American Go E-Journal » Europe

Lukas Krämer 5d Takes German Championship

Monday July 15, 2013

Lukas KrämerThe 2013 German Championship wrapped up in Darmstadt on July 7. The first round to determine the final eight contenders was played mid-June in Kassel. On July 4, round-one winners Lucas Krämer, Bernd Radmacher 4d, Marlon Welter 4d, and Matthias Terwey 5d joined last year’s final four Franz-Joseph Dickhut 6d, Johannes Obenaus 5d, Jun Tarumi 5d, and Benjamin Teuber 6d at “game mecca” Gastspielhaus. Although Franz-Joseph was the oldest and most experienced player at age 44 with 11 previous German Championship titles, 20-year-old Kramer (left) defeated him in the first match. Radmacher also secured his first win against 2006 German youth champion Obenaus. The remaining games were played at the Bertolt-Brecht School. In the end, Kramer triumphed with six wins while Radmacher placed second with five and Obenaus third with four and a draw. For full results, pictures, and more information (in German), click here.
– Annalia Linnan, based on a report by the International Go Federation, photo courtesy of EuroGoTV

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EuroGoTV Updates: Serbia, UK, Russia

Saturday July 13, 2013

Alexandre VarushovSerbia: Lazar Manojlovic 5d defeated Dragan Dubakovic 3d at the 46th City Championship Finals in Kragujevac on July 7. Misa Alimpic 3d placed third. UK: At the Milton Keynes in Open University, Bruno Poltronieri 2d bested Toby Manning 2d while Michael Cockburn 1k came in third. Russia: The Under 20 Russian Championship finished July 2 in Saint Petersburg with Alexandr Vashurov 6d (left) in first, Stepan Popov 3d in second, and Grigorij Fionin 4d in third.
— Annalia Linnan, based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news

Maths Arcade: Games and Puzzles Promote Logical Thinking

Friday July 12, 2013

Go has special advantages as a freestanding activity, but it also has a place among classic games and puzzles. We found it listed recently among the activities British universities are using to “support struggling learners, stretch confident learners, and encourage staff-student interaction in a social and mathematical context,” according to the recently published Maths Arcade: Stretching and Supporting Logical Thinking. The original Maths Arcade was set up by Noel-Ann Bradshaw at the University of Greenwich in September 2010, not to start another “chess club” but to increase interaction between students and to get them talking about the games and the strategies involved rather than just playing competitively. Math students are often shy; at Maths Arcade they could form friendships in a safe environment. The report cites a study indicating that students with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) including Asperger syndrome could also benefit from an activity based on shared interest and enthusiasm for games, puzzles and problem solving.

According to this report, students can play a wide variety of strategy games and puzzles with each other and staff in weekly drop-in sessions. Sessions often take place in the Student Union to attract a wider range of students. Staff also offers math tutorial support. Simply playing games and puzzles creates a logic-based social environment; strategies and modifications to the rules might also be analyzed. Students could explicitly analyze these games to work out whether the person who moves first is more likely to win, examine how to force a winning position, see what happens when the rules are modified slightly, and even design their own strategy games.

Students particularly liked the opportunity to spend time and play these games with staff outside the classroom environment. Some even brought their own puzzles and games along as the Café offered the unique opportunity to play with other like-minded people. Individuals and groups often spent the entire session attempting to understand best gaming strategies and puzzle solutions. As a result, discussions focused on problem-solving strategies, developing proofs and algorithms, and learning and thinking styles arose spontaneously. One student noted that “by choosing games that no one had seen before, it meant that everyone was learning the games and developing their strategy at the same time which resulted in lecturers and students learning from each other and neither having a distinct advantage.” A teacher “thoroughly enjoyed playing against the students where they had as much chance of winning as I did. It allowed for us to interact in a more relaxed but equally intellectual way.”
- Roy Laird

 

Categories: Europe
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Oscar Selby “Top Boy” at UK Challenge; Roella Smith “Top Girl”

Thursday July 11, 2013

Oscar Selby was the overall winner at the UK Go Challenge 2013 finals, played Saturday July 6. Selby (right), a  10-kyu from Epsom recently featured in the “Ultimate Child Genius” Competition (UK Youth Champ Oscar Selby In “Ultimate Child Genius” Competition, 6/22 EJ) also won the U10 Boys’ category. Roella Smith 13k of Cambridge was Top Girl, also coming first in the U14 Girls’. David Robson and Melchior Chiu were second and third respectively overall.

The UK Go Challenge is a 13×13 nationwide event mounted by the British Go Association (BGA) since 2004 and modeled on the similar UK Chess Challenge, with the aim of encouraging youngsters to take up the game.  Heats were run in schools through the year culminating in this weekend’s finals, in which children not taking part in the heats could also participate. They were held at Milton Church of England Primary School in Milton, near Cambridge, and were organized by BGA VP Tony Atkins. Click here for full results.

Though Selby was given a good chance of winning the (British) Channel 4 TV Child Genius competition, he lost out in the final to 11-year-old wordmeister and world Scrabble champion Shrinidhi Prakash. Click here for the episode, with playback (total playing time about 45mins with commercials; may not play everywhere), including footage (at about 5:30) of Selby at this year’s British Youth Go Championship.
- Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal; photo by Tony Atkins; courtesy of British Go Association website  

Categories: Europe,Go News,Youth
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Poltronieri Wins UK Milton Keynes Tournament

Monday July 8, 2013

Bruno Poltronieri 2d from Warwick University won the 25th Milton Keynes Tournament, beating Toby Manning  2d in the  final round. Graham Blackmore  13k and Brent Cutts  8k also won all three of their games. Click here for full tournament report.

The tourney was played on Saturday July 6, at  the Sports Pavilion in the Open University‘s grounds. Milton Keynes is a planned city, built in the second half of the last century. Its location in Buckinghamshire was chosen for its equal proximity to the ancient university cities of Oxford and Cambridge and is itself the realspace centre of the (mainly virtual) Open University. It encompasses the town of Bletchley and hence Bletchley Park, site of the famous wartime code-breaking activities of Alan Turing and others. The roughly rectilinear gridwork road system is used as the basis for the board in the “Milton Keynes Board Tournament“, which is featured as a side event at the Milton Keynes tournament (graphic from tournament flyer at right; flyer and problem by Tim Hunt 2d, who also won the event. Solution to be published in the next edition of the British Go Journal).
- Tony Collman, British correspondent  for the E-Journal

Categories: Europe,Go News
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Shikshin Narrowly Prevails Over Surin in Russian Cup Final

Sunday July 7, 2013

Dmitry Surin 6D came very close in his attempt to wrest the Russian Cup from favorite Ilya Shikshin on the final day of the 2013 Russian Go Congress on July 7. Surin, who unexpectedly won his game against Alexander Dinerchtein 3P in the semi-finals had defeated Shikshin in a recent tournament, so the match promised to be spectacular from the very start. As previously reported (Surin Bests Dinerchtein to Win Berth in Russian Cup Final 7/6/2013 EJ), Surin is an accomplished joseki expert and inventor, so it was no surprise when he started one of the myriad complicated variations of the taisha joseki. Both players stuck to their natural active fighting style, so the later part of the championship game delivered very intense collisions, an exciting clash lasting until the very end, with Shikshin eking out a narrow 1.5 point win.
- Daria Koshkina, Russian corespondent for the E-Journal; photo by Mikail Krylov

Categories: Europe
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EuroGoTV Updates: Poland, Romania, Netherlands

Sunday July 7, 2013

Cristian Pop Romanian National ChampionshipPoland: The 36 International Warsaw Go Tournament finished June 30 in Warszawa with Koichiro Habu 4d in first, Leszek Soldan 5d in second, and Stanislaw Frejlak 4d in third. Romania: After six long days, Cristian Pop 7d (left) was declared the winner of the Romanian National Championship in Mangalia on June 30. Cornel Burzo 6d placed second while Lucian Corlan 5d came in third. Netherlands: Zeno van Ditzhuijzen 5d triumphed at the Toernooi van Utrecht on June 23. Behind him was Robert Rehm 5d in second and Alexander Eerbeek 5d in third.
— Annalia Linnan, based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news

Surin Bests Dinerchtein to Win Berth in Russian Cup Final

Saturday July 6, 2013

Dmitry Surin 6D (below) upset Alexander Dinerchtein 3P in the 2013 Russian Cup semi-final on July 6, knocking Dinerchtein out of his accustomed spot in the final, which will be broadcast on KGS on Sunday, July 7. The Cup, which has about 70 players this year, is the final and most spectacular event at the annual Russian Go Congress. The battle of the A league includes the top right Russian players in a double-elimination tournament. Dinerchtein lost by 2.5 points to Surin, known in Europe for winning several European Pair Go Championships with partner Natalia Kovaleva. Surin’s style features deep knowledge and understanding of intricate josekis and difficult variations, great fighting skills and acute reading, all of which he brought to bear in his exciting game with Dinerchtein. Though Surin is considered to be one of the strongest Russian players, most deciding matches at major Russian events wind up Shikshin vs Dinerchtein clashes so Sunday’s final is being highly anticipated at the Congress in Saint Petersburg.
- Daria Koshkina, Russian correspondent for the E-Journal; photo by Mikhail Krylov

Categories: Europe
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European Go Federation Inks Deal With Chinese to Promote Go in Europe

Friday July 5, 2013

The European Go Federation has signed a far-reaching and lucrative contract with a group of Chinese investors to promote go in Europe. The deal aims to improve the strength of European amateurs, establish a professional system in Europe and support the European Go Federation, all to achieve the overall goals of enhancing go’s popularity in Europe, as well as developing new cultural contacts between Europe and China. “I think the AGA and EGF efforts will complement each other in a number of ways and give both organizations an even more forceful story to tell to potential sponsors,” said American Go Association President Andy Okun. “EGF President Martin Stiassny deserves a lot of credit for almost single-handedly bringing about this contract,” added Thomas Hsiang, the longtime International Go Federation and American Go Association official who was elected General Secretary of the International Mind Sports Association (IMSA) earlier this year. “I congratulate him on a job well done.  There is a lot of hard work ahead, but with the efforts in Europe as well as in US,  the future of go in the West looks bright and promising.” The investor group is known as the Beijing Zong Yi Yuan Cheng Culture Communication Co. Ltd. (called CEGO), and is comprised of investors who “believe on the future development of European Go and are willing to commit themselves to promote Go, a great representative of Chinese traditional culture, in the West,” according to the document. In addition to a “Go Academic System” that will send 4-6 players annually to study in China, the contract envisions a new professional go system in Europe in which the EGF will certify up to two players annually as “European Professionals” through new European top tournaments, including a yearly promotion tournament for the aspiring professionals. In addition to financial support for these initiatives, the contract pledges CEGO to contribute yearly payments to enable the EGF to become a “more professional organisation” – including setting up an office and hiring staff – in order to develop and implement these and other goals over the next decade. News of the contract, which was posted on the BGA website, originally broke on Lifein19x19, where there’s been extensive discussion of the deal.

Categories: Europe
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Russian Go Congress Hosts 1st “Go-Poker” Tournament

Friday July 5, 2013

The first-ever official go-poker tournament is being held this week at the 16th annual Russian Go Congress in Saint Petersburg. Also known as “Dango,” the go variant is well-known in Europe, where it’s played by top players like Matthew Macfadyen and Alexander Dinerchtein 3P. At the beginning of the game each player has 36 cards that can be either go shapes or “action cards” (placing or removing stones, pass etc). Opponents alternate turns, taking a card and “playing” it on the board. Unlike go, Dango introduces a significant measure of luck and randomness but proponents say “it is not on any account a foolish game,” noting that go-poker “requires memorizing, counting and tactical skills.” The entertainment factor for players and viewers lies in the unexpected twists that can turn the whole game upside down after each move. The go-poker tournament at the Russian Go Congress is being held in the evenings after the major regular competitions. Alexander Dinerchtein 3P, who’s a fan of Dango, is participating, providing amateurs with perhaps their best chance to best a professional go player.
- reported by Daria Koshkina, Russian correspondent for the E-Journal; photo credits: cards photo from dango.pro; players photo by Alexey Kozhunkov

Categories: Europe
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