The 2019 European Go Congress (EGC) in Brussels took place just a month ago. I am sure it was a great go holiday for all of the participants. You can read an article about EGC 2019 for more information.
Some of you might know already, but the EGC 2020 is going to take place in Ukraine. As it is my home country, I thought that it would be a good idea if I shared with you some insights about it.
But first let me tell you shortly how we came to this point.
The way to the EGC 2020For quite some time now Ukraine has been a powerful go-playing country in Europe, but it was only in the year 2017 that we started to organize international competitions.
The first tournament was the European Women's Go Championship, and it took place in Odesa in August 2017. There were 50 participants from 5 different countries. It was our first experience of organizing an international event. We have to admit that Odesa in August was a good choice, as the city is located on the sea.You can read an article about EWGC 2017, written by Laura Avram.
The next year we had a much more serious challenge. EYGC 2018 was held in the capital of Ukraine, Kyiv. The EYGC is now the second largest Go event in Europe after the EGC, so this was a chance for us to prove that we are able to organize events of such scale. There were 208 players from 18 countries. After the tournament we received a lot of positive feedback from the participants. Additionally, it was the first EYGC which organised a training camp for its participants a couple of days before the tournament. Read more in the article about EYGC 2018.
The next tournament is the one that is coming up very soon. From 28-29 September 2019 we will host the European Students Go Championship in Kyiv. There are already 18 participants registered at the moment. Please note that we provide exceptional conditions: guaranteed 1000 euro prize fund and free accomodation for participants. Beyond that, of course there are also prizes donated by the European Go Federation, such as a trip to the World Students Go Championship in Japan. Visit ESGC 2019 official website to register or to find more information. Please note that you should apply for the free accomodation before September 14. Don't miss your chance to see the beautiful capital of Kyiv with 1500 years of history!
1. WebsiteFirst thing I have to say: the official website of the EGC 2020 is up and running already: http://egc2020.org.ua. We keep working on it, so of course there will still be many changes. But you may already use it to register, to find basic information, or to contact us.
The schedule is already on the website too. There might be some small changes in the future, but mostly it's all settled. For example, one of the changes: I plan to make the football tournament during the first week, on the free day. I like football and it disappoints me when the EGC organizers put it on the second week. Some people stay just for the first week.
2. Congress feesInformation about congress fees can be found on the congress fees page.
For the moment there are just two places for collecting the entry fees: at the EGC 2019 in Belgium (already passed), and at the EGC 2020 in Ukraine. We plan to make an intermediate solution too. One of the options which is being considered is this: those players, who register on the website before the end of 2019, will get a discount. Once we make a decision regarding this, the information will be published on the website.
All the payments are in cash, on the spot.
3. TransportGeographically EGC 2020 will take place on the South-West of Ukraine, in the city named Kamyanets-Podilskyi. Romanian participants got lucky: the city is located just around 100 km from the border with their country.
Here are the distances to the biggest airports in Ukraine:
- Kyiv: 420 km
- Lviv: 275 km
Kyiv I think you know already. It's the capital of Ukraine. Lviv is the biggest city of western Ukraine, and another big tourist hub.
We plan to provide shuttle buses from both Kyiv and Lviv. On our website we plan to make online registration for the shuttle buses, and to post some more detailed information. From Kyiv it will take around 6 hours on a bus, from Lviv approximately 4 hours. The cost will be around 20 euro from Kyiv.
Of course, if you want you can also travel by yourself in Ukraine. We just think that the option with shuttle buses will be comfortable for the participants. Just one advice if you decide to travel by yourself: buy tickets in advance. For example, for train it's possible to do it online, 45 days (for some trains 30 days) before the departure. Summer is a very busy time, and it might be hard to buy a ticket right before the departure.
Both Kyiv and Lviv are very beautiful cities. It's a long way from Asia to Europe, so for the asian participants we recommend to stay at least one day in Kyiv, and then travel to the EGC place. EGC organizers can help with the group sightseeing tour and finding some accomodation. Please let us know in case if you are interested! Of course, european participants might use the same "tesuji" as well.
4. AccomodationAs the city is a very popular tourist destination in summer, our organizing team made a deal with the hotels that are close to the playing venue. Otherwise, all the hotels might be booked out by the time you try to book them. We will post more information on the accomodation page soon.
Please contact us to book any kind of accomodation that we suggest on the website. You can find accomodation by yourself as well, but what we suggest most probably will have also some discount as we made a deal for the big group of people, and also it will be close to the playing venue.
Right behind the playing venue, we plan to organize a camping site for those people who prefer to stay in tents.
5. PricesThe prices are going to surprise you. Hotel room prices start from 15 euro per person per night (hotel, not hostel!). If you book an apartment, it's going to be even cheaper, especially if you book it for a group of people.
In Ukraine you can eat in some cafes for 3-5 euro easily, getting soup, a main dish and a drink. If you eat for 10 euro, this is already considered luxury, and local people will start to wonder if you are a succesful businessman or a member of the mafia.
The thing is, not only are Ukrainian prices low, but also this is a small city for Ukraine. Even after the EYGC in Kyiv I heard from many people remark that it was so cheap to stay in Ukraine. And when I come from Kyiv to some small Ukrainian city, even I am getting surprised at the costs.
A trip on the city bus will cost you maybe 20-30 euro cents. Beer will cost you 1-2 euro in some bar, and around 1 euro or less in some shop.
Transport is cheap too. Bus trip from Kyiv to Kamyanets will cost you around 10-20 euro, train trip around 10 euro (420 km).
6. Playing venueEGC 2020 playing venue will be the university building. To be precise, it's Ivan Ohiienko National University, building number two. It's located in the historical center of the city, just a few minutes walking distance from the hotels that we suggest. Restaurants, bars, and all the rest of attractions are located in the historical center of the city too.
7. City and attractionsThe city that was chosen for hosting the Go Congress is named Kamyanets-Podilskyi. A name that is not easy to pronounce for those who are not ukrainians. Some people just call it Kamyanets.
The population for the moment is 100,000 people - not a big city for Ukraine. It's famous in Ukraine as a capital of festivals. There are various festivals: musical, historical, flying in hot-air balloons... In 2019 there are a total of 40 festivals planned in the city. Some ratings of tourist cities also put it in first place in Ukraine, ahead of such giants as Kyiv and Lviv. All of this is because of the well preserved medieval historical center of the city, and also the fortress.
Kamyanets was founded in XII century and played the role of an important fortress for almost all of its existance. Luckily, many of the historical buildings are still in a good state, including the pearl of Kamyanets - its fortress.
The city is composed of two main parts: a historical one and a modern one. The historical center of the city is located on the island. The river Smotrych splits it into two parts, connecting shortly after it splits, thus creating an island of a several square kilometers. This was a natural protection for the city in the past, and perhaps this is why the historical building are well preserved - it was hard to capture the city. It's not only a river that surrounds it, there is also a canyon which is 50 metres deep. So the island is connected to the outside world via two bridges. Near one of the bridges there is the famous Kamyanets fortress, a fortress which served to protect the bridge.
The playing venue is located in the historical center of the city. Hotels and restaurants are also located there, so it's going to be a very compact Congress: the island is just a couple of square kilometers, composed mostly of medieval buildings.
There are numerous attractions for every taste around Kamyanets: a rafting tour on the river, a trip to the cave monastery Bakota (by the river), rope jumping, Khotyn fortress (the most famous fortress in Ukraine).
The city is also a center for flying in hot-air balloons. In case if there is a good weather and you let us know in advance, we might help you to arrange that. If I remember well, costs around 50 euro.
We hope to make the best European Go Congress ever. Looking forward to meet you in Ukraine!
And if you have any questions left, feel free to ask in the comments!