Report of the jury
by Matthew Macfadyen
One of the most pleasant of the incidental duties which I carelessly volunteered for this year was to help in judging the European Go Centre Initiative awards. There seems to be quite an eruption of new and exciting initiatives in different parts of Europe, and the award seems to be an excellent way to reward some hard work as well as to indicate to others where there are good ideas worth spreading.
The projects submitted for the award were of widely differing types, and we had some fun working out in advance how to compare, for example, a promotion project in cooperation with local government in Andalusia with a large scale museum exhibition based in Berlin. Eventually we arrived at a points system, ordering the projects according to originality, ease of export and some other criteria. This gave us a preliminary score, and as it happened it was already clear by that stage which projects we were most impressed by.
The Czech Go Association’s work towards a children’s Go Grand Prix had involved a lot of work and a lot of thinking. We expect this to make a real difference to the accessibility of Go tournaments to younger players. From a different starting point we found Thomas Nohr’s packages of Go material for use in schools to be a worthwhile contribution towards the spread of the game. These two projects share the second prizes of E300 each.
But our overwhelming favourite was the work of Albert Fenech and his partners on the Strasbourg Rules of Go. There may be those (and when I saw the list of projects I was among them) who thought Go needed a new set of rules like it needed a hole in the head, but they should be reminded that Go rules need to do four quite different jobs: To be mathematically rigorous, to be easy to handle for ordinary friendly games, to work in tournament conditions, and to be easily approachable to new beginners.
It is this fourth task that so many previous attempts have failed on, and any doubters should refer his web site where they will see a brilliantly executed exposition of the game, in several languages. If the purpose of the Award is to enable us to shout out the name of a project worth looking at then I am delighted to be able to shout the name of Albert Fenech to as many players as can be made to hear.
The Jury of the 2001 edition
Matthew Macfadyen, Engeland. International Go Instructor and former European Champion.
Marc Gonzalez, Spain. Go teacher to children and students. Participant in the 1998 International Go Symposium in Sendai, Japan.
Oleg Gavrilov, Russia. Vice president of the European Go Federation. Several organisational functions within the Russian Go Federation.