Go (also know as Baduk or Weiqi) has been played in Australia for many years with the Australian Go Association being formed in 1979 but the Australian Go Congress is relatively new.
The first Australian Go Congress was the dream of Sang-Dae Hahn and his wife Hua. With the support of Raphael Shin and the Hanho Korean Newspaper the first Congress was held in January 2015 at Macquarie University.
Every year since then a dedicated band of people have organized The Australian Go Congress.
In 2017 Australian Congress was held at Sydney University’s Business Faculty with large rooms and fantastic facilities.
We were extremely lucky to have Jaeho Yang 9P, Yeon Woo Cho 1Pm and An Younggil 9P to help – they played over 100 simul games, commented on games and gave lectures which were appreciated by all. Our thanks to them and the KBA for allowing them to visit our event. Apart from the tournament we showed ‘The Surrounding Game’ movie, lightning Go, trivia competition and other activities were enjoyed by all.
Everybody had a great time, vying with players from across Australian and around the world. There were over 400 tournament games played during the event and many more ‘friendly’ games too all in great atmosphere of friendship and respect.
There were players ranging in age from under 10 to over 70 from across Australia, Korea, China, Hong Kong, Japan and Poland. The view of everybody who emailed, messaged, posted on Facebook and spoken to was that the 2017 Australian Go Congress was the best ever.
The Congress would not have been possible without the unswerving support of Raphael Shin and the Hanho Newspaper. Raphael has extensive business interests but took time out to attend most organizing committee meetings and was always supportive of the organizing team.
Max Han is also to be commended for his attention to detail and penetrating questions about the strategy and direction of the Congress. Max’s business Colourland also printed the brochures, posters and a whole range of promotional material.
The Korea Baduk Association is high on the list to be thanked. They have supported Australian Go over many years not just for events such as the Go Congress but also training our teachers, helping promising players and providing equipment and books.
Special thanks must also go to An Younggil 8P the tournament referee was also part of the organizing committee and his input and guidance was invaluable. Apart from refereeing the tournament Younggil also presented lectures, played simul games and reviewed many tournament games. Younggil’s dedication to improving Go in Australia is amazing.
A big thank you to our ‘house elves’ the volunteers from the Sydney University Go club who helped set up, maintain and pack up the rooms over the four days. The Sydney University club is one of the most enthusiastic, vibrant groups in Australia, each year they recruit around 100 new players and hold beginner & intermediate lessons for the whole year.