62 players attended the Finish entry in the TOYOTA - IGS-PandaNet European Go Tour held in Tampere. Diana Koszegi (6 dan Hungary) was the winner with a perfect 6/6. The group of players on 4/6 included 5 Finns and was topped by Lauri Paatero (3 dan) and Kare Jantunen (3 dan). Fourth were Matti Siivola (5 dan) and Viktor Bogdanov (6 dan Russia). In sixth by the tie-break was Esa Seuranen (1 dan).
Jo Saebyol and Ri Pongil from North Korea won the World Amateur Pair Go in Tokyo. They beat South Korea's Kim Ji Eun and Ha Sung Bong in the final. Best placed European teams were Russia and Ukraine in 14th and 15th. Jackie Chai and Francis Roads, representing UK, beat Indonesia in round 2, but lost to Ukraine, New Zealand, one of the Japan teams and Belgium.
108 players attended the traditionally large event in Brussels; this year it was a TOYOTA - IGS-PandaNet European Go Tour event. Franz-Josef Dickhut (6 dan Germany) was the winner with 5/5. Second was Ms Pei Zhao (6 dan Germany). Radek Nechanicky (6 dan Czechia) topped the group on 3 wins. Five UK players took part: David Ward (4 dan Cambridge) was highest placed at 11th with 2 wins and Phil Beck (1 dan Cambridge) was 13th and won a prize for 4 wins.
34 players attended this TOYOTA - IGS-PandaNet European Go Tour event in the Serbian capital. European Youth champion Ondrej Silt (6 dan Czechia) won yet another event with a perfect 6. Diana Koszegi (6 dan Hungary) was second with 5. Two local 5 dans took the third place with 4 wins: Nikola Jetvic and Milos Bojanic.
83 players, mostly from Romania, attended the TOYOTA - IGS-PandaNet European Go Tour event in Bucharest. Romanian Cornel Burzo (6 dan) won with a perfect 6. Second was Daniel Cioata (5 dan) with 5. Cristian Pop (7 dan) and Dragos Bajenaru (6 dan) were equal third. As is the custom now with Tour events, games were broadcast live on IGS-PandaNet.
For the third year running the Czech event in the TOYOTA - IGS-PandaNet European Go Tour was held in Brno. 160 players attended (one more than last year). The professional 5 dan currently back living in Romania, Catalin Taranu, was the winner with a perfect 6. Fellow Romanian Cristian Pop (7 dan) was second, losing only to Tibor Pocsai (6 dan Hungary). Third was Guo Juan (7 dan Netherlands); she lost to Taranu and Pop. Also winning four games were Cornel Burzo (Romania), Csaba Mero (Hungary) and Radek Nechanicky and Ondrej Silt (both Czechia). Tibor was not in the top places as he lost his last game to a Polish 2 dan.
The World Youth this year was held in Vancouver, Canada. It was dominated by young Chinese with professional grades and strong Koreans, as might be expected. In the senior section China's Lingyi Gu won all games and then defeated Korea's Kipyo Hong in the final. Japan and Taiwan were placed next followed by Russia's Ilia Chikchine and Czechia's Ondrej Silt, both 5 dan and winning 3/5. France's Thomas Hubert won 2 games, but Netherland's Floris Barthel failed to win a game. In the junior section Jung-Hwan Park of Korean beat Yulin Tong of China to win. Hong Kong took third and Japan fourth. Poland's Mateusz Surma won 2 games and France's Thomas Debarre won 1 game.
The second Leksand Open in Sweden was attended by several teaching professionals and was won by Willem-Koen Pomstra (Netherlands). His 15 points there, with 3 already, put him in joint European Cup first place with Korean visitor Ki-Bong Lee, who had won Luxembourg and Mindunai (Lithuania). Second at Leksand was young Czech player Ondrej Silt whose 11 points put him third in the Cup. On 9 points are the winners of Tatapoku (Finland) and Locarno (Switzerland): Vesa Laatikainen and Francesco Marigo.
The 20th US Go Congress was held in Rochester NY with a record attendance. Jie Li won for a second year in a row and also won the Ing Cup. European players did well in the 4 dan section: Ulf Olsson came first and Pal Sannes second. In the Ing Pro event Feng Yun (9 dan) beat Mingjiu Jiang (7 dan), Yilun Yang (7 dan) and Huiren Yang (1 dan).
The 48th European Go Congress was held in Tuchola in Poland. A huge number of players registered and 558 played in the main event. Early leaders on 3 wins were all 7 dans: Alexandr Dinerchtein (Russia), Lee Ki Bong (Korea), Catalin Taranu (Romania) and Lee Hong Bok (Korea). Lee Hong Bok ended the first week unbeaten, with Taranu, Dinerchtein and others were one win behind. Young Kwang Sun from Korea had lost his first game to Dinerchtein but went on to win his other 9 to take first place and the Open Champion's title. Alex Dinerchtein's only loss proved to be that against 4th placed Lee Hong Bok, and so Alex took second by 1 sos point and became European Champion again. Topping the group on 7 was Catalin Taranu. 5th was another Romanian, Christian Pop, 6th was Li Ki Bong and 7th was Bernd Radmacher (4 dan Germany) with 7/8. Top UK players were Piers Shepperson in 47th and Francis Roads in 59th, both with 5/10. Only other UK players were Celia and Edward Marshall who played the first week only. The congress was attended by more than a dozen pros, and each round a top game was broadcast to a commentary room and on the Internet.
The Weekend Tournament featured only 347 players as many took the time off to go see the sights or enjoy the sunshine (on the Saturday). Unbeaten winner was Lee Hong Bok (Korea). Second was Alexandr Dinerchtein (Russia) on 5 wins, while topping the group on 4 wins were young Russians Ilia Chikchine and his professional sister Svetlana Shikshina.
64 countries attended this event, originally planned for 2003, at Kurashiki in Japan. Kurashiki in Okayama Prefecture is famous for old buildings containing museums on a willow-lined canal. The congress hotel was a converted ivy-covered cotton mill. The final placings were: 1. Korea 8/8, 2. Taiwan 7/8, 3. China 6/8, 4. France (on SOSOS), 5. Japan, 6. Canada, 7. Hong Kong, 8. USA, 9. Luxembourg, 10. Czechia 5/8, 20. UK 4/8 (Alex Rix), 36. Ireland 3/8 (Noel Mitchell). Bernard Helmstetter of France's result is particularly noteworthy; if the last game to finish had been lost by Sweden then France would have been third. The Asada Fighting Spirit Prize went to the star of the show 9-year old Shiba Shaw from India, who is a former street urchin taken in by a Japanese orphanage.
The German TOYOTA - IGS-PandaNet European Go Tour event in Hamburg was won by the European Youth Champion, Ondrej Silt from Czechia. Another Czech player Radek Nechanicky (6 dan) and local player Egbert Rittner (6 dan) were squeezed into joint second on tie-break. 205 players took part (50 percent up on 2003) and enjoyed lightning events, a barbeque and video and web broadcast of the top games.
Always a major in the TOYOTA - IGS-PandaNet European Go Tour, Amsterdam always attracts vistors to the Go Centre. 119 players took part this year including one from Latvia and UK's Piers Shepperson (5 dan) who was 13th with 3/6. The winner was professional player Catalin Taranu who is currently back living in Romania. Local lady Guo Juan was second with 5/6. European Youth Champion Ondrej Silt (5 dan Czechia) was third topping the group on 4 wins.
33 players took part in the Tour event in Croatia. Former European Champion Tibor Pocsai (6 dan Hungary) was the winner ahead of Czechs Radek Nechanicky (6 dan) and Ondrej Silt (5 dan), and Diana Koszegi (6 dan Hungary). Best local was Zoran Mutabzija who was fifth.
53 players attended the 16th Lado Omejc Memorial in Bled. Scoring 6/6 and so taking an early lead in the TOYOTA - IGS-PandaNet European Go Tour points table was Tibor Pocsai (6 dan Hungary). Ondrej Silt (5 dan Czechia) won 5/6 and on 4/6 were Radek Neckanicky and Vladimir Danek (both 6 dan Czechia) and Diana Koszegi (6 dan Hungary).
Winner for the second year running was Radek Nechanicky, scoring over 100 points. Second was Dragos Bajenaru who was some 30 points behind the winner. Emil Nijhuis, Du Yingyo and Diana Koszegi were all about 30 points behind that, Diana's high place ensured by her good result at Paris.
323 players took part, including 7 from UK, but only 19 players 5 dan and above. Matthew Cocke, David Ward and Frank Visser won 3/6. Winner yet again on 6/6 was Fan Hui (8 dan China). On 4/6 were Jean-Francois Seailles, Motoki Noguchi, Csaba Mero Diana Koszegi and David Wu. In 7th was Marco Firnhaber and the others picking up Tour points were Silt, Burzo, Nechanicky, Colmez and Gerlach.
Congratulations to Natasha Regan and Matthew Cocke for coming 4th on tie-break with 4/5 at the European Pair Go Championships in Drobeta Turnu Severin, Romania (equalling their previous highest place but in a larger event). Winners were Czechia's Klara Zaloudkova and Zbynek Dach on tie break. Equal second were Rita and Tibor Pocsai from Hungary and Lisa Ente and Benjamin Teuber from Germany. The other UK players were 11th (Helen and Martin Harvey) and 15th (Anna Griffiths and Tony Atkins). A total of 40 pairs took part from 11 countries and including about 20 pairs of Romanian children.
The 15th Irish Open was attended by 26 players from 13 countries, in the Teachers' Club in Dublin. Toshio Nishimura from Japan won with 5/5. Second on 3/5 was Stephen Flinter (1 dan Ireland) on tie-break from David Ward (4 dan Cambridge), Noel Mitchell (2 dan Dublin) and Dan Gilder (3 kyu Manchester) all on 3/5. Claas Roever (4 kyu Dublin) won 5/5. Winner of the 13-player Irish Rapid was Dan Gilder (3 dan Manchester). Second was Colin Adams (1 kyu Lancaster).
As usual several Japanese professionals took part Nakano Yasuhiro (8 dan) was the winner on 5/5. Second was Setoo (5 dan) equal with Kurahashi (9 dan) on 4/5. Then Yanagida (4 dan), Guo Juan (Netherlands) and Jeff Seailles (France) topped the group on 3/5. 96 players took part.
The second Toyota Denso Oza was again held at the EGCC in Amsterdam. 78 top players from 25 European countries took part. Britain's hopes were with Matthew Cocke and David Ward, who both creditably won two games in the 4-round qualifying stage, as Matthew Macfadyen had flight problems and did not arrive. The 20 players on 3 and the 5 on 4 wins progressed to the knockout, the top 7 being seeded to the second round. Despite losing a qualifying game to Bajenaru, the winner was the 2001 European Champion Andre Kulkov from Russia. He beat fellow Russian Alexandre Dinerchtein in the final. Frank Janssen of the Netherlands beat Romania's Ion Florescu in the play-off for third place. The top three qualify for the World Oza later in the year. 206 players took part in various side events at the weekend, 36 more than in 2002.
The professional Pair Go Championship in Japan ended with the final of the RICOH Cup in Tokyo. Previous years champions, Inori Yoko and Chi Chiukun, lost to Kobayashi Izumi and Yamashita Keigo by resignation.
The first game in the 28th Kisei Championships was held in Seattle. Challenger Hane Naoki beat Yamashita Keigo by resignation. Following on over the weekend was the North American Oza. 300 players took part in a hotel in New York and in the Seattle Go Centre. Winners were two pros, Feng Yun (9 dan) in the East and Jiang Mingjiu (5 dan) in the West. They reportedly both qualify for trips to Japan. Other events of the weekend were a concert in New York and a youth event in Seattle.