Chinese and Japanese embassies and consuls have been sponsoring major go tournaments in Russia since the 1990s. The latest two were held in St Petersburg on two weekends in February and April: the Weiqi Cup of the Consulate General of the People's Republic of China on February 16-17, and the Japan Consul Cup on April 13-14. Both were topped by a pair of players from Kazan: 3-dan pro Alexander Dinerchtein and 7-dan amateur Ilya Shikshin.
Each tournament was divided into A, B, and C leagues. The A league was an elite double-elimination knockout . The B and C leagues were six-round McMahon tournaments, B for dan and single-digit kyu players, C for double-digit kyu players.
The participants in the A league of the February Weiqi Cup included included three who among them have won the European Championship twelve times: the above Alexander and Ilya, and Petrozavodsk State University's go-playing mathematician Alexey Lazarev. In the first two rounds, Alexey was eliminated by losses to Oleg Mezhov and Vasiliy Andrienko, but Ilya beat both Vasiliy and Oleg, and Alexander beat Andrey Cheburakov and Dimitri Surin. In the third round Alexander and Ilya had byes while Vasiliy and Oleg beat Dimitri and Igor Nemliy, who had eliminated Andrey in round two. In the last round Alexander defeated Ilya to win the cup, while Vasiliy defeated Oleg to take third place and Dimitri defeated Igor to take fifth.
The B league drew 27 dan-ranked and 65 kyu-ranked participants, including some from Belarus, China, and the Ukraine. The undefeated winner was Chinese 7-dan Ying Li, while Russians Timur Sankin and Anton Zatonskikh finished second and third, and Tatarstan champion Alexander Vashurov finished fourth. Timur and Alexander earned promotions into the A league for the Japan Consul Cup in April. Complete results are here.
The outcome of the April A league resembled the outcome in February. The duo from Kazan, Alexander Dinerchtein and Ilya Shikshin, again won their first two games, and Alexander beat Ilya to take the cup while Ilya finished second. Alexander Vashurov and Timur Sankin took third and fourth places; Dimitri Surin and Igor Nemliy again took fifth and sixth.
The 86-player April B league ended with a husband-and-wife clash between Igor Burnaevskiy and Dina Burdakova. Though outranked (4 dan to 5 dan), Igor asserted male superiority to win the game and take first place with a 5-1 score. Dina's score was also 5-1, so she finished second, ahead of Alexey Lazarev, who had the best 4-2 result. Don't miss Daria Koshkina's report on Dina and Igor.
The C leagues drew over thirty players in both events. Jakov Galunov (14 kyu) was the undefeated victor in February, while Vladimir Sulimov (16 kyu) took first place in April. Russian go players were also busy between the two Consul Cups: at the Moscow Kido Cup, the Polymetal Rapid Cup, and the Tomsk Go Festival, for example. A recent interview with Alexander Dinerchtein can be read here.