Shortly before the start of the European Championships for Professionals started, Ilya Shikshin was promoted to the rank of 2 pro.
Lots of other events were planned alongside the European Professional Go Championship:
- Lectures with Catalin Taranu (on the games of the championship, broadcast via a projector, were discussed live)
- FRGO Junior Tournament
- Romanian Pair Go Championship
- Romanion Women Championship
- Memorial "Dan Cucu"
- Globis Cup
- Vado Cup 2018 during the last weekend of the Winter Go Camp
Traveling from Bucharest by night train is an experience everyone should try.
Journeying through the Mountains, where to begin with there was hardly any snow, we finished the championship just as it should be in a Winter Camp, with so much snow falling that the town of Vatra Dornei became completely white. Arriving early in the morning in Vatra Dornei, dropping the luggage in the hotel, and having breakfast.
Breakfast was followed with the inspection of the playing room and setting up all the material for the start of the championship. All Games were transmitted in real time via KGS and, in parallel, boards one and two were being streamed live via EuroGoTV.
On the day before the tournment started, all the players and the organisers were invited to the offical opening in the town hall of Vatra Dornei by the Mayor, Ilie Bonches. A lottery to decide the pairings of the European Championship took place during this opening ceremony.
The Mayor also took a personal interest in the tournament as during the first day problems with the internet provider happend and we were only able to partially show the games on KGS. His personal efforts with direct contact to the provider cleared all problems within a few hours so we were able to show all the other games live on KGS without any problems.
At the end of the week, traveling back by night train and arriving in Bucharest in the morning, my plan was to meet some old friends on my last day before flying back...... Alas, my destiny was to spend all morning in a police station because I had the smart idea to forget my wallet in the train. A nice policeman who spoke english was able to quickly help me, and so with the help of his boss I could be reunited with my wallet and its full contents, so just I just lost 4 hours of my time, before getting a very well cooked lunch and a nice trip to the airport.
I had a more than lovely week with a lot of fun, meeting old and news friends, talking about memories of tournaments long ago, and in the same time creating new ones.
The Winter Go Camp is a must be for all people enjoying Snow and Go.
Following the drawing at the town hall of Vatra Dornei the published pairing for the 7 rounds, including the distribution of colours (each player, of course, three times black and three times white), was than as follows:
Round 1: Artem -- Pavol // Ilya -- Ali // Mateusz -- Alexandr
Round 2: Alexandr -- Andrii // Pavol -- Ilya // Ali -- Mateusz
Round 3: Andrii -- Ali // Alexandr -- Artem // Pavol -- Mateusz
Round 4: Andrii -- Pavol // Ali -- Artem // Ilya -- Alexandr
Round 5: Mateusz -- Andrii // Artem -- Ilya // Alexandr -- Ali
Round 6: Andrii -- Ilya // Mateusz -- Artem // Pavol -- Alexandr
Round 7: Artem -- Andrii // Ilya -- Mateusz // Ali -- Pavol
Players in The European Professional Go Championship:
Besides the Prizemoney, the following extras were at stake for this European Championship:
a) The EGF will send a team of 4 Professionals, certified by the EGF, to play in the Chinese
C-league in June 2018. The best placed 3 “EGF-Pro’s” of this championship (after removing the
games with Alexandr Dinerchtein) will qualify for this event. The 4th EGF-Professional will be invited by the organisers of the C-league.
b) There’s a plan for a competition between a team of “EGF-Pro’s” and a team of US/Canada
new Pros. Team size for this event will be five Players. The same rules as in "point a" will apply to decide the 5 players for this event.
The championship was played over 4 days and 7 rounds from the 6th of February until the 9th of February 2018:
Day 1:The first day did not see any big upsets in the results. Mostly the games started off more or less normal, but then becoming very agressive towards the middlegame. What became obvious on this day was that AlphaGo has influenced all the players, showing us many moves AlphaGo introduced us in the last year.
And looking back at the final table of the tournament, and the rules about how to decide the places, we now know that on this first day the game played between Ilya and Pavol was the deciding game for the championship.
Day 2:Day 2 started with 2 players, Alexandr Dinerchtein and Pavol Lisy, having won both games on day 1.
It was Pavol who was able to keep winning, ending day 2 with two more wins, Alexandr lost both his games and so Pavol was leading the tournament being the only player with 4 wins.
Once more a lot of fighting and AlphaGo moves. Only Pavol and Mateusz started off with a more or less old fashioned game, which changed into a big fight bouncing from one ko-fight into another.
Day 3:The first round of day 3 was the round where Pavol had his bye. So all the chasing players could have the chance to get a point closer to the leader of the tournament.
In round 6, Pavol Lisy played against Alexandr Dinerchtein a game starting off with an AlphaGo joseki, starting a ko-fight in the middlegame and then finishing in an exciting endgame, where Pavol was able to win by 3.5 points. So Pavol ended day three now having 5 wins and no losses. With this result he became the next European Champion which was a nice present for his birthday.
Day 4:The 7th and last round of the European Championship, for some of the players beside some prize-money, places for the team playing in the Chinese C-league were still at stake and so some exciting games were to be expected.
The last day gave us the shortest game of the tournament, Andrii Kravets and Artem Kachanovskyi had the honour of giving us this game. In a game starting with a peaceful opening the middlegame consisted of fight after fight leaving Andrii in the end with a big dead group and no wins in this years European Championship.
Ali Jabarin was able to beat Pavol Lisy in a close game winning by only 1.5 points and so getting a place in the team for the match against USA/Canada.
Ilya Shikshin did what he had to do and won his last game against Mateusz Surma and so both him and Pavol ended the tournament with 5 wins and one loss.
The tie-breaker being the mutual game they played, Pavol Lisy became the third European Professional Champion.
Ilya secured a place in the team for the C-League in China, as did Artem Kachanovsky. Artem only lost his games aginst Pavol and Ilya securing him 3th place in the Championship and in the team going to play in the the Chinese C-league.
An overview of all tournaments played during the Winter Go Camp:
Globis CUP 2018, European qualifications. Winner: Anton Chernykh (Russia)
Vado Cup 2018:
All professionals playing in the Championship also played in the Vado Cup, producing a final round in which the top 3 boards were filled only with professional go players.
During this tournament I was the witness of a most beautiful event.
Before telling you about this I will show you some nice pictures of the beginners' tournament where enthusiastic children played their games during the European Championship.
The glow in their faces was a joy to see. The evident enthusiasm from just playing; not being concerned about winning or losing, just playing the game.
And now before we come to the winner of the Vado Cup I want to show you the King of Dumplings and his creator....
Winning the prize for the most beautiful Dumpling of the Week is...
In the end Mateusz Surma was able to win the Vado Cup, finishing ahead of Pavel Lisy.
All results of the Vado Cup 2018 can be found here.
A full report with games of the Romanian Pair Go Championship and Romanian Women Championship can be found here.
The results and all the games from the European Professional Go Championship, together with many pictures of The Winter Go Camp in Vatra Dornei can be found here.