Poniżej list przesłany przez Catalina Taranu 5p z Rumuni, który w tym roku zdecydował się kandydować na stanowisko prezydenta EGF. Publikacja za jego zgodą.
As most of you were probably informed by now i have decided to candidate for the office of EGF president. For me this is a matter of regret and i would like to explain my reasons. This is no personal ambition of any kind, two months ago if someone would have told me i will do this i would have laughed about it. But recent developments made me believe that the EGF leadership has pushed things too far and i think someone has to stand up and fight.
I will try to describe my reasons as short and clear as possible, but this may still be a long mail. Sorry for that.
I may be naive, but i believe that trust is the foundation of human relationship and between the leadership and the community this has to be the first and strongest bond. In the past, despite several occasions when i felt 'faulted' by the EGF, i have always chosen to blame the system and not the people. Mr. Stiassny has won me on his side when i saw him open to new ideas and striving to bring better things to European Go. The one month and a half Saijo Tour in five European countries in 2004 was possible thanks to him, also when i was striving to keep an Eastern European Go Center going he committed EGF with 2000 euro. But since CEGO project has been announced last year, trust was something that became gradually more and more difficult to preserve intact. First of all, binding the EGF in a ten year contract is something that should have been voted and signed during the EGM. This was an unprecedented breach of rules, even the constitution. It was a hard pill to swallow and some people have quit, as you well know. The rest of us chose to trust Martin, me included. Despite the shady start i was hoping for a normalization. But later in August last year, during the WYGC in Prague , i have found that the Asian pro Associations have not been informed about the CEGO project ( except from rumors). This was disrespectful and created unnecessary tensions with organizations that were and still are great benefactors for European Go. A promise was made in Prague, but months later the official announcement was still not made. Next came the announcement of the new pro league system. For the existing European pros it felt like a betrayal, and many voices from Asian pro world have expressed shock at the design of this project. Last but not least it's Ondra Silt's case. I have made a complaint on a very serious topic . Then i stopped being 'annoying' in an attempt to decency. Nevertheless i was waiting all this time for an answer from the EGF leadership. If the decision had solid grounds then it would have been simple to explain it. If not , amends should have been made. Instead, the executive has chosen silence . For me this is a very hostile attitude, i have been transformed in a paria because i dared complain and the attempt to isolate my voice is quite clear. If i had any doubt before and i wanted to believe i can still trust the actual leadership of EGF, this has proven that the leaders of EGF are not acting in good faith anymore.
2. TRANSPARENCY and COMMUNICATION
There has been a lot of secrecy lately. Promises were made to keep us posted about development of CEGO project but on the EGF website there is little to be found. Most of you should remember last year's EGM where promises for good communication have been made. i have offered my help but in all this time i received not a single mail asking me to join in the work. The pro league project was done without consulting people directly involved and also the Asian pro associations who have the know how, especially Nihon Kiin who is by far the most successful pro organization. Last year i have spent some time to write some proposals that i thought will be beneficial to EGF. The deadline for proposals is almost past and we have yet to see a debate on such topics on the EGF website. Ondra's ban was done in secret. There are probably many more things that we are not aware of. Trust and transparency go hand in hand, i should say no more.
3. SHORTSIGHTED VISION
From my perspective, many of the things EGF is doing right now are illogical or outright foolish. Like it should be in Go, a whole board vision is missing. The Go society is structured in : the mass of players who just enjoy the game, top players, event organizers, instructors, leadership, the business type who live out of Go ( like Go shops etc. ) Often people belong to more than one faction. I have done all except the last one. This makes me a good asset. There are many others like me in our little society. The job of the leadership is to make use of all possible resources, human and material, and to insure that all factions function together in harmony. Communication is the biggest task they have. What is EGF doing instead? In the past i remember Jana Hricova telling me often that in Europe we are amateurs and we just want to enjoy Go, despite her being vice president of EGF. Now a totally opposite stance is taken and Jana seems ok with it. EGF focuses solely on creating some top players but forgets the real purpose. Eventually we will have to find our sponsors and our strength in Europe. By ignoring the other factions and focusing only on top players, by removing human assets that could open many doors in Europe , EGF is in fact faulting his own activity and is completely losing perspective. We cannot beg forever from Asia and if we do so at least we should have some respect for them and for ourselves. I do not agree with a strategy that cares only for developing the game for masses, as i don't agree with a strategy that cares only for the top players. Those things are related, top players motivate the masses and bring sponsors, but without a critical mass we will never have good enough top players or sponsors.
4. INCOMPETENCE AND BAD NEGOTIATIONS
The CEGO contract has a lot of question marks attached to it. It seems EGF it's the lower partner here, there are no penalties for the Chinese part for breaking the contract but huge penalties for us. In theory scholarship for one youth to go study in China is over 20000 euro, in practice they have to pay the plane themselves, which discriminates already the players who cannot afford it. This large amount of money seems to stay in China and become a real estate business, but in the end EGF will pay it back, so it sounds to me like we are buying apartments for the Chinese part with EGF money. Despite initial description , which is the reason Romania among others voted yes for the CEGO project, the grand slam is not happening this year, other money that is late in coming. When we have asked CEGO to sponsor the Sibiu Congress, as it was promised in the initial description, we were told that we are too well organized and received no money. This was at the border between absurd and ironic. Now we have a Chinese sponsor for Sibiu that gives 9000 euro, but there are contractual conditions that we insure 10% discount to accommodation for the Chinese visiting group and also tax discounts, in the end we wonder how much money will be left from it. In exchange , there is demand for exclusivity and even recently there was another request from Martin that we waste more of our publishing space for the same sponsor, with no additional money. When Mr. Florescu asked Martin about this new addition it took weeks to get an answer. I have to say that our main sponsor brings 17000 euro on the table and we have smaller sponsorship that may beat the Chinese sponsorship EGF has brought. Last year i have written some proposals, one of them was for EGF to have more control of the congress. This was mainly to prevent local organizers transform the congress in a private business in detriment of players. But at the same time the relationship between congress organizers and EGF should be of mutual respect, we are not mindless servants. The bad deal made by EGF puts us in an embarrassing position. It is ridiculous to bring sponsors from Asia that give much less than the local sponsors and then demand exclusivity for publishing materials, this is very unprofessional. Also, matters like selection of European players for international events are not solved even as we speak. The selection is often done with ridiculous arguments , now it seems that finally the problem will be solved by giving priority to the new pros, it doesn't mean that is fair though. For years i have asked that the European Championship be a real one and a simple one, only between Europeans as it is natural. The arguments at the time were that top players from Asia want to play with us and will not come anymore. Well, they were coming for money and because recently there are no money the situation has become normal, we hardly see a few of them, but the system stays unchanged.
Along with trust, mutual respect goes a long way towards successful relationship. By ignoring my mails completely the leadership has shown disrespect to me. By being silent on Ondra's matter it has shown disrespect to all of us. By not communicating with Asian pro Associations on such an important matter as a new pro league, by treating the European pros created in Asia as a lower status than the pros Europe will create after just a few games, EGF is showing great disrespect to the Asian pro Associations. With such attitude our credibility is bound to go down very fast. An organization that cannot get respect and credibility will never be able to have serious partners and get involved in large promotional initiatives.
I think what i have said is more than enough for now. I will come up with a strategic platform as soon as possible.