The European Pro team fighting in the Chinese League C
By Milena Boclé | European Pros | 10.06.2024 5:40| Views: 2467 | Comments: 1
From May 31st to June 7th, four European professional players attended the Chinese League C in Hangzhou. Mateusz Surma 3p, Andrii Kravets 1p, Stanisław Frejlak 1p and Tanguy Le Calvé 1p fought in the seven-round tournament.

From A to C, teams of strong pros

The Chinese league is a team tournament. Just like in the Pandanet Team Championship, the best teams in the tournament are promoted to the next league, whereas the lowest-placing teams are relegated.
Each team consists of 4 players. Almost all the players are professionals (the players on the first three tables must be professionals, players on the fourth table can be amateurs, but usually are professionals anyway).
The main league is the "Chinese A League", where the top players usually play many games together all throughout the year. Leagues B and C are the lower-level leagues. The games in those leagues are played at a single event each year, and this time it was in Hangzhou.

A bit like in football, the teams generally have some sponsors who "buy" players for their team.
A player can represent one team in one year, but a sponsor from another team can buy a player for the next year. If the player accepts, such a player will play for the other team in the next year.

The 2024 League C and the European players

Before the COVID and lockdowns in China, our European pros had already participated in the league. That was a long time ago, before 2020. The participation of the European pros depends a lot on the sponsors and the players themselves, so having a full team back in the C league this year is a wonderful stroke of luck, and the fourth time in total that Europeans have been invited to play. The EGF pros sponsor is the Tsinghua Weiqi Foundation, which also sponsored the European pro championship in Hamburg earlier this year (used as a qualifier for the C league) and is connected to the Tsinghua University, one of the most famous Universities of China.

This year the team of Tsinghua University from Beijing consisted of the following 4 pro players from Europe:
Board 1: Mateusz Surma 3p
Board 2: Andrii Kravets 1p
Board 3: Stanisław Frejlak 1p
Board 4: Tanguy Le Calvé 1p

The team played in the C League (the lowest level).

How was the tournament?
The round-robin league is actually played only in the A League. The B and C Leagues look more similar to a McMahon system (teams get points for wins and draws and the pairing is done according to points – teams with more points will meet each other and teams with fewer points will meet each other in the following round).

There were 33 teams and 7 rounds in the C League this year, with one round per day.
The 1st round was played on 31st May 2024, 7th round on 7th June 2024. There was a one-day break between the 4th and 5th round.

The time settings were 2h + 5x60s byo-yomi per player, which makes for quite a long game!
In fact, along with the B league there was also the Women's league being played in parallel, so about 300 pro players took part in the event!

What is at stake?
The players have their own agreements with their sponsors. Usually, the more games the player and the team wins, the more money the player gets.

And so... how did it go?
Not good... each year the Europeans who played in the tournament have had worse results than in the year before.
This year's results:
Round 1: 0:4
Round 2: 1:3 (Mateusz won)
Round 3: 0:4
Round 4: 1:3 (Stanisław won)
Round 5: BYE
Round 6: 1:3 (Andrii won)
Round 7: 0:4

Well, let's hope there will be such a chance to play again and to do better next time!
You can find some of the games on go4go.



Here you will also find a few SGF collected from go4go and the players. If you want more, ask in the comments :-p

Stanislaw Frejlak vs Di Qunzhi

Download Sgf-File

Second Round - Mateusz Surma

Download Sgf-File

Third round - Mateusz Surma

Download Sgf-File

Stanislaw Frejlak (B) vs Chen Xuan

Download Sgf-File

Stanislaw Frejlak (W) vs Xu Jiawei

Download Sgf-File

-- thank you to Mateusz, Tanguy and Martin Stiassny for the elements, sgfs and pictures --
The European Pro team fighting in the Chinese League C
Peter Dijkema
10.06.2024 13:04
Merci Milena !
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