Artem Kachanovskyi wins the 2021 Grand Slam. Tanguy Le Calvé, surprising finalist.

Artem Kachanovskyi (UKR, 3p) won the 2021 Grand Slam, the richest doted European competition (5.000 € for the winner), by beating in final the Frenchman Tanguy Le Calvé (FR, 1p).

Tanguy had surprisingly beaten the great favourite Ilya Shikchine (RUS, 4p), 8 times European champion, in semi-final !
(in the 1st round, Tanguy had eliminated Alexander Dinerstein, 7 times European champion; and in 2nd round / quarters of finals, Pavol Lisy, 1 time European champion).

Ilya did win the little final against Mateusz Surma (PL, 2p).

Here are the results:

Ath wins the 2021 Interclubs

The club of Ath has won the 2021 interclubs season, ahead of last year winner, Leuven.

Five clubs had registered at the beginning of the year, but after just one round Brussels-Pantin dropped off (without officially notifying the organizers). Finally, this club was given a general forfeit.

Here is the final standing:
1. Ath 6 pts
2. Leuven 5 pts
3. Brussels - Phenix 4 pts
4. Gent 3 pts

And here are the results of each round:

Sven Cuyt (1d) and Gints Engelen (2k) become 2021 Belgian Rengo Champions

10 years after the last edition of the Belgian Rengo Championship, it was high time to resurrect it. This year the tournament took place on Sunday 19 December, on which day we saw 4 pairs battling it out for eternal glory, and also for the title of 2021 Belgian Rengo Champions:

Sven Cuyt (1d) and Gints Engelen (2k)
Naomi Bensel (4k) and Yvan Nollet (4k)
Raoul Richard (6k) and Umut Inal (8k)
Thomas Lemaire (6k) and Guillaume Jouret (8k)

Despite the arguably high stakes, the tournament unfolded as a rather jolly affair: every 10 minutes or so the sound of ticking clocks would be interrupted by fits of laughter at one of the tables. Most participants not having had much Rengo practice during the pandemic, the question "is it my turn" resounded countless times. Sometimes, when a group was on the verge of dying, a prayer to the Go'ds could be heard (specifically: by the player whose turn it was not).

In all this merriment, 3 rounds were played. At the end, Sven Cuyt (1d) and Gints Engelen (2k) found themselves undefeated and thus became the 2021 Belgian Rengo Champions!

Here are the full results:

Raoul Richard and Umut Inal - Thomas Lemaire and Guillaume Jouret
Sven Cuyt and Gints Engelen - Naomi Bensel and Yvan Nollet (1)

Raoul Richard and Umut Inal (4) - Sven Cuyt and Gints Engelen
Thomas Lemaire and Guillaume Jouret (1) - Naomi Bensel and Yvan Nollet

Raoul Richard and Umut Inal (1) - Naomi Bensel and Yvan Nollet
Sven Cuyt and Gints Engelen - Thomas Lemaire and Guillaume Jouret (4)

Ilya Shikchine (4-p) is 2021 European Champion

Favourite Ilya Shikchine (RU, 4-p) became European Champion this year.
He defeated Artem Kachanovskii (UK, 3-p) in final (2-0).

Ali Jabarin (IL, 2-p) won the "little final" against Pavol Lisy (SK, 2-p) to take the bronze medal.

It is his 8 European title (Ilya has already been European champion in 2007, 2010, 2011, 2016, 2017, 2019 and in 2020). He equalizes the record of late Jürgen Mattern (DE, 6-d) (who has been also 8 times European champion, in the 60's and the 70's).

Completed results:

PS: in the preliminary rounds (4 pools of 4 players), Lucas Neirynck (BE, 6-d) won against the European rising star, Oscar Vazquez (SP, 6-d), but later lost to Jonas Welticke (DE, 6-d) and to Dusan Mitic (SR, 7-d)...and was eliminated.

Lucman Bounoider (3d), 2021 rapid games Belgian champion

Lucman Bounoider won the 2021 edition of the Belgian Championship of rapid games (15 min per player, sudden death; handicap - 2).
He has already been champion in 2017

There were 8 participants (a rather dissappointing figure)

Lucman got 6 wins in 7 rounds (he only lost to Renaud Gaban).
Two players ended with 5 wins and completed the podium: Yvan Nollet (4-k) (2nd) and Renaud Gaban (4-k)(3rd).(Yvan won their mutual game, which is the criterium as tie-breaker).

Jinming He (3-d) and Naomi Benseid (4-k) got 3 wins. And Michael Silcher (4-k), Jean-Denis Hennebert (4-k) and Gaspard Leleux (8-k) got 2 wins.

Impressive start by the Belgian team in the 12th European Team Championship

Belgian team made an impressive start in the 12th European Team Championship: our team, composed by Lucas Neirynck, Jan Ramon, Lucman Bounoider and Gabriel Mercier, won the first 2 rounds, each time by a perfect 4-0 score, against Spain and Denmark.

True, Belgium had been demoted to C-league last year, so that the objective of our team captain, Roberto Martinez, oops, Gabriel Mercier I mean, is to finish at the 1st place this year to re-integrate B-league next year.

Complete results here:
1st round:
2nd round:

Polish Stanislaw Frejlak becomes the new European "home-made" professional

Polish Stanislaw Frejlak becomes the new (and 8th) European "home-made" professional by beating in final of the (6th) European Pro qualification tournament Lukas Podpera (CZ, 7-d).

What is this tournament ?
The 16 best European amateurs (according to the EGC ranking list) wishing becoming a go professional player competed in European Pro Qualification, a tournament organised +/- every 2 years.
It is a knock-out tournament in which every round was played as a "best of three".

The 2 great favorites were Frejlak and Podpera.
And they both effectively reached the final.
This final was rather dramatic: Lukas won the 1st game, a very long game (397 moves !), but lost the 2nd one half a point. And the day after, Lukas also lost the 3rd (and decisive) game.
This is very unfortunate for him: he has already reached 3 times the final of a European Pro Qualification, and certainly he also deserves to also become a pro !

NB: "Our" Lucas Neirynck (ranked 13) lost in the 1st round to Frenchman Benjamin Dréan-Guénaizia (ranked 4).

Lucman Bounoider (3-d) wins the 35th edition of the Brussels tournament

Lucman Bounoider (3-d) won the 35th edition of the Brussels tournament unbeaten.
Silver medal was He Jinming (3-d), with a 4/5 score.
And bronze medal, young Louis Baudaux (1-k), best player with 3 wins. Louis is just 15 years old and our Belgian "rising star" !
There 32 participants, among whom Lucman and Sven Cuyt (who did not play all the rounds) were unfortunately the only Belgian "dan" players to participate ! Another desappointment was the low attendance by the local players. But still, it was an enjoyable event.

Here are the complete results:

Lucas Neirynck is (for the 11th time) Belgian Champion !

For the 3rd time, the final of the Belgian championship was organized as a knock-out tournament with 2 lives.
Lucas won undefeated his 11th title (in 12 participations).
The closest game was against Thomas Connor with a win margin by only 1,5 points.
In the final, Lucas managed to win a dangerous semeai against Lucman Bounoider (3-d).
Thomas Connor won the "little final" and climbed onto the podium.

Here is the final podium:
1. Lucas Neirynck (6d)
2. Lucman Bounoider (3d)
3. Thomas Connor (4d)

WAGC: Chinese Ma Tianfang is 2021 amateur world champion (despite a loss against Polish Stanislaw Frejlak)

Chinese Ma Tianfang (7d) won the 2021 edition of the WAGC (World Amateur Go Championship), despite a surprising loss against Polish Stanislaw Fejlak (7d) !

Stanislaw also won against the Japanese representative.
Unfortunately he lost his 2 last games, to the Korean representative, and to Lukas Podpera (CZ).
Had Stanislaw won that last game, he would have been world champion ex-aequo !

Three other players ended with a 5/6 score: the ones from Taïwan, from Korea and Lukas Podpera (in that order).

Stanislaw Frejlak ended 5th, as best player with 4 wins, ahead of Hong-Kong and of the Frenchman Benjamin Dréan-Guénazia (who also beat the Japanese !).

"Our guy" was Jan Ramon, who ended 30th with a 3/6 score and logical results (wins to: Spain 1d, Finland 2d Ecuador 2d; lost to: Croatia 3d, Israël 6d and Canada 7d).

There 57 participants, among whom about the half were physically present in Vladivostok and the other half (Jan f.i.) played on line.

Complete results here:

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