2nd European Go Grand Slam Tournament

Title: 2. European Go Grand Slam Tournament
Date: 28th April - 1st May 2016
Venue: Berlin / Germany, Chinese Culture Center ("Chinesisches Kulturzentrum"), Klingelhöferstraße 21, 10785 Berlin http://c-k-b.eu
Address: Klingelhöferstraße 21, 10785 Berlin

This is an invitation-tournament of the European Go Federation for 12 players with one preliminary round and 3 final rounds. The 4 winners of the 8 participants in the preliminary-round qualify for the three final rounds. The Professional players, certified by the EGF are already qualified for the final rounds. More details about the qualification are on the European Grand Prix page: /grandprix

Pairings / Results


Ge Yuhong Go Academy (Beijing)
Chinese Culture Center Berlin

Tournament details:

Ruleset: Chinese rules, 7.5 Komi
Basic time: 150 minutes
Overtime: One minute 5 times

Thursday 28th April: 10:00 
Preliminary round
Friday 29th April: 9:30  Quarter-final
Saturday 30th April: 10:30  Semi-finals and games for places 5-8
Sunday 1st May: 9:30 
Games for 3rd, 5th and 7th place
Closing ceremony

The first 4 boards will be broadcasted on KGS:
GrandSlam1, GrandSlam2, GrandSlam3 and GrandSlam4
We also will have a video stream up on Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/grandslamboard1

Prize money: 
  • 9th - 12th place: € 350
  • 8th place: € 600
  • 7th place: € 700
  • 6th place: € 800
  • 5th place: € 900
  • 4th place: € 1.250
  • 3rd place: € 2.500
  • Runner-up: € 5.000
  • Champion: € 10.000
Grand Slam tournaments are played with Chinese rules. The EGF guarantees broadcasting on the web, referees and professional commentary.

Qualified players:
  • Ilya Shikshin 1p
  • Mateusz Surma 1p
  • Ali Jabarin 1p
  • Pavol Lisy 1p
  • Cristian Pop 7d
  • Alexander Dinerchtein 3p
  • Catalin Taranu 5p
  • Artem Kachanovskyi 1p
  • Csaba Mero 6d
  • Lukáš Podpera 7d
  • Dusan Mitic 6d
  • Andrij Kravets 6d

Participating Players

Name : Catalin Taranu
Nationality : Romania
EGF Rank : 5P
Learned Go at the age of 16 in 1989
1993- Third place at the European Championship, promoted to 6dan amateur
1995- Stops University of Bucharest studies and leaves for Japan where he becomes insei( Go student) at the Nagoya branch of Nihon Kiin ( Japanese Professional Go Association)
1997- Becomes the first European that achieves pro status with Nihon Kiin
2002- Reaches 5 dan pro rank and thus enters the elite of Japanese pro system ( 1-4 Dan pro are considered low level pros, 5-9 high level and pro tournaments are organized accordingly) ). Along with American Michael Redmond 9 Dan they are currently the only 2 westerners that made it to the elite class of the pro system.
2004 – Returns to home country Romania in order to embrace a promoter and teacher career. Teaches at various events and workshops all over Europe, many schools in Romania
2008 – European Champion, multiple vice champion titles in other years
Winner of European ING Cup and Fujitsu Cup multiple times, chosen to represent Europe at various International Pro Tournaments , where he played living Go legends like Lee Chang Ho, Chang Hao, Gu Li, Yoda Norimoto, Otake Hideo, Yamashita Keigo , played 4 times against Lee Sedol, one of the best players in the world. Part of the European team at the first Olympic Mind games in Beijing.
2009-2011 President of the Romanian Go Federation, gets involved in organizing a lot of large events, most notable being : European Team Championship 2009, European Youth Championship 2010, Balkan Championship 2011, World Youth Go Championship in Bucharest, 2011. Also initiated the event Japanese Ambassador’s Cup in cooperation with the Japanese Embassy from Bucharest and Nihon Kiin. The event had 5 editions, from 2007 until 2012
Currently coach of the Romanian National Team , active teacher online as well as at various workshops in Romania and abroad.
Father of two boys of three and a half and respectively one and a half years old.
Name : Mateusz Surma
Nationality : Poland
EGF Rank : 1P
My name is Mateusz Surma. I was born on 3rd September 1995 in Rydultowy in the region of Silesia in Poland.
I started to play Go when I was six and half. My dad taught me.
In years 2009-2013 I was training Go in South Korea at schools: King's Baduk Dojang, Yang Jae-Ho Baduk Dojang, Choong-Am Baduk Dojang. I spent there altogether 2 years and 5 months. In Poland in the middle school (Gimnazjum nr 1 w Rydultowach) and the high school (Liceum nr 1 w Rydultowach) I had an individual study path. So, I would be training in Korea for 3 months, then go back to Poland and study for school at home. In the middle and high school I had one exam per subject after every term.
In 2014, after passing "matura" (an equivalent to A-level, SAT, Abitur, etc.), I managed to qualify to study at the Faculty of Aeronautics and Space Technology at Rzeszow University of Technology. I was about to go to pilotage (as the specialisation), but...
Go hit me again.
Sixteen people among amateurs with the highest Go rating in Europe were invited for the PRO qualification tournament to Pisa (Italy) in March 2015. I was among them, so I went there, managed to win this tournament and I've become the first Polish player with the PRO title.
I've finished the first year at the university. Even though I had one of the highest average grades at the faculty and pretty high chance to get to pilotage, I took one year off, because I was invited to Beijing to study Go at Ge Yuhong Weiqi Academy. I've been training there for 3 months so far (September - December 2015).
Probably I won't come back to my university studies, because I realised that Go - the oldest and most difficult board game of the world - is what I'm going to stay with.
Some of my biggest achievements are:
1st place in the European Professional Qualifications and obtaining PRO title as the first Polish player in history (2015, Pisa, Italy)
2nd place in the 1st European Grand Slam (2015, Berlin, Germany)
2nd place in the 2nd Silk Road Tournament (2015, Xi'an, China)
2nd place in the 1st European Professional Championship (2016, St.-Petersburg, Russia)
In 2014 and 2015 I won the Polish Championship.
Name : Ali Jabarin
Nationality : Israel
EGF Rank : 1P
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 : 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 : Alexandre Dinerchtein
Nationality : Russia
EGF Rank : 3P
I started to play Go in 1986. I was 6 years old and my father (10 kyu) was my first teacher. For the several years I was playing both chess and go, but from the age of 10 I gave up chess and started to learn Go more actively with a new teacher Valeryi Shikshin, 4 dan and his students. I was very fortunate to be living in Kazan, because it was the capital of Russian Go. There were so many top players around me : Ivan Detkov 6d, Valeryi Solovyev 6d, Ruslan Saifullin 6d, Rustam and Nail Sahabutdinov both 5d, Alexei Vasilev 5d and Roman Gataullin 5d. They kindly gave me Go lessons and I owe them a big debt of gratitude.

In 1996 (I already was a 5-dan) Cheon Pung-cho, 7-dan professional from Korean Baduk Association (KBA) invited Svetlana Shikshina (daughter of my teacher) and me to study Go in Seoul. First of all I was really surprised at the level of the Korean children. I was living in one of the largest Go Schools, and there was around 20 students who were both stronger and much younger than me.Later I changed clubs several times, but I was never the strongest player in any of them. I studied Go with Pak Yeong-hun, who was already the strongest Korean amateur (I only beat him once, in 1998), Pak Chi-eun 9p, Yi Chae-ung 6p, Yi Ta-hye 3p, Kang Don-yun 9p, Ko Kun-tae 7p and later, from 2001, with Pak Cheong-sang 9p, Chu Hyeon-wook 7p and Pak Chi-hun 3p. By the time you read this article many more of the children who were training alongside me will have become professionals.

I became a professional in 2002, by the special decision of the KBA with the kind support of Cho Nam-ch'eol 9p, an honorary member of the KBA, and my teacher Cheon Pung-cho 7p. I am probably not the weakest professional here, but to be honest, I would say that there is about 1 stone difference between me and the other new professionals in Korea. Nowadays I am still studying hard to make this difference smaller.
Name : Artem Kachanovskyi
Nationality : Ukraine
EGF Rank : 1P
I was born in 1992 in Russia, Ufa city. I started to play Go when I was 6 or 7, I am not sure. My father taught me and my brother to play. At first I didn't want to play, but my brother was so excited about the game that soon I got involved too. We were studying Go together at first - my father, me and brother. Father helped us to understand complicated books which were mostly in russian language or sometimes just some diagrams without explanations. That period of studying Go together with my brother and father was great. Then I started to read Go books separately too, as father of course was busy with his regular job most of the time, and my interest was growing. By the way, my father is Go teacher now in School of intellectual games in a Rivne city.
At that time economical situation in Ukraine was at least not easy and what most of people were doing can be called surviving. My parents managed to save some money for me and my brother, and we were able to go for tournaments abroad. My first international tournament was in 2000, if I am not wrong, in a Prague - European Youth Go Championship. I was already 6 or 7 kyu at that time and somehow managed to take a 3rd place. Then next year we had one more interesting trip to Cannes, France, again to EYGC. That time I took 2nd place and went to World Youth Go Championship to Shanghai, China, where I somehow managed to take 4th place (luckily again, I cut off and killed a big group of taiwanese 5d).
There were many tournaments. Most notable success in adult category were 2nd place on European Go Congress in Finland, Tampere (2010) and 3rd place in Bordeaux, France (2011). And of course, becoming a 5th European Pro in 2016 in Baden-Baden, Germany.
I work as a programmer but Go is my interest. I play on Tygem on weekends, try to study pro games and solve some problems after I come home from my job.
From professional players I like Kim Jiseok and Shi Yue.
Name : Pavol Lisy
Nationality : Slovakia
EGF Rank : 1P
Hello, my name is Pavol Lisy. I was born in Slovakia, but my first language is Hungarian.
My mother was Hungarian, my father comes from Slovakia. Right now, 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 16 years ago.
I am now studying financial mathematics in Bratislava. I also teach Go, you can find all the information on http://www.go-teacher.com/. I also do sports, such as basketball or football. But the best game I have ever played is Go. Go is my life.
My best achievements are:
5 times Slovak Champion (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
3 times European U20 Champion (2011, 2013, 2015)
Winner of 1st Qinling Mountains Cup, Xian, 2015
1st EGF Professional player - 2014
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 : Ilya Shikshin
Nationality : Russia
EGF Rank : 1P
My name is Ilya Shikshin. I was born in 1990 in Kazan city, Russia. My father Valery Shikshin works as a Go-teacher. He has many students who showed good results at Russian and European championships. My elder sister Svetlana plays Go for many years. She studied Go in Korea and she is 3-dan professional. So Go is my family game.
Mostly I studied Go at home. But I also had several trips to Korea to study Go there. With help of Mr. Chun Poong Jho 9p I trained in Korea for more than 1 year in total.
My most notable results:
Seven times champion of Russia in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2014, 2015
Three times champion of Europe in 2007, 2010, 2011
Winner of the 1st European Go Grand Slam Tournament in 2015
Three times winner of European Team Championship in 2011, 2012, 2014
Four times winner of European PairGo Championship in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
1 dan professional since April 2015.
Currently I live in Moscow and work as a sportsman and an executive secretary of Russian Go Federation.
I’m looking forward to new achievements and great games at Go.
Name : Lukáš Podpera
Nationality : Czechia
EGF Rank : 7D
My name is Lukas Podpera, I'm 21 years old and I'm currently studying Chinese. 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 7-dan recently. I have been studying Go few times in Asia. My biggest experience was half a year stay in Beijing in 2014/2015, which could happen thanks to CEGO and Ge Yuhong Go Academy. Still I'm aiming for my dream to become a pro.
My best results:
Czech Go Baron 2015
Czech Champion 2013
2nd places on Brno International Tournament 2013 and 2015.
8th place on European Championship 2014.
European Youth Champion U20 2012 and 2014
European Team Chmapion 2013
6th place on World Amateur Championship 2014
6th place on World Youth Championship 2010
Name : Dusan Mitic
Nationality : Serbia
EGF Rank : 6D
Hi, I'm Dusan. I started playing Go when I was 1.5 years old. My father (4d) taught me. In about 2 weeks I started giving him 4 handicaps daily. After some time I reached 6d, it was hard 10 days of studying. About my most notable achievements you can read in newspapers or watch all those documentaries.
Besides go, I am an artist. I painted Mona Lisa with deadly accuracy. On the weekends I go sky-diving... blindfolded.
For those of you with serious interest (or no sense of humour), I asked my PR-assistant to write a more serious description of me. Here it is:
Dusan started playing Go when he was 6 years old – his father taught him and his brother. Since then, he progressed steadily and has reached the rank of a 6 dan. His favourite number is komi. Although he had some breaks from Go, the pure depth and endless possibilities in Go made him always come back to the game.
What motivates Dusan to play Go is the feeling that he improves. This is not a steady improvement, but rather a sudden realization that his abilities got better. The stronger he is, the more time he needs for this realization to happen, so he continues studying and believing in practice. His favourite ways to study are reviewing professional games and playing with his idol, Ali Jabarin.
Dusan is also very active. He plays basketball, enjoys running in solitude, dancing, swimming, and, of course, sky-diving blindfolded.

Name : Andrij Kravets
Nationality : Ukraine
EGF Rank : 6D
Hello, my name is Andrii and im 25 years old. I started to play go at the age age of 7. Since my childhood i started to spend a lot of time for studying go. From 2013 to 2015 I visited China few times to improve my level. So far I am strong 6 dan in europe and trying to become better.
My best results:
2002 - 1st place, Youth Go Championship in category under 12, Prague
(Czech Republic)
2008 - Represent Ukraine in 1st World Mind Sports, Beijing (China)
2010 - 2nd place in Ukrainian Championship (High League), Kyiv(Ukraine)
2011, 2012, 2013 - third place in the European Team championship
2012 - 3rd place in 5th Shusaku Cup, Targu Mures (Romania)
2012 - 3rd place in European Iwamoto Memorial, Amsterdam (Netherlands)
2012,2015 - 1st place In Ukrainian Championship (High League), Kyiv(Ukraine)
2015 - second place in the European Team championship

Main Referee: Li Ting, 1p  

Professionals (teaching, live-comments): Zhao Baolong (2p) and Yoon Young-sun (8p)
Contacts:  Martin Stiassny, [email protected], mobile: +49 170 4966056
Bernhard Runge, [email protected]