The EGCC building in Amstelveen, the Netherlands
In 1990 Iwamoto Kaoru, the former Honinbo Kunwa, sold his Go club in Tokyo and donated the proceeds to the Nihon Ki-in with the intention of starting Go centres around the world. His dream was realized in Sao Paulo, New York and Seattle as well as here in Amstelveen, a suburb of Amsterdam.
The building was approved by Iwamoto himself. When he came to Amsterdam to have a look at the age of 90, he insisted on taking public transport instead of a taxi because he wanted to make sure that it was easy to reach this place. The chosen location is very suitable. It can be reached conveniently by either bicycle, car, bus, tram or metro and has excellent parking facilities. It is located fifteen minutes from the international airport Schiphol and twenty minutes from the centre of Amsterdam.
The building, a former telephone agency, was completely reconstructed by Obayashi Corporation. It was opened by Iwamoto and the mayor of Amstelveen on May 9th, 1992. The building has three large and one small hall located on two floors as well as two bars, three offices, large storing space and its own parking facilities.
At the heart of the building there is a special designed Japanese tatami room. It is called the Kunwa room, a name used by Iwamoto when he became Honinbo in 1946.
The Go Centre is ideally equipped for a wide range of activities. Three large halls enable over two hundred people to play Go. The EGCC is equipped with high quality playing material (shell and slate stones, kaya and katsura go boards). The Kunwa room is used for important games.
The Kunwa, tamami room
The Go Department of the Go Centre, consisting of three people, tries to realize the aim of Iwamoto. Since the building in which the EGCC is housed is quite large, the European Go Federation (EGF) and the Dutch Go Association (Nederlandse Go Bond) also have their office here.
For a fininacial healthy exploitation of the EGCC it was necessary to rent halls out for other purposes. Currently many mind sport clubs (such as chess, checkers and bridge) meet at the Go centre. Moreover, in order to emphasise the cultural aspect of the center we host several Japanese cultural activities, like painting and flower arrangement.