Photos by Harry van der Krogt
The Pandanet European Team Championship finals ended this Saturday with triumph for the Ukrainian team. Solid wins on the first and second boards by Artem Kachanovskyi 2p and Andrii Kravets 1p sealed the victory for Ukraine. France was able to secure wins on the remaining boards, but the drawn result of 2-2 was not enough for them to claim the title for a fourth consecutive year. The French team are known for lamenting their losses in much the same way as they celebrate their victories: gracious even in defeat, they congratulated and saluted the Ukrainian players with beer over lunch.
Czechia also had reason to be proud today, achieving wins on three boards against Poland to finish the finals in third place. Stanisław Frejlak 1p won his game on the second board against Ondrej Kruml 6d and thus avoided a clean sweep for the Polish team. In the final standings, Ukraine took first place, France took second place, Czechia took third and Poland, fourth. It should be kept in mind that the PETC was played out between 27 teams; even placing fourth in the finals among such a large number is no mean feat.
The second stage of the SEYGO Tour also finished today after a fourth and fifth rounds. This series of tournaments, designed to attract both the most promising young players in Europe and beginners seeking their first tournament experiences, this time featured 74 players from 12 countries ranging from 30-kyu to 4-dan. After securing wins in every round, Vsevolod Ovsiienko 4d was the winner in the U18 category. Bende Barcza 3k of Hungary took first place in the U12 category; after losing in the first two rounds, he showed great perseverance to win his final three games. At the prize giving ceremony on Saturday evening that marked both the end of these two major tournaments and the official opening of the Congress, prizes were awarded not only to those young players who placed highest or won the majority of their games, but also to the players competing for the very first time; this reflects SEYGO’s core philosophy.
As of Saturday evening, the 64th European Go Congress has officially begun! Hopefully all those who made the journey were mostly able to avoid cancelled flights, delayed trains and traffic jams, but it is safe to say in any case that Vatra Dornei has given an incredibly warm welcome to all travellers. The sun is shining, the playing hall has been carefully prepared by a host of eager volunteers and, with the Open Tournament and European Championship beginning on Sunday, I wish every participant good luck in their games.
Updated: 26/07/2022 regarding U12 champion