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Romanian Winter Go Camp 2017 - Review
By Laura Avram | International | 17.02.2017 11:31 | Views: 1740
In a small town in the Carpathian mountains, almost 30 years ago, among other children and teenagers, there were two who got to define the way in which go would develop later in Europe. Their go teacher was a mathematician who to this very day still teaches children in the same little town. Did I catch your attention?

Among others, it was these two, nowadays each fathers of two little children, that I got to meet last week at the Romanian winter camp. There have been years in which go was blooming in Romania: when I was little I remember we were tens of children traveling all over Romania to tournaments, and once a year to the European Youth Championship, and then for a couple of years we had three big tournaments each year which attracted the strongest Romanian and European players. However, during the last few years the vibe was sadly different. There were less tournaments and less active players.

Last week an amazing transformation occurred. Suddenly from a community that has been almost dormant, I noticed that it had started to bloom again. Children and adults crossed paths in the corridors of the Ceausescu-era hotel and on the go board. The camp had both tournaments for children and for adults: the National Youth Championships under 12 (25 players), under 16 (10 players) under 20 (5 players) + a tournament for beginners (15 players), the National Pairgo Championship (17 pairs), the National Women Championship (16), as well as the National 9*9 (29) and 13*13 (28) Championships (first edition). Apart from those tournaments there were also two memorial tournaments: the Dan Cucu Memorial (16 players) and the Viorel Arsinoaia Memorial (40 players). And add to that the lessons of one of the two youngsters mentioned in the first paragraph (I expect that you are still curious about who they are) about the games of Alphago! I think that what I most liked about the lessons was the enthusiasm that I saw on the teacher's face and the discussion about this great change that AlphaGo brought to us: moves that once were considered wrong are starting to be seen as good. And AlphaGo surprised us with the change in paradigm: for a while the Japanese peaceful and correct view of the world was dominating the goban, then came the aggressive Koreans who didn't show much mercy for their opponents, then the Chinese who managed to dominate their opponents by playing somehow in a mixture of the Japanese and the Koreans. And then came AlphaGo.

Dragoş Băjenaru (6d) and Mihaela Ţăranu (5k)

What I liked about the tournament was that there were many small details that were planned very well by the organisers: the camp took place right before the EYGC, so the youth players had one week of training, the female and the pairgo championships that usually don't attract too many players managed to be an exception this year, because organizing them together attracted more players, the tournament took place in a week in which the young children had holidays, etc. So attracting 80 players was the success that also came along as a result of the reasons I just mentioned.

I will briefly make a list with the winners of each tournament.

Youth Championship Under 12
1. Rotarita Stefan-Adrian (6k)
2. Vieru Andrei (10k)
3. Stanciu Antonia (10k)

Youth Championship Under 16
1. Dobranis Denis (3d)
2. Gigoi George (4k)
3. Nitu Mircea (7k)

Youth Championship Under 20
1. Pitrop Alexandru-Petre (4d)
2. Grigoriu Elian-Ioan (3d)
3. Dobranis Darius (1d)

National Pairgo Championship
1. Avram Laura (2d) – Ghetu George (3d)
2. Sora Adelina (1d) – Pop Cristian (7d)
3. Taranu Mihaela (5k) – Dragos Bajenaru (6d)

National Women Championship
1. Avram Laura-Augustina (2d)
2. Sora Adelina (1d)
3. Vlad Gabriela (5k)

Dan Cucu Memorial
1. Caraivan Alexandru (3d)
2. Ginguta George (2d)
3. Sora Sorin (4d)

Viorel Arsinoaia Memorial
1. Grigoriu Elian-Ioan (3d)
2. Ginguta George (2d)
3. Chirila George (2d)

9*9 Tournament
1. Ilie Sebastian (2k)
2. Toma Iulian (3d)
3. Dogaru Alexandru-Teodor (8k)

13*13 Tournament
1. Iugulescu Dan (3d)
2. Toma Iulian (3d)
3. Nitu Mircea (7k)

Junior beginners
1. Pirlea Bogdan (20k)
2. Pop Eva (20k) – Does her name ring a bell to anyone? :-)
3. Ghenghiu Andrei (20k)

If your interest about the Romanian go scene is piqued, then click here to disover who will be playing in the Grand Slam Qualification Tournament 2017 or in the side tournament which will take place in the city of Cluj-Napoca.

P.S. Still couldn't figure out who the two players are? :-)

The winners of the Romanian PairGo Championship 2017 (picture by Raluca Gheţu)
Romanian Winter Go Camp 2017 - Review
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