For 2012, the European Youth Go Championship returned to St. Petersburg, Russia, where it was held at the Olgino Hotel on April 12-15. Competition was organized into an under 20 section, an under 16 section, and an under 12 section.
The U20 section was smallest but strongest, with eleven players ranked 5 dan to 3 kyu representing the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Russia, and the Ukraine. Lukas Podpera (5d) who has been competing in tournaments since he was eight years old and has been Czech youth champion since 2009, sailed undefeated through the first five rounds to clinch first place, crushing opponents right and left before losing to Alexander Eerbeek (5d, Netherlands) in the sixth and final round. Both of these players will represent their countries in the upcoming World Amateur Go Championship in Guangzhou. Alexander’s last-round brilliancy earned him third place, while Alexandr Vashurov (5d, Russia) took second, improving on his third-place finish in the U16 section in Brno last year.
In the U16 section there were 26 players, ranging from 3 dan to 16 kyu, half of them from Russia. Yurii Mykhalyuk (3d, Ukraine) lost his first game to Tal Maichaeli (2d, Israeli youth champion), then stormed back to win five in a row. This streak included a key fifth-round victory over rival Stepan Popov (3d, Russia) who came second in the U12 section last year. Yurii and Stepan both ended with 5-1 results but Yurii took the championship on tie-breaking points. Third place went to Alexandru-Petre Pitrop, a strong 2-kyu from Romania.
The U12 section had a gigantic field of 78 players, 58 of them from Russia, with ranks from 1 dan to 20 kyu. Ukrainian U12 champ Valerii Krushelnytskyi (2k) won all his games to become European U12 champion as well. Silvestru State (1k, Romania) took second place, losing only to the undefeated champion. Valerij Kulishov (3k, Russia) took third, losing only to the champion and runner-up.
The top three in the U12 and U16 sections won free passes to play in the KGS Insei League.