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[Dialogue] ‘Understanding each other during the sport it’s easier to come to an understanding in business’

Sergei Nosov, a governor of the Russia's Magadan region. Photo: TASS/Governor's press service.

Pan Pacific Agency continues a series of publications about ancient oriental game Go on the eve of the World Amateur Go Championship (WAGC), which will be held in the city of Vladivostok in 2021. The press service of the championship interviews the key-note “Go people” in Russia. The 1st interview of the series was with a Russian businessman Vitaliy Nesis, the 2nd – with Aysen Nikolayev, a governor of the Russia’s Sakha Republic (Yakutiya). In a next feature of the series, Sergei Nosov, a governor of the Russia’s Magadan region, told Mikhail Yemelyanov, the 41st WAGC Director, why many Russians in the Far East region want to play intellectual games.

There are many children playing the Go game in Magadan, and Go is included into school curriculums: it’s a part of the experiment that was held by your department of education. This experiment demonstrated that Go helps children focus and study better, learn all the school subjects more successfully. Is Magadan planning to share this experience with other regions?

First I must say that my official position forced me to learn Go. This experiment was started 3 years ago, there were 2 classes of 50 students each involved in it. The positive effect of learning Go was determined fairly quickly. We are planning to expand this experiment, so to speak.

I can say that the game of Go is really popular in Magadan now. It might be connected with the fact that we are a Far Eastern region, so we are learning Japanese traditions and we have good cultural connections with Japan. Our higher educational institutions, our universities cooperate with Chinese universities. So probably it’s not just a coincidence that Go has become popular in Magadan region. And we are planning to support that.

If anyone is willing to exchange ideas, we are ready to share our methods and findings. We are ready to share our experience.

There is a league of intellectual games in your region. It has a big number of participants, about 100 teams took part in a recent event. There is another project “PROintellect” that won a presidential grant. And we know that the number of people willing to learn Go is growing by the day. Where is this desire to learn intellectual games and interest to intellect in general coming from, what do you think?

It’s hard for me to speak for all of the Russian Federation. It might be surprising or sensational news to some, but like you said, there are many people in Magadan who are seriously interested in intellectual games and they achieve good results at that.

For example, among many intellectual games today there is one called Braindo. There was a Braindo tournament of the Far East and the Magadan region team scored a convincing victory there over all the other regions. Those other regions also compete to be part of the educational and intellectual elite, they have great universities and a strong educational foundation. There are plenty of intelligent people in Magadan — we proved it before and we’ll prove it again in the future.

In 2021, a business match will be held as part of the World Go Championship in Vladivostok. Several governors and businessmen from Russia and Asia will take part in it. Do you think that this format of communication with our Asian partners, through the game that is familiar to them, can be effective?

It can definitely yield good results. If we are talking about Asia and Asia Pacific where this game is really popular, it’s in the culture, customs and traditions of these nations. Understanding each other during communication through sport — the World Championship is also sport or a sporting event — it’s also easier to come to an understanding in business, with business contacts. Time will tell.

There is an American tradition that many business issues are negotiated and solved primarily when playing golf. Maybe if businessmen, leaders and politicians learn this ancient, oriental, intellectual game, it will help establish and maintain connections and solve a very important problem of attracting investment to the Far East.

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