This is the first of a series of articles in which we will be sharing with you some insights of Latin American Go through a review of many of the countries of this region in which several activities are being held for the promotion of this game. This time we travel south to Chile and Argentina, our first destinations on this journey.
We begin far south of the American continent in Punta Arenas. This city is one of the many places where the Chilean Go Federation has organized several National Go tournaments this last year, along other northern cities like Caldera, Valdivia, Santiago and Valparaíso. Besides this, several activities have been performed such as online tournaments, children-related events, workshops, courses, camps, pair go meetings – and even a special visit by the Cuban Go Champion Carlos Pérez palacios was held.
Their last tournament was celebrated on February 23rd and 24th on the Island of Mancera ubicated on a priviliged spot where both Valdivia and Tomagaleones rivers meet the sea. A great place for a summer tournament.
On average their events have had around 27 participants, not a small number for the Chilean standard and something which makes them believe Go is growing in Chile. Such events have been jointly organized by the local Clubs and the Chilean Federation.
Parallel to Chile, another country where Go has stablished a steady growth path is Argentina. 2018 represented a great year for them.
One of the activities ran by the Argentinian Go Association Aago, which generated most enthusiasm was the Argentinian Super League, where players can freely set up their matches on a one-month period, adding 3 points for each victory and one point for each loss. This Super League is held every two months and it has between 30 and 45 participants, around 50 games taking place each week. The games can be played face-to-face or online, searching for opponents through out the Whatsapp league group which has helped connect players from all around the country.
Clubs have sustained a steady increase: as of today there are almost 20 clubs and gathering-places across the country. In order to promote club participation, inter-club tournaments are organized both face-to-face and online. The last face-to-face inter-club tournament, held last December, hosted a 42-player field divided into 14 teams, and on the last online tournament 63 players in 9 teams clashed for the title. This has been one of their largest tournaments in the recent years.
Another point worth mentioning is the recent creation of the Aago Gender Commission which is in charge of promoting female participation and has organized a variety of events and tournaments. As a matter of fact they’ve just launched the 2º Argentinian Female Go League with 9 players registered.
Meanwhile, a youth go program called “AmiGos” has been launched, where workshops are given for children and clubs. Last October they celebrated the 1st Youth Go Tournament and in December two teams participated in the 5th Latin American Go Orion Championship, whose top team gets sponsored by the American Go Foundation to visit the 35th US Go Congress.
Argentina expects to keep this pace on 2019. As of now the 15th Go Super League is taking place with 42 players and 142 games played so far. This league will have as a special prize a teaching game with Stephanie Yin 1p from the New York Go Institute. Also, this month the 4th Japan Cup Handicap Go Tournament is taking place.
Last but not least, activities have been relaunched in the Japanese Garden in Buenos Aires, which has always been a great place for recruiting new players due its good traffic connections and general interest in the game.
Thanks to Miguel Muñoz Piña and Santiago Laplagne for sharing the info for this article.
Keep yourself updated for the next chapters in this series.
Report by Emil García