European Go Championship 2021 Soon to Begin
By Jean-Yves Papazoglou | Articles | 09.11.2021 1:37| Views: 5550
This article was written by Jean-Yves Papazoglou and edited by Artem Kachanovskyi & Matt Partridge.

The European Go Championship is one of the most important go tournaments in Europe, let me share with you some highlights from the history of this event.

European Championship History Highlights

Traditionally, the European Championship is held during the European Go Congress organized annually in the last week of July and the first week of August. The very first European Go Congress took place in Cuxhaven, West Germany in 1957 and saw Fritz Dueball from the host country claim the title of European Champion.

The record for the most victories in the European Championships belongs to Jürgen Mattern. He represented West Germany and was European champion eight times over an impressive timeframe of 15 years: in 1965, 1966, 1968, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1975 and 1979.
Jürgen Mattern in 1984. Photo taken from the Deutsche Go-Zeitung 1/1985

In the European Championship’s hall of fame, Jürgen Mattern is followed by two seven-time winners from Russia: Alexander Dinerchtein 3p (1999, 2000, 2002 – 2005 and 2009) and Ilya Shikshin 4p (2007, 2010, 2011, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020). This year Ilya will take part in the tournament again, so he has a chance to equal Mattern’s impressive record .

Ilya Shikshin after winning the European Championship 2019 in Brussels. Photo by Mikhail Krylov

Alexander Dinerchtein 3p (right) after taking second place in the Grand Slam 2017. Left is Martin Stiassny – EGF President. Photo by Mikhail Krylov

The final of the European Championship is always a spectacular event and attracts great attention from go fans both in Europe and overseas.

In the final of the European Championship 2018 held in Pisa, Italy, Pavol Lisý 2p (left) defeated Ilya Shikshin, then 2p, by 2.5 points and became European Champion

The final of the European Championship 2019 in Brussels saw Ilya Shikshin (right, then 3p) beat Artem Kachanovskyi 2p (left) by half a point

Last Year’s European Championship

The European Championship 2020 was held online due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The tournament brought together the 32 strongest European go players and all games were played on OGS. As the schedule was flexible and participants agreed on playing times between themselves, many games were not played simultaneously as is the case in face-to-face events, meaning go fans could catch more of the commentaries provided by European professionals on the EGF Twitch channel.

Four European professionals reached the semi-finals stage last year: Mateusz Surma 2p, Ilya Shikshin 4p, Ali Jabarin 2p and Artem Kachanovskyi 2p. All games from the semi-finals onwards were played as part of best-of-three matches.

In the final Ilya Shikshin won two games out of three against Ali Jabarin and thus won the European Championship for the seventh time.

European Championship 2021 and New Tournament System

This year once again the European Championship will take place online due to the cancellation of the European Go Congress, which would have taken place this summer in Ukraine. The host server is the same as last year – OGS, and the new dates are from the 23rd of November until the 5th of December.

This time the schedule is more straightforward: games will be played on predefined dates at 19:30 on weekdays and at 10:00 on weekends, all times in CET.

The EGF has introduced a completely new system for this year’s edition of the European Championship. The tournament will begin with a qualification phase: four groups of four players will face off to determine the strongest eight players – two players from each group. They will join the other eight players who have prequalified for the final stage due to their performance in last year’s European Championship or to their European Go Database ranking. The qualification round will take place from the 23rd – 26th of November, with the final phase for the 16 selected players taking place from the 27th of November until the 5th of December.

Live commentary will be provided on the EGF Twitch channel by EGF professionals whenever they are not playing their own games.

A stunning poster for the event was made by Camille Lévêque

24 players from 15 countries ranging from 5-dan amateur to 4-dan professional will compete for the 2021 European Champion title. The highlighted players are qualified for the final phase:

Ilya Shikshin 4p RU
Artem Kachanovskyi 2p UA
Pavol Lisy 2p SK
Ali Jabarin 2p IL
Andrii Kravets 1p UA
Tanguy Le Calvé 1p FR
Anton Chernykh 6d RU
Benjamin Drean-Guenaizia 6d FR
Stanislaw Frejlak 1p PL
Lukas Podpera 7d CZ
Dusan Mitic 7d RS
Nikola Mitic 7d RS
Rob van Zeijst 7d NL
Viktor Lin 6d AT
Fredrik Blomback 6d SE
Oscar Vasquez 6d ES
Cornel Burzo 6d RO
Rémi Campagnie 6d FR
Jonas Welticke 6d DE
Vjacheslav Kajmin 6d RU
Lukas Kraemer 6d DE
Igor Burnaevskiy 6d RU
Lucas Neirynck 5d BE
Amir Fragman 6d IL

More information including a detailed schedule can be found on the web page of the event:
The results will be published on the same page after each round, as well.

The Event Needs Your Support

Normally, the budget for the prize-money of the European Championship is raised from the registration fees for the European Go Congress. Unfortunately, this year the cancellation of the EGC has made this impossible. Last year the EGF faced the same problem and launched a crowdfunding campaign in order to be able to provide prizes to the strongest European players. The campaign was successful: 3,950€ was raised with a target of 3,000€.

This year the EGF is taking the same approach and requesting that go fans support our strongest players. By taking part in the campaign, you don’t just donate money – there are three levels of support and each has its own rewards, such as:
  • a simultaneous game with EGF professional players
  • a set of games from the tournament commented by EGF professionals
  • a subscription to the European Go Journal for several months
  • a photo opportunity with the winner of the European Championship 2021, to be taken at the European Go Congress 2022 in Vatra Dornei, Romania
  • your name as a supporter displayed on screen during Twitch commentaries (with your consent).

You can find more details and lend your support to the event at our Okpal page:

Funds raised will be used for the top four players’ prize money. Let’s motivate the strongest European players to try their best and show us some masterpieces in such a bright and important event as the European Championship!
European Go Championship 2021 Soon to Begin
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