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European Go Championship

The European Go Championship or Congress (EGC) is the annual and main event of many organised by the European Go Federation for players of the board game Go. It consists of a 2-week open competition, one round per day, making a total of 10 rounds with a champion ultimately emerging - the player with the most (or best) wins. The congress has taken place in a different European city each year, since the first contest in 1983. During these two weeks, the best go players in Europe fight for the title of European Champion. Entry in recent years has been from a low of 290 to a high of 718 players.

The 2013 (57th) championship took place from 27 July to 10 August in Olsztyn, Poland.

Contestants relaxing at the 'Congress Center Villach', Austria, during the 2007 European Go Championship (EGC)


The first European Go Championship was held in 1938. The current annual series begun in 1957, with the first championship held in Cuxhaven, Germany. Germany has been quite dominant at the championships.

In 1961 the 5th European Go Championship was held in August in Baden, where Japanese professional players Kensaku Segoe and Utaro Hashimoto gave exhibitions.

In 1976 European Go Congress was held in Cambridge with 150 European players vying for titles among five separate tournaments which varied the games played, and including a tournament at the game of 'Lightning Go,' where the game must be played far more rapidly than in a traditional match. The festivities were described by United Press International, reporting on the event, as a "two week orgy of go."

In 1977 the 21st championship was held in Rijswijk in the Netherlands. Although not allowed to play in the competition, two Japanese professional players attended and provided instruction and engaged in simultaneous exhibitions. Seminars were given in go theory, computer go and lightning go.

Recent highlights

Czech Republic 2005

In Praha, Alexandre Dinerchtein won against Catalin Taranu in the 5th round.

Italy 2006

In Frascati, Alexandre Dinerchtein lost against the 2001 Champion Andrei Kulkov in the 6th round.

Svetlana Shikshina won the title.

Austria 2007

In Villach, Ilya Shikshin won the title, despite losing to Alexandre Dinerchtein in the 8th round.

Sweden 2008

In Leksand, Ondrej Silt from the Czech Republic beat Catalin Taranu in Round 4. In Round 5, Alexandre Dinerchtein won against the 2006 Champion Svetlana Shikshina. Catalin Taranu beat the 2007 Champion Ilya Shikshin in Round 8. The 5-dan Go professional Catalin Taranu became the second Romanian player to become European Go Champion.

Netherlands 2009

In Groningen, the young 5-dan Thomas Debarre from France defeated Catalin Taranu in Round 4. In round 5, the 3-times European Champion from the Netherlands, Rob van Zeijst, lost against Alexandre Dinerchtein. Round 9 saw victory by the 2008 Champion Catalin Taranu against Alexandre Dinerchtein. Alexandre Dinerchtein remained ahead on tiebreak to win the title, his seventh time as European go Champion.

Finland 2010

In Tampere, as a first act of the championship, Cornel Burzo from Romania beat the reigning champion, the Russian professional Alexandre Dinerchtein. Catalin Taranu won against Rob Van Zeijst in the 3rd round. The fourth round featured a very long game between Taranu and Ilya Shikshin. These two players were undefeated since the beginning of this year's competition. Shikshin finally won the game, to continue his consecutive victories (6 winning rounds).

The young Artem Kachanovskyy from Ukraine stopped the winning ascension of Shikshin at the seventh round. The next rounds were a fight for the title for these two players. Kachanovskyy led first by beating Csaba Mero at the 8th round, and the 2009 European Youth Champion, Ali Jabarin, in the 9th round, but he lost his final game against Kim JungHyeop, a Korean player. Shikshin won the title by beating Cristian Pop in the 8th round and Dinerchtein in the final round. During this tournament, the two leaders won games against Korean players. This is the second European title for Ilya Shikshin.

France 2011

The Championship was held at the "University of Bordeaux I" campus in Talence, from July 23 to August 6. The number of registered players exceeded the 800 expected players, meaning already that European Go is healthy. These amateur players were from all European countries, ranked from 30 kyu to 7 dan, professional players from Asia will also participate (e.g. Japan, China and South Korea). The French hosting organisation was the Fédération française de go (FFG). The pre-registration board showed the participation of previous champions and possible future title-holders such as - Catalin Taranu - Ilya Shikshin - Svetlana Shikshina - Alexandre Dinerchtein - Artem Kachanovskyy - Cristian Pop

This edition also accommodated the first Pandanet Go European Team Championship, a new competition where Romania, Hungary, Russia and Ukraine will try to obtain the first title.

As a side-event, a professional competition was held - some games of the China Weiqi League were played.

Yumi Hotta, Hikaru no Go-writer, attended for a conference during the event.

Germany 2012

The 2012 EGC was held by the river Rhine, in the municipal hall of Bonn-Bad Godesberg, from 21 July to 4 August 2012.

Poland 2013

Olsztyn in Poland was the host for the 2013 Congress.

Fan Hui won the tournament.

Planned championships

European Go Congresses, at which the European Go Champion is always decided, are planned some 3 years in advance, to cater for up to 800 players. Each year, the hosting country's Go association plays a large part in the planning and organisation. Below are the confirmed locations.

The EGC is reliant on generous international sponsorship. For the third consecutive year, Zhuyeqing Tea - the official sponsor of the Chinese national Go team - are the main sponsor of the Congress.

Romania 2014

The 2014 EGC is to be held in Romania in Sibiu, a former European Capital of Culture.

Past champions

As recorded in the European Go Federation web-site:

European individual champions

Year Winner 2nd 3rd
1957 Fritz Dueball (West Germany) Fritz John (West Germany) Leonard Grebe (Austria)
1958 Fritz Dueball (West Germany) Lenz Fritz John (West Germany)
1959 Fritz Dueball (West Germany) Paech Kramer
1960 Günter Ciessow (West Germany) Leonard Grebe (Austria) Fritz Dueball (West Germany)
1961 Wichard von Alvensleben (West Germany) Leonard Grebe (Austria) Fritz Dueball (West Germany)
1962 Wichard von Alvensleben (West Germany) Jürgen Dueball (West Germany) Jürgen Mattern (West Germany)
1963 Wichard von Alvensleben (West Germany) Jürgen Mattern (West Germany) Max Rebattu (Netherlands)
1964 Wichard von Alvensleben (West Germany) Jürgen Mattern (West Germany) Eduard Ekart (Yugoslavia)
1965 Jürgen Mattern (West Germany) Max Rebattu (Netherlands) Jürgen Dueball (West Germany)
1966 Jürgen Mattern (West Germany) Manfred Wimmer (Austria) Max Rebattu (Netherlands)
1967 Zoran Mutabzija (Yugoslavia) Manfred Wimmer (Austria) Max Rebattu (Netherlands)
1968 Jürgen Mattern (West Germany) Zoran Mutabzija (Yugoslavia) Jürgen Dueball (West Germany)
1969 Manfred Wimmer (Austria) Jürgen Mattern (West Germany) Zoran Mutabzija (Yugoslavia)
1970 Jürgen Mattern (West Germany) Manfred Wimmer (Austria) Max Rebattu (Netherlands)
1971 Zoran Mutabzija (Yugoslavia) Henk de Vries (Netherlands) Max Rebattu (Netherlands)
1972 Jürgen Mattern (West Germany) Max Rebattu (Netherlands) Jon Diamond (United Kingdom)
1973 Jürgen Mattern (West Germany) Michael Katscher (West Germany) Zoran Mutabzija (Yugoslavia)
1974 Manfred Wimmer (Austria) Michael Kitsos (Greece) Tony Goddard (United Kingdom)
1975 Jürgen Mattern (West Germany) Manfred Wimmer (Austria) Patrick Merissert (France)
1976 Patrick Merissert (France) Tony Goddard (United Kingdom) Jon Diamond (United Kingdom)
1977 Wolfgang Isele (West Germany) Helmut Hasibeder (Austria) Ronald Schlemper (Netherlands)
1978 Helmut Hasibeder (Austria) Max Rebattu (Netherlands) Matthew Macfadyen (United Kingdom)
1979 Jürgen Mattern (West Germany) Ronald Schlemper (Netherlands) Robert Rehm (Netherlands)
1980 Matthew Macfadyen (United Kingdom) Jürgen Mattern (West Germany) André Moussa (France)
1981 Rob van Zeijst (Netherlands) Helmut Hasibeder (Austria) Robert Rehm (Netherlands)
1982 Ronald Schlemper (Netherlands) Robert Rehm (Netherlands) André Moussa (France)
1983 Janusz Kraszek (Poland) Terry Stacey (United Kingdom) Matthew Macfadyen (United Kingdom)
1984 Matthew Macfadyen (United Kingdom) Pierre Colmez (France) Egbert Rittner (West Germany)
Robert Rehm (Netherlands)
1985 Ronald Schlemper (Netherlands) Matthew Macfadyen (United Kingdom) Pierre Colmez (France)
André Moussa (France)
1986 Ronald Schlemper (Netherlands) Janssen Frank (Netherlands) Donzet Frederic (France)
Egbert Rittner (West Germany)
1987 Matthew Macfadyen (United Kingdom) Alexei Lazarev (Soviet Union) Donzet Frederic (France)
Rob Van Zeijst (Netherlands)
1988 Tibor Pocsai (Hungary) Ronald Schlemper (Netherlands) Egbert Rittner (West Germany)
1989 Matthew Macfadyen (United Kingdom) Ruslan Sakhabudinov (Soviet Union) Valeri Soloviov (Soviet Union)
1990 Rob van Zeijst (Netherlands) Hans Pietsch (West Germany) Jürgen Mattern (West Germany)
1991 Alexei Lazarev (Soviet Union) Gilles van Eeden (Netherlands) Vladimir Danek (Czech Republic)
1992 Alexei Lazarev (Russia) Gilles van Eeden (Netherlands) Geert Groenen (Netherlands)
1993 Rob van Zeijst (Netherlands) Juan Guo (Netherlands) Alexei Lazarev (Russia)
1994 Juan Guo (Netherlands) Guangji Shen (Germany) Manfred Wimmer (Austria)
1995 Juan Guo (Netherlands) Christoph Gerlach (Germany) Pierre Colmez (France)
1996 Juan Guo (Netherlands) Rob van Zeijst (Netherlands) Laurent Heiser (Luxembourg)
1997 Juan Guo (Netherlands) Pei Zhao (Germany) Vladimir Danek (Czech Republic)
1998 Robert Mateescu (Romania) Franz-Josef Dickhut (Germany) Christoph Gerlach (Germany)
1999 Alexandre Dinerchtein (Russia) Ion Florescu (Romania) Dmitrij Surin (Russia)
2000 Alexandre Dinerchtein (Russia) Pei Zhao (Germany) Franz-Josef Dickhut (Germany)
2001 Andrei Kulkov (Russia) Christoph Gerlach (Germany) Emil Nijhuis (Netherlands)
2002 Alexandre Dinerchtein (Russia) Dmitriy Bogatskiy (Ukraine) Mikhail Galchenko (Ukraine)
2003 Alexandre Dinerchtein (Russia) Alexei Lazarev (Russia) Cornel Burzo (Romania)
2004 Alexandre Dinerchtein (Russia) Catalin Taranu (Romania) Cristian Gabriel Pop (Romania)
2005 Alexandre Dinerchtein (Russia) Catalin Taranu (Romania) Ilja Shikshin (Russia)
2006 Svetlana Shikshina (Russia) Alexandre Dinerchtein (Russia) Andrey Kulkov (Russia)
2007 Ilya Shikshin (Russia) Alexandre Dinerchtein (Russia) Cristian Gabriel Pop (Romania)
2008 Catalin Taranu (Romania) Alexandre Dinerchtein (Russia) Ilya Shikshin (Russia)
2009 Alexandre Dinerchtein (Russia) Catalin Taranu (Romania) Csaba Mero (Hungary)
2010 Ilya Shikshin (Russia) Artem Kachanovskyy (Ukraine) Catalin Taranu (Romania)
2011 Ilya Shikshin (Russia) Catalin Taranu (Romania) Ondrej Silt (Czech Republic)
2012 Jan Simara (Czech Republic) Ilya Shikshin (Russia) Pavol Lisy (Slovakia)
2013 Hui Fan (France) Pavol Lisy (Slovakia) Mateusz Surma (Poland)
2014 Hui Fan (France) Alexandre Dinerchtein (Russia) Ilya Shikshin (Russia)
2015 Hui Fan (France) Ali Jabarin (Israel) Ilya Shikshin (Russia)

Open European individual champions

From 1984, the Championship became open, allowing participants from outside Europe. This attracted strong players from China and Korea, who have regularly finished in the top spots. Until 2010, the highest finishing European national would be declared "European Champion", with the highest finisher of the tournament being declared "European Open Champion"; the latter title was often won by Korean nationals.

From 2011 onwards, the tournament format was changed. The tournament now consists of 7 rounds of MacMahon, followed by a 3-round single elimination knockout between the top 8 eight European nationals. The winner of this knockout is declared European Champion; the player with the most wins after 10 rounds is declared European Open Champion.

Year Winner 2nd 3rd
1984 Tay-You Hong (South Korea) Jong-Su Yoo (South Korea) Matthew Macfadyen (United Kingdom)
1985 Ronald Schlemper (Netherlands) Matthew Macfadyen (United Kingdom) Pierre Colmez (France)
André Moussa (France)
1986 Ronald Schlemper (Netherlands) Janssen Frank (Netherlands) Donzet Frederic (France)
Egbert Rittner (West Germany)
1987 Matthew Macfadyen (United Kingdom) Alexei Lazarev (Soviet Union) Donzet Frederic (France)
Rob Van Zeijst (Netherlands)
1988 Tibor Pocsai (Hungary) Kazuki Hondo (Japan) Ronald Schlemper (Netherlands)
1989 Toshiyuki Sogabe (Japan) Matthew Macfadyen (United Kingdom) Chikako Nakamura (Japan)
1990 Rob Van Zeijst (Netherlands) Shu-Tai Zhang (China) Hans Pietsch (West Germany)
1991 Shu-Tai Zhang (China) Alexei Lazarev (Soviet Union) Juan Guo (China)
1992 Takashi Matsumoto (Japan) Wataru Miyakawa (Japan) Shu-Tai Zhang (China)
1993 Rob van Zeijst (Netherlands) Naoyuki Kai (Japan) Juan Guo (China)
1994 Juan Guo (Netherlands) Guangji Shen (Germany) Manfred Wimmer (Austria)
1995 Juan Guo (Netherlands) Wataru Miyakawa (Japan) Yasuyuki Sumikura (Japan)
1996 Juan Guo (Netherlands) Rob van Zeijst (Netherlands) Hyuk Lee (South Korea)
1997 Hyuk Lee (South Korea) Wataru Miyakawa (Japan) Juan Guo (Netherlands)
1998 Hyuk Lee (South Korea) Robert Mateescu (Romania) Franz-Josef Dickhut (Germany)
1999 Alexandre Dinerchtein (Russia) Ion Florescu (Romania) Dmitrij Surin (Russia)
2000 Hyuk Lee (South Korea) Alexandre Dinerchtein (Russia) Pei Zhao (Germany)
2001 Andrei Kulkov (Russia) Kiyoshi Fujita (Japan) Christoph Gerlach (Germany)
2002 Alexandre Dinerchtein (Russia) Dmitriy Bogatskiy (Ukraine) Mikhail Galchenko (Ukraine)
2003 Seul-Ki Hong (South Korea) Bi Jang (South Korea) Sung-Kyun Park (South Korea)
2004 Kwang-Sun Young (South Korea) Alexandre Dinerchtein (Russia) Catalin Taranu (Romania)
2005 Alexandre Dinerchtein (Russia) Seok-Bin Cho (South Korea) Jong-Wook Park (South Korea)
2006 Chi-Seon Park (South Korea) Ki-Bong Lee (South Korea) Svetlana Shikshina (Russia)
2007 Seok-Ui Hong (South Korea) Jong-Wook Park (South Korea) Seok-Bin Cho (South Korea)
2008 Jong-Wook Park (South Korea) Seok-Ui Hong (South Korea) Yu-Cheng Lai (Taiwan)
2009 Eun-Kuk Kim (South Korea) In-Seong Hwang (South Korea) Joon-Sang Kim (South Korea)
2010 Ilya Shikshin (Russia) Artem Kachanovskyy (Ukraine) Chae-Lim Kim (South Korea)
2011 Young-Sam Kim (South Korea) Ilya Shikshin (Russia) Catalin Taranu (Romania)
2012 Jun-Hyup Song (South Korea) Young-Sam Kim (South Korea) Jan Simara (Czech Republic)
2013 Hui Fan (France) Antti Tormanen (Finland) Pavol Lisy (Slovakia)

Open European pair champions

Year Winner 2nd 3rd
1992 Cartsen Klaus (Germany) T.Mark Hall (United Kingdom) Christoph Gerlach (Germany)
Daniela Trinks (Germany) Frauke Kuhn (Germany) Sabine Collin (Germany)
1993 Rob van Zeijst (Netherlands) Gruang-Ji Shen (China) Deaconu Lucian (Romania)
Juan Guo (Netherlands) Zhao Pei (Germany) Giorgia Lucia (Italy)
1994 Matti Groot (Netherlands) Guido Tautorat (Germany) Karsten Ziegler (Germany)
Juan Guo (Netherlands) Daniela Trinks (Germany) Britta Trepczik (Germany)
1995 Rob Kok (Netherlands) Jef Seailles (France) Robert Mateescu (Romania)
Juan Guo (Netherlands) Rafaella Giardino (Italy) Adrian Ghioc (Romania)
1996 Laurent Heiser (Luxembourg) Julien Roubertie (France) Hiroshi Shima (Japan)
Hao-Jiang Zou (Luxembourg) Astrid Gaultier (France) Keiko Watanabe (Japan)
1997 Hyuk Lee (South Korea) Olivier Besson (France) Henk Hollmann (Netherlands)
Juan Guo (Netherlands) Aude Friren (France) Kirsten Hollmann (Netherlands)
1998 Wataru Miyakawa (Japan) Hyuk Lee (South Korea) Saijo Masataki (Japan)
Steffi Hebsacker (Germany)
Ruxandra Ilie (Romania) Svetlana Shikshina (Russia) Ildar Almouchametov (Russia)
Olga Mejova (Russia)
1999 Marcin Wolak (Poland) Catalin Taranu (Romania) Emil Nijhuis (Netherlands)
Marta Natecz (Poland) Renee Frehe (Netherlands) Gaelle Desportes (France)
2000 Dionisia Barrasa (Spain)  ?  ?
Hong-Mei Fu (Japan)  ?  ?
2001 Niek van Diepen (Netherlands) Bela Nagy (Romania) Emil Nijhuis (Netherlands)
Annemarie Hovingh (Netherlands) Lisa Ente (Germany) Yu-Won Choi (Netherlands)
2002 Hirobumi Ohmori (Japan) Ronald Verhagen (Netherlands) Joachim Beggerow (Germany)
Olga Mezhova (Russia) Tabasa Nagai (Japan) Katrin Bade (Germany)
2003 Sung-Kyun Park (South Korea) Cornel Burzo (Romania) Andrey Sovetkin (Russia)
Na-Yeon Kang (South Korea) Geraldine Paget (France) Ilsia Samakaeva (Russia)
2004 Piotr Wisthal (Poland) Lionel Fischer (France) Christoph Gerlach (Germany)
Alexandra Urban (Hungary) Helene Alby (France) Lara Skuppin (Germany)
2005 Dong-Chan Kim (South Korea) Zbynek Dach (Czech Republic) Tae-Hyun Kim (South Korea)
Se-Young Kim (South Korea) Klara Zaloudkova (Czech Republic) Jong-Uk Park (South Korea)
2006 Christian Gawron (Germany) Bernd Radmacher (Germany)  ?
Monika Reimpell (Germany) Karen Schomberg (Germany)  ?
2007 Yury Pliushch (Ukraine)  ?  ?
Maria Zakharchenko (Ukraine)  ?  ?
2008 Seung-Geun Lee (South Korea) Marc Stoehr (Sweden)  ?
Daniela Trinks (Germany) Meien Kurebayashi (Japan)  ?
2009 Siu-Hong Chung (Netherlands) Liu-Zhi Lin (China)  ?
Cheng-Ping Chang (Taiwan) Juan Guo (Netherlands)  ?
2010 Chin-Seok Mok (South Korea) Ilya Shikshin (Russia) Tomas Bartonek (Czech Republic)
Klara Zaloudkova (Czech Republic) Laura Avram (Romania) Ha-Jin Lee (South Korea)
2011 Jan Simara (Czech Republic) Cornel Burzo (Romania) Sung Kim (South Korea)
Rita Pocsai (Hungary) Adelina Sora (Romania) Klara Zaloudkova (Czech Republic)
2012 Manja Marz (Germany) Jan Simara (Czech Republic) Jesse Savo (Finland)
Huai-Yi Chang (Taiwan) Barbara Knauf (Germany) Laura Avram (Romania)
2013 Cezary Czernecki (Poland) Young-Long Park (South Korea) Bin Lu (China)
Ha-Jin Lee (South Korea) Agnieszka Kacprzyk (Poland) Ting Li (China)

Handicap European pair champions

Year Winner 2nd 3rd
2012 Alexey Kholomkin (Russia) Lukas Podpera (Czech Republic)  ?
Marina Popova (Russia) Dita Vasova (Czech Republic)  ?
2013 Lukas Podpera (Czech Republic) Vit Brunner (Czech Republic) Michal Timko (Czech Republic)
Dita Vasova (Czech Republic) Daria Kwietniewska (Poland) Josefa Kubitova (Czech Republic)

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