PRESS RELEASE        Canberra 4 August 2008        For immediate release

For attention: General News, Sports, Features, Chess and Bridge columns

If you are viewing Plain text or do not accept attachments this Press Release is at

http://australiango.asn.au/files/PressReleases/JOANNE%20PRESS%20RELEASE.html

 

Headline:

Australian teenager becomes professional Go player in China.

 

Story:

A 14 year old Australian girl has defied the odds to win a coveted position among the ranks of professional Go players in China. Go, or Weiqi, as it is known in China, is an ancient strategy game with similarities to Chess. In the official qualifying tournament in Hangzhou which ended in late July, Joanne Missingham faced fierce competition from all over China as players battled for one of only two places offered by the Chinese Weiqi Association each year.

 

Although Go is not widely known in the western world, it is big business in Asia. Several years ago one of the world’s top professional players, Lee Changho of Korea, amassed sponsorship and tournament winnings exceeding ten million US dollars. Professional players compete in domestic and international tournaments. There are also television stations dedicated to the game.

 

Australian Go Association President, John Hardy, described Brisbane born Joanne's achievement as extraordinary. “Remember in 2006 how underdog Marcos Baghdatis from Cyprus fought his way to the final of the Australian Open? Joanne's achievement must seem like that to the Chinese.” Joanne is the first Australian to become a professional Go player. She has already been selected to represent Australia in the 1st World Mind Sports Games, which will be held in Beijing shortly after the Olympics.

 

 

 

 

 

Photos:

If you do not see the photos or wish to download them use the links below

Joanne Missingham thinks about her next move

http://www.australiango.asn.au/files/PressReleases/JOANNE%20PRESS%20RELEASE_files/image007.jpg

 

Joanne Missingham (seated, right) watches calmly as her game is scored

http://www.australiango.asn.au/files/PressReleases/JOANNE%20PRESS%20RELEASE_files/image008.jpg

 

 

 

Contact:

Neville Smythe, Secretary Australian Go Association

Secretary@AustralianGo.asn.au

Tel: 0414517719   or   (02) 6232 -7277

 

Resources:

Australian Go players to compete in Beijing (Press Release)

      http://australiango.asn.au/files/PressReleases/WMSG%20PRESS%20RELEASE.html

World Mind Sports Games website

   http://www.2008wmsg.org/    (click on the English version)

International Mind Sports Association

         http://www.intergofed.org/imsa.htm

International Go Federation web site

 http://www.intergofed.org/

Australian Go Association web site

http://www.australiango.asn.au/

 

What is Go?

         http://www.usgo.org/resources/whatisgo.html