American Go E-Journal » Europe

Love is the Victor in St. Petersburg Go Consul Cup B League

Friday April 19, 2013

While the clash of titans in the final match at the St. Petersburg Go Consul Cup League A (Dinerchtein’s “Water” Douses Shikshin “Fire” at St. Petersburg Go Consul Cup  4/14/2013 EJ) naturally generated the most general public hullabaloo, the Cup’s B League — consisting of 86 players ranging from 6d to 15k — offered plenty of excitement and surprising results as well.

Thousands of go events around the world routinely show that the game can unite people and draw them together. Shared common interest in go can create the most loyal friendship and, it turns out, love. This is the case of Igor Burnaevskiy 4d and Dina Burdakova 5d, the young Russian married couple who took the two first places of the League B event; Igor managed to defeat Alexey Lazarev 6d, the first Russian player who won European Go Champion Title in 1991, thus leaving him in the 3rd position in League B.

This success is quite unique. We’ve heard of Asian pro marriages but Dina and Igor (at left) are the first and only European high-dan married couple. Dina Burdakova has been playing go since childhood and is an acknowledged Russian go-star, three times Russian Female Champion, winning this title for the first time in 1999 at the age of 12. Husband Igor Burnaevskiy, in contrast, can be called “the dark horse” of this tournament. He started playing go about 6 years ago after watching “Hikaru no Go” and reached 5d on KGS without playing in any major go competitions. He appeared in real tournaments only in 2011. The couple’s secret lies not only in go training but in shared experience and merging the strong points of their different styles. The drama of the Go Consul Cup League B sprang up in the final round when they had to face each other in a match to determine the winner. Here Igor showed his stronger side – the feeling of fuseki – and drew the game to the victory. In any case, the result allowed both spouses to pass to the League A (top 8 with rotation system) and we’ll see them competing with Russian top players at the next Russian grand event.

Click here for photos by Mikhail Krylov (A, B, C Leagues), League B prizegiving
and results (A, B, C leagues, in Russian)
- Daria Koshkina

Categories: Europe

Lee Sedol Drives AGA/Europe Pro Team to 3 Stones

Sunday April 14, 2013

Defeating U.S. professional Gangshen Shi 1P on two stones, Lee Sedol 9P (right) has driven the AGA-Europe pro team to three stones in the AGA-Europe Pro vs. Sedol 10-game series on The AGA/Europe team desperately needed to clinch their first victory in the series, which has just two games to go. “It was a well-fought game for Gansheng until the game approached the end,” go9dan reports. “Gansheng captured a group in the upper right corner and was ahead in the game. But then after he entered byo-yomi, the board started to get complicated.” Click here for comments on where Shi went wrong and to see the game record. European pro Catalin Taranu will play Lee in Game #9, taking three stones; stay tuned for details on the date/time.
- photo: Lee at the 2012 Olleh KT Cup; photo courtesy GoGameGuru

Dinerchtein’s “Water” Douses Shikshin “Fire” at St. Petersburg Go Consul Cup

Sunday April 14, 2013

Over 150 players met in St. Petersburg for the 2013 Cup of Consul General of Japan on April 13-14 but the final showdown between Alexander Dinerchtein 3p (breakfast on KGS) and Ilya Shikshin 7d (roln111 on KGS) attracted the most attention. Though Shikshin’s father was one of Dinerchtein’s earliest instructors, many go enthusiasts know that Dinerchtein and Shikshin junior’s styles could not be more different. A skilled fighter, Shikshin often tries to find ways to create conflict while Dinerchtein would rather be calm and flexible.


While both techniques have their merits, Dinerchtein took control this round as he simultaneously kept an early lead and reduced Shikshin’s large framework. Short on territory, Shikshin resigned after 184 moves and Dinerchtein claimed the title. Alexander Vashurov 5d finished in third. For more information about the tournament including rules and results, visit the official Russian Federation Go website. For more on Dinerchtein, stay tuned for the upcoming EJ interview.
-Annalia Linnan

EuroGoTV Updates: French Championship Stage 2, Radu Baciu Championship & Weiqi im Weinkeller

Sunday April 14, 2013

French Championship 2013French player Cesar Lextrait 2d (left), Romanian player George Ghetu 3d, and German player Daniil Janov 3d have all won Class A tournaments in their respective home countries. The French Championship Stage 2, Mediterranean League concluded March 24 with Olivier Clergue 3d in second place and Manuel Frangi 1d in third. In the 4th annual Radu Baciu Championship on March 31 in Cluj, Romania, Laura Avram 2d took second followed by George Ginguta 1d. The Weiqi im Weinkeller took place April 6-7 in Karisruhe, Germany, with Guido Zakrzewski 2d coming in second and Cuong Nguyen 1d in third. For complete result tables and all the latest European go news, visit
- Annalia Linnan, based on reports on

Zebin Du 4d Wins British Open

Monday April 8, 2013

Zebin Du (right), a Chinese 4-dan, won the British Open last weekend, winning all six games. There were 67 players taking part in the Open, which was part of the British Go Congress weekend April 5-7. Special guest Michael Redmond 9P, the American professional who was concluding his week-long training tour of England — thanks to the Nihon Ki-in and the Sasakawa Foundation — ran a training session on Friday, played simultaneous matches and analyzed games throughout the weekend (Redmond Lecture & Simul Launches British Congress 4/6 EJ). Second was Yuanbo Zhang 4d, with five wins. A group of 4-dans came next with four wins each: Andrew Kay, T.Mark Hall, and Andrew Simons. Oscar Selby 12k (Epsom) won the British Lightning, with some close handicap victories over dan players. Andrew Simons also won the Stacey Grand Prix for the year with 29 points; in second was Toby Manning with 26 points and third was Richard Hunter (17). The weekend event, organised by Alison and Simon Bexfield from the nearby Letchworth Club, also featured the BGA’s AGM and a congress dinner on Saturday evening. Click here for the 4th-round game between Zebin Du and  Yuanbo Zhang; click here for complete tournament results.
- based on a longer report on the BGA website; photo by Tony Collman 


Categories: Europe,Go News

Redmond Lecture & Simul Launches British Congress

Saturday April 6, 2013

US-born Japanese professional Michael Redmond 9P opened proceedings at the 2013 British Go Congress with a teaching session on Friday April 5. Redmond used some of his recent competition games from the Japanese qualifying tournaments to illustrate his remarks about the avalanche joseki  and some of the ramifications that arise when using an opening he currently favors, a variation (Black 5 at R8) on the Chinese Opening.

The games were also used as the basis of an informal competition to identify the best (i.e. Redmond’s) play at certain junctures. Each solution was followed by a detailed explanation of why he chose that particular move over others proposed either by him in a multiple-choice format, or occasionally from the floor. Three prizes of a special go fan went to those who got the most right. The fans were hand-decorated by Iyama Yuta 9P, current holder of six of the seven major Japanese titles, with calligraphy which Redmond translated as “play naturally.”

In the evening Redmond gave a simultaneous demonstration (above right), taking on five challengers at a time from a total of 10 playing in relay. Click here for links to all the games used in Redmond’s teaching sessions, in zipped sgf format, courtesy of Tony Atkins.

The events took place at the Cromwell Hotel in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, UK and were organized by Alison Bexfield 2d on behalf of the British Go Association.
- report/photos by Tony Collman, special correspondent to the E-Journal. photos: Redmond playing the simul (top right); Prizewinner Andrew Simons 4d


Categories: Europe

Amir Fragman 4d Wins Jerusalem Open

Saturday April 6, 2013

Amir Fragman 4d won the 2013 Jerusalem Open Baduk tournament, held during the Passover holiday and initiated and hosted by the Korean Culture Center in Jerusalem. Twenty four players competed in the tournament, played March 28-29 in Jerusalem, Israel. In second was Ali Jabarin 5d and third was Ofer Zivony 3d. Tournament results.
- Shavit Fragman 

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

New Go Club Blooms in UK’s “Garden City”

Friday April 5, 2013

A new go club is about to bloom in the historic English town of Letchworth, “The first garden city in the world.” Beginning April 18, the Letchworth Garden City Go Club will meet weekly on Thursday evenings at the Central Methodist Church Hall (at right; Norton Way South, entrance £3). Organizer Alison Bexfield 2d previously ran the now-defunct Letchworth Go and Puzzle Club with husband Simon 1k, but they could no longer manage the commitment after their kids were born. Now that her children are old enough to play too, Bexfield is committed to introducing a new generation to the game, and is simultaneously launching the Letchworth Junior Chess and Go Club at the same venue at an earlier time. Bexfield is currently organizing the 2013 British Open Tournament and British Go Congress in nearby Stevenage. “By running the British Open I thought I would see if there were any local players lurking that might give sufficient local interest to restart a public club,” she says. Details of all British clubs are available on the British Go Association’s Clubs Page.
- Tony Collman

Categories: Europe,Go News

Junfu Dai 8D Three-Peats in Paris

Thursday April 4, 2013

Junfu Dai 8D (right) successfully defended his title against Lluis Oh 6D in the 41st Paris International Go Tournament at the Lycée Louis Le Grand on April 1. Though it was the first time Spanish player Oh placed, it was Dai’s third victory in four years, a reign broken only by Liu Yuanbo’s win in 2011. However, there may still be hope for Oh, as Dai was runner-up in 1996 and 2008 before he finally became champion. Joining Dai and Oh in the ranks as top Europeans is Romanian player Cristian Pop 7D. No stranger to tournaments, Pop has won the championship in his home country six times. Founded in 1972, the annual Paris International Go Tournament now holds a level 5 ECup rating and is hailed as “one of the largest go events in Europe behind the European Go Congress.” For more information about this year’s tournament including rules, registered players, and results, visit the official Paris 2013 website.
- Annalia Linnan; photo courtesy EuroGoTV, which includes selected game records