American Go E-Journal

Second Tomsk Go Festival Thaws Siberia

Friday April 5, 2013

Although springtime in Siberia doesn’t hold quite the same allure, as, say, Paris, nearly three dozen go players gathered in Tomsk the last weekend in March for the second annual Tomsk Go Festival. The March 30-31 event featured a tournament, simuls and discussions about developing go in Siberia, the vast and remote area that comprises the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation,Tomsk, with a population of just over half a million, is one of the biggest and oldest Siberian towns, celebrating its 400th anniversary in 2004. The festival tournament’s players hailed from various Siberian regions and even included a visiting guest from Mexico. Another honorary guest was Natalia Kovaleva 5d (photos), one of the strongest women players in European go, who was once the European female go champion and won the Russian female go championship several times. Kovaleva not only won the 5-round tournament but took part in the side events including the simuls, signing a goban which will be auctioned off. Kirill Denisov 4d took second place and in third was Pavel Prisupa 2d. A major part of the festival focused on the future of Siberian Go, which is a challenge due to the difficulty of players from the far regions of Russia attending the major tournaments and go events in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg. Siberian go centers work to catch up through club, students’ and regional activities and numerous tournaments held each year in different cities in the region. Organizers hope that the success of this year’s Tomsk festival shows that the vast Siberian go community can soon compete with the leading regions.
- Daria Koshkina; photos: Kovaleva with statue of writer Anton Chekhov in Tomsk (top right) and playing (left); photos by Roman  Malakhov. Click here for his album on Facebook. CORRECTION: this post has been updated to reflect Kirill Denisov’s 4d rank (not 3d as originally reported).

Categories: Europe,Go News