Major Change: NGD Online League and Kifu Newsletter Merge

Published 2 Jan 2023 by antti (last edited 3 Jan 2023)
tags: announcement

Happy New Year 2023 on behalf of the Nordic Go Dojo!

The ngd online league was originally started in June 2020 to provide go players with an online platform for serious training games, together with the possibility to get said games reviewed by our strong teachers. At the busiest point, in April 2021, we had a total of 51 participants.

In later 2021, there were starting to be several alternative options for training-oriented online leagues. Further, in 2022, face-to-face events again started to become possible due to easened travel restrictions. This on the one hand made many of our teachers busy with their other go-related work, and on the other hand also reduced the number of participants, since, as all go players know, playing live is just that much more fun. From the ngd’s point of view, our online league fulfilled its original purpose well, and now that life is starting to become a little bit more normal, we don’t see a particular need to keep the league system going in the face of dwindling participant numbers.

This all being said, our Discord go server has become a great place for go aficionados to meet and discuss the game; and while the participant number of the online league has gone down, it is still far from zero. A number of students, we have been happy to see, even rate our teaching so highly that they continue to participate in the online league month after month and advertise it to their go friends to keep participant numbers up. Seeing this kind of enthusiasm and support makes it feel wrong to just stop our teaching activity altogether.

Therefore, from January 2023 on, we are making a structural change of combining the online league and Antti’s kifu newsletter, which results in providing more go content for everybody.

First, to recap, Antti’s kifu newsletter used to be a subscription service, priced at €20 for three months, where Antti would write commentaries mostly of his own pro tournament and practice games. On average, there were three such updates each month.

From January 2023 on, the online league merges with the kifu newsletter, so that there are no longer separate online league subscriptions; commented online league games now show up in the kifu newsletter. So, previous participants of the online league get kifu newsletter updates as extra, and previous subscribers of the kifu newsletter now also get to read Antti’s reviews of online league games.

The online league, in turn, will become ‘credit-based’. From January 2023 on, everybody can buy reviews priced at €20 per game, as long as they agree that the review will be published to all kifu newsletter subscribers (the players of the kifu can be made anonymous). Note that these can be reviews of any freely chosen games – they don’t even have to be your own!

Once I get around to programming again, the League standings page will turn into a page showing who has review credits remaining and how many; this will keep it possible for people on our Discord channel to set up games between themselves, sharing the cost (i.e., both players spend half a credit for a review).

We’re aware that the current economic tendency is to keep making everything more expensive, but this change will actually make our teaching more cost-efficient (read: cheaper) for participants. Previously, a €70 participation fee in the online league would get a player a two-month subscription (for seeing other participants’) games and roughly four game reviews; in the new system, this gets a three-month subscription, including Antti’s kifu newsletter updates, and five game reviews when playing other ‘review credit holders’ (or else 2.5 reviews of freely choosable games).

People who had both online league subscriptions and kifu newsletter subscriptions have now had their kifu newsletter subscription extended by the appropriate duration, rounded up to the next full month.

Lastly, although the merge officially ‘ends’ the former online league system, we will continue to fund our Twitch lectures for the foreseeable future.

In a nutshell, our new service lineup is:

  • €20 for a three-month kifu subscription, including Antti’s reviews of his own tournament games as well as reviews of games purchased through ‘review credits’
  • €20 for a ‘review credit’, which can be used to get a review of a freely-chosen game. The review will be published to all kifu newsletter subscribers. If the game is between two people who have credits, and the players agree to share the cost, both players use half a credit instead. No kifu subscription is required to purchase reviews credits; you always get access to your own reviews.
  • Half-year package deal (light): €70 for a six-month kifu subscription and two review credits
  • Half-year package deal (heavy): €100 for a six-month kifu subscription and four review credits
  • One-year package deal: €80 for a twelve-month kifu subscription and one review credit

You can read details on the Newsletter here and sign up here.


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