Newsletter Archive 1990-95
The last of the printed newsletters of the NZGS (1990-95) have been added to the Newsletter Archive. To see these select News/Newsletter Archive and use the arrow keys to scroll through the archived newsletters.
The newsletters show a healthy go scene in 1990, with tournaments in the four main centres and regular vigorous challenges for the go kichi trophy. A win by Kyle Jones over the Hong Kong representative at the 1989 WAGC (Kiwi Go 50 - May 1990) was added to the list of scalps claimed by NZ'ers against strong players from overseas.
The 14th NZ Go Championship in 1989 had only 12 participants, with bigger fields (16 players) at the Wellington and Christchurch tournaments (Kiwi Go 50, May 1990). The need to grow the number of go players in New Zealand was well recognized and there were plans for a major go promotion around the country. This was to involve a tour by a group of Japanese pro and amateur players from the Kansai Kiin led by the irrepressible Hyodo Syunichi.
Background to this tour is detailed in Kiwi Go 51 (August 1990). It was an ambitious attempt to promote the game, with corporate sponsorship involving events in the four main centres and a weekend go workshop in Queenstown. The players who travelled from Japan are listed in the details of the Fletcher Challenge Go Festival (Newsletter 52b 1991). A full report is provided in Kiwi Go 53 (April 1991).
Hyodo Syunichi (L) and Ray Tomes share amusement at a move in a team game during the Queenstown leg of the 1991 Fletcher Challenge Go Festival.
The friendships formed between the Kansai players who were part of the tour and the NZ players who hosted them led to a very warm relationship over several years with visits in both directions.
The cover of the January 1991 issue, celebrated Yu Cong Phease who has had the best result by any NZ player at an international tournament. She finished 5th at the 3rd womens’ world amateur champs!
However, all the hard work involved in organizing NZ go was beginning to take its toll and the editor of Kiwi Go 56 (July 1992) was moved to ask “Does the NZGS have a future?”. This was prompted by the disintegration of a new NZGS committee in its first year in office citing “insufficient enthusiasm” to continue as the cause.
The editors of Kiwi Go soon began to suffer the same malaise. But the retiring editor, in Newsletter 59 (August 1993) expressed reason for optimism in the increasing number of Asian immigrants coming to New Zealand, an opinion reflected in the participants of the 1993 Auckland Champs where half of the huge field of 29 players bore Asian surnames (Kiwi Go 59 – August 1993).
Another influence on the NZ go scene was becoming apparent as early as 1991? In Kiwi Go 55 (Oct1991/Jan1992) Barry Pease in a piece called Network Go described how go players could now use the internet to connect with each other, by email, and most excitingly via the “Go Server” based on a computer in New Mexico. In a later report (Kiwi Go 57, October 1992) Barry describes the Internet Go Server in more detail and reports on the IGS World Championship tournament.
This kind of development began to render unnecessary the perennial quest of the NZGS to devise a ranking system (see KiwiGo 61 October 1994 for a brief history) that would allow it to issue dan ranks to its members. We now take our ranks from the Go servers on which we play and qualify our rank with the server e.g. I’m 6D on Tygem and 4d on OGS.
The cover of the last printed NZ Go Newsletter
The internet also put an end to the need for printed newsletters. NZ go news after 1995 was distributed to its members in the form of emailed newsletters, and later as a Wiki. One effect of the move from paper to silicon is that a lot of the NZ go news after 1995 has tended to vanish into the aether. Paradoxically, this collection of scanned newsletters remains to remind us of the more permanent nature of the printed word!