a140bddf-be8e-4844-84e7-385cfdeb770dMost of my friends who play Go aren’t members of the AGA, and for good reason: It simply doesn’t benefit them. Benefits of AGA membership, as listed on the website are:

  • Receive the weekly American Go E-Journal Games Edition ($20 value)
  • Receive the annual American Go Yearbook ($15 value)
  • Participate in local and national tournaments
  • Participate in the national rating system
  • Participate in the annual US Go Congress
  • Support the development of Go in the US

In all honesty, I only joined the AGA for two of the reasons listed above (and for clarification, I’m merging two of the bullets which I think are too similar).

First, I enjoy participating in tournaments, for which AGA membership is required. I’m extremely jealous of the social fulfillment the community enjoys in Chicago in comparison to our situation here in St. Louis. So that I might experience a part of fulfillment, I travel up to Chicago to participate in their tournament series. Playing in the tournaments also means inclusion in the “national rating system.” So, I’m an official participatory member in the AGA with an official AGA-recognized rank.

Second, I encourage the “support and development of Go in the US.” As an instigator of several clubs and a participant in a few more, I’ve tried to do this in a very personal way. Now, the AGA acts on my behalf to do this on a much larger scale. Honestly, who doesn’t support this idea? It’s a no-brainer in my opinion.

My two complaints with the AGA: 1: The Congress is very coast-centric. Between 1985 and the planned Congresses through 2011, only 4 or 5 have really been accessible to people in the middle of the country (SLUS Go Congress). 2: Our website has a very dated look (circa 1990’s) and desperately needs an overhaul in both form and function. Look to our European cousin’s association pages to see what I mean.

All said, the AGA is a good organization that I wish more people (including myself) supported it in more ways than they do. If you’re reading this and aren’t an AGA member, seriously consider joining.