The tournament was also a success with a lot of players and side tournaments for the primary schools and high schools learning Go: in Grenoble, thanks to the local players, Go teaching is developing itself in schools, which brings new kids and curious others to the game. Told ya, success!!
Maybe I don’t have so much to say about the main tournament, as the go boards speak for themselves. Lukáš Podpěra 7d from Czechia won with style, followed by Kim Dohyup 7D from Korea and Jonas Welticke 6d from Germany.
The place was as expected incredible – spacious and warm. Maybe the delicate perfume of the food at the “buvette” could be a little torturing for those sitting near the cakes and delicious sandwiches cooked with love during 14hours the previous day by volunteers from the go club. But that’s really to say something negative, because it’s difficult to criticize this tournament, especially since I’m very very partial.
Ah, yes, if you were there, I can hear you “but the pairings were late on Saturday morning……”. Humpf. Young go player. Please. Do you not know that ALL French tournaments start with a delay for the first round? All these years and you still ignore that important fuseki move of the failed first pairing! Ok, let’s forget about that very quickly and move on to better questions. For example, did you ever wonder what it feels like to win a tournament? Let’s ask Lukáš Podpěra.
“It's a big honour for me to win such a tournament. I was browsing through my memory and I don't remember, that I have ever won such a strong international tournament without losing a single game before. I felt very relieved especially after losing the bronze medal match in the Grand Prix Finale shortly before Ellie Cup. Well, sometimes I need somebody to kick me, so thank you, Davide Bernardis, for waking me up in the right time. I felt very happy about my performance and I hope I can play like this more often.”
– Lukas Podpera 7d, undefeated winner of the TIGGRE - Ellie Cup
[Lukas vs Kim Dohyup, round 4 of the tournament. Lukas wins by 1.5 points]
You may also wonder if the training of Timofii with the AI board during the Grand Prix (see Chapter 1) worked well. Sadly, not entirely, but Timofii still scored very well and ranked among the best kids!
“During the TIGGRE Ellie Cup, I had interesting games. But my aim was to win all 5 games and get the prize for that. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to do that and I was very upset. So I was really surprised when I got a prize as one of the best children in the tournament. And guess what? The prize was a T-shirt from Camille's store* and I chose the one I liked most and was dreaming about! It's a T-shirt with a dragon (I was born in the year of the Dragon so that's a T-shirt for me!).”
- Timofii, who will become very strong very soon thanks to the dragon
*Camille Lévêque, alias Stoned on the Goban, is a reknowned artist in the Go world whose dream is to adopt a griffon at the EGC in Germany this year.
During the tournament, In-seong Hwang 8d and Christopher Annachachibi 1d from Belgium were reviewing the games (live on twitch, but also players games). A really cool way to learn things in between the rounds.
Once the tournament was over and the multiple kids tired of running around, the prize ceremony could start. But for nearly 40 people, it was just one more little delay before another event organized by the Grenoble Go Club: the Go and ski camp.
Just as Warren Aim, president of the Grenoble Go club, was putting down the microphone amongst the applause of the crowd, happy big and strong hands of the volunteers started to pack everything as quickly as possible (while crying at the departure of their friends going back home – yes, some people can do two things at a time).
A bus was coming to pick us up and drive us through the night up to the Vaujany ski station… a new chapter to this unforgettable week (but which part was unforgettable, ahaha, you still don’t know, so you’ll have to keep reading and expect the Chapter 3!).
Photocredits for this chapter go to Matthieu Aveau and Svitlana Kalmutska.