|THE GoGoD TEAM|
Play over 1000 professional games to reach 1-dan, it is said. Well, Games of Go on Disk started when diplomat T Mark Hall returned from a sojourn in the Far East and started transcribing pro games. In the course of doing this (and no other go study) he improved two grades and became 4-dan! Proof? He is the happy bunny at left, having just tied, pre-playoff, for the right to a place in the 2009 British Championship match. He also won the 2000 British Open in Norwich, and has since won the 2003 version in Penzance, the 2004 event, and the 2008 event in Hastings (and also the Lightning Championship there). He has represented Britain in amateur events in Japan, China and Korea.
Mark was constantly asked to share his efforts, but to do that he needed help with translating the data that went with the games. This was where John Fairbairn, right, came in. Although also a dan player, John's special interest has always been go history rather than playing in tournaments. Professionally his background was in translating Oriental languages and journalism. He has presented history papers at two International Conferences on Baduk and has written or translated several go books. A sample of his wide go interests can be found in GoGoD's New In Go column.
Both partners also had very large and growing libraries of go books and magazines. This meant they had skills, interests and resources that complemented each other, and it was therefore not long before floppy disks began appearing, mostly with what was then the massive number of 300 games per player. This was, to be fair, well over a decade ago. At the start of 2010 the total passed 60,000 and the encyclopaedia portion had already become, to quote a kind reviewer, "beyond comparison". Very large, anyway!
Both have now retired from their full-time jobs and so can concentrate on making the GoGoD CD even bigger.
Over those years of constant effort, the CD age and the internet have helped us grow. But we have also been fortunate to have enjoyed the help and cooperation of many go friends. Special big thank yous are due to Charles Matthews, Jan van Rongen, Tom Koranda, Keith Rapley, Arnoud van der Louff, Ulrich Goetz, Mike Vaughn, Ales Cieply, Pieter Mioch, Jim
Mark retired as Treasurer of the British Go Association on 8 April 2006, becoming an Honorary Vice-President. This was the final report he gave:
Every year the Treasurer produces a written report which is usually recycled from each of the reports from preceding years, so I should take no great notice of the printed report. However, my sermon for tonight is taken from three sources, the first of which is The Four Yorkshiremen sketch, which, as I hope you all know, starts “Who’d have thought, 40 year ago..”. Well, as you can see, I joined the BGA 40 years ago, an interest which my mother thought would only last a week.
The second text is from Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club band, which, as I hope you all know, starts “It was 20 years ago today”. Well, it was 20 years ago this weekend that I got conned into taking this job on. As soon as the proposed candidate realised that I knew a little about cash-flow accounting, he crossed his name off and put mine in, and I have been here ever since.
My final text is a Paul Simon song entitled “Still Crazy After All These Years” and I am. Thank you all for your trust and your friendship.
Seo Neung-uk 9-dan has been an exceptional friend to amateur go players.
The philosophy of the GoGoD team has always been to share what they do for fun with fellow players. It is not really a commercial venture and so prices are sensible but very low. What we do earn is ploughed back in to improve the CD, mainly through purchase of more source material. Because we are under no commercial pressure, we can choose what we do, it stays fun, and we hope this shows.
Between us we have over 80 years of go experience, and still as keen as ever. We have both been long-time members of the British Go Association and have served on its Council. Mark was Treasurer for 20 years. He is also a member of the American Go Association. John too has been a member of the BGA Council, and was go editor of the Mind Sports Organisation website. He was also the main contributor to Shogi Magazine over its 11 years, and so also has links with shogi pros. He also has computing experience through working with David Levy on the world's first successful shogi program.
We therefore believe we have an insight into what interests and benefits amateur go players in the west.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are based in London, but travel and tournament commitments may sometimes mean a short delay in responding.