European Fujitsu Finals 1993-1999

1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999

The Fujitsu Cup is one of the more prestigious professional Go tournaments in the world. It allows amateurs to play against the top pros. For the first two years of the Fujitsu Cup (1988 and 1989) the European representative could qualify for the Fujitsu Cup by winning a six round Swiss tournament. Ronald Schlemper won both events. In 1989 (for the 1990 Cup) the EGF changed the system: the European Grand Prix would decide the representative. The best three results in one season selected the European cannon-fodder (season 1989 Matthew Macfadyen, 1990 Victor Bogdanov, 1991 and 1992 Alexei Lazarev).

The sponsors were dissatisfied with the system, as one could predict long before which player will win the qualification. So, it was decided to hold a separate knock-out tournament for sixteen players, for which only European passport holders could qualify. This would present more drama and excitement.

These sixteen players were selected as follows: seven players through direct qualification in seven of the larger Grand Prix tournaments; the two best Europeans in the European Championships in Prague, the three first placed in the Grand Prix, and in 1993 four players selected by the EGF.

Fujitsu Finals 1993

The first EGF Fujitsu Finals saw an all-dutch final. In a cracking game Van Zeijst beat Schlemper by 1.5 points.

Alexei Lazarev        Lazarev
Leon Matoh             |        Lazarev
                       |         |
Frank Janssen         Janssen    |
Vladimir Danek                   |
                                 |        Van Zeijst
Martin Müller         Müller     |
Franz Josef Dickhut    |         |         |
                       |        Van Zeijst |
Victor Bogdanov       V.Zeijst             |
Rob van Zeijst                             |
                                           | Van Zeijst
Ronald Schlemper      Schlemper            |
Thomas Heshe           |        Schlemper  |
                       |         |         |
Yuri Ledovskoi        Shepperson |         |
Piers Shepperson                 |
                                 |        Schlemper
Frédéric Donzet                  |
Laurent Heiser        Heiser     |
                       |         |
Catalin Taranu         |        Macfadyen
Matthew Macfadyen     Macfadyen

Fujitsu Finals 1994

In the second Fujitsu Finals, Schlemper and Van Zeijst were joined by Guo Juan, a third 7 dan amateur with Dutch nationality. Before she came to Holland she played as a 5 dan professional in China. Together with Matthew Macfadyen, multiple European Champion, these four seeded players would meet in the semi-final at the earliest. But David Schoffel, from Bonn, and Andrei Gomenyuk, from Moscow, put a halt to two of the seeds in the first round. Gomenyuk forced Macfadyen to an early resignation and Schoffel beat Schlemper by half a point. In the quarter-finals Schoffel again beat his opponent, Catalin Taranu, by only half a point. In the semi-final Van Zeijst proved too strong and so we got the expected final with the expected result.

Ronald Schlemper      Schoffel
David Schoffel         |        Schoffel
                       |         |
Catalin Taranu        Taranu     |
Radek Nechanicky                 |
                                 |        Van Zeijst
Mark Boon             Boon       |
Rudi Verhagen          |         |         |
                       |        Van Zeijst |
Gerald Westhoff       V.Zeijst             |
Rob van Zeijst                             |
                                           | Guo
Matthew Macfadyen     Gomenyuk             |
Andrei Gomenyuk        |        Mateescu   |
                       |         |         |
Christoph Gerlach     Mateescu   |         |
Robert Mateescu                  |
                                 |        Guo
Vladimir Danek                   |
Pierre Colmez         Colmez     |
                       |         |
Victor Bogdanov        |        Guo
Guo Juan              Guo

Fujitsu Finals 1995

Compared to 1994 the field lost two strong candidates for the first place. Both Ronald Schlemper and Catalin Taranu are presently residing in Japan. Schlemper works there as an intern and studies a new medical specialism. Taranu is living as a student professional in Nagoya and is doing very well (he turned into professional in 1997 and is now 2 dan). So the favourites were Rob van Zeijst and Guo Juan. Being the 1994 finalists, they qualified immediately for the 1995 edition. The other participants qualified by being the best European at one of the big GP Tournaments or by their three best GP results. The list was completed by some EGF invitations. For the pairing the official rating of the European Go Federation was used. The results were not surprising. Every game had the expected result according to the rating list. And thus the final was a rematch of the year before, with the same result.

Rob van Zeijst (7d, NLD)       Van Zeijst
Radek Nechanicky (5d, CZE)      |        Van Zeijst
                                |         |
Robert Rehm (5d, NLD)          Colmez     |
Pierre Colmez (5d, FRA)                   |
                                          |        Van Zeijst
Christoph Gerlach (5d, GER)    Gerlach    |
Malte Schuster (5d, GER)        |         |         |
                                |        Lazarev    |
Vladimir Danek (5d, CZE)       Lazarev              |
Alexei Lazarev (6d, RUS)                            |
                                                    | Guo
Matthew Macfadyen (6d, GBR)    Macfadyen            |
Andrei Gomenyuk (5d, RUS        |        Macfadyen  |
                                |         |         |
Frank Janssen (6d, NLD)        Janssen    |         |
Jef Séailles (5d, FRA)                    |
                                          |        Guo
Victor Bogdanov (6d, RUS)                 |
Leszek Soldan (6d, POL)        Bogdanov   |
                                |         |
Cristian Pop (5d, ROM)          |        Guo
Guo Juan (7d, NLD)             Guo

Fujitsu Finals 1996

This year four of the participants were of professional strength. The well-known Fujitsu competitors Rob van Zeijst (still living in Tokyo) and Guo Juan were both present. So were Hans Pietsch and Catalin Taranu. With the help of the EGF they both came over from Japan. Hans Pietsch became professional at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo (two months after the tournament) and Catalin Taranu became professional after winning the professional qualifying tournament at the Nagoya branch of the Nihon Ki-in. This was made officially in January 1997.

At the Fujitsu Finals Dmitri Bogatskii is a talented newcomer. He is just 16 years old. Apart from him, the players in the finals are the ones who have been dominating the European tournaments for years. Among the strongest were Gherman from Romania, Gerlach from Germany, Heiser from Luxembourg and Alexei Lazarev from Russia. Lazarev has been very successful before the introduction of the new system with the Grand Prix Finals in 1993. In 1991 as well as 1992 he won the Fujitsu Grand Prix Tournament cycle. This year he unexpectedly lost in the first round against Pierre Colmez.

The four 'semi-professionals' all reached the semi-finals. However not without difficulties as can be seen from the game-records. In the semi-finals Hans Pietsch surprised everyone except maybe himself. Guo Juan was unable to keep up with him. Pietsch was the first to reach the final. For a good part of the other semi-final most spectators (but not Rob van Zeijst) thought the other finalist would be Catalin Taranu. However Rob van Zeijst managed to pull through and reach his fourth successive final.

In the final Rob van Zeijst beat Hans Pietsch by 5.5 points. So after beating Schlemper in '93 and losing to Guo in '94 and '95, Van Zeijst is again the winner. He will have another try at reaching the second round in this year's Fujitsu Cup. Till now, the European representative has always had little success in the Fujitsu Cup. Not one of them ever reached the second round. Small wonder since the Cup is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world. However things may change for the better. Rob van Zeijst last year beat strong opponents in the preliminaries of two separate Korean professonial tournaments, Samsung and Tongyang.

Guo Juan (7d, NLD)             Guo
Radek Nechanicky (5d, CZE)      |        Guo
                                |         |
Mark Boon (6d, NLD)            Boon       |
Sorin Gherman (6d, GER)                   |
                                          |        Pietsch
Christoph Gerlach (5d, GER)    Gerlach    |
Vladimir Danek (5d, CZE)        |         |         |
                                |        Pietsch    |
Andrei Gomenyuk (5d, RUS)      Pietsch              |
Hans Pietsch (7d, GER)                              |
                                                    | Van Zeijst
Catalin Taranu (7d, ROM)       Catalin              |
Dmitriy Bogatskii (6d, UKR)     |        Catalin    |
                                |         |         |
Victor Bogdanov (6d, RUS)      Heiser     |         |
Laurent Heister (6d, LUX)                 |
                                          |        Van Zeijst
Alexei Lazarev (6d, RUS)                  |
Pierre Colmez (5d, FRA)        Colmez     |
                                |         |
Egbert Rittner (6d, GER)        |        Van Zeijst
Rob van Zeijst (7d, NLD)       Van Zeijst

Fujitsu Finals 1997

With a similair line-up as last year, four players of professional strength and the rest renowned European top players, many people expected again an interesting tournament. However, nobody could expect the excitement and the upsets as they were this time.

Round 1 saw the biggest upset, Hans Pietsch, strong favorite for a final place (like last year), lost by resignation to the seventeen-year old Emil Nijhuis. This was a huge dissappointment for Hans Pietsch, because he came to win this time, after being runner-up last year.
Surprisingly, all Russian participants were eliminated too, so the quarter finals started with three Romanians, three Dutch, a Pole and a Ukrainian. And this Ukrainian guy, Dmitrii Yatsenko, was responsible for the second main upset of the tournament. Four time finalist and two time winner, Rob van Zeijst had a bad day. After a disastrous start he almost came back in the game, but eventually he lost by 2.5 points.
In the upper half of the draw, both seeded players, Guo and Taranu, came through. With an 16-9 record (1997) as a professional player, it was interesting to see if Catalin Taranu could match Guo Juan. Taranu won by 5.5 points to meet his friend and fellow countryman, Cristian Pop in the final. Pop won by 1.5 points after a dramatic game, which looked a winning game for Yatsenko for a long time.
The final was a relatively easy game for Taranu, who will bring Pop with him as insei to Nagoya in January. With this win Catalin qualified for the Fujitsu Cup, which will be played next year in Japan.

Catalin Taranu (2p, ROM)       Taranu
Farid BenMalek (6d, FRA)        |        Taranu
                                |         |
Victor Bogdanov (6d, RUS)      Gherman    |
Sorin Gherman (6d, ROM)                   |
                                          |        Taranu
Alexei Lazarev (6d, RUS)       Soldan     |
Leszek Soldan (6d, POL)         |         |         |
                                |        Guo        |
Radek Nechanicky (6d, CZE)     Guo                  |
Guo Juan (7d, NLD)                                  |
                                                    | Taranu
Rob van Zeijst (7d, NLD)       Van Zeijst           |
Ruslan Saifullin (6d, RUS)      |        Yatsenko   |
                                |         |         |
Dmitrii Yatsenko (6d, UKR)     Yatsenko   |         |
Vladimir Danek (6d, CZE)                  |
                                          |        Pop
Cristian Pop (6d, ROM)                    |
Matthew Macfadyen (6d, GBR)    Pop        |
                                |         |
Emil Nijhuis (5d, NLD)          |        Pop
Hans Pietsch (1p, GER)         Nijhuis

Fujitsu Finals 1998

Guo Juan (7d, NLD)             Guo
Leszek Soldan (6d, POL)         |        Guo
                                |         |
Vladimir Danek (6d, CZE)       Danek      |
Alexei Lazarev (6d, RUS)                  |
                                          |        Guo
Robert Mateescu (6d, ROM)      Gerlach    |
Christoph Gerlach (5d, GER)     |         |         |
                                |        Gerlach    |
Dmitriy Bogatskiy (6d, UKR)    Van Zeijst           |
Rob van Zeijst (7d, NLD)                            |
                                                    | Guo Juan
Hans Pietsch (2p, GER)         Pietsch              |
Csaba Mero (6d, Hun)            |        Pietsch    |
                                |         |         |
Victor Bogdanov (6d, RUS)      Khmyrov    |         |
Andrei Khmyrov (6d, RUS)                  |
                                          |        Taranu
Franz-Josef Dickhut (6d, GER)             |
Cristian Pop (6d, ROM)         Pop        |
                                |         |
Emil Nijhuis (5d, NLD)          |        Taranu
Catalin Taranu (3p, ROM)       Taranu

Fujitsu Finals 1999

Report of 1999 Finals
Guo Juan (7d, NLD)             Guo
Emil Nijhuis (5d, NLD)          |        Guo     
                                |         |
Dmitrij Surin (5d, RUS         Florescu   |
Ion Florescu (6d, ROM)                    |
Alexandr Dinerstein (6d, RUS)  Bogdanov   |        Bogdanov
Victor Bogdanov (6d, RUS)       |         |         |
                                |        Bogdanov   |
Felix von Arnim (5d, GER)      Pietsch              |
Hans Pietsch (3p, GER)                              |
                                                    | Van Zeijst
Catalin Taranu (4p, ROM)       Taranu               |
Dmitriy Yatsenko (5d, Ukr)      |        Taranu     |
                                |         |         |
Vladimir Danek (6d, CZE)       Danek      |         |
Christoph Gerlach (6d, GER)               |        Van Zeijst
Franz-Josef Dickhut (6d, GER)             |
Dmitriy Bogatskiy (6d, UKR)    Dickhut    |
                                |        Van Zeijst
Radek Nechanicky (6d, CZE)      |
Rob van Zeijst (7d, NLD)       Van Zeijst