The first edition of the European Student Team Championship took place on the 8th and 9th of September 2016 in the city of Petrozavodsk, in Russia, alongside with the Russian Student Championship and the All-Russia Karelia Cup. In the last couple of years the student championships became more and more popular: right now there is a European Student Go Championship, a European Student Team Go Championship, an online European Student Team Go Championship, the World Student OZA Go Championship, a World Collegiate Student Go Championship and a World Pair Student Go Championship, to name the relevant ones for the European players.
Maybe because not so many people knew about the tournament or because of the slightly hard to reach location, in the end only 10 teams, each consisting of 3 players, participated in the team championship. Out of these ten teams eight were representatives of Russian universities, one was a representative of a Czech university and one of a Ukrainian university. The Czech team, represented by Lukas Podpera (7d), Petr Kouba (4d) and Adriana Tomsu (1d), who are students of the Palacky University, took the first place. Second place was occupied by the Ukrainian team, which actually consisted of only two players: Roman Korolov (3d) on the 2nd board and Svitlana Tarasenko on the 3rd board, because their first board player didn't arrive at the tournament.
I have spoken to Adriana Tomsu, one of the participants, and she told me that “the atmosphere of the championship was really amazing and the opening ceremony was great”. The opening ceremony consisted, among other things, of traditional music and dances from the Karelia region. The tournament started on time, and the location of the Hotel Karelia, was well chosen for the event. Because a festival took place at the same time as the tournament, there was never any lack of options for the participants when it came to choosing what to do after the rounds. Also, the strongest players, Lukas Podpera (7d) from the Czech Republic, gave a lesson for all of the participants.
Now, it's important to mention how the European Student Team Championship as well as the Open Russian Championship came into existence. The Open University Team Russian Championship and the Open Russian Student Championship are two tournaments that have taken place every year in Petrozavodsk since 2013, and in 2016 both of these tournaments became open to international participants. The Student Open Championship was won this year by Lukas Podpera (7d), second was Roman Korolev (3d) and third Nikita Habazova (5d).
Alongside these tournaments there was also an All Russian Go competition called “Karelia Cup” taking place. All told it gathered together 48 players. What made it special was the large difference of age between the youngest player, who was 9 years old, and the oldest one, who was 60 years old. The winner was Stepan Trubitsin and the runner-up was Gennady Samarkin.
According to Alexey Lazarev (who was the main organizer of the tournaments and to whom I am grateful for providing me the information I needed in order to write this article) the city of Petrozavodsk is planning to be one of the main cities in which the student tournaments will take place and therefore it wants to organize more tournaments for students in 2017: the European University Team Go Championship as well as the European Student Go Championship.
The results of the tournament can be found here: