- 1997: Dmytro Bogatskyi - 1st U18
- 1998: Dmytro Bogatskyi - 1st U18
- 1999: Mykhailo Shevchuk - 3rd U12
- 2000: Mykola Gluschenko - 2nd U12
- 2001: Mykola Gluschenko - 3rd U12
- 2002: Andrii Kravets - 2nd U12, Artem Kachanovskyi - 3rd U12
- 2003: Ihor Zaitsev - 1st U12, Artem Kachanovskyi - 2nd U12
- 2005: Bohdan Zhurakovsky - 2nd U18
- 2008: Artem Kachanovskyi - 1st U18, Yuriy Mykhailyuk - 1st U12, Roman Koroliov - 3rd U12
- 2009: Artem Kachanovskyi - 2nd U18
- 2010: Yuriy Mykhailyuk - 3rd U16
- 2011: Vladyslav Verteletskyi - 1st U12, Valerii Krushelnytskyi - 3rd U12
- 2012: Yuriy Mykhailyuk - 1st U16, Valerii Krushelnytskyi - 1st U12
- 2013: Valerii Krushelnytskyi - 1st U12
- 2015: Valerii Krushelnytskyi - 2nd U16
- 2016: Valerii Krushelnytskyi - 2nd U16
- 2017: Valerii Krushelnytskyi - 2nd U16.
- 2019: Vsevolod Ovsiienko - 1st U12
Go schools for youthIn Ukraine Go is played in many cities: Kyiv, Rivne, Kharkiv, Odesa, Ternopil. By "played" I mean that there is some kind of organized Go activities, not separate Go players. I am familiar with Go schools in Rivne and Kyiv, so I will tell about those only.
Most of the players listed above are from Rivne - the city on the west of Ukraine. The city is known as a capital of a youth Go in Ukraine. For many years a powerful Go school exists there. Andrii Kravets, Bohdan Zhurakovskyi, Kostyantyn Lopatyuk, Yuriy Mykhailyuk, Vladyslav Verteletskyi,Valerii Krushelnytskyi, and me too - they are all from Rivne, grown in that Go school. The school was founded and run for many years by a great Go enthusiast Viktor Shevchuk. Since year 2014 my father, Volodymyr Kachanovskyi 7k, is running the school instead of Viktor.
All the students are separated into a several groups, according to their age and level. In total around 60 students. Each group has 2 or 3 lessons during the week. Every lesson has some theoretical part and playing practice. My father carefully prepares theoretical part: chooses material from literature according to the player's level. It can be also some Go problems, online lessons of another teacher, etc. At the second part of the lesson students play each other.
At the weekend there is a tournament open for every student, usually a handicap one. Each year a number of tournaments is organized: Rivne cup, Rivne Youth Championship, Rivne Championship, etc. There is a cooperation with the local city council, so sometimes players get a financial support for going to another tournaments in Ukraine.
Atmosphere of the tournament in Rivne
Every year there are new students coming, some of the students disappearing... It's a routine job. Not everyone is going to become a champion, some people just like to play Go. But as Go is a sports, every trainer wants students to improve and to reach higher and higher level.
All of this is run mostly by one person - my father. You can only imagine, how much enthusiasm one must have to do all of the job.
Except the champions listed at the start of the article, there is a new rising star now. Her name is Olesia Malko, and this girl already won two SEYGO tournaments in category under 12.
My small contribution is that since this year I make usually 1 or 2 online lessons per week with a group of strong students of my father (5 players).
Kyiv is the capital of Ukraine and the biggest city. If Rivne is the capital of youth Go, Kyiv is the city with the strongest players. At some point all of us moved to Kyiv: me, Andrii Kravets, Bohdan Zhurakovskyi. Dmytro Bogatskyi is also living here. So for sure this city has a great potential regarding the youth Go. Most of the dan players of Ukraine are living here.
The situation is similar to Rivne, there is one trainer who is working the most with the kids - Viktoriia Symonenko 7k. She has abit less academic teaching approach than my father and less number of students. But recently we see a number of rising starts with origin at Kyiv: Vsevolod Ovsiienko, Anna Melnyk, Oleksandr Shchepaniuk. Vsevolod became European U12 champion this year. Anna shows the best performance among girls in Europe in U12 category, sharing it with Olesia from Rivne. Oleksandr shows a good progress recently. This summer he goes to the World Youth Go Championship in Malaysia.
Vsevolod Ovsiienko - 2019 European Youth U12 Champion, with the Ukrainian Youth Team
Again, my small contribution is lessons with the strongest kids, since autumn 2018. As I live in Kyiv, I make this lessons live, not online. A group consists of 5 players, including the rising stars listed above.
How the Go schools in Rivne and Kyiv are organized
From Soviet Union we still have many things left, and one of them is that in each big city there is so-called "palace of children and youth". It's financed from the city budget, and people can bring their kids there to do any kinds of activity: karate, dancing, Go. It's organized both in Kyiv and Rivne in the same way: Go school is a part of the "palace of children and youth". The "palace" pays salary to the teacher from the city budget, and sometimes can provide a venue for teaching (in case of Kyiv). It also helps to legalize all the activity. The kids who are studying almost don't pay at all, and thanks to this there is a great number of kids.
Some of you might visit the "palace of children and youth" in Kyiv, during the EYGC 2018. It was the tournament venue that time.
Each year Ukrainian Youth Championship is organized. Ukrainian Go Federation works in cooperation with the Ministry of Sports of Ukraine, so the winners of the Championship get advantages: they can enter the national team and then Ministry can give a compensation for the trip to the EYGC, for example.
Besides that, recently Ukraine became active in organizing international events, and that helps to develop the youth aswell. We had European Women Championship 2017, European Youth Championship 2018. For the year 2019 European Students Championship is planned. 2020 is going to be a great year in the Ukrainian Go, as Ukraine will host the European Go Congress.
EYGC2018 - the largest tournament ever organized in Ukraine (220 participants)
Since year 2018 Ukrainian Go Federation organizes Ukrainian Go Congress. Here is the video about the first Ukrainian Go Congress: https://youtu.be/cQNwIivAOFo
As usually, such event is full of young players. Ukrainian Go is a Go of youth.
In year 2020 Ukraine plans to join the SEYGO tour. We plan to make Ukrainian Go Congress a part of this project. That will help us to attract more young players from all around the Europe to our event.
All of these activities definitely help to develop the youth Go, together with the everyday hard work of trainers.
What is missing
As usually, the hardest problem is money.
In my opinion, there are two kinds of activities that are absolutely necessary for developing Go, doesn't matter where: teaching Go and organizing Go competitions. In Ukraine we have both, but they exist almost completely on enthusiasm of a couple of people. The salary from the "palace of children and youth" is not big at all, and of course young people prefer to do something else, but not to teach kids how to play Go. It would be great if, for example, in Rivne and Kyiv a few more of teachers would appear, low-dan level. They would teach stronger of the students, and then even stronger players would teach strongest of those stronger kids. But such thing can happen only if these people are getting paid, and in our reality so far this is hard to imagine without sponsorship.
As for organizing tournaments, this is also made completely on enthusiasm of people.
In my opinion, in Ukraine we have a good situation about the youth, and great potential. We have strong players, enthusiastic teachers and organizers. What we need to keep developing our youth Go is a stable source of financing.
Author: Artem Kachanovskyi, 2p