Tournament Rules of the European Go Championship 2010


Guidelines for the European Go Congress

  • A congress lasts for 15 days from a Saturday in July to a Saturday in August. The first day is mainly the registration day.
  • For go tournaments, by default the EGF General Tournament Rules and the EGF Tournament System Rules apply.
  • A congress also includes the following tournaments: weekend, pairgo, rengo, 13x13, 9x9, team, lightning with 10 minutes. A congress should include a rapid with 30 minutes and computergo.
  • The weekend tournament may have and possibly should have a supergroup. Its thinking time must be enough to count towards the EGF ratings. Typically its basic time is 60 minutes. Only players 3 dan or weaker may miss any rounds. Handicaps, if any, may be used only below 15 kyu.
  • The appeals committee is used also for side tournaments.

Particular Tournament Rules of the European Go Championship

Tournament System

  • The rounds are Sunday to Saturday except Wednesdays and the weekend in between. Relegation games on the second Wednesday are an exception. One round is played per day. Each game starts in the morning.
  • The tournament is open for all players.
  • The specified rank is the player's European rank and, by default, is used during both weeks.
  • The basic system is a 10 rounds McMahon. By default, there is a supergroup.
  • After round 7, top Europeans qualify for and play a knockout for the European Champion.
  • The Tournament Supervisors decide the rules of play, the top bar, the lower rating consideration bar to X dan, whether exceptionally not to use a supergroup, and the supergroup members according to the rules below.

Rules of Play

  • The by far major sponsors of the EGF during the previous 12 months and of the congress determine the rough choice of the rules of play. The finer choice is according to the EGF General Tournament Rules. It is desirable to use only one ruleset for all boards; however, if a split should be made, then it is between boards 1-16 and boards 17+. However, if apparently one of the sponsors is not particularly interested in the used rules of play or if suitable playing material is not provided, then all boards may use the same rules of play.


  • The congress may set a fee for the participants.
  • Regardless of preregistration, each player registers personally at the congress site until a deadline during the night following the registration day.
  • Any player has to sign a Tournament Agreement and in particular: "I abide by all tournament rules of the EGF. If I play in the supergroup, then I play all rounds. If I am X dan or stronger, then I do not omit a game during the period for which I have registered. If I am weaker than X dan, then for dropping one round I use the proper sheet and give it to the organizers the day before until the deadline."
  • The players X dan or stronger also declare their citizenship and number of years of residence in Europe / EGF countries. In case of doubt, the congress organizers verify this and the rank.
  • Players not reading English are carefully informed about the Tournament Agreement and should sign an Asian language version of it.


  • A few weeks before the congress or else at latest during formation of the supergroup, the Tournament Supervisors decide due to an apparently great number of strong participants whether to increase the lower rating consideration bar from 4 dan to X dan.
  • Players X dan or higher may declare their intention to play in the supergroup in the Tournament Agreement.
  • The event organizers give rating, rank, and strength information about the players X dan and above to the Tournament Supervisors. Especially they get the latest EGF rating lists for Europeans and for non-Europeans from the EGF ratings manager.
  • A supergroup of 24 to ca. 32 players is formed as follows in order:
    1. Ca. 24 Europeans according to the EGF rating list.
    2. At most altogether ca. 2 improving young or local top players.
    3. Strong non-Europeans (with or without EGF rating). The total numbers of players in (2) and (3) should be at most ca. 8.
  • By default, players entering delayed or not playing in all rounds are not in the supergroup.

Thinking Times

  • The thinking times are the same for both players and depend on the higher ranked player as follows:
    • 4 dan or above: 2.5 hours basic time + 1 minute byoyomi
    • 3 kyu - 3 dan: 2 hours basic time + 45 seconds byoyomi
    • 4 kyu or below: 1.5 hours basic time + 30 seconds byoyomi
    However, if the clocks cannot manage 45 seconds byoyomi, then 40 seconds byoyomi is used.


  • Tiebreakers for pairing purposes may differ from the final results tiebreakers.
  • Especially in top groups, the recommended pairing strategy is Cross Pairing (scheme 1-3, 2-4) by McMahonScore - rating in rounds 1 and 2 and Fold Pairing (scheme 1-4, 2-3) by McMahonScore - SOS in all later rounds.
  • After every round, the current player ordering by McMahonScore - SOS and any relegation or knockout game results are published.
  • Result forms, sealing forms, and dropping forms are used together with deadlines. If the players agree, sealing a move may also be done by simply playing it.
  • Handicaps, if any, may be used only below 15 kyu.
  • A player not playing a round without proper notification can be expelled from the tournament. If an X dan or stronger misses a round during his registered period, then as a minimal consequence this leads to suspension from the supergroup for the next time in three years.

Results - General

  • There are the two titles European Champion and European Open Champion.
  • To get a title, a player has to have played all rounds, unless he proves exceptional circumstances according to the EGF General Tournament Rules.
  • After the last round, the Tournament Supervisors verify the order of the top players. Only then the prize giving may take place.
  • The major prizes go to the top 10 players.
  • The EGF archives the final results and the names and countries of the title holders.

Qualification for the Knockout

  • After round 7 of the McMahon tournament and for the purpose of making a tentative pairing, those top Europeans having played all 7 rounds are ordered as follows:
    1. McMahonScore,
    2. SOS,
    3. the rating during the supergroup formation stage,
    4. lottery.
  • Accordingly the top 16 Europeans are numbered. Next they are compared pairwise using the Fold Comparison strategy: 1 - 16, 2 - 15, 3 - 14, 4 - 13, 5 - 12, 6 - 11, 7 - 10, 8 - 9. If two compared players have unequal McMahonScores, the player with the greater McMahonScore qualifies for the knockout while the other player re-enters the McMahon tournament. If two compared players have an equal McMahonScore, each of them plays a relegation game.
  • The pairing of the relegation games is made under EGF supervision according to the following strategy as well as possible: Firstly avoid repeated pairings, secondly use or else approach Fold Pairing by number.
  • Each winner of a relegation game qualifies for the knockout while each loser re-enters the McMahon tournament to play its remaining rounds.
  • Any relegation games are played on the second Wednesday and have the same starting time and top players' thinking times as the McMahon tournament.

The Knockout to Determine the European Champion

  • The 8 qualified players play the knockout.
  • The knockout pairing is made under EGF supervision according to the following strategy as well as possible: Firstly avoid repeated pairings, secondly use or else approach Fold Pairing by number.
  • The knockout is played parallel to the McMahon tournament's rounds 8 to 10 schedule with the same thinking times.
  • Players dropping out of the knockout's quarter finals play the remaining rounds in the McMahon tournament.
  • The knockout winner becomes the European Champion.
  • The loser of the knockout final gets place 2 of the European Championship.
  • The knockout semi-final losers play for place 3 of the European Championship.

Final Results of the European Open Championship

  • To become the European Open Champion, a player has to be non-European and in the group of one or more players with the highest McMahonScore. If that group has more than one non-European, then the European Open Champion is determined among those non-Europeans by the tiebreakers mentioned below. If that group does not have any non-European, then there is no European Open Champion. Europeans do not become the European Open Champion.
  • All players are ordered by
  • 1. McMahonScore.
  • 2. SOS.
  • If there is a tie for becoming the European Open Champion, the tie will be broken by:
  • 3. SOS-1.
  • 4. SOS-2.
  • 5. SOS-3.
  • 6. SOS-4.
  • 7. SOS-5.
  • 8. SOS-6.
  • 9. SOS-7.
  • 10. SOS-8.
  • 11. SOS-9.
  • 12. MutualGameScore.
  • SOS-x ignores the lowest McMahonScores of a player's opponents in exactly x rounds.
  • A player's MutualGameScore is Direct Comparison applied to and only if exactly two players are still tied after SOS-9.
  • Any relegation game results neither count for a player's own McMahonScore nor for his opponents' tiebreakers.
  • The results of the knockout games including the game for place 3 are copied into the McMahon pairing program and count also for the opponents' tiebreakers.
  • The top 4 European players are determined by the knockout and the game for place 3. In the McMahon results, they are ignored for themselves but considered for their opponents' tiebreakers.
  • For the purpose of comparing the Europeans relative to each other, the Europeans' places 5 and below are determined by the McMahon tournament's results in order of the Europeans' occurrences.