A brief description of the tournaments:
On the 7th and 8th of December, four Pair Go competitions were organised in Tokyo by the Japan Pair Go Association, thus celebrating the first 30 years of Pair Go at international level. Several European pairs were invited to participate in these amateur tournaments:
- The 30th International Amateur Pair Go Championship (64 participants, 32 pairs, 5 rounds). The European countries which could send a pair this year were: Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Poland, Romania, Russia and Slovakia. They were selected via a point system. In addition, the European Pair Go champions, Natalia Kovaleva and Dmitry Surin from Russia, were also invited. The winners were the Korean pair, Lee Ru Bi and Hur Young Rak. The first European pair (composed of Elvina Kalsberg and Stepan Trubitsin) finished on the 16th place.
- The 6th World Students Pair Go Championship (32 participants, 16 pairs, 4 rounds). Two European pairs took part in this championship, Adriana Tomsu and Lukas Podpera from the Czech Republic (12th place) and Nika Petrashevska and Alexander Matushkin from Ukraine and Russia (14th place).
- The Pair Go Official Handicap Tournament Preliminary (16 participants, 8 pairs, 3 rounds on Saturday 7 December). Two European pairs participated in this tournament. This competition was the first one of its kind and was a preparation for a Handicap Tournament to be held next year in July with the occasion of the Olympic Games. 13 European pairs should be invited for this special and exceptional event.
- The Araki Cup (handicap tournament, almost 200 pairs, mainly Japanese, 4 rounds on Sunday 8 November).
Ms. and Mr. Taki invented Pairgo and started to popularize it 30 years ago hoping this way to stop the decline of Go in Japan. The tournament became an attraction in Japan thanks to, among others: the equal number of female and male participants, the importance of the dress code during the competition, the prize for best dressed pairs.
Not only is Pairgo very popular nowadays, it started to be more than just a fun tournament for amateurs: it’s played competitively by both amateurs and professionals. Additionally, a Pairgo point system has been developed by Pandanet in order to make this variation of the game more enjoyable for players of all ranks. The Handicap Pairgo tournament took place using this system.
Pairgo has helped to popularize and promote Go all over the world.
2020 - the year in which the Summer Olympics and the Paralympics are taking place in Japan - will be an important year for Pairgo for players and fans worldwide: the Pair Go World Cup 2020 Japan will bring together in Shibuya strong professionals and amateurs from all over the world. Additionally, in Atami City a Pair Go Official Handicap Tournament will take place.
Hope to see as many of you at the European Pairgo Championship 2020 in April in Nis :-).
Dominique Cornuejols & Laura Avram