The strongest pairs in Europe competed in Amsterdam, May 11 and 12, for the European Pair Go Championship. The Shikshin siblings – Ilya and Svetlana, both 7d – who swept the Russian Pair Championship this February, were the clear favorites. Another interesting Russian pair featured Natalia Kovaleva 5d, the 2007 European Female Champion, playing with aspiring young player Alexander Vashurov 5d, who has won several European Youth Championships. Kovaleva has won the European Pair Championship five times, with her usual partner Dmitry Surin 6d, who could not come this year. Other strong competitors included Czech pair, Klara Zaloudkova 3d and Jan Hora 6d, and Hungarians Péter Markó 3d and Rita Pocsai 5d.
The tournament pulled in 24 pairs from 10 countries. The Shikshins won all of their games, capturing first place, in second were Zaloudkova and Hora, while third went to Kovaleva and Vashurov. With their win, the Shikshin siblings earned the right to represent Europe in pair go competitions at the next International Sport-Accord Games.
The Pair Go Championship was held in conjunction with the Amsterdam Rapid. The results here were not so predictable, as the tourney introduced handicap games and short time limits (30 minutes). Russia was also on top here, as the two players who made it to the final match were Ilya Shikshin and Natalia Kovaleva, both of whom were undefeated going in. The final match was held with reduced time-control (only 15 minutes) and Kovaleva, who had 2 handicap stones, was the victor. For full results from the Pair Go Championship go here, for the Amsterdam Rapid go here. Eurogotv also has game records from the Pair Go event here. -Daria Koshkina. Photo: Svetlana Shikshina 7d and Ilya Shikshin 7d, at right, playing Natalia Kovaleva 5d and Alexander Vashurov 5d, at left. Copyright Harry van der Krogt 2013, used by permission.