Finally, the 65th European Go Congress is underway! Throughout the day, participants streamed onto the grounds of the Rudolf-Hildebrandt-School in Markkleeberg to pick up their fancy Congress wristbands at registration, which almost brought a bit of music festival flair into the crowd.
While the EGC team rushed through the corridors to arrange last things and the schoolyard filled with the chatter of joyful reunions, concentrated silence already prevailed in Block C of the building. As at every EGC, the first two days were dedicated to the finals of the Pandanet Go European Team Championship. This year, the top players from Israel, France, Czech Republic and Ukraine competed in the finals.
The livestream was commentated by Stephen Hu 5d and Antti Törmänen 1p and can be rewatched on the Twitch account of the EGF. However, to give away the result right away: In the end, the Ukrainian team won and thus secured the title for the second year in a row.
Congratulations to Artem Kachanoskyi 2p, Andrii Kravets 1p, Valerii Krushelnytskyi 6d, Bohdan Zhurakovskyi 6d and Dmytro Bohatskyi 6d. This year when the EGC, which was originally planned to take place in Ukraine, had to be cancelled once again due to Russia’s war of aggression and switched to Germany, one might especially commend them on this success. The award ceremony, including the spontaneous singing of the Ukrainian national anthem accompanied by Alessandro Pace 5d on the flute, was a moving highlight of an opening ceremony that was not lacking in highlights.
The moderators Manja and Michael Marz – with the strong support of their children – managed to make the opening a truly entertaining event. There were emotional greetings, anecdotes from the lives of the professionals and Go teachers, promotions and awards, musical interludes (among others: “Kids alive – Bokura no Bouken” as a virtuoso arrangement for flute and piano) and a quiz that had the whole hall cheering along. It was a promising opening, may the games begin. Good luck and good fun to all!
You can see all the pictures from the opening ceremony (and from the whole EGC) at the flickr page of our EGC photographer Harry van der Krogt.