European Go Congress 2017
By Lorenz Trippel | News | 27.11.2016 11:51| Views: 32707 | Comments: 172
Following the recommendation of the EGF board the turkish organizing committee stepped back last week. In the meantime the EGF board managed to find two alternatives one from Germany (Oberhof) and one from Russia (Sochi). The board decided to give the congress 2017 to Russia, Sochi.

Thanks for all the work which was done preparing these proposals in such a short time. We feel very sorry that the congress in Turkey didn't work out and hope the organizing team will reapply to hold this event in the future!
You can check out the proposals: Sochi (Russia), Oberhof (Germany)

Update (1st Dec 2016): Official statement about the selection of the host for the EGC 2017 by the EGF Executive Board.
European Go Congress 2017
Tobias Berben
27.11.2016 13:24
For me, knowing the German in-detail-porposal and the two Russian photos with just a promise by a potential sponsor, the 3-4 decision of the EGF board is next to a scandal. Why in the same country again as last year? Why at the edge of Europe? Why a potential sponsor instead of a good concept and a good team? Why after Turkey the next extra democratic country? I can't understand!
27.11.2016 13:27
Rusia is worse thanks turkey. î have no doubt what not to do next summer
27.11.2016 13:32
Maybe because russians play better? lol
27.11.2016 13:33
Democracy tends to be scandalous and not very rational. Why have a vote in the first place if the facts seem to be so clear as you put them?! The proposal of Russia was done before the one of Germany so they didn't know the will have a competitor. Even not mentioned the russian have an excellent organizing team which organized the last congress in St. Petersbourg. Llastly i remember the decision to give the congress to Romania for Sibiu which had close to no elaborated proposal at all against a very elaborated proposal of Russia ...
27.11.2016 14:05
Russian visa administration was a nightmare. I vote for Germany. Sochi is inaccessable on terrain.
27.11.2016 14:19
Great decision! Thank you!
Tobias Berben
27.11.2016 14:27
Ok, than you should have given also Russia a week to give a more elaborated proposal as Germany did not have more than a week. Would have been early enough to decide it next weekend, right?
And the decision of Sibiu vs. Persterbourg was made becourse of the first nightmare congress in Peterhof, right? Peterhof was even more than a elaborated proposal, I think, ... ;-)
Anyway, I can live with going to Italy 2018 and Brussels in 2019 and maybe Oberhof in 2020.
27.11.2016 14:42
@Lorenz : I'm not quite sure why you call this democracy. The allocation of EGC has to be decided by the general assembly. Why wasn't an extraordinary general assembly organised?
Marc Oliver Rieger
27.11.2016 14:49
As one of the people who worked on the German proposal I might obviously be biased. I am nevertheless surprised about the outcome: Turkey's EGC didn't work, mainly because it was far away and in a region that was (rightfully or not) considered to be unstable and politically difficult by many potential participants. Now we move on to Sotchi which basically poses the same problems again. That seems a strange choice to me.
Lorenz, I see your point about the vote, but while I totally agree that a majority decision should be accepted, I do not see why every majority decision has to be considered as wise and cannot be criticised, as Tobias and some others are doing here.
Ultimately, we will know only on the long run whether the better sponsorship perspective in Russia outweighs other disadvantages the location might have.
Ingo Althofer
27.11.2016 14:53
Hey guys,
calm down. Take a Prussian night (meaning: sleep about it) before writing another hundred comments.

Ingo (living almost next door to Oberhof and knows what a good option it will be for the future).
27.11.2016 14:54
Stupid and expensive visa system, flight tickets more than 300 EUR. Thx, EGF.
27.11.2016 14:55
Good point. Reasoning was that we need a decision fast because organising a congress in only 8 months is quite a challenge.
@Marc Criticism is welcome. Just fill up the comment section till the bottom blows out :)
27.11.2016 15:01
You only need to invite the members two weeks prior, and General Assembly held online (on a private forum for example) have been heard of. The Assembly voted for Turkei three months ago, and the board admitedly pressured against this decision. After this first move against the decision of the countries, I find it really dubious that their vote or at least their general opinion was not required.
27.11.2016 15:18
I think Yalta would have been a better location.
27.11.2016 15:20
welcome to the Yike Go Congress in Shanghai China,details follow the link:
27.11.2016 15:35
I didn't know that it was possible to submit a proposal for 2017!!!!!!!!!!!!
27.11.2016 16:03
@Lorenz: I checked, it's two months, not two weeks. But still, a consultation would have been nice.
27.11.2016 17:15
I have to say that i'm a bit surprised by the decision. Germany i would have possible travelled to, Russia, sadly i most likely won't be able to.

From my point of view Sochi will be extremely difficult to travel to, while Germany would have presented several opportunities by car, rail, flight etc. for the vast majority of european go players. Germany would have had no VISA costs while for Russia those create a major cost and extra work. In Germany i also wouldn't have had to worry about communication problems since either English or German would have worked, and one of those are spoken by the vast majority of the european go players.
27.11.2016 17:28
True, it's two months for a special online voting.
Believe me when this topic came up in the board meeting nobody really had an opinion on it! The only reasoning was that it should go fast as we were worried to lose the proposals we've already gotten from Germany and Russia.
27.11.2016 17:35
@Max, @Laszlo, @mil0s
You could write a letter to your government saying you want a visa-free travel agreement with Russia. Remember, Russians would have the same problem with Go Congress in Germany.
27.11.2016 17:43

Yes, but the vast majority of Go players who belong to the EGF do not need a VISA for Germany, while they do for Russia.

Also, i just checked flights from 2 different European countries. 350 euros to travel there, while also having to change airports while travelling and roughly 20 hours of travel time. 450 euros for a flight with 1 change and only 7 hours of travel time.
Travelling to Germany is much much cheaper from almost all EGF member countries.

Add on top visa costs for Russia + costs for pictures for the visa + time spent filling in visa forms + applying for it + picking it up etc.

Germany would simply be far far cheaper and easier for me, and i'm guessing, for most EGF members countries.
27.11.2016 17:54
I don't understand why in such situations, people interested in going to the congress are not asked for their opinion. Oberhof is a much better option than Sochi. No visa problems, mountain area, excellent for a 2 day trip to all cities around since it's in the center of Germany(Munchen, Berlin, Dresda and others). Changing Turkey to Russia for security reasons it's just irrational.
27.11.2016 18:15
@Lorenz The congress last year was from my point of view the only decent(and nice have to admit) european event they organized till now. The rest they organized were a disaster( this can be confirmed by many people), including the European Youth Championship in 2012 when they organized the event in a hotel which was not even close to the one we saw in the pictures.(I won't complain here about other things, but there many more to say). Also the Youth Championship in 2006 and the ING cup in 2008 were low quality compared to any other similar tournaments played in Western Europe.
27.11.2016 18:30
I played my first EGC in 1995. Attended many more after that. Last year's EGC in Russia was the best one I played. Also, with biggest budget, including great prizes.

@Mihai - security reasons? Sochi is completely safe . In Turkey, I believe, it was not possible to attract 200+ players.
27.11.2016 19:01
@breakfast It's not between Turkey and Russia, it's between Germany and Russia. For example, I always had problems when applied for Visa, many days waisted at the embassy for a procedure which should be easy, especially when you go to Russia for a competition. As I said, the congress last year was really nice, maybe one of the best ever,especially because of the city of St. Petersburg and its attractions, but Sochi is not as attractive as St. Petersburg. So that's why I wanted the congress in Germany.
Andreas Hauenstein
27.11.2016 19:14
Not going. Because Turkey is unsafe or something, the EGC is now held
in between the freshly annexed Krim and Georgia, in a far away place with
weird visa requirements, run by a friend of Trumps' .
No thanks.
Richard Mullens
27.11.2016 19:51
Everyone can blame their governments for the necessity of visas for Russia.

For myself, I went to St Petersburg earlier this year. The organisation was faultless and the special price negotiated for the Azimut hotel made it affordable
27.11.2016 19:54
Fear shouldn't guide our lifes, anywhere and anyhow...
However, if I see the logic of EGF that the EGC was moved out of Turkey for being dangerous and now it should be held in Sochi, less than 50 km from Abkhazia (annexed by Russia in 2008) I don't know what should I think about that...
Other things has been said already.
27.11.2016 19:56
Is nobody bringing up that Russia did the EGC last year? That above all should be a big plus for germany. I will definitly not go to russia. Too expensive and too time consuming with getting a visa (i would have to get a passport first i guess).

I for one dont wanna make Oberhof happen in 2020 . It was a nice idea for next year but if we dont get it ... then lets wait till 2024 thats our 12 year routine.
27.11.2016 20:03
we ll see how many players will attend such a far away dubious tournament. if it will be a success with so many european players travelling sochi,then congrats. if not,then there will be a serious question Mark about these voting members.

if it will be ok,then next one might be im siberia. î know is very trendy în Russia for 100 yes and many people driven there
richard mullens
27.11.2016 22:22
Talking about tournaments, let's not forget the London Open (Dec28-31).

There are details at
and the list of registered players is at

A number of very strong players will be coming and
a range of accommodation is available to suit all pockets.
27.11.2016 22:57
Talking about London...
Pretty (extremely) high entry fee. Low prizes (where is the advertised sponsorship?).

I don't think this is the right place for advertisements anyway.
Thomas Debarre
28.11.2016 0:03
I can't think of a single reason to pick Sotchi over Germany other than sponsors, which I don't think should be the driving force behind such a decision. Maybe next year we could do it Kamchatka!
28.11.2016 1:25
Kamchatka that is. Thomas, pack my trousers, we are going.
28.11.2016 1:58
It will be sad to ignore congress twice. #norussia
28.11.2016 8:25
This decision, as made by EGF board instead of General Assembly shouldn't be
valid. EGF board should definitely call General Assembly even online to vote again.
Only then the result of voting will be representative.

There is not much time, but we can really do it how it should be instead of persuading this choice all European players.
Michael Marz
28.11.2016 8:41
As there is only a link to the Russian proposal on this web page, here is the German proposal, linked in the German discussion board:
Ignore the German language, just open the two attachments egc17-proposal-p1-3.pdf and egc17-proposal-p4-7.pdf.
28.11.2016 10:34
Oberhof has no sea. Instead, it is logical to offer Turkey a place near the sea.
Ingo Althofer
28.11.2016 11:17
@Juliya: If the Sotchi team realizes its first option there will also be no sea, but "only" wildwalter rafting.

28.11.2016 12:39
I feel sad for you, guys. It's really strange to see intolerant speaches from people who would like to hold a large international event with participants from all over the world. It's a shame to write such things, especially when you are well-known in Go community.
28.11.2016 13:59
@Ferra who are you blaming actually? I think the hypocrisy of the EGF is more than obvious. Moving the congress from Capadoccia which they probably think it's too close to the Syria war zone to Sochi, which is between Crimea and Abhkazia? Are you kidding me? This can't be real.
Ingo Althofer
28.11.2016 14:16
Sorry guys.
Although I am not happy with the decision contra Oberhof,
one thing is sure: The region of Sochi is SAFE.

28.11.2016 14:22
@Ingo Sochi is as SAFE as Cappadocia is. End of discussions on this subject. The problem of Visa with the time wasted for it, the lack of direct flights makes Sochi a really less favorable option comparing to Oberhof.
28.11.2016 14:44
After Olympics Sochi is a good option, I think.
28.11.2016 16:23
In Ukraine we have an official advise from Sports Ministry to not go to Russia on any tournament. Even if we ignore it then it is still very complicated to get to the Sochi since there is no flight connection between Ukraine and Russia. I understand that maybe they provide a very good sponsorship but it's not the only thing which should be important. Let's pay some respect to go community and explain why Sochi was better than Oberhof.
28.11.2016 17:02
There is no current war conflict no in Crimea, no in Abhazia. People go there on summer holidays with children. And, thanks God, there was no conflicts in the capital of Russia, like it was few month ago in Turkey. Actually I think that Turkey was ok, but what is done, is done...sea-mountains-sun, v. favorable exchange rate, all renovated for the Olympics, great prizes from sponsor:)) I'm sure a lot of players will enjoy visiting Sochi.
28.11.2016 17:17
This decision looks weird.
Twice in a row in Russia and on top of that in such a distant place?
28.11.2016 17:44
In 2012 one Ukranian player had to play on internet in team championship, because he couldn't recieve German visa.
One player from Russian team had to leave Germany right after team championship also because of visa problems. Another player had to receive Spanish visa and go back via Spain.
My friend from China was denied without explanation in getting visa. So she lost money for tickets.
Obtaining of German visa is frequently problematic for many non European Union people.
28.11.2016 17:48
If the visa issue came into the discussion than Germany should win by big margin since there are a much more people who needs to get visa if EGC will be in Russia.
28.11.2016 18:03
How many European (non-Russian) players were on EGC 2016 compared to other Congresses? On EGC 2017 the number of players will be even less.
28.11.2016 19:10
Talking about visa, all of us had to leave Russia the day before visa expired. If you ask for visa for 4 days, you get no more. I don't even want to think what can happen if you have some problems and can't leave the country in time. I also agree with Bohdan and support the Ukrainian team with their cause. Beside the problems with Visa, there is also a problem with the direct flights to Sochi. Tickets will become very expensive if players don't buy them in next 2 or 3 months, much more expensive than a ticket to Germany. Germany is accesibile even by car for most of the players from France,Italy, Austria, Hungary, Netherlands and so on.
Richard Mullens
28.11.2016 19:21
There are plenty of Chinese players in the UK who would need a Schengen Visa. They are not always granted - so for these players it is not clear that Germany has an advantage over Russia.

Also, 4 km from campsite to tournament is too far. At Groningen it was less and still too far !
28.11.2016 20:08
"I don't even want to think what can happen if you have some problems and can't leave the country in time. " oh yes... KGB would immediately caught you right on the street and sent to Syberia to sweep the snow till the end of your life :D

28.11.2016 20:18
Ok ,this discussion goes into a wrong direction, so I won't post here anymore. I just hope and I think all of you agree that EGF should give us an answer why was Sochi chosen instead of Oberhof, advantages and disadvantages of both offers. Otherwise , questions can still be raised.
Marc Oliver Rieger
28.11.2016 23:23
@Richard Mullens:
"Also, 4 km from campsite to tournament is too far."
I beg your pardon? Often there is no camping option at all nearby at an EGC! (Most participants don't do camping anyway.) The hotels and pensions were all in close walking distance to the tournament site. By the way: nothing about that is known from the Russian proposal. It might be closer - or not!
"There are plenty of Chinese players in the UK who would need a Schengen Visa."
A bit off-topic...? These are how many percent of the participants? 0.5% or 1%?
Sorry, but we've heard better arguments pro-Sotchi!
Peter Dijkema
29.11.2016 4:10
Highest time to hold a free Championship in a free country, for friendly people by most expeienced organisers. Germans are excellent organisers, French provide fast improvisation and fun, Czechs just were, Russians most recently, attracting mostly tourists, not the usual EGC,

l feel partly responsible as I talked Kerem in 1993 init and Gözde not much later. They did exactly what I told to do to get firstytheir Istanbul interational on the calender and by steppng stone Ladies Title, Pair-go untill they won by acclamation.

The EGF just broke its word again (ike at 3rd Congres in Poly business with Russian and Chinese 'maffias'le. They are complletely unreliabe. We need to take example from Italy, where normal players and foreigners re in the healtFederatonwhih organises Summer and Wnter schle, uools. The same guys who run the EGD as volunteers. Reliable, unlike EGF board.

Hist time to organis a free championship b just by most experienc organisers, like me Tobias and a few more. Best EGC's were 2007, whichI organised fro m PL for a year bhind this Simons back and 2007. InGoningen I wasn't chief of Bulletins, so it wasn;t perect :(

I work at an open EC at WinterGo location nrNijmegn, or perhpdsat the university there. You will hee from me.

Who posted tis 'ecision'by 'them'.? Too impolite or cowardly to to add his name? What a shame! They should clearly step down all en bloque immdiaely.
Pue icomprtence and prove!n unreliabilty. Amen
richard mullens
29.11.2016 4:58
@Marc Oliver Rieger
There were heaps of people camping in Groningen. My room in the Azimut in St Petersburg was about €20 a night and had excellent internet, In Sibiu I was in a dorm in a hostel and in Liberec I was in another hotel for about €20 a night. In Bordeaux we were in student accommodation (a little pricey & extra for internet). In Prague student accommodation again. If you want a successful tournament make it cheap for everyone to stay at the venue or very close by. €85 per night in a double room is not cheap. There seems to be a trend to book plush accommodation for rich visitors from the far east and normal players are priced out of the market.
Hotels are good for short stays, but for 2 weeks or more one wants self catering facilities. Don't get me wrong I'd like to come to an EGC in Germany !
I think a sizeable number of UK entrants may be Chinese nationals, not to mention well heeled visitors from China !
Michael Marz
29.11.2016 5:52
What are you trying to say? Oberhof has more hotel beds than inhabitants. Summer is off-season, and you can get all sorts of rooms within walking distance for much less than 40 Euros. My guess would be around 20-25 nearby or 6 Euros per tent.
Marc Oliver Rieger
29.11.2016 6:10
Well, the search for arguments seems desparate at times. We are post factual here, Michael! Germany *must* be overpriced. Whether there are cheap accommodations or not. And camping sites were always in walking distance at EGCs. And they will be in Sotchi. And Chinese only come to Russia. And the world is flat. :-/
Marc Oliver Rieger
29.11.2016 6:27
Less bitter and more factual:
e.g. Pension Wiegand-Schlundt in Oberhof: holiday apartment 45 Euro/night for 2 persons plus 10 Euro for each further person. (Makes 65 Euro for four persons!)
Took me 2 minutes to find that. We didn't write this in the proposal, since we cannot promise that everybody will fit in and we didn't want to make empty promises. Maybe we should have. Empty promises seem to be fashionable these days.
29.11.2016 6:51
Many players from western Europe worry about the travel costs to Sochi. All players in East Europe face the same problem when considering to attend a EGC in Germany! I can't understand such a selfish position. Where is the aim to get a balance like on the go board? It's complaining about first world problems, isn't it? Go players should show the world that they are a great community. In addition, if the sponsorship is so extraordinary huge it might be possible to get travel cost grant-in-aid for those who cannot effort it. It would be a simple arithmetic problem: how much is the loss when hundreds (??) players will not come to Sochi – and how much is a support for travel costs. I'm sure the EGF board will think about that too.
Marc Oliver Rieger
29.11.2016 7:24
"All players in East Europe face the same problem when considering to attend a EGC in Germany!"
I would have agreed to this argument for the EGC, e.g., in St.Petersburg. But Sotchi is even far and expensive to get to for most Eastern Europeans. Just look at the map and consider the network of low cost airlines!
If the sponsor is so generous to provide grants, that'll be wonderful, of course! But unfortunately this is currently just speculation.
29.11.2016 8:27
I appreciate that people feel passionate about the subject, but every year at the EGF's Annual General Meeting there are votes, like this, which people disagree with. Okay this one is done by the board, but it is not so different. It is the price you and I pay for the system we chose or that which was chosen for us. If you think it is a mistake, then what else is there to do but to go to another tournament this summer - maybe in Germany - and make sure people vote better next year. Or if you really feel so bad about it, perhaps you can write to the Appeals Commission to demand a new vote.
29.11.2016 9:58
In the matter of costs: travelling cost for all players from West, Central
and even East Europe will be much higher to get to Sotchi then Oberhof.
Visa problems will hinder players over 25 European countires to get to Russia.
In German option visas will be a problem for only few nationalities from EGF members.
Chip accomodation would be accessible in both location (as Oberhof is Winter region), but shurely in much higher standard in Oberhof then in Sotchi (ask last Winter Olympics participants).
I am not German, but we have heard that even Ukrainian players, which are close
has official advise not to go to Russia.
So as we see Sotchi will be more accessible and convenient only for Russians (and maybe EGF board).
People (General Assembly) didn't stand a chance to vote - only EGF board did. As a result maybe an Appeals Commission and a new vote is good a sollution.
29.11.2016 13:44
I see this as a great oportunity for everyone who due to some circumstances couldn't attend this year's congress, to visit Russia and relive the similar (or probably even better) experience! (Yes I was there and it was fantastic!) Definitely comming to Sochi next year!
29.11.2016 14:42
We have grand slam every year in Berlin. Why only Germany?
I also attended Kido cup in Hamburg several times. Hotels were really expensive. 113 euro/night/room for a poor hotel (Motel One Hamburg Alster, close to playing hall). In Russia prices are MUCH cheaper!
In Sochi we will have Aquapark, sea, mountains, dolphinarium, Botanical Garden, Sochi Park, Singing Fontains. Just Google "Things to do in Sochi"

29.11.2016 14:55
Beer is better in Germany. That's all.
But everything else is better in Russia.
Even Vladimir Putin has his residence in Sochi!
29.11.2016 16:08
Please, move EGC 2017 to Germany!
Marc Oliver Rieger
29.11.2016 17:31
Hey, guys, living with the decision would be so much easier if there were not so many counterfactual arguments for Sotchi posted here! Could you maybe stop that?
Breakfast: Hotel prices in Hamburg have nothing to do with an EGC proposal for Oberhof. (For the true prices see my comment above.) One could also say that Putin's villa is probably too expensive for the average Go player and hence we can't afford going to Sotchi. That would be an equally pointless argument.
And, Ivan, since I don't drink beer: how to immigrate to Russia? ;-)
Any how: can't we just agree that there are arguments in favour of Sotchi that will be revealed by the EGF soon? And that we don't have to make some up before that? Thanks! :)
29.11.2016 17:57
Breakfast(alexander dinershtein) asked russian players to brigade this topic with pro sochi comments.
This is a real disgrace and its really sad to see EGF bending to them..
29.11.2016 18:49
@razzinos your accusation is a disgrace. Russian players have all the right to say their mind in this topic, and even if breakfast asked someone to come and speak here (although I don't see that "brigade" you speak of yet), that's can only be because there's so much bile here it's unbearable.
29.11.2016 18:55
Nobody asked us to write anything. Russian Go players just read the news.
Talking about safety, lets remember how many attacks and explosions was made in Germany in last 11 months. But it requires no visa for Europeans, hooray! You can come there any time to be attacked with the ax on a train. Cool.
Sorry for this, really. And thanks to those who see in this decision not only visa problems, but great opportunity to visit new place and have fun.
29.11.2016 19:07
Yes,just as I said ^_^
29.11.2016 19:15
@razzinos What did you expect? People get very upset about lies and accusations. I've been following this topic since it began and what happens when I finally decide to say my word? Some random guy shows up and tells everyone I did it because I was told to. Based on nothing. What a sad joke.
29.11.2016 21:13
I will definitely not attend a Go Congress in Sochi. Oberhof? Most likely I will!
So What
29.11.2016 21:37
I will never ever go to a go congress in a country were my 'brothers' are legaly not allowed to kiss in public! So I will neither go to russia nor to turkey. So it isn't a discussion about flightcosts - in my opinion it is a discussion about human rights in all its colors.
But the decision is done. I think that it will have it reasons that it is done that way. Hence I accept the decision, like all adults have to do sometimes with decisions they personally don't like.
29.11.2016 21:47
Russia had the EGC in 2016. This is a fact.

I think the EGC should be in a different country every year. This makes the EGC more interesting.

Apart from this there are lots of inaccurate arguments here. This is a trick: spam the diskussion with made up stuff to confuse people. Thats the way Donald Trump won, but i dont like it.
29.11.2016 23:13
If to chose another place instead of Cappadocia I would prefer to visit similar place with sea or ocean. Obernhof isn't the best choice from that point of view. In addition it's not very convenient to go there as there are no direct flights.

And in general in German or France isn't very safe now. I'm not voting for Sochi, but any other place instead of Obernhof would be much better. Most likely I won't go there. But to Sochi or Pisa (yeah I know about EGC 2018) I'll fly with pleasure.
29.11.2016 23:23
It makes me sad to see both teams fight over details of an EGC in Russia or Germany. Both organizer-teams but their sweat and blood into this. From the facts I have, both are good offers.

The Board is to blame, not the other Team. The Board is to blame for taking an obviously strange decision. Letting the EGC take place two times in a row in the same country without any sign of the benefits of this decision. The Board should explain its decision and not hope that the dicussion will die by itself.
30.11.2016 0:06
Germany and france are Considered not safe now?
What the actual fuck?
Cappadocia had no sea near...
I guess the sochi venue 50 km away from sochi requires as much Travel as does oberhof ...
While flying to sochi which is not Even in Europe Takes a lot longer in average...
I guess some guys here are just trolling now .
30.11.2016 3:12
Sochi is definetely a great place for vacation. The Russian government invested a lot of money before the Olympic games to develop this beautiful landscape into one of the biggest tourism magnets for the years to come. So I am very excited about this congress. I can't understand people who call Sochi an unstable, dangerous region. After the terror attacks and sexual assaults we have seen in Central Europe lately, one could argue that this threat seems more real for the EGC in Brussels...

Only the visa-procedure is quiet annoying. And it used to be an unwritten rule that the EGC shouldn't be in the same country for two years in a row. For this reason Germany would indeed have been the more natural choice.
30.11.2016 3:51
Klaus, Per and Pascal are very right: I see a bunch of trolls here. :(
Doesn't make sense to argue about facts anymore - which is a disgrace to the Go community. (I thought about Go as a game for people who like logic!)
Anyway: Looking forward to the official reasons of the board! Anything else is a waste of time.
Tobias Berben
30.11.2016 9:52

Dear Executives of the EGF,

for me and for many other European Go players, knowing the German in-detail-porposal and the two Russian photos with just a promise by a potential sponsor, the 3-4 decision of the EGF board is not comprehensible and almost next to a scandal.

Why in the same country again as this year?
Why at the edge of Europe in a country with strong visa demands and not in the middle of Europe with no visa demands for the most European citizens?
Why is it insecure in a Turkey mountain area but in Russia next to Crimea and Georgia it is secure?
Why the decision was not be made by the members of EGF thus the countries representatives?
Why you did not even consult the members of the federation, the different countries, for their opinion about the proposals?
And - last but not least - why there is no official statement giving the reasons of your strange decision for the public?

I really ask you to answer this questions openly and in public!

Kind regards, Tobias Berben

Russion proposal (3 pages, no details):

German proposal (7 pages, many dedails):
30.11.2016 10:24
Dear public,
I've made a small comparison of EGC2012 in Bonn, Germany and EGC2016 in Saint-Petersburg, Russia. Please, have a look at the link.

I would also like to add some words about Ukrainian players at EGC in Bonn and in Saint-Petersburg. In Bonn there was only one Ukrainian player at the main tournament. In Saint-Petersburg there were thirteen Ukrainians.
30.11.2016 10:43
If you are here to compare security in Sochi and in Germany, for the Russian it is obvious that Sochi is much safer and speculation about it looks strange.

Both offers are good and sad to see so much bile from officials.
30.11.2016 11:14

Talking about Ukrainian people:

"In Ukraine we have an official advise from Sports Ministry to not go to Russia on any tournament. Even if we ignore it then it is still very complicated to get to the Sochi since there is no flight connection between Ukraine and Russia."
30.11.2016 11:22
Yes, that's true.
And this fact didn't prevent the arrival of the Ukrainian team to EGC in Saint-Petersburg this year.
30.11.2016 11:22
Yes, that's true.
And this fact didn't prevent the arrival of the Ukrainian team to EGC in Saint-Petersburg this year.
30.11.2016 11:22
Yes, that's true.
And this fact didn't prevent the arrival of the Ukrainian team to EGC in Saint-Petersburg this year.
30.11.2016 11:22
Yes, that's true.
And this fact didn't prevent the arrival of the Ukrainian team to EGC in Saint-Petersburg this year.
30.11.2016 11:22
Yes, that's true.
And this fact didn't prevent the arrival of the Ukrainian team to EGC in Saint-Petersburg this year.
30.11.2016 11:22
Yes, that's true.
And this fact didn't prevent the arrival of the Ukrainian team to EGC in Saint-Petersburg this year.
30.11.2016 11:22
Yes, that's true.
And this fact didn't prevent the arrival of the Ukrainian team to EGC in Saint-Petersburg this year.
30.11.2016 11:27
Sorry for the spam. Connection problem.
30.11.2016 11:38
The advise came up a month ago after Russian government arrested some Ukrainians. The tension between countries is raising up and who knows what the situation will be in few month. From the other hand with all this visa liberalisation actions for Ukraine it is much easier to get the one now and there is a big chance that we won't even need it this summer. In that case you'll see a lot of Ukrainians at the congress in Germany.
Tobias Berben
30.11.2016 11:39
>Russion proposal (3 pages, no details):

This link in my post is wrong. Correct is:
30.11.2016 12:25
Pointless to compare Bonn with St. Petersburg when you should compare Oberhof to Sotchi. - Accessibility to Sochi is worse than St. Petersburg. Oberhof accommodation is much cheaper than Bonn.
Again: don't troll with misleading informations please.
Tobias Berben
30.11.2016 12:50
The trolling Anti-Troll? Somebody is not trolling, if he has other opininons or points or is making mistakes. He has arguments, you have maybe better arguments, but it should be allowed to discuss without the troll-police shouting "Troll alarm" after every argument not fitting their view. Ok? Thx!
30.11.2016 12:51
Putting politics and EGF decision making process aside, there is a "practical" question:

Sochi is certainly a nice place, but how to get there (from anywhere in Europe)?

As far as I know, there are direct flights to Sochi from Moscow or Istanbul, but that means a very long, complicated (and expensive) journey.

Any ideas for family/children friendly summer charter flights from any major European airport?

30.11.2016 13:51
We have same organizing teams for Bonn / Oberhof and for Saint-Petersburg / Sochi.
That's why comparing of EGC in Bonn and Saint-Petersburg is natural if we want to have an idea what to expect at EGC 2017.

About transport accessibility. There are a lot of flights to Sochi from Moscow. Its price starts from 60 euros for round robin trip. The jorney takes 2h 15m.
To get to Oberhof from nearest biggest airports - Frankfurt and Munich - you need to get train. Its price starts from 60 euros for round robin trip. The jorney takes more than 3 hours.
30.11.2016 14:01
We have same organizing teams for Bonn / Oberhof and for Saint-Petersburg / Sochi.
That's why comparing of EGC in Bonn and Saint-Petersburg is natural if we want to have an idea what to expect at EGC 2017.

About transport accessibility. There are a lot of flights to Sochi from Moscow. Its price starts from 60 euros for round robin trip. The jorney takes 2h 15m.
To get to Oberhof from nearest biggest airports - Frankfurt and Munich - you need to get train. Its price starts from 60 euros for round robin trip. The jorney takes more than 3 hours.
30.11.2016 14:17
We have same organizing teams for Bonn / Oberhof and for Saint-Petersburg / Sochi.
That's why comparing of EGC in Bonn and Saint-Petersburg is natural if we want to have an idea what to expect at EGC 2017.

About transport accessibility. There are a lot of flights to Sochi from Moscow. Its price starts from 60 euros for round robin trip. The jorney takes 2h 15m.
To get to Oberhof from nearest biggest airports - Frankfurt and Munich - you need to get train. Its price starts from 60 euros for round robin trip. The jorney takes more than 3 hours.
30.11.2016 14:31
Sochi is a great place. No one argue with that. The issue is that there is no visible reason why it is better than Oberhof. I read on some russian resource that they ensured EGF some time ago that in case of cancellation of Turkish proposal they are ready to held the tournament. So maybe that's the reason. But in this case question arises what kind of agreement that was and why it is not public.
The comment I am talking about (in Russian):

Наталья Ковалева
Илья, а что именно выглядит некрасиво? То что Россия давно дала понять ЕГФ, что если с Турцией будут проблемы, мы сможем помочь и провести еще один ЕГК, чтобы не отменять его совсем? Или то, что мы продолжили бороться за право проведения ЕГК, когда уже после решения об отмене ЕГК в Турции, (=передать ЕГК России) немцы, исключительно из нежелания отдавать ЕГК России, подали свою заявку?
Here the full discussion

30.11.2016 15:13
Bogdan you might as well translate the last line :)
30.11.2016 15:18
I believe that the most intelligent people of Europe, according to the principles of Equality, Democracy and Friendship will be able to elaborate the best decision.
It could be Italy, it could be any other country with the sea. But the main thing for me in the situation is that people don't like unhonest or unclear decision.
We are the members of our National Federations, and they are all members of EGF, no one is better or worse, there are no such parameters as players quantity or sponsor pocket. It's common affair. And there are rules and traditions.
And it must begin from respect.
Otherwse, as other honoured member of discussion said, there's always a nice local tournament where to go.
30.11.2016 15:22
@razzinos Wow, mate, looks like you were right all along. Browsing this topic I now see that breakfast did indeed ask people to comment here. He actually even assumes they would be posting pro-Sochi comments. Such a disgrace. Imo no one should be allowed to ask his fellows to even come read this topic here, not to mention to comment one way or the other. /sarcasm That being said I'm sorry for implying that you lied.
30.11.2016 18:07
I'm curious how long does it take for Russian people to obtain a visa for Germany or other western countries? For me for example, it takes about at least 10 days in the best case(with all documents I have to make and so on) if somebody goes to the embassy instead of me to give them these documents(otherwise I would waste extra 5-6 days by going myself) . Here we add about 2 or 3 weeks till they verify the documents, so it makes a total of about 1 month if I'm lucky. As a bonus, last time they tried to trick me by asking to pay for a double amount. Since I had to obtain the Visa quite fast I asked for "Visa in emergency mode", but they told me it is not possible giving no reason for this(even if officially they should be able to give, of course for a higher price). Also consider one more thing: in Russia, almost nobody speaks English on the street. In Saint Petersburg, it was almost impossible to find the address of the hotel by the name of the street. Luckily, some youth russian people who had a decent level of English helped me and showed me the way to the hotel.
Joachim Neumann
30.11.2016 18:47
I was really looking forward to go the the EGC in 2017 after I heard that Turkey stepped back, because I did not want to support the Turkish government for political reasons. I see the political situation in Russia similarly critical and I'll wait for 2018 now. I know other go players that feel the same and think that the EGF board is doing a bad job to promote go in Europe. They should step down.
30.11.2016 22:06
We are talking about sport event, not political. No politics in sport!
Go player
30.11.2016 23:05
Getting German visa for Russians is quite troublesome event. Here is my personal experience of getting German visa for EGC 2012 in Bonn.
To apply for visa I had to prepare a lot of documents, including a document from your job, a document about your salary, bank statements and so on.
I could get to the German Embassy only by appointment. The appointment could be made only by phone, which was mostly busy. So it took several days to reach them. When I finally reached them, I was assigned the nearest possible date for the visit in a month.
At the assigned day I needed to come to the Embassy in early morning, otherwise there is big chance that I would not be able to apply for visa, because of a long line of people. And if I skipped my assigned day for any reason, I would have to do the all procedure from the start.
After my documents were accepted by the Embassy, I could get visa in 5 work days. Nevertheless I had to sign a paper that they could keep my passport for 30 days and to refuse without explanation.
To get my passport back I also had to wait in a line. I was very lucky because I could do it from the first attempt. But my friend didn’t have all needed documents for applying, so she couldn’t receive visa in time and lost money for tickets.
The visa that I received was strictly for the days of my journey, though I had many Schengen visas before.
30.11.2016 23:30
@Terra: And why we have no EGC in Turkey? This was no politics? Really?
Anyway, enjoy the RGC in Sochi.
01.12.2016 8:34
I won't go to the RGC in Sochi. See you at the EGC in 2018.
01.12.2016 9:10
I won't go to Oberhof. And?..
01.12.2016 10:37
Call it RGC or whatever, the real fact is that the number of players who'd have complications if the congress would be in Sochi is about the same as if the congress would be moved to Oberhof. And to my knowledge, Turkey wasn't dismissed for political reasons. EGF was ready to go with it, but Turkey side retreated on its own, or something to that effect.
01.12.2016 10:45
Wow, 100+ comments. Something must have gone wrong in Europe... I hope you can figure it out and we can all focus again on our beautiful game.
01.12.2016 11:54
More likely that I won't go to Oberhof either. The flight+train is the same or more expensive than to Sochi. Living costs is diffinetelly much more expensive. I'm sure that Oberhof is safe, but that's because it is the small village in the forest. To spend 2 weeks of summer holiday there? Dull. Doesn't worth the expenses. Even Capadokia was better option.
01.12.2016 13:20
More than 300 players will probably not go to the congress if it will be in Sochi, top players among them. Instead, maximum 20 Russian players who constantly participate in the congress and from time to time in European competitions could do an effort to obtain a Visa. I repeat, this is not the Russian Go congress, the target is not attract as many Russian people to participate, the target is to attract as many people as possible from all over the Europe.
01.12.2016 13:57
Mihai can you support your words with some proofs or you are just writing random large numbers of players that won't go to Sochi to look more convincing?

Also can add that there are a lot of good international tournaments in Europe including Germany. And there were and will be a lot of EGC in traditional Europe. But for hundreds of young and not only young Russian Go players it will be the only chance to participate in such a large and important international tournament.

And Sochi is a great place for spending 2 summer weeks.
01.12.2016 14:13
My expectation about participation in Sochi would be more optimistic.
About top players - I heard that there were quite good prizes in Saint-Petersburg. And we can expect the same in Sochi. So I quess top players would like to get them.
I wonder how good prizes can German organizers provide?
01.12.2016 14:19
Ok, I was on EGC 2015 and EGC 2016. In Liberec 761 players participated, 51 were Czech players. In Saint-Petersburg 601 players participated, and 176 were Russian players. It`s a data from EGD. What another proofs do you need? Given the fact that Saint-Petersburg is closer to Europe, than Sochi.
01.12.2016 14:28
This discussion has been going in all kinds of directions, but what interests me has only been touched by Tobias.
I'd like to know:
- Why exactly did the EGF board recommend to cancel EGC in Turkey?
- They made an explicit decision in August to leave it there and players have relied on this decision. What has changed since then? (Reminder: the Turkish "coup d'état" was before that).
- What is the advantage of Sotchi compared with Ürgüp which justifies the switch? (I can think of a lot of similarities.)
01.12.2016 15:25
Go Congress in Russia, really? Not a single person from Europe is going to come to your "Russian Go Congress"! EGF board must change their decision now or retire. Russia is far worse than Turkey!
01.12.2016 15:37
Dear Burkhard,
I will answer to your questions.
1. The EGC in Turkey was cancelled by Turkish side. The reason lies on the surface - high financial risks.
2. The decision to leave EGC2017 in Turkey was made by AGM (not by EGF board) in summer.
3. a. EGC in Sochi can really be held.
b. Great location - between Black see and Caucasus mountains.
с. Great infrostructure after Olipmic games.
d. Cheap accomodation.
e. Cheap meals.
f. Easy transport accessibility from Moscow (many daily flights).
g. High level of organization.
h. Good prizes.
01.12.2016 15:58
The location of the congress is never going to be decided by who posts the most comments here. People who want to engage in a Germany-Russia ping-pong debate here in the comments only succeed in making European Go look broken and bad. You in particular Ferra, by posting the same thing 5 times over, really don't help anyone or anything.
01.12.2016 16:00
Dear Ferra,
that's not what Lorenz Trippel wrote:
"Following the recommendation of the EGF board the turkish organizing committee stepped back." It sounds like turkish organizing committee didn't have much choice.
If the EGF board can override the AGM decision, which they apparently did now, they could have done it in August too. So, in August the EGF board did decide NOT to "recommend" a cancellation. What made them change this opinion? You haven't answered this question. The financial risks are not new.
01.12.2016 16:17

1. EGC was cancelled by Turkish side on EGF "recommendation", but more like on EGF pressure - they said that "if something happens, the fault will be on the main organizer, Kerem, so EGF itself considered Turkey a place of a high risk".

3. a. It is true, EGF in sochi can be held.
b. Great location - yes: for those who want to go to the black sea and that's it! Usually at the congress there are people who would like to take short trips around( in weekend, or Tuesday-Wednesday when is a short break from the Main tournament). This seems definitely not possible there.
c. Great infrastructure after Olympic games.True, I'm sure they offer good conditions.
d. Cheap accommodation : where is this in the proposal? I saw no such details in the proposal.
e. Cheap meals: Mainly food is cheap there, but even in St Petersburg cheap food was sometimes bad, so to be discussed. Overall, let's say cheaper than Germany.
f. High level organization: for the first time in history when Russians organize an european tournament. All the other youth tournaments, ING cup Russians organized and I've been to were of such a low quality I have no words to describe.
h. Good prizes: here I agree.

If you want to look at it from other point: Go should have a now a better view in Russia after the last year's congress. The idea of the congress, beside organizing the European Championship is to spread the game, to attract as many guests as possible. I'm quite sure that during a congress, at least 100 guests step into one of the playing rooms,have a short talk with the players and maybe put some stones on the board. Germany organized it in 2012, why should they wait 8 years to organize another congress? Why can't Russia wait and organize a new congress in 3 or 4 years. I'm sure people would react better.

Also would like to add that for most of the western european players, Oberhof is accessible even by car. From the people coming to the congress, most will apply for visa let's say earliest in March-April and buy plane tickets towards the beginning of May or June. By that time, tickets will be quite expensive.

@ViktorM It's not random. Just by looking here, talking with friends and seeing facebook discussions I can tell you I've seen more than 50,towards 100 players who wanted to go to Turkey, but won't go to the congress due to the switch of the location to Sochi. I'm sure there are many more.
01.12.2016 16:30
Russia can wait. Although some would have it wait forever, if they had their way, it seems. The question now is different: is Russia's proposal better than Germany's? Germany's should have been so obvious and compelling, and yet the board voted for Russia. Why? There must have been a very good reason. Let's hope the board officially discloses their reasoning soon, and it better be convincing, otherwise both German players and Russian players will just continue to feel bad about the whole situation.
Nils B.
01.12.2016 16:52
I can only speak for myself & my Go friends: Nobody of us will travel to Sochi this summer. Even those who enjoyed the last EGC'16 (which was mainly organized by Manja Marz, a German, BTW) will not travel to Russia two years in a row. The EGF Board Must explain its decision convincingly or step down.
Michael Marz
01.12.2016 16:52
@Burkhard: In Summer, the Turkish organiser asked the AGM about thier opinion on running an EGC 2017 in Turkey. There was no formal vote, but every representative made a short statement. The majority encouraged Kerem to do it, so he walked away and carried on with his organisation.
With the political situation getting not really better in Turkey and with a very short list of registrations, about two weeks ago Kerem then again contacted the EGF, asking whether it still would be a good idea to have it in Turkey. This time, the board reacted and took the congress back. So it is not quite true to say the EGF took it back from Turkey agianst their will. It was helpful at the time that the EGF new that Russia would for sure have a suitable back-up venue and Germany might have one.

(Why am I writing this, the explanation should come from the EGF...)

Kimi, I fully agree, I also expect an answer to this question. With this decision without givint any reasoning, the EGF has already done a lot of damage.
Michael Marz
01.12.2016 16:54
@Nils: St. Petersburg was run by two main persons: Manja and Natalia.
01.12.2016 16:55
We did not know that Turkish friends will cancel the EGC till it happened.
Than we propose Ukraine as the closest, cheapest and no visa place for everybody, though we have no prizes, and need the guidance of experienced colleagues etc.
We thought about all those players who may planned their summer vacations and may be upset with changes.
Vote for Oberhof
01.12.2016 18:07
Manja organized EGC in Saint-Petersburg? Oh, great news! Then we have no need to worry about great organization in Oberhof. It will be at least as good as in Saint-Petersburg or even better.
01.12.2016 18:22
@Vote for Oberhof No, Manja helped organizing the EGC in St. Petersburg, it's more correctly said. Till this year she helped the organizing committee in almost every year(at least in Sibiu she did), mainly because she has a lot of experience and it's clear that she can give a helping hand to anyone organizing a congress. From what I know, this year she has been assigned by EGF to do it(so a more official role), but correct me if I'm wrong. When I arrived in St. Petersburg, Natalia's team did not seem well prepared for such a big congress, but step by step they managed to get into it and they've done well. Also to remember Maxim Podolyak, which also had a big role in the organizing team. So, from this point of view I expect them not to have problems, the problems are in other places.
01.12.2016 18:35
Manja is the official EGC-Advisor appointed by the EGF since the congress in Sibiu 2014.
01.12.2016 18:36
I think we should all calm down and take a step back from this discussion. In Europe, go is a niche game that is played by only a few thousand players. We should stand together and cannot afford to dwindle into meaningless discussion about the location of the EGC, which is only one of many events next year.

On that note, I have some positive news to share from our marketing department. We might be able to provide considerable financial support as a sponsor for the 2018 EGC.

Looking forward to see you all 2018 in Moscow.

Czernobog Kazakov
Marketing & Trading department
UralOil HQ
Chistoprudny Blvd, 32,
101000 Moskva, Russia
01.12.2016 18:52
@Czernobog Some might consider Italy dangerous for earthquakes, so prepare for a triple for Russia in 2018!
Ingo Althofer
01.12.2016 20:12
@czernobog: you confuse me.
Which event "Moscow 2018" do you mean?
When will it be?

Thanks in advance, Ingo.
Marc Oliver Rieger
01.12.2016 20:45
@Ingo: I guess it's just what we call in German a "Scherzkeks".
Go player
01.12.2016 21:15
> "...the last EGC'16 (which was mainly organized by Manja Marz, a German, BTW)..."
> "Looking forward to see you all 2018 in Moscow."

This is "black PR".
Looks like this is the way how to take away the EGC 2017 from Sochi, discrediting its organizers and EGF board.
01.12.2016 22:27
I added the link to the official statement of the EGF board in this article. Here is the link:
Ingo Althofer
01.12.2016 22:37
Dear Lorenz,
thank you for making the statement public.
Marc Oliver Rieger
02.12.2016 8:03
Thanks Lorenz for posting!
I think it is very helpful to have an official reasoning now.
The main conclusion seems to be:
- Accessibility and considerations about the political situation didn't figure much into the decision process.
- Touristic value and sponsorship perspectives were deemed to be higher in Sotchi.
- The sponsorship, though not considered to be relevant for ordinary Go players, is very important for the top players and hence was important for the EGF.

So we know now the priorities and can understand the decision better. Maybe this is part of the overall "professionalization" plan for Go: The EGF has decided that top players are a bit more important to them than the ordinary amateur, at least regarding the EGC. I wonder whether in this case it might be better on the long run to separate the European Championship and the EGC. That would avoid such difficult decisions in the future.
02.12.2016 9:24
It's understandable why there were no political considerations. Despite the political situation at hand, EGC2016 was a reasonable success and it seemed in no way hindered by whatever political difficulties whoever does imagine. Having direct involvement in the organization process, and working closely with russians made the board probably forget that Russia is percieved as a territory-annexing human-rights-abusing dictatorship by some good people of the benevolent Europe.
Or, maybe, it's because during EGC2016 people voted for Congress to stay in Turkey. This sends a message that most players are against mixing politics and Go too much.

As for accessibility, they did seem to consider it, and gave points to Obenhof for it, but higher living costs sort of cancelled it out.
Marc Oliver Rieger
02.12.2016 10:09
Yes, I understand. Just a pity that without the "good people of the benevolent Europe" (or maybe more neutral: "most of Europe") there won't be as many participants at the EGC as we could have had. Perception does matter when it comes to holiday planning as the poor Turkish organisers unfortunately experienced!
It's also a pity that the executive board obviously had a wrong perception about prices in Oberhof that we could have easily corrected if somebody had asked us. (But that's our mistake that we didn't state explicitly the prices for cheaper accommodations.)
But it all doesn't matter, because the hard facts are in favour of Sotchi: way more prize funding than any other European country could have offered! So, we are looking forward to a great European Championship with a nice side tournament (the EGC)!
02.12.2016 10:43
@Marc Do you think they didn't do any reeearch on their own? Just go and see. Minimum 40$ a night for 1 prrson... 40!!! Compared to ~5$ in Adler.
Marc Oliver Rieger
02.12.2016 13:02
@Kimi: I know it's hard to read 100+ comments, but if you scroll a bit up I gave you the prices of a cheap option in Oberhof. There were small hotels in walking distance for 65 Euro/4 Persons. That's 16.25€ (not 40$). The camping ground is of course even cheaper...
I don't imply the board didn't do their own research, but it was probably not an important point for their decision.
(I haven't heard anything about 5$/night in Adler. I thought it's 20$ like in St.Petersburg? But maybe I'm wrong.)
02.12.2016 13:19
@Marc, like I said, go to and see for yourself. I was looking for prices for 1 person appartments, 4 person appatments are indeed cheaper, ~16 Euro/person in Oberhof vs ~3 Euro/person in Adler. Fine, maybe if you'll want to have a really decent place, you'll have to pay like twice that much in Adler, but if you're not blind, you'll see that Oberhof doesn't have these cheap offers in abundance. Prices almost double after a couple of cheap small hotels in the list.

I want everybody to just start thinking for themselves. Once the congress O.C. will publish registration fees and accomodation perspectives, just calculate and see. Is it really so expensive to fly to Sochi? How much the living would cost? Is in truly an impossible feat of unfathomable self-torture to get Russian visa? Maybe you'll find that yes, it is. That would be unfortunate, but there is always next year, right? Maybe though, you'll find that it is well within your budget and ability. Then, by all means, please come.
Peter Dijkema
02.12.2016 14:33
i offer an alternative by my Alternative Basic Congress Democratic "European Free Go Hosts", the first free European Championships at the same time in the city of Heumen near Nijmegen and the German border in nature in Holland.

I will be by the players, for the players, without being bothered by 'bobo's'.
It will be a self-catering low cost family friendly holiday, lasting up to four weeks.
It will take one weak for hundreds to prepare the site, the same as for WinterGo.
It will include an afterparty of a week, with many birthdays, including mine.

It is all open in every detail, to be followed by each one interested in Facebook:
It is here:
Marc Oliver Rieger
02.12.2016 15:10
Yes, Adler would be cheaper. We don't know that the EGC will take place there yet, but I don't wanna be nitpicky here. I just meant that the prices circulating for Oberhof ($40, $80, even $120) are too high when considering cheaper accommodations. And - again - I emphasize that this didn't seem to be the main point in the decision process. (Otherwise there won't be an EGC in Pisa or Brussels, since both are more expensive than Oberhof...)
Anyway, thanks for the invitation. I wish you success with your congress!
02.12.2016 15:31
@Peter Dijkema That's a great idea! I also suggest that you shift your opening date to August, 11th! That way it will both open on your birthday and will not intersect wih EGC, so everyone who really wants to participate in both events won't have to go through the excruciating choosing process :)
02.12.2016 17:04
>Is in truly an impossible feat of unfathomable self-torture to get Russian visa? Maybe you'll find that yes, it is. That would be unfortunate, but there is always next year, right?

This argument could have been valid only last year, when there was no "twice in a row the same country" case.
02.12.2016 17:34
I want to loose a few more remarks about the original decision to cancel the EGC in Turkey:
I understood, that the EGC was mostly cancelled, because of the financial risk, i.e. the number of pre-registered players was not large enough and it was feared because of the worsening political situation in Turkey it would have been a very small congress. I'm not sure if a congress of let's say 150 participants in Ürgüp would have been worse than the situation we have now, but others see it different of course.
But this decision sets two bad precedents:
1. potential organizers of EGCs have learned that there's no point in applying and planning for an EGC 3 years ahead, they can't rely on keeping it if their registration numbers are not good enough in the eyes of the EGF board. Instead organizers should have a generous sponsor up their sleeve and wait for their chance. Smaller countries have less and less chances of organizing a congress and we'll end with only about six countries doing it.
2. potential participants have learned that they should not register in advance too early, they are risking to loose money. This is a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy, if no one pre-registers, the planned congress gets cancelled as we have seen.
02.12.2016 18:49
"Potential participants have learned that they should not register in advance too early, they are risking to loose money"

The letter from Turkish organisers definitely says an opposite: " All those who payed and registered for the congress will have the right to have their money transferred to the new organisers or if they decide not to go, ask their money back."
02.12.2016 22:16
3.4.2 The Executive Committee shall decide on all matters not otherwise reserved to another body of the
EGF. In an emergency situation, the Executive Committee may, by a two-thirds majority of votes cast,
pass resolutions, which are normally the prerogatives of the General Meeting, unless such decision is
expressly excluded in these bylaws or in the regulations of the EGF.

Where is the two thirds in 4-3? It's good to have rules, it's better to respect them.
02.12.2016 23:21
@Marc it is fair to compare comparable things. If you want to compare accommodation prices, it is fair to compare 3* hotel with breakfast to 3*star hotel with breakfast, guest house to guest house, hostel to hostel, etc. To say that Oberhof is not more expensive than Sochi because instead of hotel accommodation in Sochi I can go to a camping site in Oberhof is simly not fair comparison, sorry.

I feel bitterness from many contributions here and I am sorry for a harsh and insulting language which some of them use. But arguments should be based on rational basis, not emotional, however it is sometimes hard. By insulting others just because I am disappointed I would disgrace first of all myself. So please, be rational and fair.

I can understand that especially German players may feel disappointed that EGC should be not in their country but in Sochi, which is for sure for them more difficult accessible. But fairly, whatever place we would choose, it would be always for somebody more difficult accessible. When we thought about what place to choose, we did not consider just one aspect but did our best to consider all aspects together and also calculated a lot. It looks like unless you are able to get to Oberhof for less than about 150 EUR, then a difference in accommodation and living costs makes expenses for both venues at least similar. And fairly, except German players and players from a close neighbourhood, who will get to Oberhof for about 150 EUR? Is it possible for example for players from Spain, south of France, Italy, Sweden, Finland, Romania, ... ?
I really do believe that if we consider all expenses, then the difference in prices will be not big for players in average. Some will pay more, some less, that is inevitable.

We were accused here that we prefer top players to ordinary amateur players. But actually, if we consider basic conditions comparable in general (travelling plus accommodation, not just travelling and not just accommodation), what shall we consider as the next criterion? The EGC is a big go festival for all European players, but it is also the European Championship. We were listening for many years that top players are hostages in hands of the EGC organisers and that the EGF should back them. Now, when we got two really good offers, and after considering basic conditions to sum up equal, we made a choice with regard to conditions offered for the EC, we immediately hear here that we organise the EGC as a crowd for the EC and that we should probably split both events.
Calm down, please.
Of course interests of top players playing the EC is different from interests of ordinary players playing the EGC. Most players come for the EGC for their holidays, to meet friends, spend money they earned in they work, to enjoy their games regardles they win or lose. By losing their games they can lose their pride maximally. Motivation of top players is just opposite, to earn money here for their living. If they fail, it will cost them not just their pride but it may cause money problem for them.
Both aspects are legitimate and we should accept that the EGC has to be organised as a go festival for holidaymakers and as a serious competition and a decent event with a formal background as well. Otherwise we can really split EC and EGC, but I hope it will not happen.

As we wrote already in our letter, both offers were of a very good quality. Therefore, also voting between Sochi and Oberhof was very close and chosing one does not mean that we disregarded the other option. We simply had to choose and could not accept both.
Marc Oliver Rieger
03.12.2016 5:39
"I really do believe that if we consider all expenses, then the difference in prices will be not big for players in average. Some will pay more, some less, that is inevitable."
-> That's basically what I wanted to express. I'm sorry if I was not clear on that.
I also understand that you did not take the decision lightly and thank you for posting some arguments here!
03.12.2016 23:42
Open letter from the Secretary of the Belgian Go Federation concerning the current situation (Link: )

Dear members of the board,

The Belgian Go Federation deeply regrets the way in which the decision of the host of the EGC2017 was made as well as its outcome.

As Mr Defer, president of the Czech Go Association, has already mentioned in a previous communication, we understand that speed was a key factor in this decision.
However, several aspects need to be considered in this matter.

First of all, the choice of the host of the European Go Congresses is usually a decision made by the general assembly. In this situation, the general assembly voted two years ago for Turkey, and actually confirmed this choice once more last summer.
We understand concerns of the Turkish organizers and that they have been in constant contact with the board. However we observe that the board has not communicated on it during the months that followed the Saint-Petersburg congress until the decision to change the host country was already made. This leads to the conclusion that the board of the EGF intentionally kept all country members in the dark. The board eventually broke a decision of the general assembly without even communicating with its members.

Second the constitution of the EGF foresees the following (Article 3.4, §2). "The Executive Committee shall decide on all matters not otherwise reserved to another body of the EGF. In an emergency situation, the Executive Committee may, by a two-thirds majority of votes cast, pass resolutions, which are normally the prerogatives of the General Meeting, unless such decision is expressly excluded in these bylaws or in the regulations of the EGF. In such cases, the members shall be notified promptly of these measures. If a majority of the members eligible to vote, responding within thirty days of the date of the notice, signifies its disapproval, the measure shall be rescinded if possible."

The board communicated that the vote ended with 4 votes in favor of Russia and 3 in favor of Germany. Hence the required two thirds are not reached and the decison of the board must be declared void.

Third, regardless on the way this decision was made, the actual choice of Sochi is regrettable for obvious reasons including geographical location, means to reach it and visa obstacles to reach Russia for most of European countries.

Congress 2016 already happened in Russia. Out of the 1229 announced participants, there were no more than 370 European players if we do not count Russians. It is unlikely that such a number will even be reached in Sochi in view of recent reactions to your decision.

In conclusion, we understand that changing the decision of hosting EGC2017 in Sochi would be hard to make, in particular because local organizers have already worked on it and most likely have started negociations to which they are now bound. However, let us not forget that this decision cannot be undone, especially because the way in which the board acted would prevent it.

Given the circumstances, the Belgian Go Federation would approve any step towards a more democratic decision, such as an online consultative vote.

The Belgian Go Federation strongly hopes that such a situation will not be repeated and that communication from the board of the European Go Federation to its members will be made in a decent, professionnal way from now on.

Thomas Connor
Secretary of the Belgian Go Federation
On behalf of the board of the BGF
04.12.2016 9:09
Dear Jana_H,

Thankf for the friendly word in an unfriendly diskussion. Still I want to disagree in some views of the situation.

For many of us, the problem is not about being disappointet about where the congress ist. It is about being disappointetd, that the Congress will be in the same country twice in a row. As I pointed out earlier I think that lots of arguments here are only made to cover this general question:

If we have only two alternatives, both acceptable as pointed out. And lets say one is better but from the country wich had the EGC last year. Shall we choose this land again?

(I realy dont want to go into the discussion if Sochi proposal is 10% better or 20% worse than Oberhofen proposal. This was just made up to cover the real question. I pointed this out much earlier here.)
Ivan Pesotsky
04.12.2016 9:30
Russian side would welcome a revote by assembly. Given that the vote by EGF board was pretty close, and this is an emergency, and record of the same country holding the congress twice in a row exists (by Germany in 61-62 and 67-68), we think that the revote can still go either way. Russian players will most certainly not generate any kind of ridiculous lash out should Oberhof be chosen. Those who can afford it will most certainly gladly go. We hope for the same conduct in case of Sochi being chosen again.
04.12.2016 14:37
As you can read in the official statement, there was one good argument for Sochi which Oberhof didn't have: To have the same generous sponsor as we had in St. Petersburg. It was not a killer argument but so wasn't the two years in a row same country situation.
Michael Marz
04.12.2016 17:11
In one of my previous postings I mentioned that mainly Manja and Natalia were basically running the St. Petersburg congress. Of course this is very misleading, so please allow me to clarify two things:
1) There was a local orga team, and it was pretty big.
2) I did not mention the prepartion work that was done to find such a good sponsor at all. Of course this was a big challenge as well, and the Russians did a brilliant job here.
It was not a two-girl-show as stated earlier.
Apologies to those who felt offended by my earlier remark.
Ordinary 5 kyu
05.12.2016 8:09
I'm an ordinary go player. What i want? - I want to play go. In my country go is now only in birth state so congress is the only chance for me to play go in real and learn more of it.
For me it's not so crucial for EGC to be in Russia or in Germany. It will be 2nd my congress at all so i'm very interested in any of it. But i'm very dissapointed in way this discussion is going so far.
Right now i don't see GO players which is not nationality. And i don't see European go players and Russian go players. I just see Russia hating people (not go player) and Russia loving (or neutral to it).
It's just like watching TV. Everyone just wants to make opponent look bad.
Russian players making some shameful comment but there are many neutral and LOGICAL comments that can be chosen as main. Don't lie themselfs - there are not too few trolls in other camp too.
And European players do the same. They have some good opinions and they have some idea in it. But at the same time they have deep hate which is not even has proper base. It's just hate being made by News and other Information Dealers.
I really hate this "idea" to blame Russia in all deeds in the world.
Anexing Georgia - WOW. It was almost 10 years ago. AND - it really had a big deal for Russia. Then why don't you speak much about Africa? How many wars were there in last 10-20 years? And who did death massacre in there? If u want to play with political issues - i have a bunch of it to go in face of "neutral Europe".
Trump won the President race... And again Russia is one to be blamed? Are you serious? WTF is in your mind?
Maybe blame them for Indians being almost terminated? History is history. What was made - cannot be changed. it can be remembered but it will be really good if ALL deeds will be remembered for ALL nations.
And here are many other silly "arguments" that contain no other base than simple hate that doesn't have base itself.
Stop being haters and start thinking. It wasn't easy decision at all. We can't even see all possibilities and risks in any way. Visa is big problem for ANY camp. If one side gets some bonuses - other side gets same problems they must deal with. I'll tell the truth - for me it will be easier to go to Russia than Germany. But what i want to say in addition - expensife VISA for european playesrs is CHIPPIER than same VISA for Russia and other States. The Living Level for our states are so different that after looking at comments here i feel shame for dealing with problems on my own and not screaming about them. I'll just say - my job in my country gives me about 300$ per month. And it is good job and big money for my region. Last time i needed to spend about 2x times of my income for being able come for 1!! week and stay in cheap hostel. And i'm scared of lifestyle i must live for next half year to be able attend in next EGC in case of Germany's win. BUT - if i'll not be able to attend it - i will blame noone.

Being egoist is normal in current world. BUT. Stop being hypocrite. In ANY case someone will have some benefits and someone will have some problems. Dealing with them means being adult. I'll accept any outcome.

P.S. last word - think a little how much anger and hate are born from just one decision in favor of Russia. I'm confident that in case of Germany's win here will be not any hate towards Germany... Just think about it a little... It's sad... Not a little
Daniel Konopac
05.12.2016 13:10
To "Ordinary 5 kyu":

- there is a dissapointment of some European players that EGC 2017 should be held in Russia
- some Europeans dislike the politics of Russian Federation
- theoretically there might be anger against Russian go players (but I noticed absolutely no evidence about it)

All these points are independent, but it looks you are mixing them together.

"Ordinary 5 kyu" wrote:
"I really hate this "idea" to blame Russia in all deeds in the world.
Anexing Georgia - WOW. It was almost 10 years ago."

I really must answer this point.
1938-1939 Germany annexed territory of its weaker neigbours (Austria and Czechoslovakia). Russia is the first country that did this act in Europe again.
Also the political background is very similar: German people supported Hitler in the territorial expansion, and Russian people supports Putin too.

Therefore I understand the security concerns of some go players: There is a possibility a war between Russia and NATO will start. Is it ridiculous? It is less ridiculous than in 1938: Hitler behaved less aggresively than Putin now, and after the Conference in Munich 1938 the political situation in Europe was more calm than is now.
05.12.2016 17:37
There's one good reason to not involve politics into decision process: most people are bad at politics.
05.12.2016 18:21
@Daniel Konopac
In Georgia was a provocation of the American puppet Saakashvili. It was not annexation. Your media have deceived you.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union we will see the NATO forces on our borders, after the NATO aggression in Yugoslavia and the bombing of Belgrade and the annexation of Kosovo. Your media have deceived you again.

Want more debate about politics ?
Daniel Konopac
05.12.2016 18:26
Politics will be always involved into decisions:
EGC 2017 has been cancelled due to the political situation in Turkey, and Sevastopol or Donyetsk have no chance to organize EGC, due to politics.

"most people are bad at politics"
This is not a valid point. Similarly most people are bad at safety evaluation: The chance to be killed during a terrorist attack in Brussels or Ankara may be 10,000 times lower than the chance to die during a traffic accident, and still these security risks play a big role in their decisions.
Daniel Konopac
05.12.2016 18:50
"Want more debate about politics ?"

I am sure the politics is related to the EGC placement, and it may be valuable to explain our basic stances mutually. This is why I answered to Ordinary 5 kyu who apparently wondered why some people don't want to travel to Russia and why they "hate Russia".

But now you are heading this debate into details (Who's puppet is Saakashvili? Did United Nations annex Kosovo?) that are a bit off-topic here. What about to start a new topic in the eurogofed forums, and link it from here?
05.12.2016 18:54
@Daniel Konopac
After your sentences on the revision of borders in Europe and comparing Russia with Nazi Germany. Yes, I suggest you make a new topic.
Daniel Konopac
05.12.2016 19:48
Please notice I compared contemporary Russia with PRE-WAR nazi Germany: i. e. no gas chambers, no serious war, just a feeling of German people that their nation deserves more respect ... and more territory.
I am sorry you feel offended, but this is my view: in modern history I see no regime that would be closer to pre-war Germany than contemporary Russia is, and no regime closer to Russia than pre-war Germany is.
I believe it is better to express this stance clearly than to be "polite" silently, because it may help to understand one to another.

If someone starts a topic about relations Russia-West I will participate there. But I won't start a topic myself, because this is not such an important point for me and now I don't know whether more go players would be interested in.

And yes, such a topic might help to clarify things and understand one another:
While it may be hard to agree on who's puppet is Saakashvili, some points might be easily explained, for example
You wrote: "we will see the NATO forces on our borders"
IMHO NATO forces at Russian borders are much weaker than Russian forces at NATO's borders: for example there are Russian nuclear weapons in Kaliningrad, directly at NATO's borders.
So, now my feeling is: Pavel is brainwashed by Russian propaganda, and he is unable to accept a neutral view, and to see there are also Russian armies at NATO's borders.
But, there may be another explanation that I don't see now.

OK, I am stopping off-topic-ing in this thread now.
05.12.2016 19:49
Can some moderator close this discussion for this topic? It had been solved by the last communication of EGF. Thx.
05.12.2016 19:59
@Daniel Konopac
//Please notice I compared contemporary Russia with PRE-WAR nazi Germany

I see more PRE-WAR nazi in NATO.

Kaliningrad is Russia. And Russian increased forces there in response to the anti-Russian rhetoric and military gain from the west (mostly anglo-american). It was the answer.
NATO gave a promise not to go further Germany in the 90th years. We see them on our borders.

So, my dear Daniel u too brainwashed by Western propaganda.
05.12.2016 20:20
Thank you all for commenting!