Iwamoto Awards

Promoting Go in Macedonia

Name:Promoting Go in Macedonia
Contributor:Filip Paskali
Start:2015-11-20
Organisation:Go club Ohrid
Edition:2018

Project Description

Go is a fairly new and obscure game in Macedonia. Promoting Go in Macedonia is a project that started from scratch.
Everything was initiated in 2015, when a small group of enthusiast started a Go club in Ohrid. A dozen people gathered every Wednesday to play Go. Like everything starting from scratch, the beginning was difficult: people came and went, but the size of the club stayed nearly the same.
The following year, enthusiasm gave rise to the first tournament in the history of Macedonian Go, the Ohrid Open 2016. For the first tournament we were not aiming high and just wanted to organise something to spread Go culture and introduce the people in Macedonia to this magnificent game. The Ohrid Open was organised in cooperation with the Serbian Go Federation. It was a small tournament that took place at a wonderful location by the Ohrid Lake: 14 players participated, from both Macedonia and Serbia. We were surprised by the sincere interest, especially of children and teenagers, and it was the first milestone in Macedonian Go history.
After the tournament, we continued promoting Go, in the media, on the web, and through social networks. We set up the first Macedonian webpage about Go (www.igrajgo.rf.gd) and also an online Go group, which further helped in terms of public exposure.
Soon after that Macedonia became part of Kim Ouweleen’s 2016 EGF Yearbook, and was included on the EGF webpage, which attracted international players. Consequently, 2017 was a great year for Go club Ohrid. The club was visited by several  foreign players, giving Macedonian Go players opportunity to play and learn. In 2018, the focus is on promoting Go in other towns and organising the Ohrid Open 2018.

Ohrid Open 2016
Ohrid Open 2016
Ohrid Open 2016 (#2)
Ohrid Open 2016 (#2)
Ohrid Open 2016 (#3)
Ohrid Open 2016 (#3)
Ohrid Open 2016 (#4)
Ohrid Open 2016 (#4)
Ohrid Open 2016 (#5)
Ohrid Open 2016 (#5)
Go Lecture in Go Club Ohrid by Željko Veselinović (Serbia)
Go Lecture in Go Club Ohrid by Željko Veselinović (Serbia)
Visit by Levi Mercier 15 kyu (USA)
Visit by Levi Mercier 15 kyu (USA)

Aim of the Project

Public exposure of the game and building a bigger playerbase through promotion.
The main objective is to motivate people to start playing the game in Macedonia. The inherent qualities of Go will help in the acceptance and spreading of it: Go is a mixture of sport and long traditions, which promotes international contact and friendship.

Our target groups are teenagers and young adults up to 25 years of age. These target groups can become wider at a later stage, when people in other age categories show interest, because there are no limits in age, sex and nationality.

Because Go has similarities with chess, which has been a popular game in Macedonia in the past, we can use the qualities that can be found in both games and emphasise the good aspects of Go, making it popular among this target group.  

Location

Internet, Go Club Ohrid, city parks and other public locations.

Timeline

  • November 2015 - Go Club Ohrid was formed.
  • January 2016 - First appearance on local television show.
  • August 2016 - First Macedonian International Go Tournament, the Ohrid Open 2016.
  • October 2016 - Interactive Way To Go translated in Macedonian.
  • December 2016 - Igraj Go MK, the first Macedonian webpage for Go promotion.
  • April 2017 - Promotion of the game of Go in Skopje.
  • June 2017 - Visit of Erwin Gerstorfer (3 dan) in Go Club Ohrid.
  • June 2017 - Visit of Kim Ouweleen (4 dan) and his girlfriend Justyna (1 kyu) in Go Club Ohrid.
  • July 2017 - Macedonia was included in the European Go Yearbook and soon after for the first time appeared on the EGF webpage.
  • April 2018 - Initial discussion for the organisation of the Ohrid Open 2018.
  • August 2018 - Ohrid Open 2018.

Results

Better public exposure of the game, building a bigger playerbase and forming new clubs.

Exposure

Registering school Go workshops, where children can participate voluntarily to learn and play the game. After these workshops, our main goal will be to create Go clubs across the country. And finally, we aim for the formation of Macedonian Federation, which would coordinate all clubs and workshops, and organise regional and national tournaments and leagues.

Means of the Project

  • Posters: making simple posters, advertising our club, website and events and placing them in different locations.
  • The media: newspapers, radio, TV stations, other community websites. They are constantly looking for interesting content for their audience.
  • Social media: Facebook, Twitter. Nowadays, marketing on social networks is most effective, because it allows us to easily target specific groups.
  • Promotion in public places: promoting Go in locations that have lots of pedestrian traffic. Informing people about the game, by teaching the rules and playing short games.
  • Brochures: because they will contain information that people bring along with them, and read at a later point in time or pass on to others. 

Human Resources

  • Filip Paskali - founder and president of Go Club Ohrid. Coordinator of the project.
  • Zoran Paskali - main financial and logistical support.
  • Elena Gligoroska - project advisor and supporter.
  • Jovan Kanevche - current manager of Go Club Ohrid.

Financial Resources

The project is financed only by our own budget.

Wishes

Media coverage of the Ohrid Open 2018 would definitely spark a public interest for the game.

Perspective

The Go culture in Macedonia has just started to grow. Today, Go players in Macedonia are small in number and live in different towns, but I hope that step by step the Go community will become bigger and one day the country will become an official member of the EGF and will have many excellent players.

Visit by Erwin Gerstorfer 3 dan from Austria
Visit by Erwin Gerstorfer 3 dan from Austria
Kim Ouweleen 4 dan (the Netherlands) giving a Simultaneous in Go Club Ohrid
Kim Ouweleen 4 dan (the Netherlands) giving a Simultaneous in Go Club Ohrid
Promoting Go in Skopje
Promoting Go in Skopje
Promoting Go in Skopje #2
Promoting Go in Skopje #2
Go Board by the Ohrid Lake - photo by Elena Gligoroska
Go Board by the Ohrid Lake - photo by Elena Gligoroska
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