World Amateur Go Championship (WAGC) is an annual go event organised by the International Go Federation (IGF). Each IGF member country nominates one representative, and in total usually there are around 70 participants.
The WAGC is held since 1979. In 2020, for the first time in go history, the tournament was to take place in one of the European countries – Russia, Vladivostok city. Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, the tournament was postponed till 2021. The new dates for the 41st WAGC are June 2–10, 2021. The location remains the same.
Unfortunately, the pandemic doesn’t seem to get any better even despite the vaccination. Due to this reason, the organisers of the 41st WAGC decided to allow online participation for those representatives who are not able to arrive in Vladivostok. In that case, national federations whose representatives play online must ensure the presence of a referee or an official of the federation in the playing-room and/or video monitoring of the competition process. More information on this aspect will be announced by the organisers later.
Representatives from 77 countries are invited to participate in the 41st WAGC:
Asia: 17 countries and territories
Brunei, China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Korea, India, Indonesia, Japan, Macau, Malaysia,
Mongolia, Nepal, DPR Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam
Near and Middle East: 3 countries
Iran, Israel, Turkey
Africa: 3 countries
Madagascar, Morocco, South Africa
North & Central America: 7 countries
Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, United States
South America: 8 countries
Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela
Oceania: 2 countries
Australia, New Zealand
In case you are an official of the national go organisation in one of the listed countries, and you have not received an invitation yet – please use the following email address to contact the WAGC organisers: firstname.lastname@example.org (Natalia Kovaleva).
The European Grand Prix is a series of tournaments held during the calendar year. Those participants who take the top places in these competitions collect so-called ‘bonus points’. At the beginning of the next year, the Grand Prix Final is organised by the EGF. The players who have won at least one Grand Prix tournament, plus several players who have a top score in the bonus points list, fight for the title of the winner of the Grand Prix. Besides, the two players who have the top score in the bonus points list are automatically qualified for the Grand Slam – the most prestigious competition in Europe with a main prize of €10,000.
In 2020, due to the COVID-19 outbreak almost all the Grand Prix tournaments were cancelled. The Grand Prix Final had to take place online. The winner was Ilya Shikshin 4p.
As the situation with the coronavirus doesn’t seem to get much better at the beginning of 2021, the EGF introduced several changes to the Grand Prix:
From now online and mixed competitions are officially allowed to be a Grand Prix tournament, with a condition of applying strict anti-cheating measures.
New level of Grand Prix tournament appeared – Level D. Level D tournaments provide half as many bonus points as Level C, and the winner gets ‘half of the seat’ in the Grand Prix Final – he has to win one more Level D competition in order to qualify. At the same time, it’s twice cheaper for the organisers to apply for the Level D event. This is the way to stimulate the organisers of relatively small online tournaments to apply for the Grand Prix – bonus points attract strong European players to participate, which in turn motivates the weaker players to take part as well.
Grand Prix tournament organisers have to provide prize money for each bonus point won by the participants. The amount of the prize money depends on the level of the event.
Even though the pandemic restrictions are not getting better, this year there are several tournaments in the Grand Prix Calendar already.
European Youth Go Team Championship (EYGTC) is an annual online Go competition. European countries are represented by teams consisting of youth players. Each round teams have to line up five players of different age categories:
one player U20
two players U16
two players U12
This year there have been four rounds. The team of Russia remained undefeated, thus winning EYGTC for the 6th time.
Last year the winner was the team of Germany, which was the only time when the team of Russia didn’t win the competition.
This year European Grand Prix Finale took place on the Online Go Server from January 8 till 31. Top 16 European players were fighting for the title of the Grand Prix Winner. The competition is a culmination of the Grand Prix – a series of tournaments held during the year 2020.
The group stage didn’t bring any surprise, with the favourites getting first or second places to qualify for the knock-out stage.
11th Pandanet Go European Team Championship started in October 2020. Four rounds have been played already. At the time of writing the leader is the team of Ukraine, which unexpectedly defeated the favourite in the last round, the team of France. The next round will take place on February 2, the highlight of the round being the match between Ukraine and Russia.
In the third season of the European Professional Online Go League, the round-robin stage has come to an end. Ilya Shikshin 3p was undefeated and proceeded to the final by taking first place. Pavol Lisy 2p and Tanguy Le Calve 1p will play a match to determine who challenges Ilya for the title of the winner of the League.
European Grand Prix Finale 2020 has started on January 8th. At the time of writing the competition is in the semi-finals: Ilya Shikshin 3p v. Pavol Lisy 2p, and Artem Kachanovskyi 2p v. Stanislaw Frejlak 7d.
Novel in this season is Cuba playing in League A and standing as a strong competitor for the Championship, as their top three boards rank as 5 dan and the team has an average level of 3 dan.
Meanwhile, in League B, we also find a strengthened Uruguay with the recent incorporation of Martin Benenati 5d, promising a close fight with Chile and Venezuela who are also trying to fight their way back to League A.
Showdown starts immediately on the first round with heavy matches like Argentina v. Mexico, who last season finished second and fourth, respectively, and Brazil v. Peru who finished first and third, respectively.
Follow the 1st round of the Championship on Sunday 24th at 19 hrs GMT-6 on the LatinAmericanTeam Champ room in Pandanet.
This year the European Women’s Go Championship took place online, similarly to the majority of the other competitions.
16 players from 8 different countries participated in the event. The tournament system was very similar to the one of the European Grand Prix Finale:
four groups of four players
round-robin in a group
two players from each group proceed to the play-off
The final had a best-of-three format. The two players who made it to the final were Manja Marz 3d (Germany) and Natalia Kovaleva 5d (Russia). Natalia won two games in a row, thus winning the European Women’s Go Championship 2020.
In a hard-fought match, Brazil overcame Argentina to become the champion of the 4th PGLATC.
Of the three games played, the first one to finish was the third-board match between Brazil’s Helcio Alexander and Argentina’s Luciano Salerno. While Salerno kept the lead throughout most of the game, a later invasion proved too deep which gave the victory to Alexander.
Later on, the second board finished with a large point victory for Brazil’s Wang Sen Feng over Argentina’s Santiago Tabares.
At last, the first board finished with a victory of Argentina’s Fernando Aguilar over Israelian-Brazilian Amir Fragman, in a game with plenty of fighting and group exchanging.
So the result was a 2-1 victory for Brazil. Congratulations!