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57th European Go Congress: Hurray for Europe!

Venue of 57th the European Go CongressVenue of 57th the European Go CongressFar Eastern players have been outperforming Europeans at the European Go Congress for the past decade, so it was a welcome change to see almost all the prizes go to European players at the 2013 Congress held July 27 to August 11 in Olsztyn, Poland. Also encouraging was the whole-hearted way in which the Polish media, the European go community, and even non-European organizations such as BadukMovies, KGS, Pandanet, and the World Pair Go Association lent their support to the Congress as sponsors or patrons. Here's a rundown of the results.

The ten-round main tournament was won by Hui Fan, the former Chinese pro who emigrated to France in 2000, quickly became Europe's top-rated player, has been making substantial contributions to the growing French go literature, and became a naturalized Frenchman this year. The last three rounds of this tournament included an eight-player playoff for the title of European Champion. This meant that Hui had to face two of his youngest and strongest opponents--Mateusz Surma of Poland and Pavol Lisy of Slovakia--twice each, but it seemed to make no difference who Hui played: he won all ten of his games. Mateusz and Pavol each lost one other game and finished 4th and 3rd, respectively. Hui FanHui FanFinland's Antti Tormanen beat Pavol, lost to Hui and Mateusz, and finished 2nd. In the playoff section Pavol came 2nd, Mateusz came 3rd, and France's Thomas Debarre took 4th place. A grand total of 594 players participated, with European players capturing the top 23 places.

In the nine-round rapid tournament, Cornel Burzo (Romania) and Mateusz Surma (Poland) won eight games apiece, but Cornel took 1st place by one SOS point. Andrii Kravets (Ukraine), Alexei Lazarev (Russia), and Stanislaw Frejlak (Poland) scored six wins to take 3rd to 5th places. Tomasz Sek (6 kyu, Poland) and Josef Moudrik (10 kyu, Czechia) scored eight wins and finished 167th and 216th in the field of 276.

In the five-round weekend tournament (August 3-4) Ilya Shikshin (Russia) beat Jun-won Choi (Korea) and then Pavol Lisy, Cornel Burzo, Hui Fan, and Alexander Dinerchtein (Russia) to earn undisputed 1st place. His opponents finished 19th, 6th, 4th, 2nd, and 5th. Ali Jabarin (Israel) came in 3rd. Besides Ilya, there were eleven other five-game winners in the field of 378: Krzysztof Urtnowski (1 kyu, Poland), Sylvain Praz (2 kyu, Switzerland), David Vennink (3 kyu, France), Pawel and Jan Fraczak (both 4 kyu, Poland), Jakub Jansky (5 kyu, Czechia), Vojtech Vasa (9 kyu, Czechia), Krzysztof Kurzawa (10 kyu, Poland), Michael Thao (10 kyu, France), Josef Moudrik (10 kyu, Czechia), Mikulas Kubita (13 kyu, Czechia), and Sandra Freiburghaus (15 kyu, Switzerland). Ilya Shikshin also won the 20-player blitz knockout, beating Mero Csaba (Hungary), Zeno van Ditzhuijzen (Netherlands), and Cornel Burzo, and then defeating Ondrej Silt (Czechia) in the final game. On small boards,

Ilya Shikshin won the 9 x 9 tournament and Andrii Kravets won the 13 x 13 tournament. Stanislaw Frejlak (4 dan, Poland) won the eight-player phantom knockout, downing Gabor Albrecht (7 kyu, Hungary) in the final game.

Two Russian youths won 1st place prizes in the U18 competition: Alexander Vashurov (5 dan) topped the A group while Andrej Mramorov (4 kyu) topped the B group. Both were undefeated. Finishing 2nd were Jonas Welticke (5 dan, Germany) and Yuki de Groot (3 kyu, Netherlands).

Tournament roomTournament roomThe European Team Championship, held July 26-27, was won by a Czech team consisting of Ondrej Silt, Jan Hora, Lukas Podpera, Jan Prokop, and Vladimir Danek. The Czechs drew against Russia and defeated the Ukraine and Hungary. Russia drew against the Ukraine, and both Russia and the Ukraine beat Hungary. In a separate five-round team tournament, the Polish Wampiry team (Mateusz Surma, Stanislaw Frejlak, Majka Marcin) and the French Bogoss team (Benjamin Drean-Guenaizia, Pierre Paga, Cesar Lextrait) were both undefeated, so they held a playoff, won by Wampiry. The Polish Habu-Mos-Rzepnikowski trio beat the international Sexy Honte trio to take first place in the rengo tournament.

Pair go was organized into A and B groups. In the A group (all even games), 32 pairs competed for three full rounds in four blocks, then the best 16 competed in a final knockout. Korean pro Hajin Lee and Polish amateur Cezary Czernecki (3 dan) triumphed over Polish amateur Agnieszka Kacprzyk (1 dan) and Korean pro Young-Long Park in the final game of the knockout. The B group was a four-round Swiss system handicap tournament that ended with three pairs undefeated. Placed in SOS order, they were: (1) Dita Vasova and Lukas Podpera (Czechia) (2) Daria Kwietniewska (Poland) and Vit Brunner (Czechia) (3) Josefa Kubitova and Michal Timko (Czechia). Full results can be found at the congress website.