Getting confirmation for the tournament venue was not easy – people are so busy ;-). And then suddenly the website was not ready. Finally, four months before the tournament date, we were able to open registration to the public. Registrations then came quite regularly and we had about 100 participants four weeks before the opening. So we thought there would likely be only a few more players than last year (142). However it turned out differently and by the end of March we knew that we needed more space to seat everybody. Fortunately, the ENS was able to provide us with an additional playing room a few days before the event. In the end we had more than 200 pre-registered players. The extra room was appreciated by the dan-players as it gave them space and tranquillity.
The top-group (tables 1 to 8) were located in a smaller room with the scribes who transmitted the first two tables on KGS.
All the other players, about 140, were located in the university canteen, which gave them a lot of space.
Day 1 started with confirmations of the pre-registrations in the morning and some printer problems when the pairing of round 1 was ready. At 14:30 everybody was finally concentrated on his or her game. Table 1 featured a surprise arrival in Lukáš Podpěra 7d from Czechia, against He Tianrui 5d from the UK. Lukáš won the game. On table 2, Chen Tianyi 5d from the UK defeated Jonas Welticke 7d from Germany (2022 EGF Grand Slam winner).
In round 2 Alessandro Pace 5d from Italy lost to Lukáš Podpěra on table 1, while table 2 was dominated by Yang Yaoling 6d from the UK, beating Chen Tianyi.
Day 2 started with croissants at 9:30 in the morning. A little early perhaps, but most people managed to arrive on time.
In the top group Yang Yaoling defeated Cornel Burzo from Romania on table 1. But the surprise came on table 2: the 15-year-old and under-16 European Champion Vsevolod Ovsiienko (5d, Ukraine) defeated one of the tournament favourites, Lukáš Podpěra.
However, in round 4 Vsevolod then stumbled against Yang Yaoling, who was now the only undefeated player in the top-group at the end of day 2 and was now the favourite to claim the tournament title.
On Sunday evening the Lightning side tournament was organised by Loïc Lefebvre from Grenoble. Being very efficient in the organisation, he even managed to participate himself. After the pools with 64 players, quarter finals and semi-finals, 4 players remained to play the final and the small final for 3rd place.
The final was won by Yang Yaoling 6d (UK) against Chen Tianyi 5d (UK).
Third place was taken by Lukáš Podpěra 7d (CZ) who defeated Robin Bonjean 3d (FR).
Day 3 was again opened with croissants at the bar and even earlier: round 5 started at 9 o’clock.
Yang Yaoling continued his winning strike on table 1 by defeating Schayan Hamrah 5d from Austria.
Table 2 gave another win to young Vsevolod over Alexander Eerbeek, 5d from the Netherlands.
Yaoling also won his last round game facing Jonas while Vsevolod was defeated by Chen Tianyi.
The final standings were:
Three players also managed to win all 6 games, these are:
- Ulysse Duplanquet 6k (FR)
- Jérémie Blikman 9k (FR)
- Ambroise Guillou 11k (FR)
We would like to thank all our partners for their support:
Alain Chevalier’s company “Etna Lumière”, Guo Juan’s Internet Go School, Lucas Neirynck’s Paris Go School, Awesome Baduk and Paul Schmidt, Go Magic, Camille Levêque’s Stoned on the Goban, Komogi Edition, the Féderation Française de Go, the Ligue de Go d’Île-de-France, the European Go Federation and the Ecole Normale Supérieure.
Camille Levêque once against set up and lavishly decorated a stand selling her go-themed creations. The Komogi Edition also presented a new French translation of a manga series called The Lion in Manga Library.
A few special prices were distributed in the form of a bottle of Bordeaux wine:
- Alain Chevalier 3k for being our main sponsor and helping greatly with logistics
- Jean Souchay 3k for having participated 18 times at the tournament since records of participants exist (1996)
- Denis Feldmann for having played in the very first Paris Tournament in 1973!
- Krzysztof Podbiol 6k for having played his 596th European tournament
- Christina and Christan Boyart for having spontaneously helped at the food stand
Some tournament history: The first Paris Tournament was held as a seven-round event on June 9th to 11th, 1973 at the École Centrale des Arts et Manufactures in Châtenay-Malabry, a nearby Paris suburb. Of 63 participants, 26 came from abroad.
Special mention to Denis Feldmann who participated in the first tournament in 1973. Already a 2-dan player at the time, he finished 10th place in the dan section. By the way the tournament was won by Lim Yoo Jong 5d, known in France also as Maitre Lim (Master Lim), a honoured Go teacher who passed away in 2016.
An article appeared at the time in the Austrian Go review and is shown on Jérôme Hubert’s website http://jerome.hubert.pagesperso-orange.fr/Go/Histoire/TournoiGoParis1973.htm
Jérôme also participated in 1973 as a 10-kyu player but could only visit the 2023 edition briefly, after having just recovered from a Covid infection.
The tournament was subsequently held in a number of locations in and around Paris. Its most prolific period was during the Hikaro No Go boom in the 2000s, where the tournament often had more than 300 participants and was the biggest European tournament apart from the EGF Congress. The location was the city hall of the 13th arrondissement.
I would like to warmly thank all of the approx. 30 people who helped to run this tournament smoothly and in good spirits. We’ll try to prepare even better next year.
Very special thanks to Milena (preparations, communication), Alain Cano (referee and pairing), Clément Béni (finances), Christina Boyart and Clément Trung (both at the food stand).
Just one thing to remember: The 51st edition of the Paris International Tournament will be held from March 30th to April 1st 2024, probably at the same venue !
Photos by Loïc, Camille and Ralf.
Thanks to Matt for proofreading.