Yike Cup, The 5th European Go Grand Slam Tournament
By Artem Kachanovskyi | News | 04.05.2019 21:00| Views: 4528 | Comments: 2
The 5th European Go Grand Slam Tournament, also called the Yike Cup, was held from the 25th - 28th April in Berlin, Germany. You can find all the details on the tournament webpage

For those who are not familiar with the Grand Slam, let me explain in a few words what it is. The Grand Slam is the most prestigious tournament in Europe with a prize for the winner of € 10,000. 12 selected players qualify to participate. All of the EGF professionals are automatically qualified. For the rest of the players there are several ways to join, including a qualification tournament.The  Grand Slam is the vital part of the European Grand Prix and the European Professional system.

The tournament is constructed as follows. The four EGF pros with the highest bonus points from the last year start playing directly in the quarter finalz. The other 8 players start a day earlier with the preliminary round. There 4 losers are eliminated from the tournament, while 4 winners face the 4 pros in the quarter final. Starting from the quarter final, it's the usual system to determine 8 places in 3 rounds. Victory in the quarter final means that in the next two games you fight for places 1-4, while defeat means that you can take only take a place from 5th to 8th.

This year the 4 pros to skip the preliminary round were:
The other 8 players were paired for the preliminary round through a lottery. The marked player in the pair is the winner:
  • Oscar Vazquez 5d vs Lukas Podpera 7d
  • Dusan Mitic 7d vs Alexandr Dinerchtein 3p
  • Tanguy LeCalvé 6d vs Andrii Kravets 1p
  • Nikola Mitic 7d vs Ali Jabarin 2p
As you can see, the preliminary round didn't bring us any surprises. In each match the player with the higher rating won their game.

As usual, the games were broadcast to the EGF Twitch channel with a live review

For me the tournament started the next day. Right after I stepped into the chinese cultural center (tournament venue), I was shocked: a huge me looking at myself from the poster! My first impression was: "Horror", as I never saw myself so large before. But, I guess, for other players this can be inspiring.

The next step is to make a statue of each pro!

The quarter final pairings were decided by the lottery:
  • Ilya Shikshin 3p vs Lukas Podpera 7d
  • Pavol Lisy 2p vs Andrii Kravets 1p
  • Mateusz Surma 2p vs Alexander Dinarchtein 3p
  • Artem Kachanovskyi 2p vs Ali Jabarin 2p
In my game against Ali I felt like I have a good position from the start. Later in the fight he overplayed and a big group of his died. After the game Ali told me that he felt like it was a good game for him. And really, I checked that game with the AI later, and it was good for Ali during almost all of the game. So I won luckily.

Ali vs Artem, post-game analysis

Andrii started very well in his game against Pavol. Even though later he let the position become complicated, Andrii managed to win.

Andrii vs Pavol

Games of Mateusz and Ilya I didn't follow that much, both of them won.

The semi-finals were decided:
  • Artem Kachanovskyi 2p vs Andrii Kravets 1p
  • Ilya Shikshin 3p vs Mateusz Surma 2p
The rest of the players were going to play for the places 5-8.

It was a pity to play my country mate in the semi final. But at the same time one of us was going to enter the final, which was good news.

In the evening after the quarter finals we had a dinner open to all of the players, with chinese food. It is organized each Grand Slam on Friday evening. Of course all of the players appreciate it, as it feels great to eat well after a hard game.

In my game with Andrii I felt like I started the game well. All the game he was forced to invade and seek for life of his groups. In the end Andrii managed to survive with all of his groups, but he didn't have enough territory. It was a very exciting game, both of us were trying our best.


Download Sgf-File
I didn't follow much the game of Ilya and Mateusz, but I am sure that one was exciting as well. It was Mateusz who won the game.
Ilya playing against Mateusz

Let us take look in the past for a while. Here are the previous Grand Slam finals:

Year Winner Runner-up
2015 Ilya Shikshin Mateusz Surma
2016 Ali Jabarin Artem Kachanovskyi
2017 Artem Kachanovskyi Alexander Dinerchtein
2018 Ilya Shikshin Pavol Lisy

In general the atmosphere at the Grand Slam I would call it "intense". Each game is important, especially the final

In the Grand Slam 2019 final game I played against Mateusz. From the start he made the game go the way that he seems to like: created two weak groups, invited me to attack. I felt like I attacked successfully. I had a nice moyo, and he invaded it, creating one more weak group. I attacked each of the weak groups one by one, but seems like I didn't find a good way to do that. After all of my attacks have failed, I had nothing to do but resign, as I simply had not enough territory.


Download Sgf-File
In the game for the 3rd place Andrii played against Ilya. Andrii had a good position in the middlegame, but seems like he misread and died in his own territory. Ilya won.

Here are the final standings:

  1. Mateusz Surma 2p (Poland)
  2. Artem Kachanovskyi 2p (Ukraine)
  3. Ilya Shikshin 3p (Russia)
  4. Andrii Kravets 1p (Ukraine)
  5. Ali Jabarin 2p (Israel)
  6. Lukas Podpera 7d (Czechia)
  7. Alexandr Dinerchtein 3p (Russia)
  8. Pavol Lisy 2p (Slovakia)

Congratulations to Mateusz!

That's it, this was the 5th Grand Slam. The next one we will have will be in spring 2020, unless our dreams will come true and we will start to have more than one Grand Slam per year.

All the game records that are not shown in this article can be found on the tournament webpage.

Find more photos in the photo album made by Misha Krylov.
Yike Cup, The 5th European Go Grand Slam Tournament

This article was written by Artem Kachanovskyi

EGF professional Go player.
Born 12th December 1992.
Started to play Go in 1999.
Promoted to 1p in 2016, 2p in 2018, 3p in 2024.
Living in Ukraine, Kyiv.
All his articles on the EGF website.

10.05.2019 19:18
In that Ilya-Mateusz game white played two times in a row (164&165). It's probably a mistake in the sgf record...
11.05.2019 6:43
Thx for reporting, i fixed it.
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