The Grand Slam tournaments are the newest feature of the European Go scene. In terms of design, the Grand Slam tournaments mimic those for professionals in the Far East. The first European Grand Slam tournament was played in Berlin at Easter 2015.
Each Grand Slam event brings together 16 of the strongest European players in competition! The 'new' EGF Professionals (4 in 2015, 5 in 2016, 6 in 2017/2018, 7 in 2019/2020, 8 in 2021) are pre-qualified for the event, while an additional 8 European top players (amateurs or pros) will complete the field of 16 participants. Here's the overview of how the additional 8 players can qualify for the European Go Grand Slam Tournament:
- 3 spots through qualification just before the Grand Slam
- 3 spots for highest bonus points from last year(s)
- 1 spot for the player with the highest sum of rating (maximum value in EGD over the last 3 months) + bonus points (won in the last GP season)
- 1 wild card (decided by CEGO)
A Grand Slam tournament is by definition an EGF tournament. The Grand Slam tournament will be sponsored by CEGO. In the cooperation contract EGF-CEGO it is fixed that CEGO will sponsor one Grand Slam tournament yearly in Europe until 2022. The concept of Grand Slam tournaments is designed to allow up to 4 Grand Slam tournaments within one year (similar to tennis). It is the goal of the EGF to find more sponsors for more Grand Slam tournaments.
A Grand Slam tournament will have guaranteed prize money for all players.
The mode of the Belgrade Tournament in 2021 will be:
1. Round (Thursday): 16 players - 8 games - knock-out-system
2. Round (Friday) quarter-finals: 8 players (the winners from Thursday) - 4 games
3. Round (Saturday) semi-finals: 4 players (winners from Friday) and 4 players for 5th to 8th place - 4 games in all
4. Round (Sunday) finals: 4 players - 2 games (for championship and 3rd place) and 4 players - 2 games (for 5th and 7th place) - 4 games in all
- 9th - 16th place: € 250
- 8th place: € 500
- 7th place: € 600
- 6th place: € 700
- 5th place: € 800
- 4th place: € 1.250
- 3rd place: € 2.500
- Runner-up: € 5.000
- Champion: € 10.000
Grand Slam tournaments must be played with Chinese rules. The EGF guarantees broadcasting on the web, referees and professional commentary. A Grand Slam tournaments should act as a social event for all players. Therefore an open tournament accompanying the main event is strongly recommended. To participate in a Grand Slam tournament it is a prerequisite to hold the passport of an EGF-member-country. This citizenship must exist at least for 10 years.
Grand Slam Qualification:
Three spots are given to the three best in the qualification one or two months before the grand slam. Find the requirements for participants and players in this reference: Grand Slam Qualification.
|Some highlights of the Grand Slam Tournament in Berlin 2019:
- Prize money for top 12 players, all over sum more than 20.000 Euro
- Only one game per day
- Thursday to Sunday in the Chinese Culture Center in Berlin
- Supported by the Chinese Embassy
- Playing with Chinese rules, Fischer Time: 90 minutes basic, 40 seconds additional per move
- 8 players play a preliminary round on Thursday - only 4 will go to the 2nd round
- There is s big "side-tournament" - the 8th China-Cup, a City Team Tournament - starting on Saturday.
- In this Grand Slam Tournament in Berlin the strongest european players participate, including the 7 EGF pros.