Have you ever played Go while your bare toes are buried in the sand, or hit a ball right after placing a stone? Well, this special variant tournament was your chance!

For what was probably the most unusual variant tournament of this year’s EGC, around 60 go players in sportswear gathered on the nearby beach of Lake Cospuden. Spontaneously, teams are formed with resounding names like “3rd Force”, “GRRR” or “Mountain Seals” (including a characteristic battle cry).

The rules: Each team consists of six players, two play rengo on the 13×13 board, four play simultaneously on the volleyball court. When seven points are scored at volleyball, a changeover takes place and the winning team receives five additional points on the go board. All players must play both go and volleyball. In the end, the points on the go board decide the victory.

The mood was boisterous. Everyone seemed to enjoy this trip to the beach after the first highly concentrated days of the EGC. During a short, heavy summer rain shower, we all took refuge under the roof of the beach bar. While the rain pounded down on the roof, Allesandro Pace 5d from Italy told me that playing volleyball seems to have a stimulating effect on his go. During long tournament games, the professional musician likes to go outside and play the flute for a few minutes to clear his head. The effect was similar here, he said: after the sport, he returned to the go board focused and relaxed.

The Young Team” showing full physical commitment

See all the pictures of the Beach Volleyball Team Go by Harry van der Krogt

Alexandra Goloubkov, 7k from France, also enjoyed the variation. She said it was an interesting challenge to come back to the board after volleyball and take over a game that has developed in a completely unexpected direction.

Congress Director René Scheibe, who introduced Beach Go to the EGC and did not miss the tournament himself, was also satisfied. The combination of completely different disciplines resulted in interesting strategies for team play, he said. And a little activity can’t hurt the Congress anyway, he added.

As quickly as the rain came, it passed and the tournament could continue. In the final, “The Young Team” beat “Chop Chop Chop” and took the victory. Congratulations to Benoit Robichon 2d, Nicolas Robichon 3d, Bernard Gaultier 1k, Leou Sun 8k, Angelika Rieger 7k and Davide Bernadis 5d – for winning the title of what was probably the first Beach Volleyball Team Go Tournament in the world!

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