American Go E-Journal

650 Participate in German Go Bundes League

Tuesday April 2, 2013

While most people probably think about soccer when they hear about the German Bundes League, there’s also an equivalent for go. The German Go Bundes League is one of the biggest western go leagues (the Pandanet-AGA City League just started this year). It was started in 2005 and is organized much like the soccer league. There are currently 83 teams from all over Germany, divided into seven leagues. All leagues but the fifth contain 10 teams who play nine rounds from September to May. At the end of the season the top teams are promoted to the superior league while the worst-performing are demoted. The fifth league is the entry point for new teams, so it contains more teams than the other leagues, currently 29. While every team has up to ten players, only four members play for their team at a tournament. More than 650 players take part in the Bundes League, and nearly all of the strongest German go players can be found on their home town’s team. But the league is not just for the strongest players, it gives everybody the chance to fight for their city and to grow stronger together with the team. Because of the large distances between the teams most of the matches are played online using the KGS go server. However, offline matches are allowed if two teams are closely located or meet each other at a tournament. The large advantage of games played online is that fans can follow the match from their home computers and root for their favorite teams. The current season is about to end: seven of the nine matches have been played and at the moment the ‘Leipziger Loewen’ (Leipzig Lions) team is in first place in the top league, having just beat the formerly leading team in a close match. But the Lions must keep up their good results in the last two matches to hold onto their league; it’s this sort of hotly-contested competition that makes the German Bundes League so popular.
Jan Engelhardt, E-Journal Correspondent

Categories: Europe