Photos by Harry van der Krogt and Matei Mardare
While those players in the European Championship with three wins and those who were defeated only in the third round enjoyed a rest day, four games in the loser’s bracket were played on Wednesday. The stakes were high: each player required a win in order to avoid elimination from the Championship.
Valerii Krushelnytskyi 6d gained a solid lead of around nine points by the midpoint of his game with Tanguy le Calvé 1p, the score gradually became even until Valerii blundered in the endgame under time pressure; awaiting Tanguy on Thursday is Oscar Vázquez 6d. The fifth round will also feature a battle between two compatriots: Bohdan Zhurakovskyi 6d beat Florent Labouret 5d and will challenge fellow Ukrainian Andrii Kravets 1p for a place in the quarterfinals.
Nikola Mitic 7d scored a victory against Ondrej Kruml 6d, his game with Lukáš Podpěra 7d will no doubt be one to watch closely. The final game to finish on Wednesday also provided the narrowest win-margin: Dmytro Bohatskyi 6d won against Elian Grigoriu 6d by a mere half-point. Dmytro will next face Ben Dréan-Guénaïzia on Thursday to remain in the running.
Even after four days of playing arduous games at the highest level of European go, an irrepressible sense of commitment and ambition permeates both the playing room and the intense post-game reviews that have appeared everywhere you look in Vatra Dornei this week; players and spectators gather almost anywhere there is space to balance a goban to analyse the Championship games. Each one of the players on the docket in the fifth round has no intention of being knocked out without a fight, and I expect the games to become only more unmissable as the finals edge closer. Be sure to follow them live on Pandanet!
In the EGC Women’s Tournament, played out in three rounds on Wednesday evening, Lee Seunghyun 6d from Korea took the no.1 spot. Second by a very narrow points margin was Mirta Medak 2d of Croatia, who beat Manja Marz 3d of Germany, Renate Reisenegger 1d of Chile and lost only to the overall winner.
An experienced tournament player at 21 years old, Mirta kindly agreed to answer a few questions about her experiences of this event:
Mirta, how did the Women’s Tournament go for you?
I was very ambitious going into the Tournament, but it went well. I won my first two games, and lost the last game because I was so exhausted – I’ve been playing in the Open and Rapid Tournaments, too.
What can you tell me about your first-round game against Manja Marz 3d?
It was extremely complicated; due to a joseki mistake I died in one of the corners in the opening. It’s happened to me before in other games, sometimes falling behind early on makes me fight harder to stay in the game and I win that way. Other times, my opponent relaxes after taking an early lead and that helps me. In this game, Manja made some mistakes, I was able to make the game complicated again and finally win. Manja plays very well, especially with fast time settings.
What about the final game against Lee Seunghyun 6d, what were your thoughts going into it?
I thought I stood a chance, because I heard that she came close to dying in her previous game against Antonia Stanciu 2k. I went into the game with courage, thinking maybe I could win the same way. As it happened, I fell behind quite quickly. I kept fighting but finally had to resign; she was too solid.
Do you think you have a specific style, and did you model it on another player?
I definitely like to have clear territory, so I can count the score more easily, but only in long games. I often win because I’m patient and my reading is good. It’s different in fast games: I play aggressively, complicate the situation and try to fight – even against stronger players. Since Elian Grigoriu 6d and I have played against each other so often, our styles have likely influenced each other.
What are your ambitions in go?
At the moment I just like playing, I don’t pay too close attention to rankings or anything. I’m enjoying the Congress very much, I think it’s well organised and the events are running very smoothly. As for my plans for the future, I want to reach 5-dan. It’s mostly just so I can be a good example to my students – I’m the coach for the Croatian Youth Go Team. Beyond that, I want to be the European Women’s Champion.
Congratulations on your performance, Mirta, and good luck in the future!