Anyway, having online tournaments is of course better than having no tournaments at all. I personally appreciate a lot that the organizers of the go competitions found a way to go online instead of just canceling.
At the end of May, I wrote an article called "recent Go news". It's been long time since then, and so many things have happened in European go... I've got an idea to tell you shortly about all the major events that came up since I wrote last time. After all, I am sure that even if you follow the news, you still enjoy reading a summary of all the biggest events.
So, let me tell you about each event one by one.
1. European Professional Online Go League - Season 2
The second season of the Pro League started in June and ended in September. It's hard to believe that it was us, European pros, who organized such an event once again. Many thanks to the EGF who sponsored the League, and AI-Sensei who were our partners.
This time we invited Ryan Li 1p from Canada to play with us in the League. Then he showed us a tesuji, winning both the round-robin stage and the final... Now we all want to take revenge.
You can find all the details on the League webpage.
Below you can see the record of the 4th (and last) final game between Ryan and Ilya.
The third season of the League is expected to start in November.
2. Annual General Meeting
The AGM normally takes place at the European Go Congress. But as this year the Congress in Ukraine was postponed to the year 2021, the EGF decided to organize the Meeting online on July 28th.
You can find the short summary of the meeting in the article by Lorenz Trippel, the EGF Secretary.
3. PGETC Final
The Pandanet Go European Team Championship Final is normally played at the beginning of the European Go Congress as well.
This year the Final took place online on 29-30 August, at the Pandanet. The French team remained undefeated in all three rounds and kept their title of the Champions of Europe.
The final results:
For more information, you can read an article written by Antoine Fenech - the captain of the French team.
4. European Students vs Fudan University
This was another match between China and Europe, with an "arena" (or "win-and-continue") format. The competition started on August 27th and ended on September 23rd. For more details, you can read the article with an announcement.
This time the result was way closer than in the matches played earlier this year. The Fudan University team won with a score of 11-10 in the end.
5. European Professional Championship
The Pro Championship took place at Pandanet on September 24th - 27th. There were eight participants: seven European pros, plus Alexander Dinerchtein 3p (Russia).
Before the last round, Ilya had the highest number of wins: five. He had to play Andrii, who had four wins. In case if Andrii would have won against Ilya, he would become the European Professional Champion. You can watch this exciting game below.
6. Silk Road Tournament
This year the Silk Road Tournament had a new format. 16 participants played the first round as a knock-out and then places 1-8 were determined in the following 3 rounds.
- Europe: 7 (Europeans pros)
- China: 7
- Singapore: 1
- Thailand: 1
In the first round, Europeans were paired up against the Chinese players (except Ilya - he played against Thailand's representative). Unfortunately, all the Europeans lost their games, except me. A few of us lost by time because of having some significant lags on the Chinese server YIKE on which we played our games. But the referees made a decision according to the official instructions: if a player loses by time, the result cannot be changed. That was a great pity for all of us: losing by time because of conditions and not because of the game, felt completely unfair.
After the first round, the EGF asked the Chinese organizers to let me play the next games on OGS. And they agreed.
In the next game, I played against the previous year runner-up Li Jiaqi 6d (China). It was one year ago that we played each other in the last round, and I won by half a point, thus winning the tournament as well. For more details, see the article about Silk Road Tournament 2019.
In my game with Li Jiaqi, things were going well from the start. The situation was getting better and better. My opponent died with a huge group, and then it was only left to make all my groups safe. Then came the moment when my self-confidence played a bad joke with me. Thinking that the victory is already there, I didn't notice a sharp way in which my opponent can kill a group, although there were many ways to avoid that scenario. That was shocking for me. After I saw my opponent's tesuji at move 210, I immediately understood that now the situation turned around, and there is no chance to win the game. I finished the game and lost by 10.5 points. See the game record below.
After losing the second round, I was fighting for places 5-8. In the third game, I won without any big problems.
In the fourth game, the situation was developing well for me. But I lost by time, after making a move during the final seconds. That was a pity. So, in the end, I took 6th place.
This year Silk Road Tournament was a strange competition, with many games decided by timeout.
After the tournament finished, I asked the organizers for some photos. And suddenly it turned out, that for the Chinese players the tournament was actually offline. Between themselves, they played normally, face-to-face. And against us, they played at the same venue, just on the laptops.
The winner of the tournament was Li Jiaqi 6d. After beating me, he won the following two games, and the tournament too.
7. European Championship
One more event that had to take place at the European Go Congress, but instead was moved online.
The tournament is still going on. There is one thing that makes it special: the prize-money is collected via the crowdfunding campaign. That's because normally the prizes would be covered by the EGC organizers, but this year we have no Congress. I didn't feel too optimistic when I heard first about the idea of crowdfunding. But when I checked the EC 2020 webpage, I was surprised: more than 2.000 euro are already collected (the goal is 5.000 euro). You can still support the competition if you have a wish. Depending on how much money you donate, you receive some benefits.
There have not been any big surprises until now in the tournament, it seems. Except that Lucas Neirynck 5d (Belgium) won against Alexander Dinerchtein 3p (Russia).
You can see the tournament charts, game records, and all the other details on the EC 2020 webpage.