European Go Congress 2012, Bonn, part 1

Due to the amount of material, I’ll be spanning my congress stories over three blog posts.

This year’s European Go Congress was held in Bad Godesberg, Bonn, Germany, from 21 July to 4 August. A good 600 players participated, and several hundred more came by as spectators (or in order to participate in some of the side tournaments). Contrary to the earlier years, I concentrated on the main tournament, and participated in only a few side tournaments — a lot of my free time I poured into sightseeing and other more relaxed activities. You could say that this decision paid off, seeing how I placed sixth in the European championship tournament.

In a sense, my experience from this year’s congress was the exact opposite from last year’s, at least when looking at the congress venue and accommodation: in the EGC in Bordeaux in 2011, accommodation was incredibly cheap and of high quality, but the congress venue was lacking. This year in Bonn, the congress venue was just superb, but we’d booked relatively low-level accommodation from far away from the congress venue — the trip took about one hour, one-way.

This is castle Godesburg, the most significant landmark in the immediate vicinity of the congress venue. On one of the break days, we climbed up to the tower shown in the photo, enjoyed the good view and played a few games of go.

As usual, we checked out most of the reasonable-looking restaurants near the congress venue. This one shown in the photo is one of those in which we didn't go; after somebody noted that the name of the restaurant looks like "Die insei", Jeff declared we have to avoid the place altogether.
Bonn is the birthplace of Ludwig van Beethoven, and as such it wasn't surprising at all to find a statue of him in the central square of the city.
We found out that the trip from our accommodation to the congress venue took about one hour, no matter how we traveled the distance: we tried a bus+train combination, a walk+bus combination, and a pure walk option. Results ranged from 55 minutes to 75 minutes. On the plus side with the walking option, I really liked the look of the forests.
There was only so far we could walk in the forest — eventually we had to switch to city streets. The dark alleyway shown in the photo is in fact where our path through the forest ended!
This photo is from the first main tournament day. Depicted is the second playing room from the top. Note the Finnish flag along with the tea bottle!

In addition to the above text-format surface scratch of the congress, and some photos, for this blog post I’ve one game record of mine from the main tournament, with comments courtesy of Yū Hō 6 dan professional. The readers might find the game interesting, as it’s the one I played with Mateusz Surma 6 dan of Poland on round four. White won by resignation.

[sgfPrepared id=”0″]

Continued in part 2.

5 thoughts on “European Go Congress 2012, Bonn, part 1”

  1. Hey there Antti, I’m not sure, but wasn’t that you staying at a place called the Bonn House? It only took us about 20 minutes on foot to get to the venue.

    1. Hi! I was staying at the Youth hostel Bonn, and I’m quite sure that if you’re able to get from there to the congress venue in 20 minutes by foot, you’re a high level athlete. :)

  2. Haha sorry, then I was wrong it seems. There were a few finnish people staying a floor down from us and for some reason I thought I had seen you there.

    Congratulations on placing sixth by the way. I wish I could’ve followed the top boards more closely, but there was just too much to do each day. 😀

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