The 2019 Grand Slam tournament will be held on 25–28 April in Berlin, Germany.
The 2019 Grand Slam tournament will be held on 25–28 April in Berlin, Germany.
The 2019 European Professional Championship was held on 6–8 March in Jena, Germany. It is an annual tournament for professional go players living in Europe.
It is not only the title of the European champion and the winner’s prize of 1,200 euro which is at stake in the tournament. Top three EGF-certified professional players also qualify for the European team in the Chinese C League – an annual team tournament held in China. One more player for the team is chosen by the Chinese sponsors of the team through a wild card. You can learn more about the Chinese C League in an earlier article on its 2018 edition.
The European Professional Championship is open to all professional players who hold a European passport, but, this year, only the six EGF-certified professionals decided to participate. Round robin system was used, and the tournament was broadcast on Twitch and the KGS Go Server.
The winner was Artem Kachanovskyi 2p (Ukraine), who got four wins out of five games. Mateusz Surma 2p (Poland), Ilya Shikshin 3p (Russia), and Andrii Kravets 1p (Ukraine) ended up sharing the 2nd place with 3 wins. Pavol Lisy 2p (Slovakia) and Ali Jabarin 2p (Israel) took 5th and 6th place respectively, each having won one game.
As the EGF needed to choose three players for the Chinese C League, and there were three players sharing 2nd place, an additional blitz tournament was held between the tied players. The winners were Ilya Shikshin 3p and Mateusz Surma 2p, and so, Artem, Ilya, and Mateusz are qualified to play in the Chinese C League, with one more player getting decided later.
You can find game records and further details on the tournament at the tournament webpage. Clicking on a result in the tournament table downloads an sgf file of the game.
For more information you can also read an article on the EGF webpage.
Report by Artem Kachanovskyi
Moving North from Latin America’s deep south we encounter Brazil and Colombia: our next stops on this journey.
Near the Atlantic Coast we find Sao Paulo, one of Brazil’s biggest cities. Here, the Brazil Nihon Kiin was founded 30 years ago by Iwamoto Kaoru 9p, setting a pivot point for the development of Brazilian Go.
Nowadays the Kiin receives around 20 players every day from all range of levels. It also holds a traditional handicap tournament on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month.
Since 10 years ago they annually celebrate the Copa do Brazil, the official Brazilian Championship which gathers on average slightly more than 50 players. Nonetheless, this year Copa do Brazil will not take place, as Sao Paolo will be the host city of the 3rd Latin American Go Congress. The Congress includes the 21st Ibero American Go Championship, whose best Brazilian player will be crowned Brazilian champion.
The Kiin also has a plan of running other tournaments following the Copa do Brazil model, and so far they’ve organized the Iwamoto Cup earlier this year with over 30 participants.
On the youth arena, since 2016 Brazil Nihon Kiin has been working with the Sao Paulo City Prefecture in a project to include go in schools, preparing teachers of São Paulo municipal schools to be instructors of the game in the over 1,000 public schools in the city. At the time of writing, nearly 500 teachers and over 4,000 children have been initiated to the game. The biggest challange this project faces is the difficulty for schools to adquire go material to use in the go lessons.
Besides this, Youth Championships have been held over the last few years, with different levels of attendance, ranging from 20 to 70 players.
In the country’s provinces, most of the capitals have small go clubs or group meetings on a weekly basis, esspecially those where the Japanese community is more present. The Brazilian Go community has been very active online, mostly via the efforts of the OGS’s Go Brasil group admins, constantly organizing both live and correspondence tournaments.
You can follow more of Brazil’s go activities on their Facebook page.
From Sao Paulo we head northwest across the enigmatic Amazon rainforest to arrive in Colombia.
Before 2016, Colombian Go was largely disorganised, and while there were some weekly meetings where players studied English go material and professional games together, there was no single agent pushing to promote or spread the game.
It was at the beginning of 2016 that a group of players came up with the idea of organizing a national tournament, which eventually led to the constitution of the Colombian Go Association.
Before long, an annual tournament calendar was fixed. This calendar includes 3 national tournaments, 2 extended handicap tournaments lasting 16 weeks each, 2 one-day tournaments and a one-day handicap championship. If we add to this list the Latin American Team Championship on the Pandanet go server and the Latin American Go Congress, we realise that Colombian go players are extremely active nowadays.
The activation of this calendar produced a new wave of beginners which have now improved their game level. It has also motivated a new interest for studying the game among the most experienced players. Even some of the first-generation players have restarted their participation in tournaments and are promoting the development of the whole Colombian go community.
Besides the tournaments, some players work as go teachers and thanks to this they have achieved a slow but steady progress in the recruiting of new players. In addition they’ve started producing go stones and boards, which has helped reach other cities inside the country and has allowed the creation of small playing groups that meet with relative frequency.
Colombian Go Association is well aware of the challenges of the epoch. The most important goal they identify is amassing players on a national scale. Nowadays their database gathers around 40 players from 10 kyu to 5 dan, but the problem is that almost all of them belong to the same generation, averaging at more than 30 years of age, which means that it’s urgent for them to promote the game among the younger generations as a short and mid-term goal. They realize that in countries where go is developing, the level of players forms a pyramid shape with a lot of inexperienced players, an adequate number of mid-level players and a small number of experienced players.
We wish the best luck to Colombia in their efforts towards the future!
You can follow the progress of the Colombian Go Association on their Facebook page.
We have now gotten all the way from Punta Arenas at the bottom of the continent up to Bogota, and in the next episode we will be visiting the Caribbean sea. Stay tuned for more surprises on this journey!
Thanks to Felipe Herman van Riemsdijk and Felipe Moreno for providing information for this article.
Report by Emil García
The qualification for the 5th EGF Grand Slam tournament is held on 14–15 March, 2019 in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Top two players of the qualification qualify for the main tournament, which is held on 25–28 April in Berlin. From each round of the qualification, board 1 will be broadcast online on the KGS Go Server by the user EGF1.
The Grand Slam is the most prestigious tournament held annually by the European Go Federation, with a winner’s prize of 10,000 euro.
This is the first of a series of articles in which we will be sharing with you some insights of Latin American Go through a review of many of the countries of this region in which several activities are being held for the promotion of this game. This time we travel south to Chile and Argentina, our first destinations on this journey.
We begin far south of the American continent in Punta Arenas. This city is one of the many places where the Chilean Go Federation has organized several National Go tournaments this last year, along other northern cities like Caldera, Valdivia, Santiago and Valparaíso. Besides this, several activities have been performed such as online tournaments, children-related events, workshops, courses, camps, pair go meetings – and even a special visit by the Cuban Go Champion Carlos Pérez palacios was held.
Their last tournament was celebrated on February 23rd and 24th on the Island of Mancera ubicated on a priviliged spot where both Valdivia and Tomagaleones rivers meet the sea. A great place for a summer tournament.
On average their events have had around 27 participants, not a small number for the Chilean standard and something which makes them believe Go is growing in Chile. Such events have been jointly organized by the local Clubs and the Chilean Federation.
Parallel to Chile, another country where Go has stablished a steady growth path is Argentina. 2018 represented a great year for them.
One of the activities ran by the Argentinian Go Association Aago, which generated most enthusiasm was the Argentinian Super League, where players can freely set up their matches on a one-month period, adding 3 points for each victory and one point for each loss. This Super League is held every two months and it has between 30 and 45 participants, around 50 games taking place each week. The games can be played face-to-face or online, searching for opponents through out the Whatsapp league group which has helped connect players from all around the country.
Clubs have sustained a steady increase: as of today there are almost 20 clubs and gathering-places across the country. In order to promote club participation, inter-club tournaments are organized both face-to-face and online. The last face-to-face inter-club tournament, held last December, hosted a 42-player field divided into 14 teams, and on the last online tournament 63 players in 9 teams clashed for the title. This has been one of their largest tournaments in the recent years.
Another point worth mentioning is the recent creation of the Aago Gender Commission which is in charge of promoting female participation and has organized a variety of events and tournaments. As a matter of fact they’ve just launched the 2º Argentinian Female Go League with 9 players registered.
Meanwhile, a youth go program called “AmiGos” has been launched, where workshops are given for children and clubs. Last October they celebrated the 1st Youth Go Tournament and in December two teams participated in the 5th Latin American Go Orion Championship, whose top team gets sponsored by the American Go Foundation to visit the 35th US Go Congress.
Argentina expects to keep this pace on 2019. As of now the 15th Go Super League is taking place with 42 players and 142 games played so far. This league will have as a special prize a teaching game with Stephanie Yin 1p from the New York Go Institute. Also, this month the 4th Japan Cup Handicap Go Tournament is taking place.
Last but not least, activities have been relaunched in the Japanese Garden in Buenos Aires, which has always been a great place for recruiting new players due its good traffic connections and general interest in the game.
Thanks to Miguel Muñoz Piña and Santiago Laplagne for sharing the info for this article.
Keep yourself updated for the next chapters in this series.
Report by Emil García
At the end of the previous week, we received good news from IMSA: the 1st IMSA World Masters Championship 2019 will be held on 13–18 May 2019 in Hengshui, Hebi Province in China! The event will be hosted in two hotels; bridge, draughts, xianqi and guandan are played in the Longyuen hotel, while chess and go will be played in the Argylle Hotel.
Go players from China, Korea, Chinese Taipei, Europe, North America, and Japan are invited to the Championship. The players will be decided by each go association by the end of February.Schedule
On January 20 2019, the first round of the 3rd Pandanet Go Latin American Team Championship took place on Pandanet IGS.
It was a historic day as Uruguay and Dominican Republic made their first appearance in this Championship; although both lost with a 3–0 score against Brazil and Peru respectively.
What came as a big surprise were the victories of Guatemala and Costa Rica against Venezuela and Chile, considering that the latter countries ended in 2nd and 3rd place of last’s year Pandanet Latin American League. This is a clear signal that nobody knows what is to come.
Colombia swept Ecuador by 3–0, and in a very heated match Mexico managed to prevail against Argentina. Although losing on the 1st board in a preponed game against Argentina’s Fernando Aguilar, Mexico managed to win on the remaining two boards to claim the match point.
You can check all the kifus of this round here.
Next round is scheduled to take place on February 3 at 19 hrs. UTC-6.
This season promises to be full of surprises so keep yourself updated on the Pandanet Latin American League website.
– Emil Garcia
Everything is ready for the start of the 3rd Pandanet Go Latin American Team Championship. This event is organized by the Ibero American Go Federation and sponsored by Pandanet. On its 3rd edition it will gather for the first time twelve countries from North, Central, and South America along with one country from the Caribbean Sea. The two new teams joining the league are Uruguay and Dominican Republic.
The eleven-round league will start on January 20th and finish on August 11th, 2019. On each round 3 players from each team are chosen to represent the country out of a 8 players total. Games take place on Pandanet’s Latin American Team Champ Room at 19 hours UTC-6.
After the 11 online rounds the top 2 teams will be invited with transfer expenses sponsored by Pandanet to play an “over the board” final match during the 3rd Latin American Go Congress, which is planned to take place in Sao Paolo, Brasil during mid October, 2019.
On the last two seasons Mexico has come out as the indisputable champion but this season strong competition is expected. For example, Brazil has recruited Amir Fragman, an EGF 5d, half Israeli, half Brazilian player, who has been 4 times in a row Israeli Champion since 2015. Besides him, Wang Seng Feng, a Taiwanese-born, former top Latin American Go player has also joined the Brazilian team.
This event reunites the top players of the Latin American region such as Fernando Aguilar from Argentina and Abraham Florencia of Mexico, who actually played and early 1st round match showing us a little of what is to come. You can check a video broadcast by Argentinian Luciano Zinni of this game here, or check the kifu directly here.
Keep yourself updated about this great event directly on the Pandanet Latin American League website.
– Emil García
The Ibero American Go Federation has recently appointed Brazil to be the host country of the 3rd Latin American Go Congress which will be held in Sao Paulo from October 10th to 13th 2019.2019 is a very important year for the Associação Brasil Nihon Kiin since they are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the foundation of the São Paulo – Nihon Kiin da America do Sul which was built by Japanese pro player and promoter Iwamoto Kaoru in order to spread Go in South America.
On December 8th and 9th, the 5th Latin American Team Youth Go Championship ORION took place. This annual event is organized by the Ibero American Go Federation and coordinated by “Club Aonken” from Chile, “Dojo de Go ” from Mexico and the “Academia la Piedra en el Lago” from Ecuador.
The event gathered 11 teams from Argentina, Ecuador, Chile and Mexico, who played a 6 round tournament in which the Mexican team “Villa High” composed of 14 year old Sebastián Bañuelos, 13 year old Bruno Michaca and 11 year old Paola Ortega came out as champions.
Thanks to the sponsorship of the American Go Foundation Villa High team will be representing Latin America in the next American Go Congress 2019 to be held from July 13th to 20th on Madison, Wisconsin, USA.
Regarding the development and results of the tournament, it turned out to be a pretty fought competition. On one side the only two teams to get 5 victories were British School from Chile and Villa High from Mexico, who got to face each other on the 5th round. An exciting match that ended up tied to 1 and which was defined by Bruno Michaca’s victory over Fernando Gallardo on the 2nd board.
3rd and 4th place were for Mexican “Dojo de Go” and Ecuadorian “Academia La Piedra en el Lago” both with 4 points. It’s worth mentioning the excellent performance of the Argentinian Club Nichia who got important victories in this, their first ever ORION team appearance.
ORION, where the stars are born!
Check out the full results and photo album here.
Written by Sebastián Montiel from Chile
Translated by Emil García