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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Toyota - Pandanet European Go Tour Brno Tournament

From the Amsterdam tournament in this May to the Paris tournament next spring, for 1 year, the 5th Toyota-Pandanet Tournament is being held in 12 countries in Europe.
It is an event which is well-established and familiar with the local people. In September, it was held for 3 days in Brno, South Morava State, the 2nd largest industrial city in the Czech Republic, 200km east of the old city, Prague.

The tournament took place at a nice hotel which is surrounded by forest and you can look down at a dark green lake. Around the lakeside, there are some stylish cafes and it is a summer resort which is crowded with tourists during weekends. The meals are cheap and tasty and this trip for me was as if I came for vacation, not for the tournament. And I was surprised that it was a wonderful place that I had never imagined.


The Czech Republic is divided into 2 areas, the west, Moldau district where Prague is located and the east, Morava district. By the way, talking about the Czech Republic, it reminds me of beer but I heard that depends on areas and including Pilsen city where the word pilsner originally came from, good beer is from Morava district. In Morava, white wine is a special product. At the opening ceremony, the most popular drink was white wine.

The Brno tournament is popular every year. One of the fascinations of it is that many strong players gather. This year, too, Mrs. Guo, Chinese 5 dan ex-professional from Holland, Mr. Taranu, 5 dan, Nihon Ki-in professional, who is actively promoting Go in his country in Rumania since this spring, Mr. Csaba, 6 dan, ex-insei from Hungary, and a lot of strong players who are the same level as players representing their countries gathered from mainly countries around East Europe.

The prize for the winner is Euro 1000 which is exceptional price compared to other tournaments. Not only that but also there is a privilege for European top players that their participating fee and their accommodation are free. So that is the environment which easily attracts the participation of strong players. Also, the tournament where there are many strong players attracts a lot of people and at the Brno Tournament, this year like last year, there were 160 participants.

Of course, not only prizes which attract players but also there was a sight-seeing boat tour around the lake in between the games and at the opening ceremony, there was a party with a live band. Also, all the children received gifts and certificates for participating and the care shown by the tournament committee is also one of the reasons for the popularity.

In fact, the South Marava State Government supports this tournament. In Europe, the history of Go is young, not like chess, and support like this is very unusual. Itís enviable.
That is because Mr. Stanislav Juranek, a state governor, is a Go lover and also a member of the Brno Go Club. How wonderful! He attended the opening and the closing ceremony. Iím sure that Go will spread more and more if there is support by the government. For that, it is important to continue trying to let a wide range and a lot of people know about Go.

However, this time, I did commentary for the Pandanet, broadcast live, for the first time. But there was only one computer so I had to send one move each and at the same time, I did commentary. So I didnít have a chance to show many different moves because of the technical problem. But still, it was lively with the stories of the atmosphere of the tournament and the expression of the players. Also, there were many questions and through the computer screen, I had fun communicating with people from all over the world. It was interesting and I felt the presence of everybody.

Hereafter, The Toyota-Pandanet Tournament will organize live broadcasts, every month. How would you like to visit, if you have the time? I, too, am thinking of participating at home from the next time. See you next month.

Q&A of Yuki Shigeno 2 dan go
2004.10 Octiber
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