I’m almost ashamed to say this, but I’ve never been to any youth-championship even though it draws more players to it than any other Swiss tournament (except for the Swiss Open Championship maybe). No less than 60 players not only from Switzerland, but also from Germany and France gathered at the youth-hostel to attend this years tournament. The organizers have really done a great job. Apart from the excellent lodging, the center offered a decent playing room with a nice view. I didn’t really expect it, but even the food was awesome!
As the name of the championship already suggests, many young players participated. Some youngsters even got the veterans in a cold sweat. There were five rounds played, three on Saturday, two on Sunday. On my trip to Solothurn I was accomanied by Tanja, Josef and Lucien (you guys rock). The trainride was great fun, we got to play a couple of games and talked lots of nonsense. The atmosphere at the tournament itself was no worse. Even though you could feel the nervosity rising before the first round, everyone was being really kind and you would see the Swiss top-players explaining openings, tsumego and joseki to beginners and advanced players alike.
As for me, it was a great feeling to see so many players and friends gathered in one place. My last tournament was somewhen in August last year and hadn’t studied Go for months, so I was pretty unsure about how the tournament would turn out for me. The first round went quite well even though the game was close until the end. The second one was against Qi Huanxin and boy I didn’t know what hit me. He seemed to erase every problem I dealt him with with one hand. Not only that, but those hands also gave ME a headache, I had to resign pretty quickly. My third opponent played rather fast and I kind of had trouble with the opening… well, just replace the words “had trouble with” with “lost over 60 points in” and you’ll get my point. I stubbornly continued to play and narrowed the gap to around 10 points but eventually had no way to gain any more territory and gave up. That was on the first day. I have to admit it felt kind of depressing to start off on Sunday with 2 losses and only 1 win. My fourth opponent turned out to be a player I knew pretty well. The game was close until the chuban but he miscalculated the status of a group and the difference in points stayed until the end, so it was 2-2. My fifth and last opponent was a 3k. Admittedly I was surprised to see a 3k at the top-table. So I guessed he would be rather strong – I wasn’t wrong. After him laying out a big moyo at the beginning of the game it became really difficult to catch up. That I misread a corner and formed a seki in gote instead of gaining 8 points by sacrificing a stone didn’t make it any easier. Considering that he played very solid I decided it wouldn’t be any good to try neck-breaking maneuvers. The only option left was reducing. I still can’t believe I was actually able to pull off a win after the the horrible middle-game situation. 3-2 (I even won a book, pure awesomeness)! To sum it up: The tournament was a great and well organised event with great people attending it!
Enclosed you find the Top 5 from both Youth champions (own category) and general tournament winners with their respecitive win-loss-ratio.
- Qi Huanxin [2d] 4-1
- Roberto Morrison [2d] 4-1
- Sebastien Koch [2d] 4-1
- Josef Renner [3d] 3-2
- Stjepan Lukac [1k] 3-2
- Maurice Amon [1k] 1-4
- Zürcher Samuel [3k] 2-3
- Metral Yuki [4k] 3-2
- Marcille Gabriel [4k] 2-3
- Hostetmann Samuel [4k] 1-4
You can view all the photos in the SwissGo-galleries and a short movie of the event will be available soon. You’ll find it on Uchihamadara’s YouTube-channel (it already has some Go-related movies in it, check them out if you’re interested).
UPDATE: There seems to be a problem with Youtube and the audiotrack of the vid. Anyway, it’s available on Veoh now, enjoy ^^