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Ilya Shikchine is 2019 European Champion (his 6th European title)

32 competitors representing almost all the best European players have been struggling for the title of European Champion in a specific competition: the European Championship.

The system of this tournament is a mix of double knockout and single knockout systems.
Its starts with a double knockout in the first 5 rounds.
In the second phase, the last 8 players compete for the championship in a single knockout tournament from the quarters of finals to the final.

1. Preliminaries rounds:

After three rounds in the main knockout, and two in the looser section, 4 players remained unbeaten: favourites pro Ilya Shikchine, Mateusz Surma and Pavol Lisy, joined by the surprising Lukas Podpera (7D, CZ), who took revenche of his lost final in the pro qualification tournament some weeks ago by beating new pro Tanguy Le Calvé (1p, FR).
In the winners section, most results were the ones expected...But still, some surprises occurred:
-The two greatest surprises were the victories of 2 amateurs against professionals competitors: Jonas Welticke (6d, DE) defeated Alexander Dinerstein (3p, RU) in the 1st round, whereas Lukas Podpera (7d, CZ) triumphed over Artem Kachanovskyi in the 2nd round.
- Russian Vjacheslav Kaymin (6d) eliminated two opponents better ranked than him: Cristian Pop (7d, RO) in the 1st round, and Stanislav Frejlak (7d, PL) in the second one (but he finally lost to Ilya Shishine in the 3rd round).
In the losers section, there were some astonishing results: in the 1st round, Antoine Fenech (5d, FR) got rid of Csaba Merö (6d, HU), Oscar Vazquez (5d, SP) eliminated Nikola Mitic (7d, SE) and "home player" Belgian representative Lucas Neyrinck (5d, BE) surprised Cristian Pop (7d, RO). In the 2nd round, pro Alexander Dinerstein was eliminated by Stanislas Frejlak (7d, PL)...who also put another pro, Tanguy Le Calvé, out in the 5th round of the losers' section !

2. Quarter of finals:

After the last round of the losers section, the 8 quarter- finalists in the European Championship were known.
Five of the eight active European professionals were still in the race (the 3 missing ones being: Andreii Kravets - did not take part in the European Championship -, Alexander Dinerstein and Tanguy Le Calvé). The 3 surviving "amateurs heroes" were Lukas Podpera, Viktor Lin and Stanislaw Frejlak.
And 2 of these 3 amateurs made even their way up to the semi-finals: as Lukas Podpera prevailed over Ali Jabarin, and Stanislaw Frejlak over the last year winner, Pavol Lisy (taking his revenge of his defeat against him last year in Pisa).
A more expected result was the victory of Ilya Shikshin over Viktor Lin, whereas the duel between the 2 pros Mateusz Surma vs. Artem Kachanovskyi turned in favor of the latter.

3. Semi-finals:

Semi-finals offered us Lukas vs. Ilya, and Stanislaw vs. Artem.
Here, there was no wonder again: the 2 pros won.

4. Small final (for the 3rd place)

Lukas Podpera took the bronze medal by beating Stanislaw Frejlak in the small final

5. Final:

In the end of a gripping final, Ilya won just by HALF A POINT against Artem, and is 2019 European champion (for the 6th time !).

Complete results here: https://www.eurogofed.org/egc/2019.html

2019 European Congress: results of the main tournament and of the WE tournament

No less than 670 participants took part in the open (main) tournament of the 2019 European Congres.

Sun Tengyu (CN, 7p) is the great winner of the 2019 open European championship. He remains unbeaten after the 10 rounds.
Sun Tengyu was the favorite, as he is one of the best pro in the world (he is ranked # 72 in the famous "go ratings" website held by Remy Coulomb, ahead of champions like Gu Li or Lee ChangHo f.i.)

The podium is completed with
- Yoon NamGi (KR, 7d), the last year's winner, as silver medal; and
- with Jia Ganglu (CN, 2p) as bronze medal.
Both got 8 wins.

Four players ended with 7 points, in order of decreasing SOS:
4th: Stanislaw Frejlak (PL, 7d),
5th: Liu Tanghao (CN, 6d),
6th: Yong Min Lee (KR, 7d),
7th: Viktor Lin (AT, 6d)
8th: Kim Jong Min (KR, 6d).

The 9th is one of the heroes of this congress: Yann Flambard from France, a genuine 1d, who ends with the incredible balance of 9 wins and 1 undecided game. Among his victims: one 3d, three 4d and two 5d !

Kim DoHyup (KR, 7d), 10th, appears to have the highest SOS among the competitors with 6 wins.

Beside the top contenders, only three players managed to reach 8 points:
- Nicola Flagothier (BE, 1k) (who has beaten one 3d and one 4d !)
- Srejpan Medak (HR, 7k)
- Petro Prydatkevych (UK, 15k)

***********

WE tournament:

No one among the top competitors succeeded in remaining unbeaten: five players ended with 4 victories, four 7d Korean amateurs: Song Hong-Suk (1st), Yoon NamGi (3rd), Kim Kibaek (4th), Kang Koo Hong (5th) and one Chinese professional: Zhang Taiyu (1p) (2nd).

Best competitors with 3 victories were Pavol Lisy (2p) (6th) and Ali Jabarin (2p) (7th). Dominik Boviz - who was not in the Mac Mahon super group- ended 8th with 4 wins.

Good sign for the level of the European top players: Pavol Lisy and Dominik Boviz prevailed on a Chinese Professional (Huang Yan, 5p) plus some Europeans managed to prevail on Korean 7d amateurs!

In total, 11 players got a perfect score: Samuel Teissier (2d, FR), Liu Xinyu (2d, DE), Fumihiro Tsubura (1d, JP), Nicola Flagothier (1k, BE), ...

On the tracks of Nadal: the 9th title of champion of Belgium for "invincible" Lucas Neirynck

He did it once again: Lucas Neirynck is Belgian champion.
For the 9th time in 10 participations (he only lost one game (to Thomas Connor in 2015); his global score in the 10 finals of the Belgian championship is 76+, 1-).

***

This year, for the 1st time, the final of the Belgian championship was organized as a knock-out tournament with (partially) 2 lives
(see: https://www.gofed.be/webfm_send/477).

Unfortunately, 2 qualified competitors did not participate:
- Thomas Connor (4-d), who had notified his absence in advance
- Lucman Bounoider (3-d), who suprisingly did not show up.
They were replaced respectively by reservists Joost Van Nieuwenhuizen (1-k) and Laurent Calmus (5-k) (who had joined just as a scribe).

There were no surprise during the 1st day of the competition.

The semi-finals, played the 2nd day, opposed Lucas Neirynck to Gabriel Mercier (Winner: Lucas) and Jan Ramon to François Gonze ( Winner Jan).

François won the "little final" and climbed onto the podium.

And Lucas, as you know, triumphed in the final on a good-performing Jan.

Here is the final standings:
1. Lucas Neirynck (6-d)
2. Jan Ramon (4-d)
3. François Gonze (4-d)
4. Gabriel Mercier (3-d)
5. Nelis Vets (2-d)
6. Thibaut Pillon (2-d)
7. Joost Van Nieuwenhuizen (1-k)
8. Laurent Calmus (5-k)

Chinese Chen Wang is 2019 world amateur champion; François Gonze ends 26th out of 59 with 4/8

Chinese Chen Wang triumphed in the 2019 World Amateur Championship.
He remained unbeaten (8/8).

Second is Korean Jaesung Lee with 7/8, who lost by a half point to Chen Wang.

Further, five competitors got 6 victories, in order of the tie-breaker:
- the player from Hong-Kong
- Albert Yen from USA (best Westerner)
- Pal Balogh from Hungary (best European)
- the player from Canada
- and Dmitro Bogatski from Ukraine.

Our delegate was François Gonze.
He ended 26th out of a field of 59 competitors, with 4 victories (against South Africa, Turkey, Lituania and Czechia - this last one is a real feat: Jan Simara was European champion in 2012 !) and 4 losses, to Albert Yen (US), Pal Balogh (HU), Vietnam and Geert Groenen (NL). Congratulations to him !

European Team Championship: 8th and 9th rounds: Belgium won to Denmark and Switzerland 3-1 and ends 3rd in B-league

In the last 2 rounds of the 2018-2019 season, Belgian team won.

In the 8th round (played on 18/04) against Denmark (3-1): Lucas +, Lucamn + Gabriel - and Nelis +
https://pandanet-igs.com/communities/euroteamchamps/rounds/500

In the 9th round (played on 07/05) against Switzerland (3-1): Lucas +, Jan +, Lucman + and Nelis -
https://pandanet-igs.com/communities/euroteamchamps/rounds/501

Belgium ends at the 3rd place, behind Austria (2nd) and Serbia (1st) who climb in 1st division next year.

Final standings: https://pandanet-igs.com/communities/euroteamchamps

***

The 4 finalists in the A-league are: Russia, Hungary, France and Ukraine.
They will play "live" the final round in Brussels on the 19th of July.

2019 European Go Congress: in Brussels from 20/07 till 03/08

(tekst in NL hieronder; text in English hereunder)

Le congrès européen de go constitue l'événement majeur de la vie du go en Europe.

Il rassemblera plus de 600 joueurs à Bruxelles pendant 2 semaines, du 19 juillet au 3 août !

Le congrès, c'est, avant tout, le plus grand tournoi "open" d'Europe, en 10 rondes.

C'est aussi le championnat d'Europe - réservé à l'élite des Européens - qui désignera le champion d'Europe 2019;
ainsi que la phase finale du championnat d'Europe des Nations.

C'est, par ailleurs, maints tournois annexes moins formels: parties rapides, "rengos", 9*9, pour enfants,...

C'est enfin, des cours, des parties commentées, des parties simultanées animés par des joueurs professionnels (plus de 20 seront à votre disposition tous les jours !) sans oublier quantité d'événements connexes en soirée, plus funs les uns que les autres.

Plus d'information ici: http://egc2019.eu/

PS: nous avons besoin de volontaires (belges) pour aider à l'organisation. Si vous êtes disponible, ne fût-ce pour quelques heures, contactez-nous via: volunteers@egc2019. Merci d'avance.

***

(text in English hereunder)

Het Europese go congres is het hoogtepunt van het Europese go-jaar en hiervoor zullen meer dan 600 spelers zich verzamelen gedurende twee weken, van 19 juli tot 4 augustus!

Het congres is vooral het grootste “open” tornooi van Europa met tien rondes.

Het is ook het Europees kampioenschap, gereserveerd voor de Europese elite, waarmee de Europese kampioen 2019 zal aangeduid worden, alsook de eindronde van het Europees landenkampioenschap.

Daarnaast zijn er ook nog talrijke minder formele neventornooien: rapid partijen, “rengo”, 9*9, kinderen,..

Er zijn ook lessen, becommentarieerde partijen, simultaanpartijen door professionele spelers (> 20 zullen elke dag tot jullie beschikking zijn!) zonder alle randactiviteiten tijdens de avond te vergeten, sommige nog prettiger dan de andere.

Meer info op: http://egc2019.eu/

PS: wij zoeken naar (Belgische) vrijwillers om mee te helpen.
Als U bereid bent om een te zijn, contact ons via: volunteers@egc2019. Wij danken U bij voorbaat.

***

The European Go Congress is the biggest go event one in Europe and there will be more than 600 participants this year, between 19th of July and 04th of August.

The EGC if at first the biggest open Go tournament in Europe, 10 rounds tournament open to everyone.

Also, it's the place of the European Championship Final, only for best European players ! Along with this, there is the European Team Go Championship Final.

Furthermore, there is a lot of smaller and informal tournaments such as rapid tournament, blitz tournament, children tournament, rengo tournament, 9x9 tournament,...

But EGC is not only about competition but also about training and entertainment so there will be commented games, free-lectures for all level players, simultaneous games with professional players (> 20 pro players available each day !) and a lot of fun or go-related activities in the evenings.

More information available here: http://egc2019.eu/

PS: any (Belgian) helping hand is welcome, even for a few hours. Ready to help us ? then contact us via: volunteers@egc2019. We thank you in advance !

European Team Championship: 7th round: Belgium lost to Austria 1-3 (and the hope of being promoted to A-league)

On 19/03, Belgian team lost to a direct competitor, Austria (1-3), losing the hope of being promoted to the A-league next season.

On board 1, Lucas Neirynck lost to Victor Lin by 2,5 points. As François Gonze (board 2) and Gabriel Mercier (board 4) also lost, the victory by Jan Ramon (board 3) was not enough to avoid the defeat...

Now Belgium (8 points) stands in the middle of the "peloton" in this B-league which is dominated by Austria (12 points) and Serbia (11 points).

There are still 2 rounds to go.

Results of the round: https://pandanet-igs.com/communities/euroteamchamps/rounds/499

Standings: https://pandanet-igs.com/communities/euroteamchamps
(at the right of the screen)

Europan Team Championship - 6th round: Belgium made draw against Turkey (2-2)

On 19/02/2019, Belgian team made draw against Turkey.

Lucas Neirynck won (against Denis Karadaban) and so did Gabriel Mercier, but François Gonze and Nelis Vets lost.

Belgium is now still 3rd (with 8 points), 2 points behind Serbia (with the 2 Mitic brothers, both 7-d) and Austria (with Viktor Lin, a strong 6-d)...

Results of the round: https://pandanet-igs.com/communities/euroteamchamps/rounds/498

Standings: https://pandanet-igs.com/communities/euroteamchamps
(at the right of the screen)

François Gonze (4d) winner in Leuven

François Gonze (4d, Louvain-la-Neuve) has won with a prefect score the 29th edition of the tournament of Leuven ahead of his clubmate Gabriel Mercier (3d) and Nelis Vets (2d, Leuven).

Two other competitors remained unbeaten:
Laurent Calmus (5k, Brussels Le Pantin) and
Alexandre Teferenko (10k, Ath).

There were 33 participants.

Complete results: https://www.gofed.be/tournament/results?tournament=LEU&year=2019