The 2020 World Amateur Go Championship (WAGC) will be postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The 2021 WAGC was originally to be organised by the Korea Baduk Association, but the Baduk Association and the Russian Go Federation have formally agreed that in 2021 the tournament will be held by Russia.
The exact date of the 2021 WAGC is not yet known, but the tournament is planned to be held in the summer.
Since the coronavirus (COVID-19) appeared in Europe and people realised how serious the danger is, many emergency measures have been applied: borders are closing, flights are cancelled, and in many countries people are asked to stay home in quarantine. Obviously, such a situation strongly influences go life in Europe as well.
The European Youth Go Championship in Croatia was the last tournament before countries started to apply powerful measures such as closing their borders. In fact, the tournament took place just as some countries started applying such measures. Some of the participants even had to ask for the help of their countries’ embassies to return home, because their flights and bus trips were getting cancelled.
The European tournament calendar at the time of writing
As there is still hope for the better, some tournaments such as the European Professional Championship and the Grand Slam Qualification have been postponed instead of being cancelled.
Beside all the bad news, there are some good news as well. A new project is starting soon, called the European Professional Online Go League. The games are going to be commented live by one of the European pros. The start is on March 21, 18:00 CET. For more information see the article on the EGF website.
The European Youth Go Championship 2020 took place on 12–14 March in Stubicke Toplice, Croatia. In total 162 young players from all over the Europe competed in three different categories: under 12, under 16, and under 20.
Besides the traditional participation spots at the World Youth Go Championship, among the prizes this year there were also vouchers which can be used for learning or tournament activities.
After six rounds of intense struggle the winners were:
U12: Vsevolod Ovsiienko, 2d, Ukraine
U16: Linh Vu Tu, 4d, France
U20: Anton Chernykh, 6d, Russia
Year 2020 started traditionally for European Go with the Grand Prix Finale 2019. This tournament brings together the 16 players with the highest Grand Prix scores in the preceding year. The Grand Prix consists of tournaments in which players collect so-called Bonus points. This year the Grand Prix Finale was held from 16 to 19 January in Leksand, Sweden. The winner of the tournament, and therefore the Grand Prix 2019, was Mateusz Surma 2p(Poland). The runner-up was Artem Kachanovskyi 2p (Ukraine).
On the 1st and 2nd February, a tournament called ‘TIGGRE – Ellie Cup’ took place in Grenoble, France. The tournament had 157 participants from 16 countries. The winner was Wu Tian 2p (China), who defeated Ilya Shikshin 3p (Russia) in the final game.
The Winter Go Festival took place in Vatra Dornei, Romania from 9 to 16 February. The festival consists of various events: a SEYGO Tour competition for youth players, an international pair go tournament, and the VaDo Cup international tournament. A total of 57 players participated in the VaDo Cup, while 46 young players competed in the SEYGO Tour. The winner of VaDo Cup this year was Kim Youngsam 7d (South Korea).
The Cup of Consulate General of People’s Republic of China took place on 23–24 February in St Petersburg, Russia. The tournament brought together 133 players from 7 countries. The winner was Kim Seongjin 7d (South Korea), followed by Kim Youngsam 7d (South Korea) and Ilya Shikshin 3p (Russia).
European and Korean players reviewing a game at the tournament in St Petersburg
European Go Congress is the biggest go event in Europe. This year it will take place in Kamyanets-Podilskyi, Ukraine, from July 25 to August 9. This post is a follow-up to the early announcement of the EGC 2020 on the IGF website.
The decisive game of the Grand Prix Finale 2019: Mateusz Surma 2p (Poland; left) v. Artem Kachanovskyi 2p (Ukraine)
The Grand Prix Finale is the tournament that determines the winner of the European Grand Prix – a series of tournaments held during the calendar year.
The tournament brings together the 16 most successful players. At first all the players are divided into four groups. A round robin system is used to play three rounds inside each group. Two players from each group proceed to the knockout stage. In the knockout, the eight players that passed the group stage play three more rounds to determine the winner.
This year the Grand Prix Finale was held from 16 to 19 January 2020 in Leksand, Sweden. The selected 16 players represented 12 different countries.
The first surprising result came during the group stage: Daniel Hu 5d (United Kingdom) won his games against Pavol Lisy 2p (Slovakia) and Tanguy Le Calvé 1p (France). Daniel qualified to the next stage of the tournament from the first place in his group, while the second place was taken by Stanislaw Frejlak 7d (Poland) who qualified as well. In the rest of the groups, the results turned out to be more predictable.
In the quarterfinal, surprisingly Ilya Shikshin 3p (Russia) lost to Stanislaw Frejlak 7d (Poland) by half a point.
The final game was played between Artem Kachanovskyi 2p (Ukraine) and Mateusz Surma 2p (Poland). Mateusz won the game, thus becoming the winner of the tournament and the champion of the European Grand Prix 2019.
In Mexico City, on November 17 at the Sports Direction offices of Mexico’s National Autonomous University UNAM, the Go Sports Association was officially institutionalised after an investiture ceremony. UNAM holds around 350,000 students in different levels of academic developing and promotes a wide variety of sports such as chess – and now also go.
UNAM Go Sports Association investiture ceremony
With this, go will be promoted in the sports events that UNAM organises, such as the University Games, and can have its own representative team. As of now, workshops within the main campus and in different UNAM venues are taking place along with events such as university tournaments, congresses, and meetings.
This is an important step in the recognition of go as a sport on other levels of public and non-governmental institutions in Mexico.
The American Go Foundation is sponsoring two Latin American Youth teams to visit the 2020 US Go Congress. The first team is chosen out from the winner of the 2019 Orion Tournament, an online team match organised by the ‘Asociación de Go Latino Juvenil‘ and supported by the Ibero American Go Federation, FIG. The second team comes from a recently approved sponsorship which is intended to broaden the spectrum of Latin American youth players to visit the US Go Congress.
For the first team, the winner of the 2019 Orion tournament turned to be Mexico’s ‘Escuela Primaria Anexa’. The three team members as well as a team leader have their airfare and congress participation costs covered.
For the second team, Chile was appointed by the Ibero American Go Federation to build up the team. According to FIG, if this kind of sponsorship keeps continuing, each year a different country will be chosen to participate. Airfare costs for a team leader and up to four children will be covered.
The US Go Congress will take place in the YMCA of the Rockies, Colorado, from July 17 to 23. There, the children will have the chance to play in the US Open as well as participate in lectures by professionals or one of the many side tournaments, such as the Pair go and the Lightning go.
There’s no doubt that this is a great opportunity for cultural exchange and to make new friends through playing go!
Orion 2018 champion team from Mexico at the US Go Congress 2019
Between October 16 and December 9, the 18th Ibero American Go Internet Tournament was played on the Pandanet Go Server. This tournament has been recently relaunched with the aid of the Chilean Go Federation who did all the organisation work this year.
The tournament was played over eight rounds under a MacMahon system, and it gathered 97 players from 15 countries across Latin America. The champion turned out to be Fernando Aguilar from Argentina, who has dominated the scene since the start of this event back in 1998. You may look at the final standings here.
This event is a long-standing icon of the Ibero American go community, considering that it has gathered over a hundred players in most of its editions. For a long time it was organised by Jordi Gene of Spain, but as of 2014 the organisation has been taken up by different actors within Latin America.
We hope that this tournament keeps on going and that it will bring even more players together this year!