International University Go Federation to be founded

An opening ceremony for the foundation of the International University Go Federation (FIGU) was held at the Parktel in Seoul Olympic Park on Friday, September 28. The objective of this new federation is the recognition of Baduk as an international university sport and to promote Baduk culture to intellectuals worldwide. This event is also the cornerstone for the aim of joining the International University Sports Federation (FISU). The first goal of the foundation committee is to hold a world student Baduk championship in Korea at the beginning of next year at the latest and to make it a regular event at the Universiade in 2022.

An important person who has led this work is Yoo Byong-jin, president of Myongji University. In order to create an academic foundation for Baduk, the world’s first Baduk department was founded in 1997 at Myongji University and a doctorate course was established in 2009, working on various aspects of developing Baduk.

Mr. Yoo, who is also a member of the FISU Executive Committee, mentioned that in contrast to Baduk, Chess and Bridge players compete in the Universiade. At the FISU meeting held in Switzerland in March, he explained why Baduk should be an official sport of FISU. He received a positive answer.

In July, Yoo also met with Chang Zhen-ming, former president of the International Go Federation (IGF) and chairman of China CITIC Group to talk about prospective activities of the International University Go Federation. Yoo explained to Chang his plan to make Baduk to be recognized as an official sport at the World University Championship (WUC) and the Universiade, and thus contribute to the globalization of Baduk. The president was deeply impressed and promised Chinese cooperation.

Mr. Yoo said that with the opening ceremony of the foundation committee the foundations of the International University Go Federation have been laid, and promised to make efforts to form an international network and a federation organization structure starting in October. He added, “We will continue to strive for the development and globalization of Baduk by establishing regulations, organization, and work descriptions at the level of international university sports organizations in cooperation with major countries of Baduk, as well as promoting the registration of FIGU as an affiliate of IGF and FISU.”

Below is an extract of a list of people who expressed their support for the foundation of the International University Go Federation.

Arnaud Knippel, France, National Institute of Applied Sciences of Rouen (INSA Rouen Normandie, Lecturer & Researcher)
Catalin Taranu, Romania, Romanian Go Association (President), European Go Federation (Executive Officer)
Choi Chae-woo, Korea, Auditor
Choi Jong-woo, Korea, Lawyer
Dr. Alexey Lazarev, Russia, Russian Go Federation (Vice-president), Petrozavodsk State University
Dr. Demis Hassabis, UK, Google Deepmind (CEO)
Dr. Michael Marz, Germany, German Go Association (President)
Dr. Silvia Lozeva, Australia, University of Western Australia (Lecturer)
Eom Min-yong, Korea, Kyunghyang Newspaper
Eren Kurter, Turkey, Hacettepe University, Faculty of Sports Sciences (Lecturer)
Han Jong-jin, Korea, Korean Baduk Association (Professional Player)
Harry van der Krogt, Netherlands, European Go Federation (Treasurer), European Go Cultural Center (Finance Manager)
Hwang Yong-pil, Korea, Korea Sports Promotion Foundation
James Kaaden, Australia, Australian Go Association (Treasurer)
Jeong Dong-hwan, Korea, Korea Baduk Association
Jin Jae-soo, Korea, Korea University Sports Federation (General Secretary)
Kim Hee-Chang, Korea, Samcheok City (Councillor)
Kim Seon-ok, Korea, Korean Baduk Federation
Kim Won-tae, Korea, Korean Baduk Federation
Kim Yeong-seop, Korea, i-media
Kwon Byeong-woong, Korea, Chung-Ang University
Kwon Yeong-min, Korea, Green Nare
Natalia Kovaleva, Russia, Russian Go Federation (Vice-president), European Go Federation (Executive Officer)
Laura-Augustina Avram, Romania, Romanian Go Federation (member), Babes-Bolyai University (Graduate student)
Lee Deuk-su, Korea, Korea Customs Service
Lee Hyuk, Korea, Wonil Industry (CEO)
Lee Xinqiang (James), Singapore, Singapore Weiqi Association (Vice-President)
Lim Jin-Yeong, Korea, CJ ENM
Merlijn Kuin, Netherlands, European Go Cultural Center (Board member)
Mikheil Prishvinm, Georgia, Georgian Go National Sports Federation (Vice-President)
Moon, Gi-jeong, Korea, Defense Acquisition Program Administration
Oh Chi-Min, Korea, International Baduk instructor in France
Park, Ae-young, Korea, Korean Baduk Federation
Park Jin, Korea, Samsung Life Insurance
Park Ran-sook, Korea, Event Code No. 1
Paul Barchilon, U.S.A., American Go Foundation (Vice-President)
Paul Steyn, South Africa, South African Go Association (Membership Secretary)
Philipp Neubert, Germany, Myongji University, Department of Baduk Studies (Ph.D. student)
Pierre-Alain Chamot, Germany, German Go Association (German Go League Coordinator)
Prof. Damir Medak, Croatia, University of Zagreb, Dean of Department of Geoinformation Science
Prof. Daniela Trinks, Myongji University, Department of Baduk Studies (Professor)
Prof. Francesco Morandin, Italy, Parma University, Department of Mathematical, Physical and Computer Sciences (Assistant Professor)
Prof. Jeong Soo-hyun, Myongji University, Department of Baduk Studies (Professor)
Prof. Kim Jin-hwan, Myongji University, Department of Baduk Studies (Professor)
Prof. Lee Byung-doo, Sehan University, Department of Life Sports (Professor)
Prof. Marc Oliver Rieger, Germany, University Trier, Professor at Department of Business Administration, Chair of Banking and Finance
Prof. Maurizio Parton, Italy, University of Chieti-Pescara (Associate Professor), FIGG (Italian Go Association, President)
Prof. Sun Dechang, China, Rizhao Polytechnic (Associate Professor)
Prof. Thomas Wolf, Canada, Brock University, Department of Mathematics (Professor)
Prof. Yoo Byong-jin, Korea, Myongji University (President), Korea University Sports Federation (President)
Prof. Yoon Seung-yong, Korea, Namseoul University (President), Korean Baduk Association (Director)
Rafael Torres Miranda, Cuba, Cuban Go Association (President)
Rob van Zeijst, Netherlands, European Go Cultural Center (Board member)
Sebastián Andrés Montiel Flores, Chile, Chilean Federation of Go (Director), Club of Go Aonken Punta Arenas (President)
Shavit Fragman, Israel, Mind Pharma Europe (CEO & President)
Siddhartha Avila, Mexico, Pipiolo Educational and Artistic Research Center (Math and Go Teacher) & Mexican Go Association (Youth Coordinator)
Terry Benson, U.S.A., American Go Foundation (President)
Tobias Klaus, Germany, Paderborn University (Researcher & Project Coordinator)