50th Paris International Tournament
By Ralf Wurzinger | Articles | 17.05.2023 18:04| Views: 3181 | Comments: 1
Let me say a little about the event preparations. Firstly, for an event of this size one should ideally start about a year in advance. However real life is different and several delays had to be taken into account. To kick off the promotion of our event, we asked Vitaliia Kalmutska to create this year’s tournament poster. Vitaliia is a professional artist from Ukraine and had already attended last year’s Paris Tournament accompanying her nephews Vsevolod and Tymofii Ovsiienko.
This year’s tournament poster by Vitaliia Kalmutska
This year’s tournament poster by Vitaliia Kalmutska

Getting confirmation for the tournament venue was not easy – people are so busy ;-). And then suddenly the website was not ready. Finally, four months before the tournament date, we were able to open registration to the public. Registrations then came quite regularly and we had about 100 participants four weeks before the opening. So we thought there would likely be only a few more players than last year (142). However it turned out differently and by the end of March we knew that we needed more space to seat everybody. Fortunately, the ENS was able to provide us with an additional playing room a few days before the event. In the end we had more than 200 pre-registered players. The extra room was appreciated by the dan-players as it gave them space and tranquillity.

Dan players room
Dan players room

The top-group (tables 1 to 8) were located in a smaller room with the scribes who transmitted the first two tables on KGS.

Top-group players room
Top-group players room

All the other players, about 140, were located in the university canteen, which gave them a lot of space.

Day 1 started with confirmations of the pre-registrations in the morning and some printer problems when the pairing of round 1 was ready. At 14:30 everybody was finally concentrated on his or her game. Table 1 featured a surprise arrival in Lukáš Podpěra 7d from Czechia, against He Tianrui 5d from the UK. Lukáš won the game. On table 2, Chen Tianyi 5d from the UK defeated Jonas Welticke 7d from Germany (2022 EGF Grand Slam winner).

Lukáš Podpěra 7d
Lukáš Podpěra 7d

In round 2 Alessandro Pace 5d from Italy lost to Lukáš Podpěra on table 1, while table 2 was dominated by Yang Yaoling 6d from the UK, beating Chen Tianyi.

Day 2 started with croissants at 9:30 in the morning. A little early perhaps, but most people managed to arrive on time.
In the top group Yang Yaoling defeated Cornel Burzo from Romania on table 1. But the surprise came on table 2: the 15-year-old and under-16 European Champion Vsevolod Ovsiienko (5d, Ukraine) defeated one of the tournament favourites, Lukáš Podpěra.

Vsevolod Ovsiienko (5d, Ukraine)
Vsevolod Ovsiienko (5d, Ukraine)


Download Sgf-File

However, in round 4 Vsevolod then stumbled against Yang Yaoling, who was now the only undefeated player in the top-group at the end of day 2 and was now the favourite to claim the tournament title.


Download Sgf-File
Table 2 featured Cornel Burzo and Kwa Jie Hui 6d, Singapore. Jie Hui, a participant of the World Amateur Go Championship in 2019 with a very honourable 9th place, won this game.


On Sunday evening the Lightning side tournament was organised by Loïc Lefebvre from Grenoble. Being very efficient in the organisation, he even managed to participate himself. After the pools with 64 players, quarter finals and semi-finals, 4 players remained to play the final and the small final for 3rd place.

The final was won by Yang Yaoling 6d (UK) against Chen Tianyi 5d (UK).

Third place was taken by Lukáš Podpěra 7d (CZ) who defeated Robin Bonjean 3d (FR).

Lukáš, Robin, Yaoling and Tianyi
Lukáš, Robin, Yaoling and Tianyi

Day 3 was again opened with croissants at the bar and even earlier: round 5 started at 9 o’clock.
Yang Yaoling continued his winning strike on table 1 by defeating Schayan Hamrah 5d from Austria.
Table 2 gave another win to young Vsevolod over Alexander Eerbeek, 5d from the Netherlands.

Yaoling also won his last round game facing Jonas while Vsevolod was defeated by Chen Tianyi.


Download Sgf-File
Yang Yaoling during the lightning
Yang Yaoling during the lightning
By the way, as noted above, the games from tables 1 and 2 were transmitted on KGS and commented live on the EGF Twitch channel. Day 1 was covered by Andrii Kravets 1p, day 2 by the current European Champion Benjamin Dréan-Guénaïzia 7d and on the last day by Stanisław Frejlak 1p.

The final standings were:
1st place: Yang Yaoling 6d with 6 wins
2nd place: Vsevolod Ovsiienko 5d with 4 wins (and the best SOS)
3rd place: Cornel Burzo 6d, 4 wins

Hamrah Schayan 5d from Austria, vs. Cornel Burzo, 6d from Romania
Hamrah Schayan 5d from Austria, vs. Cornel Burzo, 6d from Romania
Three players also managed to win all 6 games, these are:

  • Ulysse Duplanquet 6k (FR)
  • Jérémie Blikman 9k (FR)
  • Ambroise Guillou 11k (FR)
Please check full results and kifus to download on our tournament web site:

We would like to thank all our partners for their support:

Alain Chevalier’s company “Etna Lumière”, Guo Juan’s Internet Go School, Lucas Neirynck’s Paris Go School, Awesome Baduk and Paul Schmidt, Go Magic, Camille Levêque’s Stoned on the Goban, Komogi Edition, the Féderation Française de Go, the Ligue de Go d’Île-de-France, the European Go Federation and the Ecole Normale Supérieure.

Camille Levêque once against set up and lavishly decorated a stand selling her go-themed creations. The Komogi Edition also presented a new French translation of a manga series called The Lion in Manga Library.

Camille and her stand
Camille and her stand

A few special prices were distributed in the form of a bottle of Bordeaux wine:

  • Alain Chevalier 3k for being our main sponsor and helping greatly with logistics
  • Jean Souchay 3k for having participated 18 times at the tournament since records of participants exist (1996)
  • Denis Feldmann for having played in the very first Paris Tournament in 1973!
  • Krzysztof Podbiol 6k for having played his 596th European tournament
  • Christina and Christan Boyart for having spontaneously helped at the food stand

Christina and Christian at the bar
Christina and Christian at the bar

Some tournament history: The first Paris Tournament was held as a seven-round event on June 9th to 11th, 1973 at the École Centrale des Arts et Manufactures in Châtenay-Malabry, a nearby Paris suburb. Of 63 participants, 26 came from abroad.

Special mention to Denis Feldmann who participated in the first tournament in 1973. Already a 2-dan player at the time, he finished 10th place in the dan section. By the way the tournament was won by Lim Yoo Jong 5d, known in France also as Maitre Lim (Master Lim), a honoured Go teacher who passed away in 2016.

Denis Feldman participated in the first Paris Tournament in 1973
Denis Feldman participated in the first Paris Tournament in 1973

An article appeared at the time in the Austrian Go review and is shown on Jérôme Hubert’s website

Jérôme also participated in 1973 as a 10-kyu player but could only visit the 2023 edition briefly, after having just recovered from a Covid infection.

The tournament was subsequently held in a number of locations in and around Paris. Its most prolific period was during the Hikaro No Go boom in the 2000s, where the tournament often had more than 300 participants and was the biggest European tournament apart from the EGF Congress. The location was the city hall of the 13th arrondissement.

I would like to warmly thank all of the approx. 30 people who helped to run this tournament smoothly and in good spirits. We’ll try to prepare even better next year.

Very special thanks to Milena (preparations, communication), Alain Cano (referee and pairing), Clément Béni (finances), Christina Boyart and Clément Trung (both at the food stand).

Just one thing to remember: The 51st edition of the Paris International Tournament will be held from March 30th to April 1st 2024, probably at the same venue !

Photos by Loïc, Camille and Ralf.
Thanks to Matt for proofreading.

50th Paris International Tournament
18.05.2023 23:44
Very interesting article
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