The 21st European Go Congress
23.07.1977-06.08.1977, Rijswijk, Netherlands
The Congress in Rijswijk was a Congress for Go players who wanted to
play Go. It was almost rainy and gloomy weather every day. The nearby
park was nice and quiet and the food sober. The closest pinball
machine was at least two kilometers away and pubs with terraces were
nowhere to be found. The apres-Go mainly consisted of more Go.
The participants, around 150, could participate in
many tournaments and other events. The emphasis was clearly on the Main
Tournament and the European Championship. Both tournaments were
smoothly organised and were played under ideal conditions.
This year the European Championship was surprisingly won by Wolfgang
Isele from Germany. In the end he appeared to be the strongest in an
eleven-man strong competition with players from Germany, Netherlands,
France, Austria, Yugoslavia, England and for the first time ever,
Russia. Initially the favourites for the title were Helmut Hasibeder
and Michael Katscher. Also people expected a lot from Valery Astasjkin
from Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) and at least one Dutchman expected
Robert Rehm to win the trip to Japan (first prize).
After a few rounds it was clear that of these four people only
Hasibeder was a strong contender for the title. Katscher never
recovered from an unnecessary loss in the first round against
Isele. Rehm spoiled his chances by losing to Schlemper in the first and
to Isele in the second round. Astasjkin didn't appear to be as strong
as expected. Especially, the fast pace of three hours per person per
game Astasjkin couldn't handle (in Russia six hours per is usual).
Of the other contenders it were mainly Isele and Ronald Schlemper who
played very well. Schlemper only lost against Hasibeder and Moussa,
while Isele's only defeat was against Schlemper. However, the lead was
in firm hands of Hasibeder, with two rounds to play. Isele was one point
behind and Schlemper one more behind.
Everybody expected Hasibeder to win the title and that Isele and
Schlemper had to play a decider for the second place. However, Rehm got
back to his old form in the penultimate round. He totally outplayed
Hasibeder, but, after a series of severe endgame mistakes, Hasibeder just barely
managed to turn the game into a jigo. Isele simply won, which meant that
the last round would be decisive. Of the two Isele better dealt with
his nerves in that and thus became champion. With his third place, Schlemper,
who just was promoted to four dan, lived up to his expectations. Rehm
was disappointing and finished with Astasjkin on a shared 6th place.
Pl Name Str Co 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Pt
1 Isele, Wolfgang 4d Ger 9+ 7+ 11+ 10+ 4+ 8+ 3- -- 5+ 6+ 2+ 9
2 Hasibeder, Helmut 5d Aut 5+ 10+ -- 9+ 3+ 11+ 6+ 4+ 8+ 7= 1- 8.5
3 Schlemper, Ronald 4d Nld 7+ -- 5- 6+ 2- 9+ 1+ 11+ 10+ 4+ 8+ 8
4 Macfadyen, Matthew 4d Gbr 10+ 6+ 8+ 7+ 1- 5- -- 2- 9+ 3- 11+ 6
5 Moussa, Andre 4d Fra 2- 8+ 3+ 11= 10+ 4+ 9- 7- 1- -- 6+ 5.5
6 Astasjkin, Valery 5d Rus -- 4- 9+ 3- 11+ 10- 2- 8+ 7+ 1- 5- 4
7 Rehm, Robert 4d Nld 3- 1- 10+ 4- 8= -- 11+ 5+ 6- 2= 9- 4
8 Bizjak, Igor 4d Yug 11+ 5- 4- -- 7= 1- 10+ 6- 2- 9+ 3- 3.5
9 Katscher, Michael 5d Ger 1- 11+ 6- 2- -- 3- 5+ 10- 4- 8- 7+ 3
10 Castledine, Brian 4d Gbr 4- 2- 7- 1- 5- 6+ 8- 9+ 3- 11+ -- 3
11 Wolter, Berndt 4d Ger 8- 9- 1- 5= 6- 2- 7- 3- -- 10- 4- 0.5
The Main Tournament was one big MacMahon tournament with hundred
participants, ranging from three dan to 25 kyu. The winner of this
tournament qualifies for next year's European Championship.
In the first group (2 dan - 3 dan) Jerome Hubert of France was the
strongest. His supremacy was unchallenged, after eight of nine rounds,
he already was certain of winning.
In the second group (1 dan) Willem Knoop (Nld) won (7-2) ahead of Rob
Koopman (6-3). In group three (1 kyu) the dutch were almighty. In the
lower sections some people look as if they make a sport of claiming a
lower level than their real strength. A striking example in the group
of 7 kyu, which was won by a German 11 kyu.
In the first weekend a match between Japan and Europe was won by
Japan. In the second weekend the European Team Champion was held,
but almost all players prefered to spend the weekend in Amsterdam. It was
won by Netherlands I, consisting of Rob van Vulpen, 3d, Rob Koopman,
1d, and Adam Pirani, 1d from... England! Adam Pirani is twelve years
old and one of the most promising players (1 dan within one year).
In the afternoon and evenings games were played for the continous
handicap tournament. Rehm and Bizjak challenged everyone who they could
find to play a handicap game. Eventually it was Rehm who the first
prize for most won games and Peter Zandveld won the prize for the best
Two lightning tournaments were held, the first was won by Hasibeder and
the second one by Schlemper. Last but not least, a 'gezellig' rengo
tournament was held which was won by the 'Keima Kunstler' (Katscher,
Further there were some seminars; the most interesting was by
Astasjikin about Go in Russia. Amongst other things, he told that it
was common to play once every fortnight a game of six hours per
person, with the obligation of making an extended commentary after the
game, which had to be typed on at least two sheets of paper. About
strategy: most common in Russia is to play for large territories.
The closing ceremony speech was made by president of FIDE
(International Chess Federation) Max Euwe, former world chess
champion. Euwe stressed in his speech the necessity of coorporation
between the different mind sports, after wich the prizegiving followed
with loads of fine prizes.
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