The venue for the European Championship was in Ce Mont.
The Mountain Economy Center (CE-MONT), based in Vatra Dornei, was established in December 2015.
CE-MONT was created by the Decision of the Romanian Academy of December 17, 2008, within the "Costin C. Kirițescu" National Institute of Economic Research of the Academy.
The Center's specialists are looking for solutions to increase productivity and quality of life in mountain settlements. In 2015, approximately 16 percent of the population still lived in the mountainous areas of Romania. The traditional economic activity in the mountains of Romania is animal breeding, but it is gradually being abandoned, in preference of more profitable activities.
With a built area of 3,500 square meters and equipped with 12 study and research laboratories, this is the only Mountain Economy Center in Romania and in Eastern Europe, and the fourth in Europe, in the west of the continent there are only three such centers in Portugal, France and Italy.
In 2014, the government established, also in Vatra Dornei, the Mountain Zone Agency, under the Ministry of Agriculture, with the aim of applying the strategy and policies of the Government in the field of development and the protection of mountain areas in Romania, areas marked by specificity, ecologically fragile and economically or socially disadvantaged due to natural causes, which require specific management.
32 players gathered for the the European Championship that started on Sunday the 24th of July 2022 in Vatra Dornei.
32 players played in a double knockout (KO) tournament. This means that if a player loses 2 games, then he automatically drops out of the Championship, although he can play continue playing in the main congress tournament that runs parallel to the event.
In the first round there were no upsets. Although Vsevolod Ovsiienko was leading for most of his game against Artem Kachanovskyi, he could not quite pull off an upset and finally lost by just half a point.
In the 2nd round the first upset came when Fredrik Blomback, playing against Tanguy Le Calvé, won his game and so sentenced Tanguy Le Calvé to the 2nd round of the losers section.
This year the scribing of the games was placed on a higher level as well, instead of sitting directly at a board now the games were transmitted via Discord to a studio were 2 scribes were able to scribe 4 games per round. And as always with new technology comes new challenges that were not foreseen, and so many fights also took place away from the go board to keep the transmission alive and going.
On Discord four games could be seen live, and in the same way as during the European Pandanet Team Championship which had been won by Ukraine, four games were also scribed on Pandanet (IGS).
Round 3 also gave us no unusual results and so for all players with three wins the reward of two free days had arrived.
In round 3 of the loser section, there came the one and only challenge which I was to face as the main referee in the European Championships.
One of the players stopped the clock and left for a short toilet break, there a small discusion about the correct way to inform the opponent and stop the clock was the result. The bigger issue came up whilst several people were loudly discussing, both online and offline, what was correct and what was not, when the mobile phone entered the discussion and the player that left the playing room pulled his phone out of his pocket, saying you can check my phone.
Lucky for all involved the player who took his phone with him did not win this game and now all is in the hands of the appeal committee of the EGF, to whom I will send a report of the incident.
After round three in the loser section, two more rounds had to be played to decide who could play in the quarter finals.
After 2 days in the loser section one upset was seen when Oscar Vazquez was able to beat Tanguy Le Calvé and so qualified to play in the quarter finals.
All results can be found here.
In the quarter finals all professionals but Artem Kachanovskyi were kicked out of the tournament.
And so in the semifinals, only 1 professional was left.
As expected by me Artem Kachanovskyi faced Benjamin Dréan-Guénaïzia, whom he had sent to play in the losers section in round 3.
Right from the start, the final was a complicated game, which saw the lead change many times, but in the end Benjamin was able to beat Artem and thus become the European Champion of 2022.
After the prizegiving I had a small interview online with Benjamin, only question 10 was answered in the main hall directly by lovely and beautiful girl.
1. At what age did you start to play Baduk?
I started playing Go at 13 years old in my hometown of Concarneau
2. Who introduced you to the game?
I went once to the local Go club of my city because I heard about the game thanks to a friend of my mother. There I met Paul Piriou, he was my first teacher and to this day I still write to him when I make a nice result in a tournament. Needless to say I called him right after winning the European Championship!
3. What are your goals in regards to go?
Well, I had the goal to at least become 7d, that's done. I never had the goal to become European Champion but somehow it is already done as well. So let's say I dont have any more goals now, so maybe I can win this year's Grand Slam. However I can pretty much say with certainty that I don't want to become professional.
4. Do you have a favourite top player from the past or present?
I would say Kim Jiseok 9p, not only he is scary strong, he is also a very kind person.
5. Which Go player would you like to talk to if this would be possible?
Well, I already talked to Kim Jiseok couple of times so I would have to choose someone else. I'd probably choose Fujisawa Shuko, it seemed to be quite a character.
6. what would you like to ask him?
"Have you ever played an important game completely sober?"
7. Is there a player (from the past or present) you would like to play a game with?
Tanguy Le Calvé
8. How do you like the tournaments in Europe?
The best in the world, perhaps not organization wise, but atmosphere wise. There is nothing like it anywhere else in the world.
9. Will you stay longer in Europe and do you plan to play more tournaments?
For now, I do plan to stay in Europe and I will certainly plan to play more tournaments.
See you all next year in ...... (no planned venue yet)