent meetings with UK Go players I have been unable to socialise
simply because the majority are prepared to spend as much money on a single restaurant outing that I budget for two weeks living. As Peter Dijkmar says, many Go Players are one track mind zombies who are losers in life. This is particularly true of UK. We have loads of people who think thay have the brainpower of Alan Turing, and so they can work good josekis out over the board. This may seem natural, but taking up to 40 minutes for a move in an informal game is not friendly. It's a waste of time. These people are usually losers because they end up marrying and having kids, but the children are repelled from Go as a mere game for boring old men, which often takes place in pubs where children are not welcome. At least old some men are prepared to sit around open air tables in freezing cold Russian (and some North American) winters and gain publicity for mindsports. The UK remains very much a class society and the deletion of many state sector jobs has taken away leisure from vast tranches of the working class.
Daniel Konopac
10.12.2016 14:40
:) Sometimes this discussion looks like being fake, and full of artificial posts that shall attract new players of all possible characters.
Do you enjoy friendship and a party atmosphere? Join us and play go!
Do you prefer hate, hurt and bickering? Join us and play go!
Daniel Konopac
10.12.2016 14:43
@ Vlada Danek

It is just my feeling, but it looks like the "open letter" (the link is above) didn't count with a possibility of more options than Sochi+Oberhof:

"If other association should volunteer to run the 2017 congress, they can still submit a proposal and take part on the vote."

This sentence is hidden in the middle of the letter (I would expect it in point 1), because before anything else all proposals should be collected) and no deadline for new proposals is given. Also the voting system in case there is more than 2 options was not determined.
Michael Marz
10.12.2016 15:34
The letter from Russia and Germany was based on the assumption that there were only two options. In fact, when the board discussed the matter, this was exactly the case.
Nevertheless, as Lorenzo wrote elsewhere, it was not even clear that there was a new call to host the EGC2017. This is why we added this line, we did not want to further exclude potential other hosts.
If there are more offers, just include them in the consulting vote.
Daniel Konopac
10.12.2016 16:03
I am confused now.

The next sentence indicates voters will vote also about additional proposals (if any). My english is weak, but "take part on the vote" sounds that way:
"If other association should volunteer to run the 2017 congress, they can still submit a proposal and take part on the vote."

On the contrary, the next sentence indicates voters can only add new proposals, but voters will choose between Sochi and Oberhof only (since voters will have no clue about new proposals yet):
Michael Marz wrote (#38):
"If there are more offers, just include them in the consulting vote."
Ivan Pesotsky
11.12.2016 0:15
@Daniel Konopac
I'm sure that even if you don't understand the way they said it, you must understand what they meant to say. That others may submit their proposals. Obviously, if such proposals would appear, the voters will somehow be notified. And then they can vote for the new proposal. Since there was no information, no proposals probably appeared this week. Maybe they can still appear, and if some voters already gave their vote, they will be allowed to reconsider, until 19 Dec.
Ivan Pesotsky
11.12.2016 9:41
Sorry for the political post, but something Daniel Konopac has said was bugging me for a while...
It's about that Russians identify with their leaders, and non-Russians are not. Yes, he added the word "Many", but put it in parenthesis. Now, while I believe that it's generally wrong, as many Russians do criticise their government themselves, and many Europeans don't like criticising their own politics, I won't argue about the exact numbers of how many people in which country ally themselves with their government. The unfairness of Daniel's reproach that puts me in dismay so much comes from the fact that he missed a crucial point in his observations. That the ones who started identifying Russians with their government might actually be non-Russians. You see, this is not a topic about Russian government politics. This is about Go and EGC. The first person who posted something along the lines of "Well, Russian politics are atrocious, so EGC in Russia is no-no" is the one who made the connection between Russian politics, specifically their atrociousness, and Russian go community, who volunteered to work hard in order to organize this huge event in short time. While I don't agree with those Russians who overreacted by trying to counterargument the politics complaints, I certainly can understand how this reaction might have come by. I encourage everyone to understand that too, and try to point their discussion in such a way that we are actually discussing the venues, their plusses and minuses, and not politics and how people react on each other's complaints.
Peter Dijkema
13.12.2016 10:22
This is my fifth and final post for the time being. The discussion is interesting, but only for cultural antropologists, showing the deep divide in every aspect and level between Free Europe and Putinistan propagandists and believers. But completely besides the point, only prowing Go-players all over are ignorant and inapt, as talented game autists mostly are. Only a few handful of people really know what they talk about, from experience of often organising.

Besides the point as the democratised 'consultational' voting is decided by the weighs of numbers. So simple, Basic school math. Only big country pro Sochi is Russia and some satellite states. Pro Oberhof: all other member countries with 3 or 4 votes and all the rest in the EU. So a walkover of 3-1 at least, 4-1 or worse is more likel. Votes should be public of course. And the EGF board can save its face and hang on by deciding to do EGC in Oberrhof on December 19.

HURRAH, we active ordinary experienced plaers know what we want and how we can get it! Just another great Congres, like Maastricht 94, Tuchola 95 and 04, Villach 07 and excellent Leksand 08, Groningen 10, Bordeaux 11, to name a few where I played a key role, often from long before.

Soon I will re-edit my plans and publish them more widely than my five pages in Facebook, here, and bits at LinkedIn. I will present 1st draft at my Amsterdam club on Wednesday evening 14 and a second version to the almost 100 participants of WinterGo, hoping to find substantial help to work nthings out from activsts there.

Next the text will go to Tobias for the DGoZ and to de Revue Francaise, the PSG pages, Rumania, Czechia, Hungary, etc ... and to Natalia Kievska, indeed in Kiev.

Most substantial discussion above is about the costs of atending an EGC, which is aiso alwas a problem for me, if I am not invited into co-organizing and get free lodging, it is often out of reach.

That is the reason I adopt the Dutch SummerGo formule: all participant should help doing chores, cleaning or cooking or editing, each to her or his capabilities
and experience. I radicalised it, given the circumstances. Later more about that aspect.

First let me claim complete victorY for the anarchist revolution I started.!
I only failed to get the boards step down. Not everyone has my sense of honour,

However it already matters less, as the EGf has become a marginal semi-democratic fdrifting relic and the EGC an expensive two weeks only event.
Their 'capital' is tickets to WC's to be earned, but that for the happy few best only.

My EFGH offers full program for two month at less costs than 2 weeks of EGF's EGC.
See my budgetted tariffs in my comment at the article above.
In short: 50 as year fee, 50 as fee for month of activities and 25 per day for food, fresh and very good, including lodging in tents, let's say 750 euri for a full month
or if you only play in the 9-days 'Free Open', or 'Pairs Open', it's only 300 euri!

Amsterdam 13/12/16 - Poet PETER, founder of EFGH
I will soon handle much larger number of participants as it caters not only Go-plaers but all posible cultural passions, like music and dance and having a great famil holiday and make innumerable new friends.

Soon the market gets clear: serieus and strong or ambitous players will invest in two weeks EGC, hoping to gets a few stones stronger. or to qualify for some WC.

The 'recreational player' prefers family events like the many Summer-schools in Europe, where students want to bring their (non)playing (girl)friends along for a good holiday where the can play half the day and 'she' has fun too at whatever hobby or interest the share with other 'tourists': music, dance, yoga, grime,
fashion-shows, revues, lectures in all that, swim, sport sun bath. The EFGH offers a structure to host all of that and the participants do the rest themselves. Easy!
13.12.2016 23:10
Of course differences between adequate Russian and Peter Dijkema is very big.

"Free Europe and Putinistan propagandists and believers." is pure propagandist labeling that only shows as far as Peter brainwashed.

If to reject all problems with visas, then Sochi the best variant.
Ivan Pesotsky
14.12.2016 11:17
EFGH is a great idea, but Peter sure loves to insult people. Maybe they would actually hold a democratic election of a director for the event? Anyway, since it's already decided that NL and PL will host EFGH, it should theoretically make Sochi a more attractive option for EGC, for divercity's sake. Only a few people would actually be able to spend 2 whole months on all these events, so having more options would be beneficial for all players out there, both 'recreational' and 'ambitious'.
15.12.2016 11:14
Dear everybody.
There are no Us and Them.
Everybody who play Go may respect other's choice and common procedure.
Peter is 50 years in Go, and it's amazing to know him and many people, devoted to the Game of Balance and Harmony.
When the common procedure seemed unclear to many players, Peter made a new proposition about Free Go Camping. And I'm personally sure that it is a great proposal for many players who just want to meet friends and play Go, and have more than 2-week once a year for it and some reasonable resources.
It's great idea, which is supported by ordinary Go-players, though it's not the EGC. And there were such precedents also earlier.
So, every good idea has the right to live :)

19.12.2016 7:15
@Nata - his age can't let him say anything what he wants...
Free Europe and Putinistan propagandists and believers - it's insult. Pure, dirty insult. And NOONE says about it anything like "u can't say it, where are your manners". It's like blaming and insulting Russia is common thing... But when SOMEONE tells something bad about Europe - it's like wave of negative "what can u expect from russians - they are barbarians".
For start please find some respect for people whose guilt is just being born not in Europe. We all humans. And want to feel that in our hobby we can find friends all over world.
And it's sad that you ignore that bad behavior "amazing to know him"...
Michael Marz
19.12.2016 11:36
I agree with Divissin, Peter's 'deep divide in every aspect and level between Free Europe and Putinistan propagandists and believers' is insulting, even if -- what I assume and hope for -- it is his way of ironically overemphasising the stereotype created/fed in previous posts.
Irony used by non-native speakers addressed to non-native speakers in writing is a difficult matter though. And maybe I am wrong, and I found some irony where there was not any. Could I kindly ask Peter to explain what he intends to say?
richard mullens
19.12.2016 18:59
I must say that I find it extraordinary that people hold such extreme political opinions (maybe I am one !). Certainly surveillance seemed a little more overt in St Petersburg than it may appear in Europe but the revelations of Edward Snowden have made clear the hypocrisy of the authorities in the west particularly of course the USA and UK.

I noticed for example that people entering and leaving the metro and rail stations were segregated into two streams. For those entering there were metal detectors but these could be bypassed and in fact were prohibited for those wearing pacemakers. Generally I did not pass through these metal detectors and I was never challenged.

I particularly like the quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln which goes as follows:
<i>As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes." When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.</i> Some of course may say that the Know-Nothings now have control in the USA and of course Britain with some perhaps to follow.

Then we have the nonsense about Georgia and the Ukraine and Syria that is fed to us by the media by a compliant press, neglecting to mention the interference in those regions by the CIA and, no doubt, other actors - and exemplified by Victoria Nuland's remark "Fuck the EU" !

I saw something surprising in St Petersburg which perhaps was an hallucination but it seemed real enough at the time: I was in the queue at the SPAR shop near the Azimut and it was about 21:55 because at 10pm they stop selling alcohol and I had already been caught out by that. There was a man sitting beyond the cashier who had some sort of uniform - and as I left clutching my bottles of Löwenbräu (which were attractively priced), I noticed that he was printing out monochrome pictures which I imagined came from the store cameras and my picture was there on the top ! I just smiled at the official and shrugged. Perhaps I was of interest because it was obvious from my non comprehension of Russian that I was a foreigner. For me Russia is still a puzzle - on the St Petersburg metro it appeared that there were only two rails (with no third rail to supply current to the train), could it be that to save iron the wheels were electrically isolated from each other and the carriages. One website mentioned catenaries but I did not see those and no Russian Go player so far has been able to provide me with a definitive answer.

So, if the vote goes for Sochi, then I would urge everyone to go there, because aside from the tournament Russia is actually rather interesting.
20.12.2016 9:46
@Michael Marz, @richard mullens
20.12.2016 10:10
so so, who won?
Looks like Oberhoff may be better for "quiet families with children" ... but Sochi looks more fun, I'd better go there :)
( +1 peaceful people ;) )
Ingo Althöfer
20.12.2016 10:49
(i) It is Oberhof, with only one f at the end.
(ii) When the children are in bed, we will also have fun in Oberhof :-)

In general: has the counting of votes been completed?

Ingo (wants to plan for the summer).
20.12.2016 11:21
oups, one f 's more funny, maybe not so family friendly ... that's a true difference, 'my bad !
hard waiting time by the way...
Ingo Althöfer
20.12.2016 12:38
Hi Antoine,

Oberhoff with ff for "family-friendly" is a nice idea.

The German Go scene was just informed that the
decision of the EGF will be made public around Thursday: It was not a formal voting procedure, but a collection of opinions - and the directors of EGF have the final decision.

This late decision is a problem for some of the German Go fanatics. One guy for instance will travel by car to the ECG 2017, independently of the place. But he is just switching car insurance, and the conditions (and prices) of the companies depend
on the number of kilometers driven. He has to switch still in December ... and so urgently needs the information if a Sochi tour has to be included in his budget.

20.12.2016 13:24
@richard mullens
about metro: the third rail is located under the station
look this photo:
20.12.2016 14:10
Haha what you describe is just 'half' democratic :)). Whatever, it isn't a problem to me, they do a great job organizing things for us go players, my big thanks to them.
Individual problems should not be a concern. I will probably go hijacking most of the way, I may encounter a friend in poland or elsewhere in the road, what do you care, basically? My birthday is in january, and I'm born in Brittany. I may organise a beveury somewhere, someday. Is that seriously a concern for the EGC?? Héhé ;)
Well, I agree that for most european people, going to Russia is a bit more complicate. But as said some russian people, the contrary is true too. And, by the way, I'd be glad to go to Russia. I can go to germany whenever I want, but this may be my only chance to go to Russia, since I missed last EGC...
Whatever the final decision, thank you to let us know, and thanks to all organizers for their big good job!
richard mullens
20.12.2016 17:54
Thank you so much. I did see what appeared to be a conduit in stations that were in use but it had not occurred to me that it might be open from below and that a rail would be concealed inside. I noticed also boxes at periodic intervals between the two rails whose function wasn't clear. Puzzle now solved, thank you !