Overview of European Go in 2021
After the COVID-19 pandemic started, most European tournaments moved online. Major competitions organised by the EGF, such as the European Championship and the Grand Prix Finale, had to adapt to the online form as well. In the recently concluded 2021, however, international travel restrictions were smoothly loosened, and starting from summer we observed a significant rise of face-to-face go events.
At the beginning of June, the 41st World Amateur Go Championship took place in Russia. For the first time in the history of this event, one of the EGF member countries hosted it. The tournament was organised in a mixed form, with a part of participants playing in Vladivostok, while those who could not attend the event in person were allowed to join online.
The final of the Pandanet Go European Team Championship took place online in August; the team of France won it for the third year straight.
Dina Burdakova 5d won the online European Women’s Championship in September.
Natalia Kovaleva 5d and Dmitrij Surin 6d won their seventh European Pair Go Championship, which took place in Niš, Serbia, in September as well.
The European Youth Go Championship was played out online in October, bringing together 131 participants.
Lukáš Podpěra (left) playing against Stanisław Frejlak in the final of the 6th Pro Qualification
October also saw the EGF certifying a new professional player, Stanisław Frejlak, who won the 6th European Professional Qualification Tournament in Leksand, Sweden.
The European Championship took place online in November and December. Ilya Shikshin won this tournament for the eighth time, matching the record of Jürgen Mattern who claimed his eight championships between 1965 and 1979. Ilya has also won the online Grand Prix Finale at the beginning of the last year.
The cherry on the cake was the Grand Slam tournament in Belgrade: after a break of almost two years for most of the top European players, they have finally met over the board again. The winner was Artem Kachanovskyi 2p.
Besides the listed major go competitions, a lot of smaller go events took place in Europe last year: various summer go camps, Moyo Open in Pardubice, Dutch Open in The Hague, Grand Slam Qualification, Helmut Wiltschek Memorial in Vienna, etc.
To sum up, this was a bright and successful year for go in Europe, giving go players hope of seeing each other more often in real life. To learn more about the tournaments mentioned here, visit the EGF website.
Report by Artem