IGS PANDANET is suporting The Nihon-Ki-in professional player Yuki Shigeno who is trying to increase Go population in abroad.
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European Youth Goe Championship

European Youth Goe Championship (EYGC), which I never miss taking part in every year since I came to Italy in 1997, was held for the 9th time this year in Cologne, Germany for the first time. This is the only tournament for children in Europe and many children who love Go gathered from many countries and areas. I am happy that the number of participating countries and participants has been increasing each year and this event is growing bigger and bigger.
Cologne, which has a tall cathedral in centre of the city, is an ancient city of Germany with the Rhine river flowing calmly and is full of greenery. The youth hostel at which the tournament took place by the Rhine river is big and tidy and is a comfortable place. In the courtyard, there is a large area of lawn and when it was sunny, I enjoyed playing Go, volleyball, table tennis, Frisbee-Go etc outside with everyone. During the 3 days of the tournament, through playing Go and sport, children and adults can get on well with each other, even though we cannot communicate because of the different languages and the event is very attractive.
Cologne Cathedral convention hall
Frisbee GO
This tournament is divided into two age groups, under 12 (U12) and under 18(U18), and is held over six rounds. It is sponsored by the Ing Foundation, founded by the Taiwanese industrialist the late Ing Ch'ang-ki. They spell name of the game as 'goe'D
The tournament uses a set of rules devised by Mr. Ing. First, there are 180 white and 180 black stones and there is one dame point. Captured stones are returned to the opponent, and after the end of the game each player fills in his territory with his stones. The player with more territory wins. Actually, I don't fully understand these complicated rules myself, but children play freely, just as usual. I'm always impressed with their flexibility.
This year, 284 children participated and the place was crowded with about 500 people including their parents, teachers and staff and it was very lively.
The youngest child was 6 years old. Also, Israel participated for the first time this year.
The number of the participants from East Europe was overwhelmingly large before and basically that hasn't changed much, but the number of participants from Western Europe, like France and Spain, has been increasing compared to before. Also, there were nearly 70 participants from the host country, Germany. I think that the tournament was successful because the German Go Association and a lot of people have been working hard and also because of the influence of the comic which has been published since last autumn.
Israel player
The winner of U18 was Ondrej who was an insei of the Nihon Ki-in till last autumn from the Czech Republic. Ilia Chikchine came second. He is a member of a Go family in Kazan, Russia. His father is a Go teacher and his older sister became a professional in Korea. Russian boys occupied the 3rd to the 5th place. The Russians are as strong as ever.
The winner of U12 was also a Russian. A French boy who has just moved to America because of his father's job came second. He looked happy that he was selected to participate in the ING Cup which will be held in Canada this summer. Of course, on the other hand, there were some children who tried not to cry.
This year, Mr. Yoshiteru Abe, 9 dan, of the Nihon Ki-in was sent by the Japan Foundation to teach. Also, Mr. Catalin Taranu, 6 dan, who went back to his hometown to promote Go came to cheer.
Yoshiteru Abe 9-dan
Taranu Petro Catalin 6-dan
The cast of teachers, Mr. Fan Hui, 2dan, a Chinese professional living in France, and Ms. Guo Juan, a Chinese professional living in Holland, and Mr. Yang Yu-Chia, a secretary of the ING Foundation and so on, are getting more amazing each year, and the tournament is receiving more attention and recognition.
Ms. Guo
Mr. Chia
I was too busy with teaching Go, commentary, lecture, and playing many games so that I even forgot to have lunch. Instead (?), I gained a lot of energy from the children. Of course, my heart was filled with supreme happiness.
This time, the entire event, from the organization of the tournament by the German Go Association to the volunteer staff from all over Germany, was really great and the tournament satisfied everyone, not only the children but also their parents and teachers through the hospitality and new ideas. However, there were various side events besides the tournament.
The Go tournament for adults, children's 9x9 board tournament, football tournament, life-and-death problems corner, next move corner, screening the movie `Hikaru no Go', animation club corner, making T-shirts, etc. All these events were on at the same time. Also, there were sight-seeing tours (a few selections) after the tournament in the early evening.
various plans
HIKARU is the comics magazine of a cover
Because there were a lot of staff, they could do these things but I was deeply impressed with the wealth of ideas and professional execution.
I appreciate your hard work, everyone. Thank you.
the staff
I believe that this tournament is the most important event in Europe. It is the event for children for their future and through Go, it is a good opportunity for children in Europe to get to know each other.
To experience such a wonderful tournament in their childhood, not only in the Go world, in the future, is a good experience for them. I am looking forward to the tournament next year to meet and see those children's progress and growth.

Q&A of Yuki Shigeno 2 dan go
2004.6 June
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