1st European Pro Qualification 2014

The European Go Federation is proud to announce the start of the certification of European professional Go players. It is a cooperation with CEGO our main sponsor and it was only possible thanks to their initiative and generosity.

CEGO especially set up a training school in Beijing where already 5 young European players participated, they have come back to now continue the training, both online and in a power week at Vienna, until the first two pros are selected. Find more about the training on Benjamin Teuber's Blog and on the CEGO Online Training page.

16 players started. They played 6 rounds in a double knock-out system. The first two rounds were at Strasbourg, round 3 and 4 were at Amsterdam and the last two rounds at Vienna. The first player with straight 4 wins is certified as the 1st European Go Pro at the Amsterdam tournament. Finally in Vienna all players with only one loss will get a chance to become the 2nd European Go Professional.

WBadbuk will broadcast the top games of of every round of the qualification, details of the schedule can be found on their site www.wbaduk.com/event/egf_pro/intro.asp.

Zhao Baolong and Fan Hui, both 2 dan chinese professionals, will start commenting the games about 1 hour after they start. The first round is at 9:00 so the live comments will start around 10:00 and the second round starts at 14:00 so the commenting will start at 15:00, all on WBaduk.

The Qualification Tournaments The Results / Pairings Participating Players Rules & Constitution Invited Players List

The Qualification Tournaments

Webpage : Strasbourg CEGO Qualification Tournament and the Strasbourg Weekend Tournament
Date : Friday, May 23rd, 2014
Place : Strasbourg, Maison de la région
Info : In Strasbourg the first two round of the Qualification will be played. The 4 players who manage 2 wins will automatically be qualified in the top 16 of the Strasbourg Weekend tournament. It's planned to transmit all games online on Wbaduk (more info to come).
Webpage : Amsterdam CEGO Qualification Tournament and the Amsterdam Weekend Tournament
Date : Thursday, May 29th, 2014
Place : European Go Cultural Centre in Amstelveen
Info : In Amsterdam round 3 and 4 of the Qualification will be played. The player with a clean 4 wins in 4 rounds will be certified in Amsterdam. He will be the first official European Go Professional in history.
Webpage : Vienna CEGO Qualification Tournament and the Vienna Weekend Tournament
Date : Thursday, June 20th, 2014
Place : Vienna, Freie Waldorfschule Wien West
Info : In Vienna the round 5 and 6 of the Qualification will be played. The 4 players with 3 wins and only one loss get two rounds to figure out the 2nd European Go Professional.

The Results / Pairings

Click on the -symbol to download the games!

Participating Players

These are the confirmed participating players for the European Pro Qualification. Not all players have decided yet if they want to participate! Check out detailed list of the invited players bit further down.

Name : Pavol Lisy
Nationality : Slovakia
EGF Rank : 7D
Hello, my name is Pavol Lisy. I was born in Slovakia, but my first language I learnt was Hungarian.
My mother was Hungarian, my father comes from Slovakia. Recently I speak 3 languages: Slovak, Hungarian and English.
When I was 4 years old I started to collect lids from beers. When I was 5 years old, I had already thousands of them. The most were white and brown. One day I was playing with them, and my father saw me. He remembered one game, which he was taught at the University. We made a board from paper and started to put lids on it. That's how I learnt to play Go. It is already 13 years.
Except Go, I study on a high school in a math class. I will probably finish the school next year. I also do sports, such as basketball or football. But the best game I ever played is Go. Go is my life.
My best achievments:
4 times Slovak Champion (2010,2011,2012,2013)
2 times European U20 Champion (2011,2013)
3rd place at EGC 2012
2nd place at EGC 2013
Name : Cornel Burzo
Nationality : Romania
EGF Rank : 6D
My name is Gheorghe Cornel Burzo and I was born may 3rd 1980 in Bistrita, a small town located in the north of Romania.
I came across the game of Go for the first time at age of 10 when my grandfather bought a Go game set for me and my 2 brothers as a X-mas present but we couldn't really understand the rules from the flyer inside the box so I found the game boring and quit after trying a few 9x9 games..
Few years later I moved with my family in a bigger city Baia Mare also in the north of Romania and in 1993-1994 I started to join a local Go club which was ran by a 2kyu physics teacher Florin Berciu and once I got to learn the rules correctly I found the game fascinating and addictive and since then I took part in 220 go tournaments worldwide since 1996. You can check my player stats here.
Among the numerous tourneys played in Europe, Usa and Asia I can mention a few notable results such as winning the National Championship in Romania in 2004, 2011, 3rd and 4th place in the European Championship in 2003, 2010 respectively and 5th place in the World Championship in 2008.
As a recent tourney success I won the British Go Congress in march 2014.
I got promoted to 6dan player egf in 2003 and besides playing many tournaments I've been very active as an online player on servers like IGS, KGS, since 2000 when I also started to teach online which is pretty much my main job. I am also studying pro games and playing often on tygembaduk and wbaduk servers.
My hobbies are tennis, ski and poker !
Name : Csaba Mero
Nationality : Hungary
EGF Rank : 6D
Sometimes I wonder, why I still play go. I lost all my battles, and still keep on trying. I know I am not going to be world champion and I don't really have any special talent for go. I've passed my peak years ago. And I am still trying. Insane, isn't it?
Started playing go in 1993.
Studied as an insei in Japan 1999-2001. Student of Chizu Kobayashi.
Working as a programmer/statistician.
Name : Thomas Debarre
Nationality : France
EGF Rank : 6D
Hi, I'm Thomas Debarre, I'm 21 years old and I live in Paris. I started playing go when I was 7 : my father had some friends who liked to play together and since I was very found of games, they taught me how to play go. A few months later, my father discovered he had a colleague who played go, so his son and I started going to the Strasbourg go club, which was great for kids like me since it was in a school and not in a bar. After that, I have improved rather steadily up to my current level, which I have reached in 2010. Because of my studies (I'm a first year student in an engineering school), I've almost stopped playing tournaments these last two years, but I'm starting to play a little more this year.
Achievements :
French champion 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
4th place at European championship 2012, 2013
4th place at WAGC 2011
Name : Cristian Pop
Nationality : Romania
EGF Rank : 7D
My name is Pop Cristian. I learned go in high school when I was 14-15 years old from a math teacher who, at that time, was 1D. My Go partner from the beginning was Catalin Taranu who is now 5D Pro in Japan. So we started to play go all day long, soon becoming stronger than our teacher. A few years later, we moved to Bucharest to study at university, there, of course, we kept playing Go, turning our room on campus into a Go club. Almost all strong Romanian Go players today were students too at that time. Almost all of us were so crazy about Go that we didn't go to university too much.
Name : Mateusz Surma
Nationality : Poland
EGF Rank : 6D
My name is Mateusz Surma, I am 18 years old high-school student. Currently living in a small Polish village - Dzimierz. I started to play go, when I was 6 and half (my dad taught me). At the age of nearly 14 I came first time to baduk school to Korea, I was going there a few times for about 3 months each, totally I was in Korea 2 years and 5 months (studying in King's Baduk Dojang, Yang-Jae Ho Dojang and Choong-Am Dojang). I managed to win European Youth Championships 3 times (in 2006 u12, in 2010 and 2011 u16). Last year I was 3rd in European Championships. After high-school I would like to go to university to the faculty of aviation and cosmonautics and become a pilot (and of course go-pro).
Name : Jan Simara
Nationality : Czechia
EGF Rank : 6D
My name is Jan Simara. I was born 1985 in Czech republic. At the age of 6 I started to play chess as my whole family. When I was 14 I saw Go in a Chess camp where few Go players were too. I was very fascinated by this game but even I wanted so, I didn't start to play it seriously, because it was too big step for me at the time. But 2 years later I finally left chess and started to play Go! I improved rapidly until i reached 3-2kyu, after that i had quite a hard time (most propably because I was too agressive).
All of a sudden, I got the book called "Invincible" (the games of Shusaku) so I started to replay his games and read the comments. I was very suprised how he could win many of his games by calm moves. Since that time I stopped to play overplays and tried to play "ordinary", then I improved quite fast again. I replayed this book more than twice and after that I also studied other parts of the game. About 2009 me and Ondrej Silt 6d lived in same city, so we arranged meetings quite often and have played hundreds of games which gave me great experience and knowledge. After all I reached european 6.dan rank.
Year 2012 was very successful for me, I finished my university studies and won European championship! However it was very hard to live just from playing Go in Europe, so I had to look for a regular job or figure out any other way to get money. I started to study Poker and in the end of 2013 I got a job as a programmer and thats what I do until now. Obviously my shape in Go went quite down, because there is not much time to study Go.
With this new CEGO projects, it seems there might be real pro system in Europe. If I get a chance, Im ready to work hard again. So lets see how it goes :).
2008, China (Peking), World Mind Sports - team tournament 5-8 place
2011, Japan (Tokyo), Students World Championship - 7th place
2011, China (Peking), SportAccord World Mind Games - team EU 6th place
2012, Germany (Bonn), European championschip - 1st place
Name : Ali Jabarin
Nationality : Israel
EGF Rank : 6D
I'm a 20 year old engineering student from Tel-Aviv, I started playing go 8 years ago when a friend told me about the game, after playing online for a while I started going to tournaments, my most notable achievements were winning the European youth(U18) championship and placing top 10 in the EGC a couple times.
Other than go my hobbies have been playing the guitar(badly), reading (i work on and off in a bookstore) and playing other games like poker.
I hope that 50 years from now i will still be playing this game.
Name : Fredrik Blomback
Nationality : Sweden
EGF Rank : 6D
Hello, my name is Fredrik Blomback and I was born in 1991 and started playing Go in 2005. My favorite thing about Go is that there is endless possibilities and several correct ways to play the game. I became EGF 1d in 2007 and EGF 6d in 2011. I won the Swedish championship four times and the Nordic championship once in 2008.
I'm currently majoring in economics at Stockholm Business School, and I will complete my studies 2015. Outside of Go, my favorite hobby is playing but especially watching football. My favorite team is Juventus, which I have supported since I was a kid.
Name : Jan Hora
Nationality : Czechia
EGF Rank : 6D
I got to know go at the age of 14, while visiting my cousine, and started to play from that moment on. I have created a lot of friends among go players, have visited more than 200 hundreds of go events, most of them being czech local tournaments. For me, go is not a game, but more likely an activity, that evolves a lot of different human abilities, that satisfies the innate craving for the beauty and that brings a huge ammount of fun.
Hobbies:
Tennis, cycling, poetry, literature, ancient greek culture
Go Awards:
European Team Champion 2013
Semifinalist of 18th Samsung Cup Qualification 2013
European Pair Go 2nd place 2013, 2012, 2011
European representative at Sport Accord Mind Games 2012
14th at World Amateur Go Championship 2008
Czech Go Champion 2007
European Student Champion 2005
9th at World Youth Go Championship 1999
Name : Viktor Lin
Nationality : Austria
EGF Rank : 6D
I am a 22 years old student living in Vienna. I speak Austrian German, Austrian English and Taiwanese Mandarin, and I'm currently learning French.
When I was around 12 years old, I found the Manga Hikaru no Go. My father happened to know this game, so he taught me Go, with the same board we used to play Gomoku with.
Today I am part of the Austrian Go Federation team as their secretary and also a KGS junior admin.
notable achievements: Austrian champion 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2013
Name : Timur Sankin
Nationality : Russia
EGF Rank : 6D
My name is Timur Sankin. I am from Russia, Izhevsk city. I started playing Go at 6. My first teacher was Belyaev Jurii 3 dan, Kansai Ki-in. Also I studied Go in China by Li Liang 5 pro. They are Great Teachers!
My best Go results: European Team Go Championship 2005 - 1st place, Russian National Go Championship 2013 - 1st place.
Now I live in Moscow and partly work as Go teacher in my club - Leader Go. Don't worry guys, I am not a dangerous competitor, but my students are!... ;)
Name : Lukáš Podpera
Nationality : Czechia
EGF Rank : 6D
My name is Lukas Podpera and I'm 19 years old and this year I graduate from high school. I learned Go from my father at the age of 7. Soon after that, Go became the main part of my life. Except Go I also do cycling or playing football. I got promoted to 6-dan at the end of last year. I have been studying in China for two months in 2010 and two times in Korea for one month in 2012 and 2013. With CEGO project I got a big chance to realise my dream which is to become pro.
My best results:
Czech Champion 2013, Czech Vice-Champion 2011
European Youth Champion U20 2012 and 2014
European Team Chmapion 2013
11th place on World Amateur Championship 2012
6th place on World Youth Championship 2010
Name : Dusan Mitic
Nationality : Serbia
EGF Rank : 6D
Started to play go from 1997
Serbian youth 1st place 2005,2006,2007,2008
European youth 2nd place 2007
Serbian championship 1st place 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012
Serbian individual cup 1st place 2011, 2012, 2013
European Go Congres, 7th place 2011 , 8th place 2013
European team championship 2nd place 2008, 2009, 2010
Name : Juri Kuronen
Nationality : Finland
EGF Rank : 6D
I came to learn go by chance in 2004, at the age of 14. Something about the game captivated me and I kept playing, at first only in the internet, and I reached shodan in a bit over a year. Needless to say, I've been hooked ever since! I was promoted to 5 dan in 2010 and 6 dan in 2013.
I am studying statistics at the University of Helsinki. On the side I run a go-teaching program together with my good friends Antti Törmänen and Su Yang.
I think the EGF-CEGO cooperation is a great initiative, and I hope it will help go prosper in Europe!
Name : Benjamin Teuber
Nationality : Germany
EGF Rank : 6D
I am a 30 year old computer scientist from Hamburg and love playing Go since I was 12. I work as a software developer for Pandanet IGS. Since being 14, I often visited Japan to learn from Hans Pietsch and Chizu Kobayashi. With 20, I became Insei for a few months. I didn't study Go too much since then, besides two visits to Korean Baduk schools. In Germany, I'm a bit famous for becoming national vize champion 7 out of 8 years in a row, but never actually winning the title – yet....
Recently, I trained for half a year in China and got ambitious about Go again. I qualified in Beijing to participate in this year's pro qualification, and will certainly try my best to become the second German pro in history.

Rules & Constitution

In the New Professionals in Europe – the qualification tournament you can find the setup of the qualification with more detailes about the selection criteria and the mode and rules of the 3 qualification tournaments. In the EGF Professional Go System Constitution you find all the details about the rights and duties of the new European go professionals.