EGC report

It’s well past the European Go Congress already, and I myself am back from a short holiday. Even if it’s a bit late, I thought it’d be nice to write about the topmost impressions of my second trip to France, and my fifth go congress.

The congress was situated in a suburb of the legendary city associated with wine, Bordeaux. The suburb, Talence, itself seemed to be a large university campus. The organizers had arranged for several university buildings to function as the congress area — a common solution, if a bit cumbersome. Comparing to all the other congresses I’ve been to so far, the general distance between the congress buildings was the longest. The congress in Villach, 2007, was remarkably good in the sense that everything was under the same roof; it was incredibly easy to find all sorts of activity in case one got bored. In Bordeaux, although the setting was functional enough, many evenings felt somehow hollow. Luckily it was easy enough to get on the tram and travel to the downtown of Bordeaux, which was full of things to see and do. Indeed, Bordeaux provided for some really nice sightseeing:

The water mirror of Bordeaux, likely one of the city's best-known sights.

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European Team Championship, final round showdown

Last Tuesday, on May 24, was the ninth and final round of the Pandanet Go European Team Championship.  The final round was important in deciding which countries get to play in the European Team Championship tournament in the European Go Congress 2011 in Bordeaux, but it was also crucial in determining which team drops from the A league to the B league next year. The system is such that the last team of the league drops automatically and gets replaced with the winning team of the lower league, and the second to last team of the league plays a qualifying match with the second best team of the lower league. The ninth-round game between Finland and Serbia was to determine which team drops automatically, and which team gets to qualify.

The situation before the round was exceedingly exciting: Finland and Serbia were tied in both game points and board points. If a tie like this were to occur after the ninth round, too, the next tie-breaker would be the number of first-board wins; before the ninth round, Finland and Serbia were tied on this part, as well. In a sense, the first-board game of the match was worth two games. Having known about this situation well in advance, I had been training a lot during three weeks between rounds 8 and 9, my main methods of training having been doing tsumego and reviewing professional games.

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